August 19, 2023

Mastering business optimization: The power of systematic delegation

In the pursuit of creative mastery, there's an art and science to letting go. It's the same with your business. Optimizing your business isn't merely about squeezing the most out of your resources. It's the intelligent art of understanding what to hold onto and, often more importantly, what to delegate.

While the concepts of delegation and systematization in business aren't novel, their implementation has often been a defining factor for successful companies. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have attempted both, with varying results. Let's take lessons from both sides and explore how you can end up on the winning side of delegation and move your business forward more efficiently.

The road to maximized efficiency: Delegation in your business

We all know small habits yield big outcomes. Change, even minimal, has a ripple effect. Similarly, moving from basic business structuring (going from 0-80%) to near-complete delegation (going from 80-100%) isn't just a progression—it's a leap. One that can be transformative.

So before we jump in head first to find that last 20%, let's dissect what it truly means to delegate within your business

Understanding business delegation

Grasping the essence of delegation often requires a mindset shift. For many creatives, easing up on the reigns of their business is hard. But delegation isn't a sign of weakness—it's a mark of strength.

Take the early days of Mailchimp, for example. When they started out, they were a simple email marketing tool. Over time, they slowly evolved into an all-in-one marketing platform. Their then-CEO, Ben Chestnut, ensured that while innovation thrived, tasks were systematically delegated to make evolutionary progress.

This spurred major growth for the company, putting them in a position to onboard more customers, launch more features, and, eventually, sell to Intuit for $12 billion. Not too shabby.

At the heart of business optimization—be it client onboarding or automating a process—it's not about working less. It's about working smarter, making each effort count.

The power of delegation is transformative. By aiming for more delegation, businesses can witness:

  • Less of dousing flames and more of igniting inventive initiatives.
  • A foundation for unplanned yet groundbreaking innovations.
  • Teams transitioning from mere doers to visionary thinkers.

These are all great, but as you work to systematize your processes, it's important to remember that delegation isn't about removing the human touch but leveraging and amplifying human potential. There's a big difference.

Strategies for improved delegation

So what can you do to start moving in the delegation direction? Here are a few strategies to get the ball rolling.

  • Regular self-assessment: Reflect on your procedures. Ask probing questions. What if we reviewed our processes and strategies every month instead of annually? What transformations could we expect to see? Regular reflections could unveil tiny gaps in the process, which, when filled, can escalate progress remarkably.
  • Use of contemporary digital platforms: Do we remember the pre-Dropbox era, where files floated in emails and flash drives? Embracing technology isn't about being trendy; it's about being efficient. Collaborative tools like Notion, Trello, or Slack can transform team dynamics, laying the groundwork for innovative systems.
  • Implementing systematic solutions: LEGO's brilliance wasn't just in creating toys but a system—a universal building methodology. View your processes similarly; think about the blocks that interlock to strengthen your foundation.
  • Leveraging automation and tools: Instead of considering automation as a replacement, what if we viewed it as an assistant? Tools like Asana don't just manage tasks; they optimize them. ChatGPT, Grammarly, and other apps with integrated AI make your life easier by helping you write SOPs and internal documentation. Mailchimp and Convert Kit can automate email campaigns and send the right message at the right time. The sky's the limit when you embrace technology in your systems.
  • Broadening the scope with real-world scenarios: Challenges like managing creativity with structure aren't isolated to your workspace. Look at Airbnb. They didn't stifle hosts with excessive rules but provided a structure to ensure guest safety and quality standards so the platform could evolve organically over time. With the right systems, this can happen in your business, too.

Reevaluating your established processes

As you can see, adding new processes to the mix can increase your productivity through delegation. But sometimes, business optimization is less about adding and more about subtracting. Striking the right balance is the game-changer.

It's essential to step back and understand that chasing 100% delegation might not always be the answer—it's the balance that holds value. Learning when to add processes and when to strip them away is essential.

Wrapping up

The journey toward mastery in business optimization and delegation isn't about finding shortcuts. It's about understanding that true efficiency is achieved through initial discipline, followed by periodic evaluation.

The right structures and systems for your business aren't out of reach—try upgrading your delegation mentality and see how it can transform your bottom line.