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delegate

This article on effective delegation techniques is for you if you are a small business owner who is:

  • Time poor with not enough hours in your day to get everything done.
  • Fed up working long hours for little reward
  • Committed to change but just isn’t sure where to start
  • Looking for more control
  • Aiming to create an “A” class team to work with you

As a new business owner, learning effective delegation techniques may seem like something you can put on hold until you have a decent sized team but this would be a mistake.  Business owners use delegation techniques right from the first day in business to make sure they work on what they should be working on and not wasting their time.  As a business owner you have a responsibility to ensure that you build a successful business and this means that you should never waste your time and energy on doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing and learning new skills that have no relevance to your role as a business owner.

I know the instinct is to save as much money as possible because you don’t know if you will be successful.  However, you need confidence and trust to be able to build a successful business and yes, you need these qualities right from day one.

Fortunately, there are many options available to you when it comes to delegating tasks.  You can choose to hire someone who will only charge you for the work they will do, or hire someone who will be available to you at call.  The most important thing to remember though is that you don’t have to commit to hiring an employee that comes with added responsibilities and infrastructure.  You can choose to hire a virtual assistant or several virtual assistants with the specific skills you need when you need them.  No outlay for infrastructure or added tax or employee benefits.

In this article I will aim to help you discover how to delegate to a virtual assistant and in turn create your dream business working the hours you want and increasing your profits.  All in 5 easy steps!

Step 1:  Passion, Competency and Relevance

What should you be doing in your business (not what can you do).

In this step you can do a chart of all the tasks you currently do in your business.  The chart will be used a reference tool as you start to bring on board your team.  I strongly suggest, if possible, that you delegate one task at a time as you work with your virtual assistant.  However, complete the following chart now so that you have some direction on where you want to go to.

Start with a blank document and split it into 4 columns.  Name each column “Sales” “Passion” “Competence” “Relevance”

In this chart you are going to assess yourself with this criteria for each section of your business – Sales Marketing, Operations and Finance.  Let’s start with Sales.  In the chart below you can see an example of the sales section that shows the activities that we do in our business in regards to sales.  Add your own sales process here.

how-to-delegateNext, I would like you to assess the level you have of Passion, Competence and Relevance that you have for each topic. (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).

For me personally, if I was grading myself on each of these tasks, I would start with lead generation and grade myself a 5 for passion for this task (I sort of like doing it some days), 8 competence because I have training and experience doing this.  With relevance I would grade it as 10 because I depend on lead generation to get clients into my business.

Repeat this activity for all the categories of your business and rate each under this criteria.how-to-delegate

Step 2:  Outcomes and Measurements you can put in place

Now its time to look at the results of your activity.  Add a total column on the end of your chart and add up the points for each task (horizontal).  The most you can achieve for each is 30 points.

The first column to work with is “Relevance” this gives you the level of importance that task is to your business so start with “10” results and work down.  If the task is 10 in relevance and competence is 1-5 then flag this task as one that you want to delegate or outsource.  If passion is high, you can also consider increasing your training in this area.    Likewise, if you have a 10 for passion on a task and a low relevance to the business then it is something you shouldn’t be doing.

By working through the individual tasks in this way the activity helps you to work smarter in your business.

Now you should think about all the ways you can take measurements in your business and list them.  Leads, Clients, Visitors to your Website, Your Lists, people viewing your profile on social media, likes, connections.  List everything.  There are a lot of measurements you can take.

From Chart 1 above, take your tasks that you want to delegate and create a list with 2 columns – Tasks from Step 1 and Best Outcome for each.

Then under column 2 (best outcome) write down your goals.  In my example, my first task to delegate would be Social Media and  My best outcome on this new chart would be Overall increase in sales by 10% over 3 months and this would be:

Tasks to Delegate

Social Media Goals

  1. Making Connections
  2. Standard emails
  3. Make Appointments

Best Outcome

Social Media Results

  1. 10 connections per week
  2. 3 approved emails sent out each week
  3. 3 Appointments each week

Working through each category and task in this way means that you have some clear outcomes that you want your virtual assistant to achieve.  Rather than focusing on the hours they work for you, you are focused on the results.  If the results aren’t being achieved then its time to speak to your virtual assistant and ask them why and what can be done to improve the results.

Step 3:  Job Design

You may think that because the virtual assistant is a business owner and not your employee that you don’t need to think about a job description.  This attitude may find you struggling to communicate well with your virtual assistant.  A Job Description simply helps improve communication between you both right from the start of the relationship.  The Job Description also helps you to collate similar work together for each virtual assistant.  For example, in general terms,  you wouldn’t hire a bookkeeper to do your logo or run an event.  It is important that you get the right people to do relevant tasks.  As you are using virtual assistants who bill you only for the work they do, it won’t increase your expenses by using more than 1 virtual assistant each with specific skills in their own area of expertise.

Download Free Job Description

Step 4:  Personality Match

This step is often missed when hiring your first virtual assistant.  Their personality is important because you want to work with someone who can take direction and works well with you. Having a team of the same personality type can get you into trouble and mixing personality types that don’t work well together can sabotage what you are trying to achieve.

You should first understand your own personality and who you work well with.  For example you could be a creative type that doesn’t organise things well.  A good match for you would be someone who is organised and will keep you on task.

There are a lot of different personality tests you can do but keep it simple at this stage.

Download Personality Guide with Free Test Link

Download this free personality guide – it has a link to a free online test also.

Step 5:  Writing your brief including key results required

Making sure the right people are selected to offer the role to.  Our online search and directory www.vaplacements.com gives you the ability to browse profiles of existing virtual assistants with the skills you require.  Before you make the search, develop a brief so that you know what you need and who will work best for you.  In the brief include:

  • The technology you use
  • Email address instructions
  • Relevant login details
  • How to reach and communicate with you
  • Other important information that they will need to do the job well

In this sample brief we have given you a detailed brief for a virtual assistant who is helping you to get your website to a higher ranking in Google Search and to generate leads using social media.

Download Sample VA Brief