You can’t run a whole business by yourself. Well, you can, but if you’ve ever tried it, you know that it’s extremely difficult. Being your own boss is one of the most empowering, yet intimidating, experiences you can have. You get to determine your own hours and there’s no one to tell you what to do… but you also have to figure out all of the details of how every part of your business works, and you have to do literally everything.
No matter how much passion, drive, commitment, and work ethic you have, you’re still one person. One person has limits, and you’ll find that out very quickly when you’re trying to create a successful company from the ground up. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that you need to get some other people to help you with all of this.
While this is a problem for some, there’s also a good number of business owners who do recognize that they need to hire some employees or contractors to take some of the burden off of their shoulders. Getting someone to take care of bookkeeping, social media (like yours truly!), or some other part of your business can give you way more time to focus on what you are better at, and enjoy doing.
Here’s the kicker: while most business owners usually just hire someone to take care of a single, specific task, chances are that they are capable of doing way more than that for you. By giving the people who work for you more creative control over what they do, everyone benefits. You, them, and your customers, will all see a real difference. I speak from person experience on all sides of this equation! Here’s what can happen:
They Give You Better Results
When you’ve been employed by a company in the past, how many times have you run into an issue you didn’t have the power to address, and think to yourself, “If they’d just let me do this, SO many problems would be solved. But no, they insist on doing it their way!”
Guess what? You can be the boss that actually gives someone the opportunity to do that thing that solves so many problems! If you’ve hired someone to take care of something for you, chances are that after doing it for a short while, their previous expertise, combined with their fresh perspective, will give them entirely new and much deeper insights on what needs to be done, than you would have ever discovered on your own.
This can be achieved by just asking simple questions about what they’ve been doing, and how they think it can be improved:
“Do you think there’s a way that this could get done faster?”
“Have you noticed any part of what we’re doing that we could do better?”
“Is there any part of what I have you doing that you wish you could go about differently?”
If you carefully listen to the answers that you receive to these questions, chances are that you’ll discover a lot of ways that they could do their job even better. Then comes the simple, yet difficult part: give them the freedom to do something about it.
In my experience in marketing consulting, there are two primary types of clients. One type is looking for someone who will just take all of their ideas for social media posts and ads, and do all of the grunt work for creating and posting them. The other is looking for someone who brings a skill set that they recognize that they don’t have, and wants someone who can help them to develop and fine-tune their marketing strategy, in addition to lightening their workload. Guess which type gets way better results, and is more pleasant to work with? Hint: it’s not the first one!
You Can Get Even MORE of Your Time Back
Typically, there are two reasons to hire someone: they have knowledge and experience that you don’t, or they are able to take over some of the things that you do so that you have a lighter workload. We’ve already gone over how giving your employees or contractors more creative can give them even more of a knowledge and experience advantage. The cool part is, doing this will also further free you up to do more of what you’re good at. In other words, a win for everyone involved!
I think business owners often underestimate just how valuable their time is. Especially if the value of your business comes directly from you specifically (your expertise or skillset, such as an advisor or a craftsman), maximizing the time that you spend creating the value that your business is based upon is extremely important. The more time that you are having to spend on secondary elements of your business, no matter how essential they might be, the less you are investing into the unique value that is essential to your business’ success.
Don’t get me wrong: there are a lot of elements of running a business that require your attention as the owner, and ignoring them can be very dangerous! However, if you’re in a position where you can distribute some of those tasks to trustworthy employees or contractors, it not only gives you more time, but the time that you are working will tend to be more enjoyable. So, you’ll not only be making your company more efficient, but everyone involved will be enjoying their work more!
In my ventures as a marketing consultant, it can be very easy to find myself swapping between wearing way too many different hats. While I don’t have any employees yet, I’ve contracted out an accountant, a web designer, and a video editor. All of them do things that I certainly could do myself, but not only are they way better at it than I am, but they free up my time to do more direct work with clients; the stuff I enjoy! Plus, I’ve found that each one of them gives me the best results when I let go of the reigns as much as I can, and trust them with as much as they’ll comfortably take on.
Customers Notice A Difference
This point is one of the simplest, yet it shouldn’t go without mentioning. Customers notice a lot more than most realize. Even if there are smaller, more incremental improvements in the areas that you delegate, it gives customers a better experience. Some might be perceptive enough to notice right away, other times it might go unnoticed for some time.
Delegation is a simple concept to understand, and usually easy enough to implement. But hopefully you see now that you can harness the potential of the people that work with you to their fullest extent. I’m willing to bet that you’ll be surprised at just how much they can do, if you’re willing to give them the chance.