Delegate in order to Scale your Business – Part II

Tips for ensuring a successful handover.

Written by Deanna Hunter

Your start-up is a success. You are now facing an exciting challenge. Scaling up. In the first post of the ‘Delegate in order to Scale your Business’ series, I reminded you that the bottleneck is always at the top. To scale up you will need to delegate tasks, or functions, or perhaps both to unclog the bottle.

So, what should you be thinking about as you prepare to make the handover? 

Start with yourself. You know you need to let go, but are you honest about what that means for you? Are you emotionally ready to say good-bye to being hands on with every little thing? Are you hung-up on any biases about you being the only one who can do the task well? Be honest with yourself and recognize that delegating is a skill and will take some practice. And its critical to your business success.

Now, get detailed about what the tasks or function is that you will delegate. You’ve been doing it, likely in your sleep, for a long time now. It may seem obvious to you what needs to be done. But it may not seem obvious to someone else. Take the time to write it down. Think about what the work is, and what it isn’t. Be sure to identify what the outcome or result will be when the work is done well.

Next, identify the person to delegate to. Several questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there someone on the team right now, with the skill and knowledge to do the work? Do they also have the motivation and desire to do it? They need both skill and motivation.
  • Does that person have the capacity to take it on, or will you need to offload something from them, so they can manage the new work you will give them?
  • Do you need to hire someone to delegate to? It is very possible that you don’t have the right person on board. This is a particularly important realization if its an entire function of the business that you will be handing off.

When you’ve figured all of this out, you can approach the team member you have identified, or begin the recruiting process to bring someone on board. Communicate what you are up to at the right time so the rest of the team knows what’s happening and don’t feel left out or surprised.

All of this may seem obvious. But its surprising how often business owners don’t take the time to do these pieces well. It takes some energy but its well worth the effort.

In the final post of the “Scale in order to Grow your Business” series, I’ll point out some things to do and not do to once you’ve passed on the work.

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