Why Is It So Hard To Delegate At A Service Business?

This post includes an excerpt from my column in the July-August 2012 issue of Snow Business.

Learning to delegate responsibilities at a landscape, paving or snow removal company is a hard skill to master for most service business owners. I can still remember how tough it was for me to delegate some of my responsibilities at GroundMasters. I was worried that the tasks I delegated wouldn’t get done how I would do them, or perhaps they wouldn’t get done at all.

But in the end, it worked out. Delegating was freeing and ultimately better for my business. It allowed me to focus on the big picture and my long-term goals rather than the skills and tasks that would facilitate the day-to-day operations. Plus, the person I delegated something to usually executed the task better than I could- truly a win-win.

Why Is It So Hard to Delegate?

delegation image

So why is it so hard for business owners to delegate responsibilities? I’m sure part of it is they fear they’ll lose control. Another reason could be they’re worried about the quality of the work once something is executed. The I-Can-Do-It-Better mentality is probably also a culprit.

Whatever the cause, learning how to successfully delegate is easier to talk about than it is to achieve. Like most things in business, delegation is an acquired skill. It takes thought and practice, but if you try it I think you’ll find the effort you expend to acquire this skill is worth it in the end. You will also be able to take your business places you never could alone because you will gain leverage in five significant areas.

5 Ways Business Owners Gain Leverage from Delegating

Growth Leverage. It’s pretty hard to do it all by yourself. If you are trying to do everything versus delegating some tasks, you will hinder your growth. End of story.

Skills Leverage. How many areas can you compete in at a very high level? By delegating responsibilities you can create the “A Team.” If you are the best at something and you train someone to execute the task like you would, now you have two people that are the best. Then he or she can train someone else and you will have three, etc.

Opportunity Leverage. Can your employees see a future with your company? Do they feel they are in the best place they could be? Are there opportunities for them to grow and advance? If not, they are going to go somewhere else.

Retention of Talent Leverage. If your company is rich with opportunity, you will attract and keep the best talent.

Job Satisfaction Leverage. Let’s not forget about the importance of having very high job satisfaction—for you and your employees. Do your people enjoy what they are doing? Are they motivated to win because they love and respect the organization they are a part of? Do they feel they are effective at their job? Despite the incredible advantages leaders can gain through delegation, many don’t.

Delegate Property Measurement Today

Perhaps you can start with delegating property measurement at the office? You can show someone how you would like for them to measure properties on Go iLawn or Go iPave and dedicate the  hours typically spent behind the windshield to another task that needs your attention. See how some of our customers delegate property measurement at their organization.

I also share some steps you can take to start delegating today in my Snow Business column. Read these tips and the rest of my column– and let me know what responsibilities you’ve learned to delegate at your service business in the comments section of this post.

4 replies
  1. Carl Alexoff
    Carl Alexoff says:

    Thanks Mike for sharing this. As someone who always “leads be example”, it’s hard for me to let go. My fear is tha I am teaching them to delegate also and eventually the tasks will be re-delegated.

    Reply
    • Mike Rorie
      Mike Rorie says:

      Thanks for your comment Carl. Letting go can be the toughest thing to learn to do. Knowing who you are delegating to and what the expectation is of the responsibility that’s being passed to that individual is key to a successful outcome. Once they have it down, it could very well be applicable for them to delegate it as well. What you’d want in place is the right checks and balances so it’s clear where things go once they leave you.

      Reply

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