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It Pays to Delegate

Most of us will get to the point where we are overwhelmed by tasks that are required by our business model. There will be those tasks we approach with enthusiasm and pleasure and those we put off or rush through because we despise them. And, as our business grows over time, there will be more and more of these tasks and a need to find a way to deal with them.

A fresh look at this issue was provided by writer and blogger Michael Kitces in his discussion of what he terms a “stop doing list”. Essentially, his idea is that you will better be able to grow your business if you cut out doing those tasks that can be handled by someone else, leaving you to focus on the growth of the business.

The problem with this suggestion, as you probably already knew, is forcing yourself to do what is necessary to ensure that the work that must be done is accomplished by others to the extent that you can delegate that work. In a small business, the principal often handles everything at the inception of the business and, though employees may be hired going forward, they are entrusted with only very specific tasks which leaves the principal still with plenty to do beyond those assigned tasks. It may be hard to let go of some tasks – even those deemed undesirable – because of their importance to the business or because of an inability to let someone else handle it.

One answer is to find an employee with a broad variety of skills and hire that person to complement your efforts and move the business forward. Apart from the likely difficulty in finding such a person is the cost to hire, pay and retain the employee which may be too burdensome for a small business. That does not even address the issue of taking the big step of delegating important work to someone else. Another answer is to outsource certain tasks to an individual or firm which has the expertise to do specific tasks you would like to pass to someone else. This limits the need to hire and maintain full time employees and can utilize a contract with specific terms and protections for both parties.

If you can bring yourself to take the necessary steps to delegate some of your work, it can pay benefits in the time and energy you will have remaining for the tasks you find most fulfilling.

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