As a business owner and entrepreneur, you’re probably accustomed to wearing many hats in the course of a day. You might do some accounting in the morning, view properties in the afternoon, and spend the evening responding to emails.
There’s nothing wrong with that—but is it the most efficient and effective way to run a business?
Hint: it’s not.
The bottom line is that as the one in charge, you have to make the most of your time and energy. If you spend your day on tasks that could be delegated to someone else, then the chances are good that it’s cutting into your profits in ways you might not even realize.
The solution is to focus on your core strengths—and delegate everything else.
How to Identify Your Core Strengths
Do you know what your core strengths are? If not, let’s talk about how to identify them.
Here are some questions to ask about the tasks that you do in the course of business:
- Is this a task that only I can do?
- Is it possible to teach somebody else to do this task?
- Does doing this task keep me from doing other, more important things?
If the answer to the first question is no, then it is definitely a task that can be delegated to someone else. You can choose to delegate to someone on your team or to hire a virtual assistant to do it for you.
Of course, in some cases, the answer to that first question will be yes. Then you need to move on to the second question and ask whether you can teach someone else to do the task in question for you.
In the event that you can, then it’s probably worth spending the time to do it—particularly if the answer to the third question is also yes.
Any task that requires your particular set of knowledge and skills, especially if they are skills that can’t be duplicated, should be considered a core strength.
Decide How to Outsource
Next, you need to decide all of the following:
- How should you outsource, to a current team member or a virtual assistant?
- If you don’t have a candidate, what do you need to do to find one?
- What is the best way to train someone to do the task at hand?
You’ll need to evaluate your team members and decide if any of them has the skills and knowledge to do the job, and if they might be willing to learn if they don’t. Alternatively, you’ll need to seek out a virtual assistant to do it for you.
It’s important to be able to delegate appropriately. If you have a team member who’s great with people and lousy with numbers, you wouldn’t want to delegate an accounting task to that person.
Set Guidelines and Follow Up
When you delegate something, it means that you don’t have to take valuable time away from your core strengths to do tasks that can be outsourced.
That said, you still have to be involved to some degree. You can’t afford not to set specific guidelines for the tasks you delegate because ultimately, they still reflect on you and your business.
The key is to make sure that the person who does each task understands all of the following:
- What they need to do
- How you expect them to do it
- When you expect them to be done
The first time you delegate a particular task to someone, you should plan on setting milestones instead of waiting to check in when the task is done. The one exception is if it’s a very easy task that requires little time.
If you assign a repetitive task, such as answering emails, it’s a good idea to have the person write a sample email and check it to make sure you’re on the same page about the tone and quality of the response.
Once the person has completed the task successfully, you can check in periodically and set milestones as needed. That way, you can spend the bulk of your time doing what you do best.
Outsourcing the things you don’t need to do is a very effective way to maximize your efficiency and also, to maximize your profits as a real estate investor. Don’t get caught up in thinking about the money you’re spending to outsource, because in the long run, your time is far more valuable than the amount you spend to delegate.