Start your new year with a new you—recharged and in charge.
Are you running your business? Or is it running you, right into the ground?
The average American entrepreneur works 63 percent longer than other workers. That’s 26 extra days a year. So long, Saturdays!
This pace takes a toll. You can’t do your best work stretched this thin. Your time spent on nonstrategic work and maintenance tasks is time you should be investing to grow the business in a sustainable way.
If you don’t recharge, you’ll fizzle out. If you’re not in charge, you’ll resent your own business. Something’s gotta give.
To recharge and put yourself back in charge, you need to delegate. Here are three strategies to distribute the workload.
Let’s start small with nuisance tasks you aren’t even proficient in. An expert could do this work better and faster.
Logo design. Proofreading. Writing press releases. Transcription. Data entry. Website updates. Sorting resumes. Lead generation.
Research. Creating forms. Sending a newsletter … These are micro-tasks that you can hire out. Isn’t it worth it to let someone with more proficiency and more time handle this? You’ll save hours of time.
For more involved or ongoing project work, there’s a similar strategy. You’ll post projects, and skilled workers will bid for them. Check out Upwork.com and consider hiring a freelancer to tackle everything from administrative support (a “virtual assistant”) to quantitative analysis, from sales and marketing to website development or graphic design. Specialists in engineering, data science, accounting, legal, customer service and more can all be found here.
You’ll choose who to work with and set the rate of pay. Working with talented professionals outside the United States may help manage your expenses. You’ll communicate and make payments through the site. You can be assured of quality and reliability by using the ratings posted for each freelancer.
One advantage to assigning micro-tasks and project work to freelancers is that you’ll never become overly dependent on a single employee. You’ll have experts in a variety of disciplines. And, if one quits, the rest of the work will still get done while you look for a ready replacement.
Of course, hiring trusted employees and delegating on-site work is another smart strategy. Many entrepreneurs hire people, but fail to adequately train them. Then they can’t delegate and end up doing more work, not less. (There’s work involved in being an employer!)
Take the time you’re saving on micro-tasks and projects, and use it to develop employees. Gradually expand their capacity. Enable them to work autonomously. Aim to significantly reduce the amount of work only you can do.
Set a target to reduce your work hours by 20 percent. Select micro-tasks, projects and on-site work others could (and should!) be doing. Staff accordingly, using these three strategies.
Doesn’t that feel good? That’s you, back at your peak, in-charge and recharged.
Next step? Do it again!