For years I intentionally kept my business growth on a tight leash. My mind was swimming with big ideas, but I put them on the back burner because I didn’t want to write checks my body couldn’t cash. I was under the mistaken impression that short of cloning myself no one else could do what I could doâ€¦ and since I’m a bit of a control freak â€¦ that meant I couldn’t take on projects that I didn’t have time to perform myself.
Eventually I learned how to delegate. As our online publicity program for Experts at IdeaMarketers.com rolls forward at an accelerated rate, I’ve had to ramp up delegation to an entirely new level. Many people ask how I get so much done in so little time. I’m actually writing a whole book on the subject, but I’ll share one important tip here:
- Document Procedures – Document how you do things. For example, in automating the setup process for a new expert on IdeaMarketers, I made a spreadsheet in Excel that had the experts’ names across the top and down the side is a checklist of the things that must be done to set up a typical expert. Then I timed myself several times as I worked down the list so I knew how long it took.
- Automate – Once you have your steps down, look through your checklist and find anything and everything you can automate. Through automation, you should eliminate several steps from your checklist. For example, before automation, the typical expert took 30 minutes to set up. After automation it took 20 minutes. You might not think that’s much, but it adds up when you have a lot of experts coming in. Not only was the setup streamlined, but also the time it will take for all updates in the future has just been significantly reduced from 10-15 minutes to 3-5 minutes per update.
- Delegate – Now that the process is streamlined and automated as much as possible, it’s easily delegate-able. I no longer need a technical clone to accomplish an Expert setup. My college-age daughter who has basic HTML skills can do it at a much more reasonable rate than paying a high-end technical VA. Not only do I save time, but also I save on labor expenses by not having to hire a high-tech assistant. I figure a day or two of programming just saved me at least $8,000/year.
So there you have itâ€¦ document your procedures, time yourself, automate and time yourself again, then delegate what’s left after the automation to a reliable assistant who doesn’t need advanced technical skills. Repeat the process as needed until it runs like clockwork and needs the least amount of labor and skill to maintain.
What’s your example of automation/delegation? How have you saved time and money by automating and delegating?
If you’re interested in learning more about my upcoming book, “How to Get More Done in a Day than Most People Accomplish in a Week” email me at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2008 Marnie L Pehrson