I have always heard phrases like “it is essential for entrepreneurs to learn to delegate tasks” and I have agreed. But like many of the advice given to entrepreneurs, it’s a thousand times easier said than done. In this post, we’ll try to see what takes us not to delegate and the steps to follow to do so successfully.
What is delegation
Delegation is basically transferring our work to another person, defining an objective and providing this person with the authority to carry out that task.
We can delegate any type of task: doing the dishes, cooking (restaurants), ironing clothes (laundry)… create a website, carry out a marketing campaign or carry out a market study.
When we start a company, we find two levels of delegation:
- Internally: We entrust the task to someone on the team who has more knowledge in the matter or more availability.
- Externally: We decide to outsource the work to a third party. In this case, the reasons can be many and we will see them below.
Problems when delegating
“Delegate everything you can and take care of what is really important” is very good, but what is important? What tasks should I delegate and which ones do I decide to do personally?
The fear of delegating
The truth is that, when you start a project, the only thing you are thinking about is everything you have to do, and you want to spend as little as possible on the things you don’t know how to do. Even on many occasions you are willing to learn everything to do the task yourself, because who is going to care more than you about your business?
In the end, you find that you are doing everything in-house, trying to save costs as much as possible. Hire a junior developer to take care of everything that has to do with computers, to learn a bit of design as well to make it more attractive, but to learn SEO and position the web for us, we want it to appear first in Google.
The main reasons that lead us not to want to delegate tasks are:
- Competences: Entrust the task to someone less qualified than me.
- Cost: The resources that are invested in delegating a task.
The cost of not delegating
It is very good to want to carry everything internally and, although a single person has the knowledge to carry out all the tasks (which in the end it should to some extent), surely they don’t have enough time to dedicate all of it.
And the thing is, although we have the capacity to do everything that is necessary to do, we do not have to do everything. Maybe there are people who would do it better and faster. Why not entrust them with the task while we take care of what is really important?
A real example: our website
In our case, we have a clear example of not having delegated and having invested too much time for not being specialists: our website.
Mistake #1: Competencies
From the beginning, we decided to create our website on our own, since we have some experience with front-end layout and we know how to program. If we add to this the illusion that you are creating your own website, we were motivated to create an attractive website that would show the world what Kypseli is.
As the development of the web progressed, we realized that there were many things that we did not master and that we had to learn. Even so, perhaps we did not include many details that would have made a difference due to lack of knowledge and technical limitations.
Mistake #2: Cost
Although we learned a lot in this process, the time we invested in completing the website was much higher than expected and, therefore, so was the cost. We could have invested that time in other tasks that had a greater impact on our business. This made us learn the lesson that it is important to delegate those tasks that we do not master.
Our learning with this experience can be summarized in that it is not necessary to do all the tasks that you are capable of doing. Sometimes we will be presented with scenarios in which it makes much more sense to delegate even if you have some basic notions to know what you want. We have to calculate how much we are willing to invest in each part of our business and how much it can realistically cost us.
There may be competencies that you are interested in developing and investing time in learning. It is very important to be able to detect which are the priorities within the business and which part we are going to dedicate more resources and effort to. We have to keep in mind that each case is very different and in the end the priorities can vary greatly depending on the business. I leave this part to you!
If you liked this post or think you can contribute something else, I encourage you to comment so that we can all learn together from the experiences of others.