The American Business Association

Blog Details

The Art of Delegation: How Small Business Owners Can Maximize Their Time

As a small business owner, it can be tough to balance all the responsibilities that come with running a successful business. From managing finances to marketing and sales, it can be overwhelming trying to do it all.


But did you know that by learning to delegate tasks effectively could save invaluable time and boost your business's efficiency?


Delegation is not just about offloading tasks from your plate; it's an underutilized strategy that can empower your team members and enhance their skills.


You can maximize your time, increase productivity, and ultimately grow your business by delegating your tasks effectively. So, how exactly can small business owners maximize their time through delegation?


Here are six ways to get started.


1. Identify Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Before you start delegating tasks, it's important to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you determine which tasks you're best suited for and which tasks can be delegated to others.


For example, if you're great at sales and networking but struggle with social media marketing, consider delegating the management of your business's social media accounts to someone with that particular expertise.


Here's a tip; Consider using a personality test or assessment to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.


2. Prioritize Tasks With an Eisenhower Matrix

One theory of time management that can help small business owners to delegate tasks effectively is the "Eisenhower Matrix."


The Eisenhower Matrix consists of four quadrants. These include tasks that are important and urgent, tasks that are not important but urgent, tasks that are important but not urgent, and tasks that are not important and not urgent.


This matrix helps people prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. Using the Eisenhower Matrix, you can gain a clear insight into what tasks require your immediate attention, which tasks should be scheduled for later, which tasks can be delegated, and which tasks should be eliminated altogether.


Here's a tip; Try writing or making a list of all your tasks and rank them based on the Eisenhower Matrix. This will help you determine which tasks can be delegated.


3. Choose a Competent and Reliable Team

When you delegate tasks effectively, you're not just offloading work but entrusting a part of your business to someone else. This is why it's crucial to have a skilled and dependable team.


A competent team can handle tasks with minimal supervision, freeing up your time to focus on strategic business decisions. Plus, delegating tasks to reliable team members makes you less likely to worry about whether the job will be done correctly or on time, reducing stress and increasing productivity.


Here's a tip; Look beyond just skills and experience. Consider their work ethic, attitude, and how they fit into your company culture. These factors can significantly influence how effectively tasks are delegated and executed.


4. Clearly Communicate Expectations & Objectives

After you make a reliable team to delegate your tasks, it is equally important to communicate your expectations and objectives. It ensures that everyone understands their responsibilities, enabling them to work towards achieving the desired results.


It also helps avoid misunderstandings that could lead to resentment or confusion within the team.


For example, imagine you're delegating a task to design a new marketing brochure. Without clear communication, your team member might not understand the target audience, key messages, or the deadline. This can result in a brochure that doesn't meet your expectations.


But with clear communication, your team can clearly understand what's needed, allowing them to produce work that aligns with your expectation.


Here's a tip; always ensure that your instructions are understood and encourage your employees to ask questions if something isn't clear.


5. Use Technology to Automate Tasks

When you delegate tasks effectively using technology, you can drive efficiency, reduce errors, and free up time for more strategic work.


Automating repetitive tasks like data entry, scheduling, invoicing, or email marketing not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error.


For instance, tools like Asana or Trello are great for project management, allowing you to delegate tasks, track progress, and collaborate with your team all in one place.


QuickBooks or FreshBooks can automate your invoicing process, while MailChimp handles your email marketing campaigns.


Here's a tip; when choosing tech tools for your business, look for ones that integrate well with each other. This can create a seamless workflow, further enhancing efficiency.


6. Say No to Unnecessary Tasks

When you're running a small business, it can be tempting to say yes to everything. But not every task deserves your time and attention. By learning to say no to tasks that don't contribute to your business growth or objectives, you free up time that can be better spent on strategic tasks.


This can help streamline operations, improve productivity, and drive business growth.


For example, if you spend hours each day responding to non-urgent emails, consider delegating this task to a team member or using a tool like SaneBox to manage your inbox. This way, you can focus on more important tasks.


Also, If you're invited to attend a networking event that doesn't align with your business goals or target market, consider saying no.


Here's a tip; If a task is something that someone else can do 80% as well as you, consider delegating it. This leaves you more time to focus on tasks only you can do or tasks requiring your expertise.


Wrapping Up!

Blog Details

To sum it up, the art of delegation is a crucial skill for small business owners. You can maximize your time and focus on growing your business by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, prioritizing tasks, delegating to employees, using technology, and saying no to unnecessary tasks.


At the American Business Association, we offer support and resources for small business owners to help them succeed.