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Delegator or Abdicator? Which are you?

Dolphin Business Strategies have identified that the businesses that grow quickest have business owners who are effective at leveraging their skills and their time which includes delegating responsibility for key tasks and actions. But do you ever fall into the trap of abdicating?

As a business owner you need to understand how all aspects of your company work so that when you delegate it, it is achieved responsibly with true control over the outcome and the best chance of success.

Responsible delegation can be very powerful and involves just a few simple steps

On the other hand, delegating irresponsibly or as I like to call it 'abdicating' can have unfortunate consequences as I have discovered to my cost recently.

Being an IT luddite, I was more than happy to delegate my IT to an outsourced company and in the process fell into the trap of abdication. Therefore, when my IT systems recently stopped working. a problem that with the right infrastructure, checks and backups should have lasted no more than a few hours, ended up being 6 days without email and a website during a major promotion campaign. The cost to my business of that failed campaign in monetary terms was about £1,000.00

The cost in longer term lost business? Immeasurable.

From this experience. I still delegate aspects of my IT but now I make sure I understand how it works, have a few systems in place to check it still is and know where to go and how to fix it should it stop. That's what I mean by responsible delegation.

This recent experience made me consider what every business owner should consider for successful delegation and here is my five point checklist.

First you need clear objectives and outcomes. Whether you are delegating to a member of your team or an outsourced supplier it is key that they understand what you are trying to achieve. This gives them a far better chance of creating the outcome you want. Indeed they will often come up with ways to achieve your objectives more efficiently than you ever thought of. Get clear on your objectives right up front.

The second key is a good knowledge of what drives your business. In every business there will be things that are critical to your success, things that are preferred and quite frankly things that just clog the wheels. If you are to effectively leverage your time and get the results you want you need to know which are which. The business owners we work with know what drives their business and have measures in place to monitor them and their teams against these before they even think of passing across responsibilities.

The next key is effective communication. This is both up front and throughout. You should regularly check in with your team member or outsourced supplier on how they are progressing. Have you explained clearly what they are doing and why? Do they know the outcome you want to achieve? Let them tell you in their own words what they believe is the results of the task and check you both have the same results in mind. Two way communication and sharing your goals will ensure everyone you work with is pulling in the same direction.

The fourth key, strongly linked to the 3rd, is use a feedback mechanism. You should ensure there is an effective feedback mechanism and a system for ensuring all is on track. If it's not working, you'll then get to find out why quickly and easily.

The last key I want to share with you in this article is the most important, review and flex. If you are not getting the results you want, look again and see why. It's an ongoing process and as with every business strategy you will need to modify how and what you delegate based on results. A big part of this is making sure you have the right person for the right job. Ask yourself, is the task you have given someone within their skill set? More importantly do they love it? If you first find out what each member of your team enjoys and delegate accordingly you will see much better results.

So let's bring this back to the area I specialise in, how does this relate to business consulting and more importantly your business finances. Does your Accountant help drive your business forward? Does your Accountant even understand your business? Do you delegate all financial responsibility and just assume your Accountant knows what they are doing? Our research has shown that this is an area that a lot of business owners abdicate and the results they get when we work with them to take back responsibility are exponential growth.

If you want to responsibly delegate the financial control of your business and pick up other handy hints on business control along the way telephone Dolphin Business Strategies today on 0845 678 8825 and ask for Joanne Stevens.


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