Jack of all Trades, Master of None

by | Aug 11, 2016 | Sarah's Blog

Being a business owner is a huge learning curve. If you decide to take the leap of faith and leave employment behind, you start to realise how much actually goes into running a business. Over the years, as my business started to grow and I was receiving more and more client work, I started to realise that I just couldn’t do it all on my own.

If you speak to any of the Coconuts, they will tell you that I am the Queen of delegation! Believe it or not, this is not something that comes naturally to me and I know that many business owners are reluctant to relinquish the control of small tasks to employees because they want to have full control of their businesses. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to put your baby into someone else’s hands! However, delegation can make you a much better business owner and means that you have time to focus on the overall business rather than getting tied up in the nitty gritty elements of the business.

I see so many small business owners and franchisors who are just starting out and are desperately trying to do everything themselves. They often find that their customers or franchisees suffer as a result or they just become stuck in a rut and are unable to continue pushing the business forwards. Building a great team around you to whom you can delegate tasks to is one of the keys to running a successful and growing business.

Although enthusiastic and ready to take on any task, large or small, the Coconuts do occasionally want to run and hide when I’m having an ideas session in the office – they know that there’s more work coming their way as they do everything they can to help me turn my ideas into a reality! It is because of them and my delegation skills that I am able to even think about these ideas in the first place. By stepping away from the day to day tasks within the business, I have a much broader overview of my business so I can focus on what we need to do to keep growing, even if that means I am creating even more day to day tasks!

At Coconut, we take care of a wide range of clients and create copy, design collateral, look after social media and we’re available over the phone or by email for support whenever it is needed. Add to this the invoicing, client account management, booking in meetings and all the other elements that go with running a business and you can start to see that there’s no way I could take care of everything on a daily basis.

If you try to do everything yourself, the sheer amount of tasks you need to complete within the day will become overwhelming and I have seen many business owners burn out completely. If you try to be a jack of all trades, the likelihood is that you’re going to fall down somewhere. I know that I can’t use design software and this isn’t where my skillset lies which is why we have in-house designers at Coconut and this goes for our other departments too. I built a team around me who could fill in my skills gaps and help me to expand the services I could offer to my clients. You might even find that your team members can complete the work more efficiently than you!

Having learnt the art of delegation, each team member at Coconut is an expert in their area of responsibility. My team each have their own roles and they know exactly what they should be achieving on a day to day and weekly basis, so that our clients receive the very best from us. My time is now spent looking at the bigger Coconut picture and driving the business forward for everyone’s benefit.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you’ve got to do on a daily basis, I highly recommend delegating tasks that you really don’t have to do to your staff. If you don’t have staff, you can use a great matrix to help you.

Urgent AND Important Urgent but NOT Important
Important but NOT Urgent Not Urgent AND not Important

If you list your tasks in the grid above, you will soon see which tasks you should focus on and which ones can wait for another day, be delegated or even removed all together.

By focusing your time in the most effective way, you can generate much more momentum in your business. Be busy and productive and, in turn, your business will grow.