Many of us start our entrepreneurship journey as solopreneurs. In the formative stages of starting up, we are the only ones doing every single task. However, we can’t grow a business doing it all by ourselves.
In the past years, I have met some entrepreneurs who feel proud of doing so much, but the reality is they are working on tasks that don’t add value to their businesses.
One of the secrets of successful entrepreneurs is delegating certain tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed, burnt out and inefficient.
This begs the question: When should you hire someone?
Getting someone on-board too soon could result in wasted time and money. In contrast, hiring someone too late can hinder your business growth as you’re stretched thin attempting to juggle growing deadlines and demands.
Here are 3 signs that will help you determine if you need to outsource, delegate and hire help right now:
1. You are spending too much time on administrative tasks
Once you reach a certain percentage of your day working on administrative tasks, you should assess the opportunity to delegate work to an in-house or virtual assistant.
Answering phone calls, replying to emails, managing social media, scheduling meetings, uploading website content, transcribing, etc. are all examples of busy work that will only continue to grow, pile up, and take too much of your valuable energy.
But how do you decide what changes to make?
The Harvard Business Review developed an assessment to help you figure out what you’re spending your time on and how important those activities are to you and your business. Armed with this information you should be better able to shift your focus to the work that matters.
2. Master a new business activity will take too much time
There are many activities that other people find simple and quick to do, but those same activities can be a burden for you. For example, you may have friends who can easily edit website photos, master Google AdWords in record time, or complete web design in just a few hours. But when you sit down and try to do it, it is not simple and you start to realize that learning a new task will take up much of your valuable time.
Meanwhile, from a personal growth perspective, some skills won’t add any value to you. Instead, the smart move is to place your energy and time in areas of business that you excel at and delegate the secondary activities to someone who has already mastered them.
3. You are doing a role that could easily be given to someone else
Some tasks pile up rather quickly and fall under defined roles that are ready to be handled by someone else, even if it is on part-time basis.
For example, a customer support role that includes answering questions by phone or email, handling complaints and managing shipping and returns can easily be delegated. Also, managing payments to third parties, invoices, and taxes can be delegated to a bookkeeping or accountant role.
As a group of activities, that fall under a specific role, begin to grow it’s important to estimate the time they take so you can plan your next move.
If you want to grow your business, which activities you are doing today that could be outsourced or delegated to achieve your goal?
This article has been edited and condensed.
Patricia Carrillo, a small business owner and entrepreneur coach, is the founder of Leading Your Business.
She has a degree in Human Resources from Buenos Aires University and specializes in helping other small business owners enhance their leadership skills. Connect with @Patricia_LYB on Twitter.