Hiring Great People And Delegating

One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is how to take their business to the next level given a limited set of resources. There’s no way to do this in today’s world without the most important resource – people.

Hiring great people is the number one game changer in business and they really are the factor that your organization will sink or swim on. What I’m looking for in my hires is initiative. Day to day operations of most growing businesses are just too complex for one senior person to be micromanaging everyone.

You need to have people onboard that you can delegate tasks to who will then run with them and make the job their own. A-players are the most expensive but are absolutely worth the cost. B-players hire C -players, who in turn hire cockroaches that will have you running for your life!

The trap that a lot of entrepreneurs fall into is failing to delegate.  
They believe that they are the only ones who can fulfill a task correctly and so they end up taking on more and more daily responsibilities until they can no longer see straight. This NEVER works out. Human beings simply aren’t scalable.

I call this being “a hero.” This is when every day you are running to put out one fire or another. You can be a hero in small doses every once in a while, but if this becomes you’re normal state of being, you will inevitably burn out.

What you need to do to avoid this outcome is learn to let go. You have to surrender to the fact that not everything is going to be perfect all the time and that letting other people into your organization will ultimately make your better, stronger, and more likely to grow.

It’s so easy now to hop online and find a freelancer who can come in and fulfil a partial or full time role within your business. I would suggest starting out by writing down a training manual for the tasks you’d like to delegate. Start with your most repetitive and non-executive function tasks like bookkeeping or responding to routine customer service emails.

Getting these off your plate will free you up to have more time for creative thinking and strategy. It will start to put you in the position of being able to work on the business instead of in the business.

Communication Is The Key

Now it’s no problem to communicate with freelancers anywhere in the world via Skype or Hangouts. This allows you to take advantage of labor arbitrage and work with lower cost workers who you wouldn’t be able to afford if they were based in your home country.

Other benefits are getting footholds into new markets, and being able to offer 24/7 support to your customers.

However it can be a bit tricky, because this is where most of the problems do come in when working with freelancers. You need to be pay special attention to your communication and making sure they understand what you want done. Especially if there is a language barrier between you and your freelancer.

I recommend you spec out exactly what you’re looking to get out of your hire and checking back in frequently on their progress especially in the beginning of the relationship. There are a lot of online tools you can use to record video of your processes. You can use these tools to spell out exactly what you’re looking for in terms of end results.

Don’t try to be a hero, let go of the small stuff and start delegating! You will reclaim your time and piece of mind, all while strengthening your business.

Action Steps

  1. Write down a step by step training manual for one task you’d like to delegate.
  2. Hire a freelancer off an online platform who can handle the job. Be sure to vet them for skill level, price, language compatibility, and response time.
  3. Communicate with them exactly what you are looking for and confirm they understand.
  4. Check in frequently as you grow your trust and relationship with your freelancer.

Bonus: Take a deep breath, letting go of these tasks is helping your business grow.

Result You Will Achieve

Bringing freelancers into your business to help you delegate repetitive tasks that will allow you to focus on higher level work.

Mentor: Matt Barrie

Founder & CEO at Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace. With a highly publicized and successful ASX listing, Matt will lean on his past experiences to teach your startup and company about the do’s and dont’s, as well as the perils of venture financing.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.