One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I talk with entrepreneurs about how they plan to continue growing their businesses, these three questions always come up in our conversation:
- When should I start hiring people?
- How do I delegate?
- What tasks should I delegate?
In this article, I will cover these very important topics in the life of the entrepreneur.
WHEN IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO HIRE
It very much depends on the specific company but usually, I advise entrepreneurs to start hiring once they’ve reached 70‑80% of their capacity. It is better to do it before you get to the point of burnout (you are at the 100% of capacity).
You know you are at your 80% capacity when:
- You don’t have time for anything (including envisioning and planning how to grow your business)
- You feel really overwhelmed. Every day.
- It is starting to affect your mood and people around you are noticing it.
If you find yourself in this situation is time to delegate. You will be at 80% of your capacity and that’s great because you’re going to need that 20% extra to train the new hire.
If you don’t train that person eventually you will have to review his work all the time and making corrections and that’s because you haven’t given him a proper training. Then you will think: – Well why did I delegate if I’m still doing everything myself? Don’t reach that point and train the person so that it can take the weight off your shoulders and work on its own.
WHAT TYPE OF TASKS SHOULD YOU DELEGATE?
My advice is to start delegating the following:
- Tasks you don’t know how to do or you are not‑so‑good at.
- Tasks that you should NOT be doing even if you like them and you’re are good at it.
- Tasks that are repetitive.
Let’s look at some examples:
- If you are a designer: You should delegate the tasks that are less creative. You should be the art director and work on the creative process more than on adjusting the spacing and colors on photoshop.
- If you create physical products: You should be in charge of the creative process, deciding the next features, other ways the product can help your clients, strategies to grow your business, establishing new partnerships etc. But you should not be producing the product with your own hands.
- If your product is software: You should be in charge of the vision, what you want the product to become, how it can help the world, etc. Always looking ahead. And then you should hire someone to do design and development. And if you really want to save time and focus on just the pure business aspects, you should also get someone to manage your team.
When your company starts growing, you will have to acquire new roles. And you don’t precisely want to acquire the role of replying emails 8 hours per day.
Tasks that involve administration and customer service should be delegated. Same thing for taxes. You should have an accountant who does that for you. Even if doing your taxes takes you “only” two days, those two days could have been spent on sales. Spent on you making new relationships and partnerships. Spent on you going out there and telling the world about your product.
If you don’t think that spending two days on taxes is a waste, let’s look at the numbers!
Divide your revenue by the number of hours you work. If we assume that per hour you are earning 30 euro, if you spend 2 days on accountancy it means that costs you €500. Kinda expensive when you can pay an accountant €60/month to do all your taxes.
THE LAST THING THAT YOU SHOULD DELEGATE
The latest thing you should delegate are: Sales
If you are a huge established company like Amazon, then yes, you can hire sales representatives.
But if you are starting up, you want to be yourself the person who will go out there and tell the world about the product. As a founder, you need to acquire new customers, new partners. You need to grow your business. Nobody will do this better than you. At least during the first years.
Let’s look at two examples:
- Your product is an app that helps customers find and book flight tickets.
One of the growth strategies for you would be to go out there and sell your app to your partners and bring them onboard. Same goes for end‑users, you want to be the one talking about your product, not just sending anyone to do so, because at the end of the day they will never care as much as you do.
2. You sell services as a consultant or coach.
The calls with your prospects where you are going to show them how much you can help them should be done by you. You can hire someone to do the customer service once the client has bought your product. But the sale should be done by you.
Once you stop doing repetitive and monotonous tasks, you will fall in love again with your company.
HOW TO OVERCOME THE “SUPERHERO SYNDROME”
If you’ve been doing everything on your own for a while you may have adopted an attitude of “I can do it all” and “Nobody does it like me”.
The thing is, that’s true, nobody will do things exactly like you, but they will do it in a different way, that will still be good enough.
How do you overcome the superhero syndrome?
My advise would be to establish processes and systems for your company that will help you delegate. That way, your new hires will have a single place where they can find the “how to do X task” and that will save you time on training and on repetitive questions.
What you can do is start documenting how you do things in your company so you have it ready for when you need to delegate. For example, how to launch an email campaign, how to create a sales funnel, what are the UI requirements, how to use Trello, how to engage with prospects on social media etc.
I hope this article is helpful for you, fearless entrepreneur! I love when founders start hiring teams. That means they are serious about their business. At the beginning it may seem like a huge investment but remember:
If you want to get high revenues (<+100k) you need to delegate. You need a team.
Even way before reaching that revenue, before you get to the burnout state.
Don’t be afraid to delegate. You’re not superman 🙂
TOO BUSY TO MANAGE YOUR TEAM?
I manage teams and projects so that you can focus on growing your business.
Related article: Building Culture in a Remote Team