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Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Delegate Your Work to Get The Help You Need

As a small business owner, you’re used to wearing a lot of hats. After all, you built your business from the ground up – no one knows it better than you do.

But what happens when your business starts to grow? You can’t handle every single task forever. You’d get burnt out and overwhelmed, which isn’t good for your professional or personal life.

Both of my parents have owned their own businesses, so I’ve seen this kind of thing first hand. It can be scary and nerve-wracking to hand over some of the day-to-day operations of your business, but it can be done.

And once you have processes in place, you’ll have more opportunities to actually enjoy the ride of being an entrepreneur!

What You Can Delegate

Obviously, it’s not a great idea to have other people or technology handle everything in your business. There are some things that you may genuinely enjoy doing, and there’s no reason that you have to give those things up.

Here are a few common things small business owners let go of:

This definitely isn’t a hard and fast list, and you may have the resources to handle the things I’ve talked about here. But think about the pain points of your day to day, things you would rather live without doing. Those are the things you can delegate.

How to Start Delegating

Now that you’re kicked back daydreaming about all the extra time you’ll have for activities when you’ve delegated out your tasks, let’s talk about how to do it.

Find a Virtual Assistant or Freelancer

You may be saying, “I don’t have the means to hire employees right now!” Fear not. You can find plenty of help.

Hire an Employee (or Two)

Sometimes handling parts of your business off to a total stranger online is a little scary. Oftentimes you can find one employee that has many of the skills you’re looking for, and can handle a lot of the tasks you don’t like doing.

For example, an administrative assistant can help with bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, correspondence – and a ton of other tasks. And if you’re using Grasshopper, they don’t even need to be in your location! (See what I did there?)

But first, you need to actually find someone to help you. Hiring isn’t as scary as it’s made out to be, I promise.

How to Manage Your New Staff

There are a lot of tools out there to handle the management of small teams. Many of them also allow you to delegate tasks, keep up with their progress, and give or receive feedback. It will keep you super organized, and you’ll have everything in writing, which makes life a lot easier when you need to go back and look at something that was done three months ago.

Whether you’re working with freelancers, virtual assistants, or someone sitting in your office, these tools will help you stay on top of everything.

Get Delegating

At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you delegate your tasks or not. If you can find trustworthy people that you’re comfortable working with, it’s definitely something to consider – if for nothing else but saving your sanity!

Your Turn: What tasks do you delegate (or wish you could delegate!)? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • DemGen

    Another great blog post! We’ve found that many entrepreneurs think they need to handle every aspect of their business themselves, when that really ends up holding them back. Delegating is essential for achieving all greater results and revenues. Pre-assembled virtual teams offer a one-stop-shop approach for the team members and services entrepreneurs and businesses require.

    • Mary Mallard

      Definitely agree! One person can’t handle everything, and that’s okay. It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and hand off the tasks that are bogging you down. Thanks for the comment!

  • Guy Lepage

    I think Asana is a great task management tool that keeps getting better and better. It’s probably the fastest and most accessible task and project management app out there, allowing users to VERY quickly add and delegate tasks. I’d definitely add this to the list.

    • Mary Mallard

      Great suggestion, Guy! Anything that’s easy to use, as well as effective, is high on my list.

  • Frances J. Harvey Cpc

    Hi Mary.
    Great article and information! As an entrepreneur VA this is the kind of thing we love to see. And yes there are so any programs out there that will help to streamline your business -Grasshopper being one of my favorites. Another new one one the scene is 17hats!

    I would also love to see in these articles recommendations not only for places like odesk or elance but for those of us who have individual VA business and/or teams as well. It truly helps the small business owner industry.

    • Mary Mallard

      That’s a great suggestion, Frances – thanks for bringing it up. We definitely want to help all kinds of small businesses, and I think that featuring independent VAs is definitely a way for us to do that.

      And thanks for the kind words, it really means a lot. :)

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