Why Learning to Delegate is Essential for Entrepreneurial Success

entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is one of the most invigorating pursuits out there. Being able to take an idea and turn it into something real is a thrilling experience. Yet, anyone who has dabbled in entrepreneurship likely knows that it’s by no means easy.

Not only is there a lot of risk involved—most entrepreneurs make an investment of their own savings, and many do not take a salary for the first few years they’re working on the business—but there is also a lot of stress. You will be the only one looking out for both the day-to-day health of the business as well as its long-term prospects, meaning almost every moment of every day will be filled with important decisions.

This is enough to make anyone go mad. And entrepreneurs usually make it even harder on themselves by trying to do everything on their own. There is this notion that because it’s your project you need to have your hand in everything. And while this is true, this doesn’t mean you need to do everything. In fact, learning to let others do some things, i.e. delegating, is an essential skill for entrepreneurial success. Here’s why.

It Makes You Faster

Speed and efficiency are keys to the success of any business. The faster you can process orders, ship products and deal with issues, the happier your customers will be and the more money you will make. And this is typically an area where small businesses have an advantage over larger ones. Because they are smaller, they tend to be more streamlined and can do things a bit quicker.

However, this changes if you have an organizational structure that requires each and every decision to go through you. If you do this, then you’ll likely find your workflow gumming up at different places, meaning people will be unable to move forward because they’re waiting for your input or approval.

For the major stuff, such as big strategy decisions, obviously, you’ll want to be involved. But you do not need to be a part of the day-to-day operations of each department of your business. It’s much smarter to put people you trust in charge of different aspects of the business, agree to an overall strategy and set of tactics, and then leave your deputy in charge to run things and inform you when there’s an issue and when it’s time to start considering a new strategy. This will make everything faster and more efficient, helping you not only save time and money but also delight your customers.

[ctt template=”3″ link=”fja7y” via=”no” ]For the major stuff, such as big strategy decisions, obviously, you’ll want to be involved. But you do not need to be a part of the day-to-day operations of each department of your business.[/ctt]

It Makes You Better

Another trap many entrepreneurs fall into is thinking they should know everything about the business. Of course, you want to have an idea of what’s going on around the company, but it’s foolish to think you can be an expert in marketing, HR, accounting, product development and also customer service. There are bound to be areas where you’re more knowledgeable, as well as other areas where you have no idea what’s going on.

As a result, one of the keys to success as an entrepreneur is recognizing what you do well, and then learning to delegate the rest. So, if your background is in marketing, then focus on marketing, and hire others to come in and help you with accounting and HR. If you don’t want to or can’t hire someone full-time, then consider outsourcing to a specialized firm. It may end up being cheaper than bringing on new employees.

But no matter which route you choose, just don’t try to be something you’re not. If you do, you put the company, and your entrepreneurial career, at unnecessary risk.

Most entrepreneurs become so attached to their projects that they try to hold onto every aspect of it, but as things grow and expand, this becomes impossible to keep up.

It’s Inevitable

Another reason why you should learn how to delegate is that it really is something you need to learn. Most entrepreneurs become so attached to their projects that they try to hold onto every aspect of it, but as things grow and expand, this becomes impossible to keep up. And if you haven’t learned how to delegate by the time this happens, then this is really going to hurt your chances moving forward.

Specifically, you run the risk of developing some unhealthy (micro)management skills. No one wants to work for a boss that gives them an assignment and then hovers over them every step of the way.

As a result, it’s much better to learn how to delegate early on, as this will prepare you for what’s to come. And it’s much easier to learn when the business is small, as delegating might mean nothing more than turning to another team member and asking them to do something for you. Then, when things get better, you’ll be comfortable with the idea of turning work over to others, setting you up for long-term success.

It Will Keep You Sane

Lastly, learning to delegate is essential if you want to maintain your own personal health. Entrepreneurs tend to get stressed out easily, making learning to manage this stress a key to entrepreneurial success. And, as you might expect, delegating is one of the best ways you can learn to keep balance in your life.

However, there are two parts to this. First, you must learn how to delegate. And second, you must learn to trust. Delegating is not useful if you hand work over to someone and then stress out about how and when they are going to do it. Not doing this is difficult at first, and it’s one of the reasons you need to work hard to surround yourself with people you trust. But it’s going to help you keep good health as you manage your business, something critical to your success.

Start Small

Delegating is one of the most important skills you can learn as an entrepreneur. And it’s one you’re likely going to have to learn no matter what. So, it’s best to start now so that you can get used to it, and also so that you can get good at it. There is such a thing as bad delegating: giving people work that’s too easy, micromanaging, not giving people enough, etc.

And the best way to become a good manager is to start small. Consider outsourcing a project that you don’t have the skills for, or hiring someone to help you manage the books. Getting used to this type of dynamic will help you grow as an entrepreneur, and it will set you up for long-term success.

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Jock Purtle

Founder at Digital Exits
About the Author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service that specializes in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. His work requires him to consult with small business owners to help them develop and implement a growth strategy. But he’s also an entrepreneur himself, so he likes to share his experiences whenever he can to help others make their vision become reality.
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