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The Four Stages of Business – Stage 2: Delegation

Owing a business that is able to operate day-to-day without the owner’s involvement does not happen by chance. It is a result of intentionally moving your business through the four stages: The Grind, Delegation, Sweet Spot and Transition. Here is a look at the joys and challenges of stage 2: Delegation.

To get out of The Grind stage of business, as discussed in the previous article, a business owner must give up the need for control and choose to delegate.

I do NOT mean that owners can stop caring or that they have to turn a blind eye and hope their employees do a good job. Owners can delegate TASKS. They cannot delegate RESPONSIBILITY.

An owner can start by making a list of tasks that are repetitive and a list of tasks that he or she does not want to continue doing or is not skilled at. These tasks can form the basis of a job description that is used to select an employee for the business.

The employees a business hires can make or break the business and this topic is significant enough to warrant an article of its own. My next article will address the steps for a successful hiring process.

It will take time for the owner to train an employee to perform the delegated tasks – and every owner in the Grind stage does not have any time to spare – but this time must be carved out or the owner will never get out of the Grind.

Consider that it may take an owner twenty hours to train a receptionist to handle administrative tasks that generally take him 5 hours per week. After those twenty training hours are spent, he recovers 5 hours per week - forever. The training time is an investment and the payout is far greater than the cost.

In addition to hiring the right person for the job, successful delegation requires discernment regarding how much to delegate. Start with small tasks and increase the difficulty of the tasks as the employee proves to be trustworthy. Focus on communicating the results that are required and let the employee develop their own technique for achieving them.

A business can not get out of the Grind stage without delegating and it will not get to the next stage, the Sweet Spot, without an owner who creates time to look at the landscape and the business and make a plan to keep the business progressing toward achieving its goals and reaching its destination.

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