Delegation: The Essential Skill for Business Owners

Delegation is the assignment of responsibility or authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is a skill that is important for those in managerial positions to possess and is absolutely critical to business owners in being able to grow their businesses.

Many children’s activity centers have multiple locations. This heightens the role of delegation for the owner.

Yes, it is important to delegate, but it is even more critical to make good decisions about what to delegate and to whom you do the delegating.

JR Zeringue, owner of multi-location ACE Cheer Company, has an intimate relationship with delegation. He has a clear understanding of what works for him and his organization. He knows exactly what tasks he can and should delegate and who he can delegate them to.

Take a look at JR’s example. He’s practically written a template that anyone can follow to be a successful delegator.

Why Do I Delegate?

“There is only 1 of me and my experience shows me that the ole adage 2 brains are better than 1 is true. There is so much to do in our line of business, that – unless you want to work 24/7 without ever taking a break or a vacation or (heaven forbid) go on a date with your spouse – you must figure out the delegation formula that works for you.  I learned years ago that being in business for myself was a lot of work but I didn’t have to be married to it. With good people in place that could and would do the things that I needed done, I could be an even more effective owner.” JR Zeringue

After hiring and developing a staff that could handle delegation, I could go home at a decent hour and be confident in how our facilities would run.

Delegation allows me to:

  1. Get More Done
  2. Gather information faster
  3. Build/Develop Leaders

What Do I Delegate?

  • Cleaning/Taking out the Trash
  • Teaching Classes
  • Office Administrative Tasks
  • Purchasing Cleaning Supplies, Concession Items and Office Products
  • Teaching Teachers
  • Creating Lesson Plans
  • Deciding on Competitions/Events to Attend
  • Staff Education outside of the gym, Personal Development
  • Social Media/Advertising/Marketing

Of course, there are times when you may have to take some of the tasks you delegate back under your control:

  • New owner of the tasks leaves the organization
  • Quality suffers
  • Job responsibilities among staff change
  • Staff addition changes dynamics

This shouldn’t be permanent. As soon as you identify a new owner for the task, you should reassign it.

To Whom Do I Delegate?

As the leader of my organization, I teach my staff to delegate as I delegate.  I encourage my leadership staff to hand pick a few key people that they know will do the tasks as good as they would – just as I did them – and turn them loose to work.

“I have three or four key leaders within my organization that I have complete confidence in to do what is delegated to them as good – or even better – than I would do it myself.  This isn’t necessarily a rapid process. It has taken me years to hire these people into the organization, groom them for leadership and get comfortable in delegating to them.” JR Zeringue

I have a leader over each key areas of the organization that I turn to in order to make things happen. These leaders are my:

  1. Cheer Director – anything cheer related, classes, teams, special events
  2. Gymnastics Director – anything gymnastics related, classes, teams, special events
  3. Customer Service/Relations Director – anything customer related.

What Will I NOT Delegate?

There are definitely tasks and responsibilities that I do not hand off. These are the areas that I feel require my attention and are where my experience and expertise can be the most valuable.

  1. Money Issues, Billing, Collections, Refunds
  2. Setting future direction – big picture items
  3. Current understanding of financial status of the company
  4. Purchasing Equipment

When your business was smaller, you may have done everything, but that doesn’t mean you are the best at everything. Use delegation to leverage the expertise of those you’ve hired and hand-picked to be your leaders. This also allows your employees to blossom into their leadership positions.

Being effective at delegating also allows you to be a better owner or manager because you’re not spreading yourself too thin. You can focus on what is critical to you. Delegation is the only way that your organization can take full advantage of the strengths of every team member.

Delegating also helps you do some seasonal things – like elevating your view to the 40,000 level so that you’re not down in the weeds while you’re trying to review and set policies, make changes to curriculum, staff or processes or evaluating new software or equipment to improve your business. You can even manage a ‘reset‘ if you see areas that need significant attention.

“I don’t believe that it’s possible for an organization to stay healthy and grow without the key leadership effectively delegating.” JR Zeringue

About the Author:

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After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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