The ability to delegate is not intrinsic to every entrepreneur or business owner. In fact, delegating tasks can be challenging for business owners in the process of scaling or entrepreneurs hoping to make their business a success. This leads to burnout and the inability of the business owner to take off even one day.
There are many solutions to the delegation issue. One is to bite the bullet and just do it in hopes that the person you hire will be able to understand and take on the tasks assigned to them. Another is to approach your delegation challenges systematically.
This last is what the CEO of VA Staffer, Jeff J. Hunter, recommends. In a recent interview, Jeff and Business Success Consulting Group CEO Adi Klevit discussed how a virtual assistant can help a business owner establish standard operating procedures and build delegation into their overall strategy.
Whether you plan to use a virtual assistant or hire more staff, the advice Jeff provides in this interview is invaluable. Read on for a summary of the discussion.
Establish Standard Operating Procedures
Set Up Core Processes for Your VA
Establishing core processes and SOPs (standard operating procedures) is just good business practice. Doing this records all of the proprietary information that keeps your business running so that you aren’t the only source for this information.
Here are the five steps to establishing SOPs:
1. Determine how and where you will document your SOPs. Video, written communication, images, audio, or a mix can all work great.
2. Record screen share sessions, audio messages, and video conferences you have with your assistant. This will help you and your assistant determine which procedures have already been documented and which could use some clarification.
3. Ask your assistant about their questions. If you’ve already done some onboarding and training, the questions will likely point out areas that need further documentation.
4. Work with your assistant to document the SOPs. Run through them to ensure they make sense and are workable.
5. Take time every six months or so to review the SOPs and ensure they still work.
Establishing the baseline of standard operating procedures will allow you to train new assistants, give your assistant the autonomy they need to do their job, and build consistency into your business model.
One Key Element to Keep in Mind
There is one additional step: once the SOPs are in place, you need to let go and allow your assistant to do the work on their own. This is the hardest part of delegation but is also the most vital element of delegating work.
How to Delegate to a New Assistant
Follow Jeff’s “Freedom Plan” to organize the many tasks that need to be delegated.
Separate what you need to delegate into four boxes:
1. Repetitive Box
These include actions that will get repetitive. This might consist of setting up meetings, sending emails, answering common questions, and more.
Once the VA does it a few times, they can copy and paste the same script to everyone.
2. Challenging Box
These are things that would be challenging for you to do, but easier for someone else to learn and do. This could include editing audio, creating infographics, building spreadsheets, or using your CRM to its fullest extent.
3. Neglected Box
These are things that you should be doing, but you’re not doing. They are not a priority in your day-to-day, but they are on the list. They might include posting on social media, creating content, or building reports.
4. Value Box
This would include actions that are a valuable use of your time and that you cannot delegate to an assistant. They may include client phone calls, sales, building strategies, and more. These actions could possibly be delegated to specialist employees such as a sales team.
Business owners get overwhelmed seeking to delegate because everything feels important. By separating actions into various categories, we can see what is truly a priority and what can be delegated to others.
By understanding your priorities and building standard operating procedures, you can both define what you need from an assistant and work toward their smooth onboarding.
Building processes, procedures, systems, and SOPs is vital to your business growth. Systems allow you to hire and onboard easily, freeing up your time to focus on big-picture thinking.
If you are ready to build effective systems into your company DNA, contact Business Success Consulting Group. We will provide an initial, no-cost evaluation to get you started.