The last thing you want to do is to be working hard only to find…
Delegate. The Number 1 Way to Improve Your Results
Delegate, don’t abdicate. Apply this rule to all parts of your business, and you will see significant improvement in your results.
I recently met a gentleman who told me, “I’ve been in business for 25 years, and I have to admit that I know nothing about the numbers at all. My mother looks after all of this for me; she meets with the accountants, and I just sign the paperwork.” He went on to say, “The business is doing ok, but to be honest, I don’t really know how well it’s doing.”
This gentleman had abdicated complete responsibility for everything to do with the finances in his business. Now I expect that he was in his mid to late 50’s which means that his dear old Mum would be in her 70’s. I wonder how much longer she will be capable of continuing to work and look out for him. I also wonder whether she has been completely honest with him about the numbers or whether she has looked after herself along the way too. And then the bigger issue that is looming is what is going to happen when Mum can no longer look after the books, or if she passes away suddenly. What then?
It’s a bit like a few generations ago when the husband looked after the money, paid the bills, gave the wife a weekly allowance for groceries and then when he passed away first, the wife was completely unprepared, had never been to a bank and had absolutely no idea about financial matters at all.
One of the rules of business that I’ve been taught is that if you can earn more money doing what you do best and can pay someone else to do tasks that aren’t your best use of time and pay them at a lower rate, then you should be delegating those tasks.
Tasks like triaging emails, managing appointments and your calendar, data entry and bookkeeping. Sure, if you’re in start-up and boot-strapping establishing your business, then you will have to do these tasks yourself until you start to get some revenue. But, if your business is established, consider where you spend your time and whether you wouldn’t make more money doing more selling or delivery if you had more time to do so and had delegated most of the admin work.
I recently worked with a business owner who has been in business a few years and has a solid revenue base. When I met him, he was doing the invoicing, the bookkeeping, setting his own appointments, booking his travel arrangements as his work took him regularly inter-state. I suggested that he make a detailed diary record of what he does for one week. At the end of the week he commented that although he knew he spent a lot of time on admin work, he hadn’t realised just how many hours it was.
He agreed that he needed to change the situation and set about employing a bookkeeper and a part-time admin support person to take on most of the work. Instead of doing the admin work, now he has two one hour sessions each week, one with the admin support and one with the bookkeeper to go through their queries and get feedback from them on what needs to be done. He also has diarised some time each week to do the admin work that he does still need to do. A few months later and he says that he feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders, he’s happier and focused on what he needs to do to build the business and service his existing clients.
Now is always the best time to change the way you do things to change the results in the future.
Take a good hard look at how you spend your week and make a list of all the tasks you do (and the time you spend on them) that you could delegate to someone else to do. Then go and find other people to employ to do those tasks for you.
You will feel so much better for it and will be able to spend more of your time doing the work you love doing and making more profit.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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