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Why Entrepreneurs Should Delegate Their Way To Business Growth


Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

6 minute read

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In order to grow your business, freeing up your time and focus is essential. So is having support and the peace of mind knowing there are people around to handle things.

Systemizing your business is also a major step—if what you’ve already built works well, you can focus on building more. But if what you’ve built relies on you, or doesn’t work consistently, you’ll never be able to grow.

And this is why delegating is so important.

I used to live in the mindset of believing I had to do everything myself, but now I delegate as if my life depends on it. And I don’t stop at business tasks, either. I delegate almost everything I can outside of work, too⁠—cleaning, mowing, gardening, you name it! If I can find a good person to do it and free up my time and focus, I will. It’s key to how I’ve been able to grow my business to eight figures of annual revenue.

Why delegation is essential for business growth and success

For a business owner, delegation is as much about gaining the ability to focus without distractions as it is about freeing up your time to do more every day. If you were to delegate just one hour of low-value tasks every working day for a year, that would add up to the equivalent of 29.5 eight-hour workdays, or just under six whole working weeks that you’ve reclaimed. Being able to really think about how you’re going to grow your company, plus having the time to execute your strategies, is a very powerful combination.

And if like many entrepreneurs, your business began its life at your kitchen table or in your bedroom, chances are your wearing of many different hats was borne out of necessity more than a desire to be a Jack-of-all-trades. But no matter how hard we try, there are some things that we’ll naturally be more adept or experienced at than others.

Delegating tasks that aren’t your strongest suit not only allows you to focus your energy on what you do well, but you could also see much better results with those tasks in the hands of someone more skilled or knowledgeable in that area. Ask Virgin Group founder Richard Branson about the secrets to his success, he’ll say “When my friends and I started up Virgin, I knew that I was lacking vital knowledge on some subjects, and so I started learning (delegation) very early on in my career.”

But despite all of the above, I know delegating can be much easier said than done. It’s hard to “get out of the weeds” of doing everything yourself if that’s what you’ve done from day one, and the overwhelming levels of responsibility you feel as the owner of your business can make you feel guilty for giving away tasks from your workload. But take it from me, the sooner you get out, the sooner you can start growing.

Here’s how you can get started…

Find strong, competent people to delegate to

Effective delegation always starts with finding the right person for the job.

Having an awareness and understanding of your employees’ strengths and interests will help you assign the right tasks to the right person for the best chance of success.

But if you have a team that is already busy enough working hard to keep the wheels of your business turning, you may not want to overload them by adding additional responsibilities on top of their existing workload. Expanding your team and hiring new staff might not be the most financially viable option, recruitment costs and paying extra salaries can be hard to justify if you only need a few hours of support each week. But for just a fraction of the cost and effort of bringing a new full-time employee on board, a virtual assistant could be your answer. They bring years of experience to the table and work on a flexible basis, so you’ll only ever pay for their productive time working on your tasks.

Trust them by default

Many people think that trust should be built over time, and while this may be a sensible course of action in some circumstances, this can be a hindrance when it comes to delegating.

While it may be true that another person may not perform your tasks exactly as you would do them, this shouldn’t stop you from delegating the task. Successful delegators understand that the outcome is more important than the process.

Whether it’s an existing member of your team, a new employee, or a virtual assistant, trust is essential and you should give it freely unless any red flags arise that tell you to pull back. You will find it much easier to delegate when you trust them from the onset.

If you choose to add a virtual assistant to your team to help with your workload, you may understandably feel a little hesitant to freely trust someone you’ll never meet in person with elements of your business. When you’ve built your venture from the ground up and have invested so much blood, sweat, and tears into it, it’s natural to feel protective over it. But hiring a VA through a fully-managed service such as Time etc can help put your mind at ease, as you’ll benefit from access to a large talent pool of carefully selected, experienced professionals, high standards of conduct and performance, solid confidentiality agreements, and dedicated support if anything goes wrong.

Turn delegation into your daily habit

To really maximize the benefits, delegation shouldn’t be just a one-time thing.

This simple exercise is a great way to ease you into the habit:

  • Each day, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle
  • On the left-hand side, write down everything on your to-do list that ONLY YOU can do
  • On the right-hand side, write down everything that someone else COULD DO if you explained how or provided them with instructions
  • Then, aim to delegate at least one thing from the right-hand column to someone else for them to take off your plate

Or, for those who don’t want to go old-school using paper, enter your tasks into our free tool to see how much of your regular workload could be handled by someone else.

Bonus tip: Aim to delegate tasks you do every day, week, or month as a priority - so that you benefit from that extra recurring time back forever.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Delegation is a critical business skill, one that all great leaders and business owners should possess. There is a time and place for doing things yourself, but if you are serious about growing your venture, you need to learn when to let go of the tasks that are holding you back.

For the past 13 years, Time etc has been helping entrepreneurs take back control over their days and do more, achieve more, and earn more by providing the best virtual assistants for their business. Each step of the way, our team will carefully assess your requirements to make sure your custom plan is perfect for you, and to match you with the best assistant based on the skills and experience you need. We’re so sure you’ll be delighted with your assistant, we offer a complete lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re ready to start doing more meaningful work in your business, try a virtual assistant for free or speak to our team.

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About the author

Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

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