As you wind down from your summer vacation and look ahead to school and work, you’re probably reminded of how much is on your plate. Even though a larger workload usually translates into greater success, small business owners in particular are constantly weighed down with all the responsibilities that come with running a company.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to manage everything yourself. Sound Business Services is here to guide you in your management process and relieve some of that heavy load. During those times when it’s piling on a little too high – something we’ve definitely all experienced – it’s always acceptable to delegate certain managerial tasks out to your employees. Remember that you hired them to help your business grow.

Here are four tips for offloading responsibility in the workplace.

  1. It takes time. As small business owners, we’re often overwhelmed and trying to get everything done in the fastest way possible. When it comes to offloading responsibility, know that it takes time. Sometimes, you have this euphoria that if you can just find one really good person, you can delegate to them. This certainly won’t happen overnight. You accumulated these responsibilities one at a time, so you have to find them one at a time.At Sound Business Services, it’s a process. There was a time when I was doing a lot of bookkeeping work, but needed to better manage my staff to deal with other accounts. If I was bogged down in bookkeeping, I couldn’t focus on helping my team help me. So, I’ve been offloading for more than two years, trying to get accounts off my plate. My advice is to be purposeful with every decision and step you make.
  2. Start with the work that’s easier to delegate and then move onto more complicated tasks. Sometimes, small business owners think they need to find a great admin person off the street, but the reality is that this not only costs a lot in time and money, but also can often be handled within your current staff. Look at your current staff and have them handle admin work when they’re not doing everything else. Choose the right person for the job and motivate them. Even if your office environment is on the smaller side, you have handpicked your employees for a reason. Observe your workplace. Select an employee that will be the best fit for the task at hand. And, don’t be afraid to hire someone on a part-time basis – perhaps a virtual assistant – for a few hours per week.Entrusting an employee with managerial tasks is highly encouraging. It lets them know you trust their ability to handle a greater amount of responsibility, while saving you some time as well. Be sure to make yourself available if they have any questions regarding an assignment and continue to be a source of motivation. It’s all about creating a balance between your involvement and their level of responsibility.
  3. Be very careful accepting new responsibilities. Once you’ve gotten good at delegating, you have to be very careful accepting new responsibilities. The tendency is if you have more time, it’s easy to fill that schedule back up where you are once again consumed with working in your business vs. on your business. Don’t go in reverse! Don’t hold the work and let it sit on your plate. As things come in, delegate them. This benefits you and your employees. While they get the opportunity to be further educated in their field, you’ll have more time to ultimately grow your business.
  4. Show your appreciation. A successful small business owner must not only be willing to delegate, but also show his/her staff the appreciation they deserve for their hard work and effort.This circles back to properly motivating your employees so that you don’t have to spend time worrying whether a task is being carried out correctly. If you have the resources, you can provide incentives for those that go the extra mile. If you can’t spare much expense, you’d be surprised at how far a simple “Thank you” for a job well done still goes. Recognizing a particularly hardworking employee during staff meetings, for example, is another great way to show you appreciate their help.

SBS is Here to Help

We understand that offloading responsibility can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around. That’s why you can always come to us at SBS with any potential questions or concerns. If you want a further look into other various ways to better delegate your work, contact us! Whatever you may need, we’re here to be your trusted advisor.