At some point, every entrepreneur who runs a successful business must make a transition from “doing” to “leading.” Once your business grows to a certain size, the best thing you can do for it is step back from day-to-day operations and move into an overseer role. If you see your business as your baby, though, this is easier said than done.
The good news: there are plenty of things you can do to ensure that this transition is successful. Here’s how to learn to let go and why this will only benefit your business in the long run.
Making the Transition
Think back to the time when you formed your company. In the beginning, chances are you were involved in every aspect of running your business. As the company grew, however, you started delegating some of those tasks to your employees. If they proved themselves, you’d start giving them larger projects and responsibilities.
If you’ve followed this pattern, your employees should already be capable of keeping the business afloat by themselves by the time you step into an overseer role. Think of it like parenting: your job is to teach them basic values and let them go. Even if they do some things differently than you might have, they may not necessarily be wrong.
Like with parenting, the key to giving your employees freedom is knowing when they’ve grown enough for it. If you hold onto your business too tightly, you face the risk of “over-parenting” and stopping the company from reaching its full potential.
Delegating Tasks and Duties
Of course, for the above strategy to work, you need to hire and train the right employees. Keep in mind that many employees are worker bees: they prefer to work on autopilot and prefer not to think too much. If you can’t find a place for a worker bee in your organization, your best solution is to replace them with employees who are more eager to accept responsibility.
Communication should also be a priority in your business. Your employees must know what’s expected of them and which tasks take priority over others. They must also be aware of what you think doing a good job looks like. Don’t expect them to know this instinctively; provide direction by being specific and giving examples.
Outsourcing specialized tasks is also a good option. For example, accounting is an area that’s the same across all companies and requires no creative input, which makes it perfect for outsourcing. Sales, IT management, customer service, and administrative tasks could also see benefits from getting outsourced.
Regardless of who you delegate tasks to, the key is to find the balance between working on your business and working in it. If you have a solid employee base capable of running the day-to-day operations, your business is already in a spot to succeed.