Delegation is truly an art – especially when you are a small business owner or just starting out with a new business venture. Put simply, it’s about knowing where your strengths lie – what you are capable of, what you aren’t, what you can outsource and to whom. The idea of delegating important tasks for your business can be a daunting one for many reasons – fear of losing control, trusting someone to do the job properly and the financial cost are just three of them. But not knowing how, when, and why to delegate could actually be holding your business back.
What are the benefits of delegation for small business owners?
Whether you’re the founder of a small company, a sole trader or have just started selling your products on eCommerce websites such as Etsy, delegation can give you the space you need to focus on your strengths when it comes to running the business. From receiving professional results to freeing up your time – the benefits are myriad and include:
I was recently chatting with one of my clients who makes all manner of personalised crafts and was looking to set up an Etsy store in order to sell them. Instead of spending hours getting their head around the platform, uploading images, and optimising their product listings they chose to focus on creating more products and outsource this task to me as this was a much better use of their time that meant they could play to their strengths, create more products and have them online and ready to be purchased much more efficiently.
We’ve grown up in a society that with the best of intentions tells us to believe ‘can’t’ isn’t a word – I think we should reframe that to ‘I can, but should I?‘. Whether it’s writing your website copy, creating social media posts, or setting up Google Search Ads for your business – all of which you are capable of – it pays to stop and think “is this the best use of my time?”. Delegating such tasks to a trusted professional will ensure that they are completed competently and get you quicker results than taking the time out you would need to learn and hone these skills yourself. And just like my client, you’ll find you’ve freed up more time to work on your offering and the day-to-day running of your business.
According to etailinsights there are some 7.9 million e-tailers in the world – this number only increased during worldwide lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. Without even considering giants such as Amazon, the competition to be seen and gain a market share is high – which is why optimisation is so important. Simply having a website, social media presence or online store will not guarantee sales and leads.
Organic search (i.e., searching for stuff on Google and other search engine websites) is the biggest driver of traffic to websites. To appear favourably in the search results, your website needs to be Search Engine Optimised. Search engines clearly need to know what your web pages are about from their keywords, meta descriptions, and content. This can be a minefield for the uninitiated. If you’re a seller of personalised socks for instance you may think you can just get away with assigning ‘personalised socks’ to one of your product pages or even your homepage. But do a Google search and you’ll find you’re up against the retail and ecommerce giants – how will people find your website? I assure you they won’t be clicking through to the 218th page of results. SEO is a lot more nuanced than this – I could go on forever about the ins and outs of it but if you’re serious about your online business – you’ll hire someone that can take care of this for you and help you to achieve the visibility you’re looking for.
Optimising any area of your business whether it’s your finances, your social media posts or customer experience could be made all the more efficient by delegating to people or software that specialises in these areas.
Efficiency and Maximising Output
There are so many elements that go into running a successful business and a one-person enterprise or even as a small team it can be hard to spread yourself evenly. Outsourcing the tasks where you have gaps in your knowledge or that you don’t have time to dedicate to can save you time, energy and money in the long run and doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all control over the outcome. It’s very common within the freelance industry or marketing agencies to outsource tasks you can do but would rather not in order to spend more time focusing on a bigger project.
Some of my more recent clients have been marketing professionals giving presentations to their industries at conferences that know exactly what they want to say in their presentations but don’t have the time to agonise over creating slick-looking slide decks and website developers launching their own businesses but in need of compelling copy written in a timely fashion so they can get their enterprises off the ground. Again, it all goes back to knowing what your strengths are and how you want to manage your time and resources.
Delegating to Get Ahead of the Competition
As a small business owner, using delegation can help you to get ahead of the competition. With you in the director’s chair, using the skills of trusted professionals be they freelancers or employees allows you to pool resources and work more efficiently. Think about how many people are involved in making big-budget Hollywood movies – everyone has a role to play from creating the set to making sure people are fed and watered and they all come together to create something bigger than the sum of each of those roles. Your business is no different – think about what areas you need to work on and who you can recruit to help you in them in order to achieve your wider goals.
Supercharging Your Marketing
One of the main problems new online businesses come up against lies in how to market themselves efficiently. Knowing your target audience and reaching them effectively are two very different things. Choosing which platforms to have a presence on and producing the content that compels them to connect with you, ditto. I’ve seen many new start-ups create social media accounts, post a handful of posts and then stop posting altogether because they don’t have the resources or time to dedicate to their marketing. They wonder why they aren’t gaining a following or why people aren’t buying from them. Successful long-term digital marketing comes about through consistency – of tone, brand messaging and showing up regularly for your target audience. This applies to all platforms – whether you’re sending out customer emails, have an Instagram account or even taking out print advertising.
Think about where your customers hang out – both offline and online and the best way in which to reach them. Then think about the assets you need to do so – do you need a graphic designer? Email marketer, copywriter, or web developer? Identify what you need and then delegate to a professional to achieve it!
Finding the Right Person for the Job
Trust and control are two major factors that hold business owners back from delegating tasks to the best people suited to them – of course, there are also other factors such as resources and money. But if you find the right person for the job, you’ll be able to trust them to do what needs to be done, whilst still having control of the final outcome and getting it done to the highest standard. When it comes to literally finding someone to delegate tasks to, there are thankfully lots of readily available resources online – LinkedIn, freelance job boards or even just asking within your professional network or via social media sites such as Twitter. Let people know what you’re looking for and be sure to check out examples of previous work and testimonials before agreeing to work with anyone!
Smart business owners know where their strengths and weaknesses lie and seek out efficiency by delegating the right tasks to the most capable people. If you struggle with delegation or have been contemplating outsourcing aspects of your business and marketing, I hope these tips have been helpful and will allow you to focus on your role in achieving your business objectives! Do let me know your thoughts on delegation in the comments and feel free to share this with anyone you think it might help!
Are you looking to outsource and supercharge your digital marketing? Let’s have a chat about the best way to do just that for your business!