When Daymond started his first company, he was a one-man-band for a long time. He worked on everything—taking orders, making hats and shirts, selling products in person, filling orders, marketing…you name it, he did it. As his brand started to grow, though, he learned really quickly how far a little help can go. It started with some friends helping him out here and there, but before he knew it, he needed to hire real employees and start paying real wages.
Hiring employees and delegating smaller (and sometimes bigger) tasks is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for a lot of entrepreneurs. Your brand is your baby, and you started it all by yourself. You want everything done right, so you just do it yourself. But, if you want your business to grow, you can’t keep taking on every single thing that needs to be done. Can you imagine how far FUBU would’ve gotten if Daymond insisted on continuing to make every single product by hand himself? Here’s a hint: not very.
But I don’t need to tell you all that. You already know how important it is to hire people you can trust and to delegate tasks and projects to them. But that doesn’t make it any easier to actually do it. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve used over the years to get in the habit of delegating so I could focus on growing my businesses and my personal brand.
DON’T SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRE EMPLOYEES
The first step in getting comfortable with delegation is learning to trust other people with your business. You can’t do that if you hire people whose work you don’t have confidence in. So start by hiring only people who are enthusiastic about working for and with you. Go with your gut and bring people on board who you know will treat your brand as their own.
THINK ABOUT WHAT ELSE YOU COULD BE DOING
Next, look at your to-do list for the day, week, month, and year with an eye toward the big picture for your business. Should you be the one packaging and filling orders? Once you have enough orders to fill, you’ll make more money by paying someone else to fill them while you work on branding, networking, and other big-picture projects.
At the same time, ask yourself if you’re really the right person for the job. How much do you know about content marketing or social media marketing? Are you wasting your own time and doing your business a disservice by trying to take on all of your marketing and advertising responsibilities?
SET A SCHEDULE TO CHECK IN ON PROJECTS AND LARGER TASKS
Finally, I know how hard it can be to let go and let other people work on your business. The tasks and projects you delegate to them matter to your success, and if they lie down on the job, you’re going to be in trouble. You want to keep an eye on everyone’s progress, but micromanaging is a major problem that won’t result in better work.
So, to avoid hovering, keep a calendar of projects and tasks you’ve delegated to your employees and schedule specific check-ins to keep you in the loop. That way you won’t be caught off guard if something goes wrong, but you’ll also give your employees the freedom and the room to breathe that they need to do excellent work for you.
Keep these three tips in mind, and you’ll have a much easier time as your business grows. You might even end up passing them along to your upper and middle management when they need to start delegating, too.