In my job, I get to talk to a lot of managers in the aesthetics industry. From salon founders to spa managers and clinic owners, one of the things almost all of them have in common is they find it difficult to delegate. Running a business is hard work, but it’s even more difficult when you’re trying to do it all. Most managers know their business inside out; they know all aspects of it and therefore tend to feel like they need to be involved in everything.
From paying bills to social media, ordering stock, answering the phone, checking in on staff, meeting with brand reps, going to conferences, and even organising the magazines in the waiting room – it’s too much, and what tends to happen is they feel overwhelmed, and consequently lack enthusiasm. Delegating doesn’t come easy to most of us, especially those that like to be in control.
Often, we fear that someone else won’t do a task as well as we would, or we don’t want to burden someone else and think it’s most efficient if we just ‘quickly do it ourselves.’ The problem with that is, that many small tasks add up to several hours spent every week on things we could have easily delegated, which would have freed up time to focus on the really important things. Author of ‘The Manager’s Path’, Camille Fournier says “Without effective delegation, you fall victim to micromanaging your team, losing control of your time, and eventually failing to put yourself in a position where you can take on more and lead bigger things.” And believe me, no one likes to be micromanaged.
So what can you do to learn how to delegate better? First of all, realise that you have a qualified team around you that is more than able to help you. If you don’t feel like that’s the case, it may be time to think about why you hired them in the first place, and possibly consider staff changes. In most cases, though, you’ll find delegating a few tasks will make a world of difference, and you may even find a new appreciation for your team. Second, understand that management is not the same as leadership. As the leader of your team, you need to see the big picture and focus on the direction your business should take. Your team looks to you for guidance and inspiration, not for cleaning up after them. To get you started, here are a few things you need to stop doing asap:
- Tidying up treatment rooms – your therapists need to do this in between appointments
- Answering the phone – if your receptionist is busy, get one of your therapists to answer the phone, or get an automatic ‘please hold the line’ message after a few rings
- Finding solutions to every problem – teach your staff to come to you with options to solve a problem instead of just presenting an issue
- Checking stock – this can be automated with the right software
- Receiving all general enquiries e-mails – your receptionist can forward important ones to you If you’re doing more than one of the above, it’s time to restructure workflows and operations.
Chances are you’ll be much more productive, efficient, and helpful when it comes to the really important parts of running a business. And as much as it might scare you to delegate, you’ll find it’s worth it in the end, and help you and your business grow stronger. Katie Kirsopp, founder of ‘Your Part Time PA’, agrees and understands the stress that business owners endure. With her extensive business background in everything from retail and event management to recruitment and development, she now uses her skills for the betterment of other business owners.
“Delegation is the key to taking your business to the next level. This is an essential tool to avoid feeling stressed or overwhelmed and harnessing the true potential of your business. While business is ever easy, delegation can make it so much easier,” she says.
According to Katie, the first step toward successful delegation is accepting that you need help. Once you’ve made the vital decision to delegate a task, she recommends following this guide:
- Always create a clear brief
- Oversee the task but don’t micromanage
- Give constructive feedback
- If you can’t delegate the whole task, split it up into parts
- Learn to let go If you do not have the budget or time to hire staff, try other avenues – like a virtual PA.
Katie suggests that a virtual PA is not only cost effective, but essential to taking your business to the next level. Take back control of your time and start doing what you love, embrace the art of delegation.
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