Do you have to re-invent the wheel for every project? Are you feeling overwhelmed, overworked, burned out?
If that's the case, you should take a closer look at what you've been doing so far and think about your vision for your business and your life. If you crave more freedom, more time with your kids or more money without working 24/7, your business goals should support the lifestyle that you dream of.
Is working alone in your business going to help you reach the financial and lifestyle goals that you want? Or, like a lot of business owner, do you know that delegating is the only way forward but can't figure out how to delegate successfully?
Three things that you absolutely need before you start delegating
Delegating for the first time is not easy, it takes practice to become a good manager and be organized enough to send information at the right time. My first experience delegating was terrible. It's funny since I am now teaching others that they need to outsource their technical work to grow their businesses really!
I had to work really hard at becoming a manager as I couldn't grasp how important it was to spend time training and being clear about my expectations. If you can't clearly communicate your expectations, how do you expect the person you are on-boarding to know? It'll just lead to disappointment on your side.
The other big issue for me was to just re-do the work myself if it wasn't done the way I wanted it; instead of telling them how to fix the issue, I would do it and prevent them from learning. They would re-do the same mistake over and over again, which would lead me to fire them because of my own mistake. See how tricky being a manager is?
BUT the good news is... it is just practice!
I now believe that I have turned into a great manager - I do not micro-manage, give them space to show their skills and personalities, and give constructive feedback if needed.
Knowing that you need to delegate is not enough. Work on these three things and become a master at delegating!
01. A CEO MINDSET
Mindset is so important in business! You need to be willing to invest in your business to grow. Using 'investing' instead of 'spending' is a small tweak that can make the whole difference. When I hire designers to help, for example, I invest in them because they are highly skilled, will be doing a better and faster job than me, and free up some of my time to focus on other key tasks.
The value they bring to the business and to my clients is essential.
If I invest in a financial strategy, I invest in something that will bring me X times more results than if I were struggling on my own.
A business owner should be doing less and less of everything because the more time you can free up, the more you can serve your clients and bring in new leads by focusing on strategy.
I do mindset work weekly with a mentor, which is especially helpful when I act out of scarcity or feel like an imposter. As you step outside your zone of comfort, you will get new blocks along the way, this is part of growth.
02. CLEAR PROCESSES
Processes are just a step by step of everything that you do in your business and projects from the moment a lead comes in up until the moment you on-board them as a client to off-boarding them. If you are unclear about your step-by-step, you're going to be wasting a lot of your energy and time and the client experience that you're giving these leads or clients isn't going to be the best it could be.
In my first year in business, my finance and strategy mentor and I sat down and put together a 3-month strategy that would help me reach my goals; part of it was to work less and make more. The first month, my priority was to work on my processes and create SOPs (standard operating procedures) using Loom videos or Word documents to outline the process for doing specific tasks.
Having SOPs would make it easier for me to later delegate to a freelancer, employee or team. I then focused on understanding who I needed to hire first based on what was taking too much of my time, what I shouldn't be doing myself or tasks I did not know how to do. Month three was about hiring, training and assessing the results.
03. BECOME A MANAGER
When you start delegating, you need to step into a manager.
It takes patience and good communication skills to train someone to do what you hire them to do the way that you want them to do it. Having the skills does not mean that they know about your business, personality or process with your clients. When I hired my project manager, I knew that she had the skills to manage projects/ clients but she needed to learn about my business; I took the time to train her, shared the SOPs and answered her questions whenever needed until she was clear about my expectations. If you give up on the first try, you're not going to have a lot of success in your business. Once you understand that delegating, like everything that you do, isn't going to be easy at first but becomes easier with practice, you will become a good manager.
Once you have clear processes, commit to working on your mindset and work on your management skills, you are well on your way to reach your goals in your business.
Do you know how you start a business because you want more freedom and more time with your family but then you end up glued to your phone worrying about deadlines? KVM is committed to supporting interior designers with tasks that sit outside their zone of genius so that they can focus on what matters most to them. The result is that they can grow their business without the cost and hassle of having full-time employees.
Kristell Valentina Mouries
Director, KVM Design