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Moving from being a sole trader to team manager, you need to know how to delegate to get the most from your team. But if you have been a sole trader you may not want to delegate unless you have no choice.

Delegation is a skill. One that is easy to learn. Here are some strategies to use to increase your team’s productivity.

Stop Refusing Help
Are you one of those people so dedicated you have to complete all the work yourself? This can come from a fear that someone else will not do a good job or, worse, you may fear they will do a better job than you. You need to learn to let go. Stop refusing help from the team. That is the reason you have a team. To get the work done.

Get to know your team members. Understand their strengths and weaknesses. Establish trust and respect among you to build a strong performing team. Start delegating small tasks. Once you establish trust and respect, start delegating the more important tasks.

Create A System For Prioritising
You need to prioritise what needs achieving. Create categories that cover the skills of your staff, including your own. Keep the tasks that only you can complete and delegate the rest. This can save you a lot of time and stress. Your team will soon increase its productivity.

Take Advantage Of People’s Strengths
There is no point delegating tasks, if the people you give them to do not have a clue. When you understand your team, you will know who is the best people to delegate what to. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you understand how your team members can grow. Make sure that when you delegate, you give the task to the person with the most relevant skills. Do no make the mistake of delegating to whoever is convenient or does not have much to do.

Give Your Staff Instructions
When you delegate a task make sure you give your staff instructions. Include any specific information for how you want the task completed. Make sure they know what the deadlines are for completion. Be proactive. It will benefit your team.

Teach New Skills
Give your team the chance to learn new skills. A lack of skills in your team does not mean there is not a team member who wants to learn them. This is an opportunity to teach new processes and procedures, or even new software to streamline the team’s work. Though it may take more time at the start to teach someone something new, it will be worth it for the time it saves you. You will earn even greater respect from your team for helping them to grow their skills.

Back Your Team
Have trust in your team. Once you trust a team member to complete a task give them space to do it on their own terms. Support them by checking on the progress from time-to-time. And, if you are worried about timelines send them an email to ensure things will be ready on time.

Use Feedback To Improve
Use feedback from your team to improve your delegation process. Reward good work with praise and support staff members who struggle to help them improve. Ask the team for their feedback and input into the delegation process. This gives you the chance to make sure you are assigning the right tasks to the right people. It also gives the team ownership of the whole process.
While it is not always easy to delegate, the sooner you learn how to do it the better your whole team will perform.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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