It’s a common occurrence among the most talented people in the corporate world – highly skilled and qualified workers make the leap from valued employee to uncertain business owner.
Unfortunately, rather than becoming a master of their own business, many of these entrepreneurs work twice as much as they did in their safe corporate job, unwittingly committing themselves to becoming the lowest rung on the ladder, says Zenovia Andrews, founder and CEO of The MaxOut Group, a company devoted to empowering and teaching entrepreneurs development strategies to increase profits.
“People believe that starting a new business is supposed to mean they’ll have to work much longer hours, and that’s why most new businesses fail early,” says Andrews, author of the new book, “All Systems Go – A Solid Blueprint to Build Business and Maximize Cash Flow.”
“Entrepreneurs need to be the brains and oversight of the operation. It’s not wise to work for your own business. Sixteen-hour days get entrepreneurs lost in the minutiae. The lose perspective and burn out.”
Business owners need distance for perspective, and the best way to create that is by knowing how to delegate duties to employees, she says.
“Owners need to be the strategic visionary who hires, trains and develops the best talent available, and then delegates work,” says Andrews, who discusses the five keys of delegation.
• Understand that your team is made up of human beings. No one can work nonstop, so get your timing right. Know what each employee can handle, and never overwork them. Most people perform at their best when they are consistently busy but not rushed or pressured.
• Focus on the strengths of your team. Delegation is not a dump-and-run tactic. Know your employees and how they fit into your business puzzle. Allow them to do what they do well, and give them responsibilities and authority. They’ll be happier and so will you.
• Focus on your own strengths, then plug the holes. Few of us are great at everything! If bookkeeping’s not your thing, hire an accountant. If you don’t have marketing experience, find someone with proven skills. Trying to perform jobs that you don’t do well will require twice as much effort with less-than-satisfactory results.
• Be the resource king or queen. Your employees are only as good as the resources they have. Make sure that they are equipped to always do the best work for you on a daily basis. Running out of stock, not having new software and not shelling out for that desperately need printer is NOT good delegation.
• Become the fire, ice and motivation behind your team. When they need guidance, give it to them; when they need appreciation, offer it to them. Inspire, motivate and lead by supporting your delegated decisions and following up on them often.
“Business owners need to be the big thinkers: to identify patterns both good and bad; to become an idea machine and testing fanatic; to fill out details from outlined strategy; to be aware of market trends; to always have one eye on the competition; and to develop an instinct for the people with whom you like to work,” Andrews says.
* (Zenovia Andrews is a speaker, author, business development strategist and TV/radio personality. She is founder and CEO of The MaxOut Group.)