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Managing the Risk of Delegation and Outsourcing

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During my career, I ve done a LOT of work with line managers: You know... those hard working people who get promoted because they are good at their job, and then suddenly seem to be trying to fit two jobs into the space of one (it can't be done BTW).

They know they should delegate, but they can't quite bring themselves to do it. I know exactly how they feel: As the owner of a small businesses I do all the work. I know what my business is about, what needs to be done, where we are going, how to do it and I like to be incontrol. BUT with this attitude, my business will never grow.

During a conversation with a friend and fellow business owner Becs McNeill (Social Media Expert), she introduced me to a website where you can find people to do 'small' things for you for just £5. It seems she has a whole army of people doing things for her for £5 so that she can concentrate on growing her business and adding value to her clients! So, I checked it out and I've taken the plunge. I've identified a couple of things that I'm either not very good at doing or don't have time to do, and outsourced them.

It is liberating! 

the amazing thing is that I'm still in control, but I'm not having to physically do the work... very empowering! I can't believe that I haven't done this before, but upon reflection I know exactly why I didn't: RISK.

Its a risk to leave something precious in the hands of another. Its a risk to trust other people to do things the way that you want them done. Its a risk to delegate, and that's why so many managers find it so hard.

So, here's my advice: Find something that you can't do well, or shouldn't be doing, or where there's no urgency involved. This immediately reduces the risk.

If you can't do it well, what's the worst that happen?..It still won't be done that well, but at least you won't have wasted YOUR time. If you SHOULDN'T be doing it, then you will be filling that time with something that you SHOULD be doing (even if its not as enjoyable). If there's no urgency to it, you'll probably put it off until the last minute anyway and then get stressed over it. And, if there's no urgency, you have plenty of time to keep sending it back to someone else until its right. 

So I've taken a chance. I'm a trainer not a graphic designer - so I've outsourced the design of our new promotional material. If I did it, it would take me days (days when I could be doing what I'm good at), the quality would be poor (which reflects badly on my business), and then there's the cost saving...£5 or me 'losing' a days income? It's a no brainer.

If you need help identifying what YOU could delegate or outsource, download our free key points sheet. If you know a whole group of people who need help with this, talk to us about delivering a bite-size session on delegation.

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