You built it from nothing; you’ve sweated, toiled, shouted, questioned, persuaded, co-operated and worked until you dropped to make it happen and now you’re at breaking point. If you know this feeling, you’re probably an entrepreneur and you’re most likely completing tasks in the business that are not a good investment of your time. You need to let go to grow.
You need to trust someone with your ‘baby’ and it hurts! No wonder you resist; the key thing is to know when the time has come, when you’ve reached the point that you’ll be damaging not building your business if you refuse to release control. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we’ve been there and we understand how challenging it can be to take that first step. Here are our top tips on how you can take your business up a level, when you let go to grow:
- Review what you spend your time on. For a week, keep a strict timesheet (there is no point if you don’t do this properly) and include details on what you’ve done and who it was for. Include a column that says ‘Invoiceable?’ and put yes or no and if it is something you can invoice, put details of how much and who to. At the end of the week, look at how many hours you’re spending on work you cannot charge anyone for.
- ) Start with small steps. We are not suggesting you hand-over the reigns to any part of your business; this is about acknowledging what you’re doing that someone else can do in less time and to a higher standard than you can. A great place to start is with administrative tasks such as follow-up appointment making post-networking events, responding to email requests for information such as on-line brochures or even taking on the management of one of your social network profiles.
- Give it time to work before you go back to old habits. We’ve often heard entrepreneurs in our own networks talk about bad past experiences; it’s interesting how much time we give ourselves to achieve our goals, yet we expect others to have instant impact on our results. Before deciding you were right all along and nobody can look after any aspect of your baby like you do, allow a realistic timescale such as three months, and make sure you keep giving feedback to allow the best possible chance of getting what you want and need.
- Use the free time for business growth. There is little point in delegating aspects of your business to another, only to spend the newly available time on non-growth-related tasks. Review what you could do with this time by being honest about what created most new business for you in the last twelve months. Then do more of it.
- Keep monitoring your results and celebrate the increased business. Once you review what an impact delegating can have on your business, you’ll find it can become liberating. You’ll be building trust with the person or people helping you and now is a good time to ask yourself if there is more you can give them and what you could do as a result. And if you’re not getting the results you’d hoped, look at what needs to change before you decide it’s not right for you and go back to doing it yourself.
We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of our entrepreneurial clients for several years and each year we find we’re a little more involved with the business and helping free-up time for our clients to do more of what they love; the thing they actually went into business to do.
Clients tell us they’ve discovered that having people to delegate to who are not directly involved in the business is a great advantage as an entrepreneur. They become a sounding board, someone they can trust ideas with, share challenges and fears and successes with too. The working life of an entrepreneur is often an isolated one, and this aspect alone, is a huge benefit you’ll experience when you let go to grow.
We’d love to know if you’ve let go to grow and how it’s helped you as an entrepreneur; what top tips would you share?