delegate outsource tasksSmall business owners often expect to have a hand in every aspect of their companies. Trying to do everything yourself, however, will likely have a negative impact on revenue. Small business owners can waste time on tasks that aren’t generating income because they have grown accustomed to having control of everything.

An article on the SmallBizTrends.com blog explains how delegating or outsourcing tasks that don’t directly generate income can help increase efficiency, sales and revenue. Follow these five steps to identify non-essential tasks and outsource or delegate them.

  1. Track your work activities: The first step is to identify where you currently spend your work hours. Keeping a record — whether you use a simple notebook or time-tracking software or application — can be an eye-opener.
  2. Identify tasks to delegate, using a simple test: For each task, ask yourself, “If someone else did this, would it allow me to focus on those activities that will make me money?” Small businesses can often outsource straightforward tasks like accounting, but should probably keep daily operations in-house, such as shipping and providing services to your clients.
  3. Document your processes: For each task you plan to hand off, create clear, step-by-step instructions.
  4. Transfer the tasks: Depending on the size of your business, you might be able to delegate tasks to new hires, which may be more cost-effective than outsourcing. If you don’t have the capital to hire a new staffer, you can outsource tasks to local workers through a classified service like Craigslist or to overseas contractors through sites like Elance.com.
  5. Monitor, but don’t micromanage: Certainly, you should check to make sure work you’ve handed off is being completed to your satisfaction. However, if you have to spend a lot of time monitoring the work, you may need to look for a more cost-effective solution. Outsourcing is harder to monitor than delegating tasks within a company.

While it may be tempting to try to do everything on your own, that strategy can end up holding you and your business back.

We always enjoy hearing from readers. What advice would you give to a small business owner who is learning to outsource and delegate? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Source: SmallBizTrends.com, May 2013