The Afro Coach Operations Agency

Avoid Getting Fired by Your Team — How to Effectively Delegate in Your Online Business

(7-Minute Read)

It’s no question that delegation is the go-to strategy for when you are building your online business. When you understand the power of delegating, it can be such a support for offloading important tasks to trusted in-house or contracted hires so you can re-focus your time on where to progress your business and find more rest for yourself.

Now, I don’t know about you, but handing over ANY task to someone else in your business can be incredibly daunting; especially when you are a solopreneur! Everything up until this point has been on your shoulders, and learning to let go is one of the HARDEST parts of growing your business. 

Who do you hire?
What should you delegate?
How do I make sure it gets done the way I want it done?

Delegation isn’t as simple as assigning and ghosting to a contractor in your business. In fact, not giving proper direction, vague goals, and little communication when delegating is the quickest way to get fired by your contractors. 

Big Yikes.

To help make delegation a breeze for you, and avoid your team letting YOU go,  I’m breaking down the best tips for delegating in your online business!

When You Should Delegate in Your Online Business
Best Processes to Delegate
5 tips to Delegate in your Online Business

Disclaimer: This is focused more on how to best delegate in your business, not so much on what delegation is. If you need a refresher on that, check my other article on “How to know when to automate or delegate your small business” Then come back here when you’re done!

WHEN YOU SHOULD DELEGATE IN YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

Ever heard the saying, “Never delegate something that can be automated”? 

We never want to delegate something that we could have saved time and money on through automation, but delegation is fantastic for those more complicated, urgent tasks, that don’t need to be worked on by you (the owner). 

What I love about delegation is the hidden benefits associated with it. You not only get another human being to handle the task for you, but they add another element to it that makes that task even more efficient.

They learn how to make the task their own, and bring more to it because of their own experiences and skill set. Unlike an automated system, which doesn’t change, delegation allows you to BETTER a task more so than if you tried to do it on your own.

Now we’ll need another blog to talk about the right time to hire, but when it comes to deciding whether something should be delegated, think of the following:

  • The task is sophisticated and needs a human touch

  • Is outside of your Zone of Genius or requires high amounts of energy you can not consistently give (i.e. this is email marketing for me!)

Note: If you aren’t ready to handle a team yet, you should focus on automating FIRST, then moving into contractor outsourcing, before hiring an in-house team! I wrote a blog for automating your business too if you need help with that!

 

BEST PROCESSES TO DELEGATE

If you caught my delegating vs automating blog, The BEST tasks and processes to delegate are those that are outside of your zone of genius or joy, require a human touch, and don’t specifically require you the owner to complete.

Here are some suggestions of processes that have been delegated both in my clients’ and my own online business:

  1. Copywriting sales pages and emails

  2. Bookkeeping and tax preparation

  3. Sales conversions/Marketing promotions

  4. Admin tasks: Calendar management, community engagement, invoice tracking, etc. 

  5. Customer service

Before you start diving into where to delegate and what makes sense for you and your business, let’s get into these best practices. They’ll save you and your team a lot of heartaches, time, and frustration!

 

5 TIPS TO DELEGATING IN YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

TIP 1: Be clear on what tasks are being delegated

We don’t want to be vague when giving responsibilities to people. Get clear on the tasks you have on, which would be best in the hands of an expert, and which should stay with you! This exercise also helps you to refine these tasks, because you may find there are areas that aren’t necessary to the task, but you’re doing anyway. 

Be sure to document this process so you can pass this information over to your team so that they can do their job as effectively as possible. (Think Standard Operating Procedures).

TIP 2: Think Small

Delegation doesn’t need to be in big, comprehensive solutions. 

If you aren’t ready to delegate the entirety of the content creation process, you may be ready to outsource editing. Thinking small gives you the flexibility of what you want to delegate, and what makes sense to pass off to someone else.

TIP 3: Be Intentional with Your Hire

I come from a sports background, so walk with me on this example for a minute: When you are building a professional team, it’s all about being intentional with who you bring on to help you win. You need a linebacker, a running back, a wide receiver — you aim to put together the right people to help you get to the results you’re looking for. 

Sometimes, that best hire isn’t going to be a virtual assistant. It may be a social media manager to bring qualified leads into your audience and help you grow your accounts. It could be a project manager to help you keep track of client projects and ensure they get done on time. It may even be an expert in a particular skill that you want to be added to your services.

That hire maybe a contractor, a specialist, or an in-house employee. What matters is that you are finding the RIGHT person to come into your space to help you progress your business to the vision you have for it.  

Here’s an example from a recent client of mine:

She was a physical therapist and health coach who was looking for more support in engaging her online communities, without it taking hours for her to respond to everyone. 

Initially, she wanted to hire a virtual assistant to help offset the work she had on her plate, but after an audit, we found what she really needed was a social media manager. This person would then be in charge of not only both social management, but also could support her during her launches that were largely pushed through her social media channels. 

Having a person who specialized in this particular need not only led to her having more consecutive, profitable launches but also allowed her to prioritize her time where it was needed most; her clients and her own personal rest.

Intentional hires will make delegation that much easier.

TIP 4: Shift From a Mechanic to a Manager Mindset

For so many entrepreneurs, we have been accustomed to being the mechanic of our business. The one who fixes everything up makes sure everything is up to scratch and keeps everything running.

But when you delegate, this does require a shift in how you think you need to run this business. Now, there is another person who is being added to the mix. It’s now less about you having to DO everything, and now focusing on being able to MANAGE things. 

Delegating isn’t just about dumping your work onto another person. It’s about providing the right training, resources, and authority for that person to succeed in that position. In order to get the best from those we hire, we need to ensure they have the tools necessary to take over and handle those processes well. 

Whether it’s a contractor or an in-house person you manage, preparing your leadership skills are an important part of delegation that you need to be prepared for! 

STRONGLY recommend reading The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber for more information about this mechanic and manager dichotomy.

TIP 5: Always Review Performance

We never want to micro-manage, but regularly check in on how tasks are performing since you delegated them to see if they are actually saving you time!

Setting up a defined, desired outcome for each process gives your team a goal to aim towards and tailor their performance to.

It’s not just about having a strong SOP or having a great onboarding for your hired support; it’s ensuring that you can continually review and provide feedback on performance so that your hire is able to meet your needs. 

Key performance indicators are a great help here! Understanding how to measure progress and effectiveness will help both you and whomever you hire understand what to aim for. It also helps give them autonomy on decisions they make to ensure they are meeting those goals. 

Making these internal changes inside your business will help you not only delegate easier in your business but make it possible for your team to support you as best as possible.

Want to know which tasks you should delegate, or where to even begin systemizing your business? I made you a free guide on how to audit your business — and it’s how I audit all my clients’ businesses prior to working with them!

I’m Elisabeth—
I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I’m from the States (Washingtonian through and through). I’m a cat-mom, wifey, and in love with a good workflow; it gives me that warm, fuzzy, Christmastime feeling. My goal is to help hard-working service providers stop having to choose between creativity and productivity to build a successful, sustainable business.

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