Finding the Time to be Strategic Through Delegating
Your plate is full to overflowing. It’s impossible to concentrate on the most important strategic aspects of your business because you’re bogged down with time-consuming, day-to-day tasks.
You know you should delegate the more routine work, but it’s a challenge to take that first step. Your key role is to run your business. That takes time and the routine work can very easily chew up that time leaving you with very little time and energy to tackle the big issues.
When the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program participants were encouraged to focus on their business vision, one of the keys they identified in order to accomplish this was to delegate some of their responsibilities.
No leader would argue that spending hours on hold or searching online for the best flight options is a good use of his or her time. Yet hours and hours are wasted in companies large and small – by executives booking their own business trips or scheduling complicated meeting logistics. Not only is it a poor investment of salary dollars but the opportunity cost relating to the strategic thinking and planning that doesn’t get done is the biggest cost.
Six tasks to consider delegating:
- Meeting scheduling and logistics
- Travel arrangements
- Office management
- Meeting minutes and follow-up
- Expenses and other bookkeeping
- Social media
Making it Work
The key to delegating is finding the right resource with the right skill set to handle the work effectively – in a way that truly relieves your workload. Look for:
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to really listen
- Business sense
- Experience and maturity – it can make all difference.
There are no savings if you end up spending an inordinate amount of time explaining or monitoring. It is important that the nuances of the job are well understood so invest some time in training up front and sharing the bigger perspective.
Be specific with the tasks and ensure you are both speaking a common language. Success will depend on clarity in the roles and tasks delegated.
If you are a small team and there are no internal options, consider hiring a virtual administrative resource. Only hire what you need so ensure that your virtual resource can be brought in on an as-needed basis with the flexibility to match your requirements. Delegating whether internally or to a virtual resource allows you to optimize your limited resources, plan your priorities and focus on what you do best – running your business.
We are happy to help organizations with their administrative resourcing needs. Our senior administrative support provides a flexible, scalable, and sustainable solution to meet the needs of small and medium sized organizations for the long term. Learn more about our service offering.
About the Author
Jan O’Donnell is the Managing Director for the Finance & Administration practice and counts the Business Sherpa Group amongst her clients as a Virtual CFO. Jan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and has been providing Contract CFO support to high technology, small businesses and not for profit clients since 2004. Jan is passionate about combining her business and financial management expertise to provide a hands-on approach to building and enhancing the finance role within small and medium sized organizations.