If you sat down to write out your own job description, how many roles would it include? In addition to serving as business owner and chief fitness professional, you most likely also serve as accountant, customer service rep, occasional receptionist, inventory specialist, marketing agency, web designer, banker, office manager, human resource director, client and employee therapist and janitor.
If you are spending more time doing simple chores rather than focusing on the overall health of your business and client satisfaction, your studio will suffer in the long run. As the owner, you have to focus on the big picture items that help your studio make money and grow.
FINDING THE POWER TO DELEGATE
If you have trouble trusting others or delegating, it usually comes down to one basic issue: the inability to let go. It is due to a fear that if you simply let go, you will lose control and your business will experience a catastrophe. But, by not giving tasks and responsibilities to others, you are far more likely to take on too much and make mistakes because of it.
Delegating has many benefits including:
- Increasing your personal productivity and improving your time management
- Reducing your stress level
- Freeing up your time to work on new ideas for your studio
- Spending more quality time with clients
- Helping your employees develop their professional skills and adopt an ownership mentality
- Getting your personal life back!
WHAT CAN COME OFF YOUR PLATE
If you’ve been doing everything for so long that you don’t know where to get started, here are five ways to identify which tasks and responsibilities you should delegate.
Take a look at your long-term to-do list. Are there projects you want to start, but running your business day-to-day makes it impossible? This is an opportunity for delegating. Some project-based to-dos could include a website makeover, hiring additional instructors or organizing an event to promote your studio. Examine your resources to determine if you can afford to outsource large-scale projects to a professional agency or freelancers, such as web designers, recruiters and event planners.
Identify your least favorite day-to-day tasks. Next, look at your day-to-day workload and responsibilities and identify areas or projects that cause you to feel stressed. If you dread your monthly accounting duties, maybe it’s time to hire a bookkeeper. If you struggle to update your studio blog regularly, consider having employees make posts.
Write down job descriptions. Sit down and write out all of the tasks and responsibilities charged to each studio employee, including you. What does each person do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? This is a great way to see identify who has the bandwidth for more responsibilities and where it makes sense to have employees take on additional tasks. Can your receptionist update your Facebook page or order supplies between checking in clients? Think about ways you can get your staff involved in the overall care of the studio.
Calculate how much your time is costing you. If you want to figure out if you have the resources to pay a bookkeeper or hire a cleaning service, you have to first determine how much it is costing your business to have you performing these tasks. What is your rate for an hour of personal training? If you want to develop a new class, how much revenue could you make from that new class? It is essential that you figure out how much money you could earn for the studio doing higher-level projects and management instead of spending your valuable time on routine tasks. By viewing delegation from a financial perspective, letting go of some tasks will look very attractive.
Make it possible for others to help you. Transparency with your employees is key to successfully delegating. Make sure they have as much information about how you do things as you feel comfortable sharing. By keeping your staff in the know, you won’t always have to be present at your studio to know it’s running smoothly. For example, training a new front desk receptionist can be a time consuming undertaking. The next time you go through the training process, document the what, where, how, who and why of every detail of the position and the studio in general. By creating this “Onboarding Book,” you make it possible for any staff member to train new receptionists. The book also will serve as a resource for new employees while they are learning your studio’s processes and procedures.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY DELEGATING
Once you have decided what tasks can be delegated, there are several things you can do to make the process of letting go as painless as possible.
Be as detailed as possible when you assign tasks. Don’t just throw an instructor in front of your computer and ask her to write a blog. Fully explain the task, how you would like it done and why the work is important to the studio.
Communicate your expectations. If you expect high-quality work, you have to let others know exactly what you expect from the outcome. Your staff might be good, but chances are, they aren’t psychic.
Ask the right person for help. Match your employees’ skills to the projects or tasks you want them to do. If you are not confident in an employee’s ability to succeed in their new task, you are setting that person up to fail.
Hold people accountable. If someone falls behind or makes a mistake, don’t just give up and take over again. Review your expectations with that person and offer to help get the employee back on track.
Let people do their work. While it’s important to check in with your employees to make sure they are on the right track and they don’t need your assistance, avoid micromanaging. Give your employees the autonomy they need to complete their tasks and to feel good about the work they are doing.