5 Delegation Traps Entrepreneurs Fall Into — And How to Avoid Them

Once your business has grown too big for you to do everything alone, hiring employees is only the first step to getting work off your plate — you also have to know how to properly delegate that work if you want to stay ahead of your operations.

Gloria West, a senior consultant and executive coach with Success Labs, a management consulting firm in Baton Rouge, says delegation is important because it frees up your energy to be strategic and plan for the future.

West cites three common delegation traps for you to avoid to keep your business running smoothly.

Trap No. 1: Waiting Too Long to Let Go

Don’t wait until you’re drowning before you start delegating work. Your business and your mental health will suffer if you try to do everything until the realization sets in that your to-do list has become overwhelming.

Part of the reason waiting too long is an issue is that effective delegation doesn’t “just happen” with the decision that it’s needed. For example, it’s important to remember to account for time to train people as you delegate tasks to them, and to follow up to make sure things are going as planned, West says. Developing your people is a long-term strategic activity, and if you wait until you’re too busy to delegate, you’ll never delegate, she says.

But if you begin small, the tasks you delegate can grow as your business and employees grow. “If you ever only delegate the mundane tasks, that’s bad, but that’s the place to start,” West says. “Start small with the little routine things, because it will save you time and it’s also something the person can get practice at until it becomes their task.”

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