Most small businesses have key personal. This is normally the owner or manger and they seem to be the person or the people that receive a hundred phone calls a day, a pile of faxes, emails , letters and other forms of communication. If you are one of those people you will know and completely understand that at times it is very hard to move forward in your business because you get so bogged down in the day to day activities.
This is an area that I have often struggled with over the years. It is often easier to do things yourself rather than take the time to explain to a staff member how to do a particular job and then follow up to make sure that it is done.
One of the most surprising observations that I have made of successful business people is that often they are not actually that busy. Their day is full but they tend to start work at reasonable hours and finish work at a reasonable hour and they have a strong support team around them. They don’t waste time doing small or repetitive jobs that waste their time. They expend their energy and personal resources on making decisions and moving the business forward.
A prime example of this is something as simple as using a courier. For years I would find myself driving all over town dropping off documents for clients. By the time I got myself organised, got in the car, found the premises, stopped and had a chat, did a few other chores and then headed back to the office I was wasting at least one hour for every drop off I did. Now during a week I would probably have to make ten to fifteen deliveries like this so I was losing upwards of ten to fifteen hours per week in what I thought, was an attempt to save a few dollars. Then when I sat down and realised that I was losing so much work time each week I quickly adopted the services of a courier who charges a few dollars for each delivery, saving me a lot of time where I can actually be making money.
Now I know that this must seem obvious however it really wasn’t. When I started my business I would only do one or two drop offs each week so it really wasn’t a big deal and to be honest it was nice to get out of the office. But over several years, business increased and before I knew it I was spending far more time doing a task that was basically sending me broke.
Delegation is a hard skill to learn and one that does not come naturally for many people. There are courses that can be done in virtually any city around the world and there are also some excellent books that cover the subject in detail. Some of my clients have found it particularly helpful to talk to friends and associates who are good at delegating to ask for tips and advice.