What time consuming tasks should a small business owner delegate to improve productivity?
To help you and your small business improve productivity, we asked small business owners and business professionals this question for their best advice on delegating. From writing thank you notes to customer support, there are several different tasks small business owners can delegate.
Here are fifteen tasks business owners can delegate to improve productivity:
Writing of Thank You Notes
Creating Training Content
Urgent and Less Important Tasks
Delegate What Drains You
HR, Benefits and Payroll
Put a Dollar Value On Your Time
Insurance Coverage Selection
Day To Day Operations
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Whitney Rudeseal Peet, Calendly
Many small businesses need to safely and securely send documents. Given the paperless reality of remote work environments, filling out documents like PPP loans or new hire paperwork can get quite time consuming. One cloud-based solution that improves productivity is online faxing. Small businesses can send and receive faxes as easily as sending an email, but far more securely. Many small businesses may be surprised to learn that faxing is still a thing, but it truly can be an optimal and effortless solution to send documents.
Eli Patashnik, iFax
Small business owners should consider using a conversational AI assistant to delegate recruiting tasks like screening, scheduling, and answering frequently asked candidate questions. Too much time during recruitment is spent in the actual process, and not with the actual candidate. By delegating some of those time consuming recruiting tasks to technology, small businesses can improve their productivity and successfully attract the right talent.
Josh Zywien, Chief Marketing Officer, Paradox
Writing thank you notes takes time, and is usually the neglected item on a small business owner’s to-do list. You need to pick out a card, possibly go to the post office to buy stamps, find the time to write, and more. Consider delegating or automating the writing of thank you notes to help free up your schedule and to reduce the amount of time it takes to “thank” prospects and customers.
David Wachs, Handwrytten
Sometimes small business owners want to take on training employees on all aspects of their business. They’ll take on topics like HR and cybersecurity in a new hire orientation. Lunch n’ Learns might be held to train an existing workforce. The issue with small business owners owning internal training across all topics is that they may not be an expert in an area. Or, they may not be effective in making content educational entertaining, which may prevent employees from fully grasping topics. What you need from a Learning Management System (LMS) is the ability to create training content in an easy, automated way. SMBs don’t have time or dedicated staff to produce content, so they need help to create and distribute online training content to their employees.
Nick Santora, Curricula
I’m a fan of the Eisenhower Matrix, which says that any task that is “urgent and less important” should be delegated. These are tasks that need to get done, but are less important to your daily schedule. As a CEO of a small business, stuff like activities, meetings, and interruptions tend to fall into this quadrant. A good way to spot these urgent but less important tasks is to use a project management tool with your team. Any task that is overdue, and has a comment from a team member asking when they can expect to receive the work is a surefire sign of an “urgent and less important” task to be delegated.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Spending hours making a design look right, from the fonts to the colors and images, can take unnecessary time from your business. The key to improving productivity is to invest the time to document, before delegating. Interestingly, all design starts with descriptions. Documenting the main attributes of your brand will pay “delegation dividends” in the future when you easily delegate to a designer. They will love you for it and you will get items that represent your brand. Many business owners give no clear documentation or direction when delegating. This is where many owners struggle. If you haven’t clarified and documented it yourself, the designer will have a difficult time with what it's supposed to look like. After documenting my brand, I was able to delegate to a designer and she stepped into her design gifts. She and I have been working wonderfully together for over 4 years.
Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily
We all have different tasks that we dread. For some of us it's invoicing and accounting, for other business owners it might be managing our social media. No matter what that task is, if you find it draining you're either not getting it done at all, or when you do get to it, it zaps all your energy. These are more than likely the right tasks to look at delegating or outsourcing, so you can spend your time focused on your strengths and driving the business forward.
Nicole Spracale, Coaching and Consulting
Consider outsourcing your HR, benefits and payroll services to better ensure compliance with all legal requirements and professional processing of payroll and related taxes and reports. This can save an employer from having to become a subject matter expert in areas that are unfamiliar or unrelated to the mission of the business itself, and will allow the business owner more time to concentrate on creatively working with their teams to address customer needs.
Colleen McManus, Senior HR Executive and Consultant
I recommend that business owners put a dollar value on their own time. From there, they can make a fiscal determination to delegate. For example, a business owner spends five hours setting up a laptop. They could pay an IT professional $200 (and it would probably only take them one hour). If the business owner values their time at more than $40 an hour ($200 investment divided by five hours), it is more cost-effective to delegate that task.
Kimberly Bogues, Flourish Business Services, LLC
Small business owners often wear many hats, and when it comes to delegation they can either look to other employees or sophisticated software to replace time consuming tasks. I believe one of the most challenging and time consuming tasks is often data analytics. Real time dashboards can help improve your productivity and make better business decisions, which is a win-win for everyone in your organization.
Francesca Yardley, Threads
Delegating email management has been huge for me. I started by delegating all received leads (a separate email inbox entirely) and then started having an assistant scan my personal email as well. Important messages get flagged (or tagged in Slack if ASAP), a lot gets deleted and other stuff gets forwarded to the necessary party. This saves me at least two hours a day and was pretty easy to implement with just a set of rules for how to scan my emails.
Quincy Smith, TEFL Hero
As your business grows you will acquire larger numbers of customers of all types. Usually, with more people using your services you will also see an increase in support requests. This can easily outgrow your capacities and should be addressed head-on as early as possible. If hiring isn’t an option, a service agency can help you.
Wesley Burger, CloudTask
People who own or manage a small business already know how important insurance policies can be to their company and employees. When it comes to purchasing policies like group health insurance, data breach coverages, or professional liability, business owners should delegate coverage selection to insurance experts. It can be time consuming and confusing for a small business owner to speak with carriers and try to navigate the complexities of insurance. Protect your time and your company by connecting with an expert who can assist.
Brandon Berglund, Berglund Insurance
For small business owners, I think the toughest thing to delegate is the day-to-day operations. So many entrepreneurs are hustlers and want to deliver on the promises they are making to clients, but in order to create time to build and scale the company, you need to hand that baton off to someone else. It is a tough task, but it needs to be done!
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
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