Systems and time management

Small business owners often wear too many “hats”–they try to tackle every responsibility within their business.It can often seem as if the more you work, the less time you have. Delegating is one of the easiest methods for “creating” more time. By removing certain responsibilities from your shoulders, you have more time to focus on higher priorities.

Many owners fret that others don’t or won’t do things “their” way. They believe that employees should know how to do a task properly, and scratch their heads in dismay when employees don’t. Often, the owner will conclude that if he wants it done right, he’s going to have to do it. And he falls into a self-fulfilling cycle, because nobody else learns how to do the task. The owner must do it, because nobody else can.

Delegating involves much more than simply handing over responsibility. Delegation requires systems and training if it is to be effective.

Too often a small business owner will throw a task at an employee, provide little instruction or guidance, and then complain about the results. Not only is this unfair to the employee, it degrades morale and adds to the owner’s stress and frustration.

Systems and procedures overcome these obstacles, providing the employee with clear instructions for completing the task. The employee doesn’t have to guess as to the best way to achieve the desired results. As a simple example, if I instructed you to post an article on this blog, you would have a difficult time doing so. At a minimum you wouldn’t know how to log in. If you are unfamiliar with Blogger, you would have to figure out which links to click, how to edit, etc. But if I provided you with a set of instructions you could likely complete the task with minimal problems.

This is the approach that should be taken for all of the tasks within our business, for then we can begin to effectively delegate. Delegation can be a great tool for time management. However, like any tool it must be used properly.

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