Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Small Business Tip: 4 Reasons It's So Hard to Delegate

FACT: Delegation (done properly) will make your life EASIER!

There are all sorts of reasons to delegate in life.

There is no place that this is more true than when you own your own business or manage a department.

When we delegate properly, we are more efficient and effective.

If it makes life so simple, why is it so hard to delegate?

I keep asking myself this, and I give answers, but I must not really be convinced.  I keep doing many of the same foolish things.

When I think hard about this question, I realize that I watch myself and other people fail to delegate for four (4) main reasons.
  1. Control
  2. Cost
  3. Time
  4. Cannot Visualize Long Term Gains
Everything I tell myself falls into one of these categories.  Let's take a look at each of them.

1. Control

The Problem
Both managers and owners tend to be guilty here.

We can't let go of our BABY.

No, you can't do that as well as I can.

Many times, I am the only person that can do things the way I want as well as I can do them.  I tell myself that I wish that I could find someone to do it, but usually, I don't mean that.

All of us have control issues--some more than others, but we all suffer from this one.

First Steps toward a Solution
First, we can try training people.  If we're serious about doing this, we're taking time to find the right people to train...and making the time to train them.

Even then, sometimes, nobody can "be us" as well as we can.

Now, we have to ask ourselves a key question:

Key Question to Ask Yourself
Will our customer really notice--and appreciate--the difference between MY 100% versus the 70% or 80% of that done by somebody else?

If we're honest with ourselves, more often than not, the answer is NO.

If it REALLY DOES MATTER, we need to ask ourselves
(a) why does it matter and
(b) why is it so hard to replicate (We're NOT that special that we cannot be replaced on this world--HONESTLY!)

2. Cost

The Problem
We WANT to hire someone to do it, but we simply cannot afford it.

(This is pretty straightforward, isn't it? :)

First Steps toward a Solution

If money truly is THE issue, can we trade services with someone.

"Hey, I'll do that thing that's hard for you but easy for me...IF you do that thing that's easy for you but hard for me."

This is a great solution during the start, but you cannot scale this once you get 10 times as many orders.

You only have so much time, but it does help you get started.

The biggest thing that most people overlook is that our time is worth more than we realize.

Since most people need and want the security of getting a definite amount of pay, then you can take advantage of this.

You can pay them LESS, because they want the "guarantee."

Example: Create a Website

It might take me about 5 hours to create a website, and it will not look that great.

I can hire an expert to build a website at $30/hour, and that person can build a simple website in about 2 hours.

I just know that I have to SELL that website for MORE than $60 (2 hours @ $30/hour).  If I charge $100 to $150, I've made money.

Yes, I got to KEEP less, but I made more per hour.

ME: 5 Hours @ $30/Hour = $150 =  $30/Hour for My Time
EXPERT: $150 Sale Price - $60 Cost to Pay Expert = $90 Profit (at NONE of MY Time!)

I could sell ten (10) of these without feeling the pressure, because it takes the same amount of MY time to sell 10 as it does just 1 website.

If I did this myself, that would take 50 hours of my time, and I would only be $600 (10 Websites @ $60/Site Cost for an expert) richer.

Thanks, but I'll keep my $900 without spending any of my time (compared to $1500 by spending 50 hours).

Oh, yeah...AND my customers will receive a better product, because I've hired experts.

Key Question to Ask Yourself
What would you be doing with your time if you weren't doing this specific task?  Would you make more money doing THIS task or THAT one?

Most of us are spending WAY too much time doing tasks that do not pay us very well--ones that we could pay someone else to do more inexpensively.

Are you sure that you REALLY cannot afford it?

3. Time

The Problem
I just do not have enough TIME to train somebody.  I'm just too busy.

Whenever I try, something always gets in the way.

Sometimes, it just takes less time to do it myself.

First Steps toward a Solution

It takes less time to do it yourself?  OF COURSE!  That person isn't trained, yet!

Unfortunately, this requires you to have faith in my advice, because I do not know how to write an example to outline this point.

So I will offer a recipe that you might want to try:
A. Set aside a certain time slot each day to train somebody at something.  (This builds a habit.)
B. Make a list of things that you WANT to be able to delegate. (This will build your dream.)
C. Identify what you want to delegate more than anything else.  (This will help you focus.)
D. Identify the person you want to try training.  (This forces you to match skills needed.)
E. Understand the skills that person needs to become properly trained.
F. Identify HOW you are going to train that person, even with infinite time.
G. See Step A: Set aside a certain time slot each day...

When you're done with the thing you MOST want to delegate, pick the next thing to train.  Restart Step A!

Key Question to Ask Yourself
How much time am I losing to do more important things by NOT delegating THIS task?

Not everything should be delegated, but make sure you know what YOU should be doing...the things that make you the most money.  Everything else should be delegated!

4. Cannot Visualize Long Term Gains

The Problem
We don't REALLY believe that life can be better for us.

We might be able to verbalize it, but let's take a look at a common example.

"I want to lose weight."

That is a lot more fun to say (or write) than to take the steps toward doing it.

When we want to lose weight, there are two things that we need to do.
A. Eat Less (and Better)
B. Exercise More

What makes doing these two (2) things so hard?

First, most of us only want GUARANTEED results, and we need to see those results pretty quickly, or we cannot truly see ourselves benefiting from the short-term sacrifice.  We don't really want it...if we have to work for it.

I'm not talking about this, though.

For most of us, there is a BIGGER problem.  We cannot SEE ourselves as that thin person.

As we begin to exercise, we start feeling pain or some other form of discomfort.

Now, if we KNOW this will work AND we want it, wouldn't we just keep exercising and eating more carefully?

However, if we're not really convinced that this will work--FOR US--then WHY would we want to experience that pain?

No sane person wants to experience Pointless Pain.  If we know that the results are guaranteed, we feel MOTIVATED.  When we're not so sure, we deviate from our plan.

Why sacrifice when it's really not going to do anything?

The same thing happens to us as small business owners and managers.  We hear about OTHER people's lives being better when we delegate, but we just don't really believe it.
  • We don't SEE how spending TIME TODAY will let us have MORE time TOMORROW.
  • We don't see how spending MONEY TODAY will let us MAKE MORE MONEY TOMORROW.
Why WOULD we willingly suffer the pain of taking time (that we don't really have) to train someone if I don't really see me ever being able to let go of this?

Why WOULD we spend money to pay someone else if we only see that as a COST--not a good INVESTMENT that will pay us much more later?

First Steps toward a Solution

We need that vision, but how can we get it?

Ask yourself the following questions...
A. If I DID have enough time to train someone else, how much better would my life be?
B. If I DID have enough money to pay someone else, how much better would my life be?
C. How CAN I make these things happen?

Ask other business owners (not competitors who are located near you--be fair!).  Look online.

Go to networking meetings, and get ideas.

Make a game of it, and try to make a list of the craziest ideas.  Some of them WILL be crazy, but a few of them will be so crazy...that they will WORK!

Most importantly, find people who are doing it successfully.  Ask them for advice, and watch them in action.

Key Question to Ask Yourself
Are you really happy with the way things are today?

If so, then keep doing what you are doing, but if you catch yourself complaining or feeling stressed from doing things that aren't making you money, then you really aren't as happy as you could be.

The REAL question to ask yourself is since other people can do it, WHY NOT you?  What makes THEM so different?

Even as I am forcing myself to delegate more, I find myself struggling with several things.  I'm convinced, though, that I need to solve it to take my business to the next level.

Why do YOU have a hard time delegating?

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1 comment:

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