Delegation. It’s a concept that sounds great in theory, but not so much in practice. I mean, who likes to give up control? Not me. Especially when it comes to my business. You do remember my business, right? That precious little baby that I’ve nurtured for over 20 years? The one where I have wonderful relationships with my customers who trust me implicitly? The one that has a lot of really expensive tools and equipment? That one that provides for my entire family and is the reason why I can pay my mortgage, auto loan, and groceries each month? Yeah, that’s the one.
Listen, there are a lot of really good reasons to stay a “Lone Wolf” window cleaner who never hires anyone or to be a micromanaging owner of small group of employees. But we’re not talking about those reasons. What we are going to talk about are the reasons why it might be a good idea to take some responsibility off of your shoulders and hand them to someone else, no matter how reluctant your hands may be. We will do this by engaging in one of my favorite activities, mocking excuses.
I’ve always done it this way.
Right. That is more of a statement than an excuse. I mean, if you accidentally slammed your hand in your car door on the first day of starting your new business, you wouldn’t be afraid to shake things up a bit by NOT slamming your hand the next day, right? Of course not. Because if something is hurting you, you have the right to make a change so that thing doesn’t hurt you anymore. It’s the same thing with your business. Inertia is not always good. It often perpetuates bad habits and stress. Take the time to figure out what the costs and benefits are to delegating certain tasks to others. You may be surprised at find out how often you keep your hand right up against the car door well. Maybe its time to make a change.
No one will ever do it as good as I can.
Right. I’ve been cleaning windows for 20 years. There are people better than me. You just might need to get over yourself. Its true, they may not care about your business as much as you do. That goes without saying. The thing is, delegation is not about giving the parts of the business that you enjoy and excel in to other people. It’s about giving the things that you might not be so good at over to people who are good at it. They will do it better, faster, and take a chore away from you that you hated to do. Of course, you do have to hire the right person. That leads us to the next excuse…
Hiring people is a nightmare.
Right. And yet millions of companies around the world do it somehow. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you hiring is easy. It’s not. It’s hard, it can be expensive, and you may have to go through some bad employees before you find some good ones. I get the hesitancy. And depending on what your goals are for your business, for some people it is the right call to not hire. That being said, if you have goals of growth, longevity, and sustainability, you are going to have to hire sometime.
Don’t wait until your business has aged you 20 years in a 2-year timespan before you finally admit you need help.
Start now and begin by hiring for a low-risk position. You can hire a helper to load & unload the equipment for you, clean screens and tracks while you focus on the glass, and any other easy jobs that you hate to do. This will give you valuable hiring experience in a low-risk setting. What you will soon find out, however, is how much more money your business will make when you have a dependable assistant. Now, however, imagine how much more money your company would make if you had 1 or 2 competent window cleaning techs? While you will need to do some research into the expenses associated with hiring, such as the cost of Worker’s Comp and buying uniforms and equipment, and such, you just might find that hiring is actually worth all the hassle.
Whatever you decide, just remember that delegating is supposed to reduce stress. While there is a learning curve when it comes to delegating, the end result should be that you feel better and less stressed about your business. Learn to let go. It is possible for an employee to do things differently than what you would have done, and it still work out great. You may find out that your business is not as delicate a baby as you thought it was. And you will be happy to know that your loyal customers can learn to like both you and your employees at the same time. No, delegating will not come easy. But if you do it right, you will find that this is one theory you can see proven right before your eyes.
– Gabe’s Corner