4 Tips for Small Businesses to Delegate Effectively

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Small business owners who delegate effectively have more time to focus on other crucial areas of their developing businesses. Delegation empowers employees and helps make them feel more like they’re part of your business, as they are involved in making decisions. More work gets completed through effective delegation, helping your business to grow and reach its goals.

Delegate Work to Appropriate Employees

Make sure your employees have the necessary skills and experience to complete a task or project before you delegate it to them. For example, if you own a small accounting business, and you need assistance completing a complex tax audit for a client, delegate it to your accountants who are taxation specialists as opposed to your general accountants. This helps to avoid errors that could result in financial loss or reputation damage. Observe your team members to determine their strengths and weaknesses so you can delegate tasks that are suitable for them.

Clearly Communicate Objectives and Results

To avoid confusion, provide information about why the work needs to be completed, the deadline for completion, and resources that are available to the employees doing the work. Communicate the results that you expect for the task or project that you have delegated. For example, if you own a small insurance business and delegate the management of the sales team, you could communicate that you expect a 5% month-on-month sales increase over the next 12 months. Consider setting milestones for tasks that you delegate so you can monitor progress before project completion to make sure it meets your expectations. After your employees complete the delegated work, provide constructive feedback about what they did well and where they could have made improvements.

Provide Freedom for How Work Is Completed

Focus on overall results as opposed to how you expect your employees should complete the task. Give your employees the responsibility and authority to complete the delegated work at their discretion. Provide general guidance, but let your employees make decisions about the methods they use to achieve the results you’re seeking. For example, if you are a product seller and intend to delegate your marketing responsibilities to an employee, you could set a guideline for launching a social media marketing campaign, but provide full autonomy of how the employee develops and implements those strategies. Giving your team freedom encourages creative thinking and involves them in your business’s vision.

Delegate Work That You Don’t Have Expertise In

Running a successful business requires skills in financial management, sales and marketing, communication, problem solving, leadership, and technology. If you do not have skills in these areas, consider delegating tasks and projects to other employees or a freelancer. For example, if you have an online retail business and aren’t comfortable with basic accounting concepts, you could hire a freelance bookkeeper to assist you with that aspect of your operations. Ask your employees about their previous industry experience to ascertain where they could complement your areas of expertise.

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