Time to Brush Up on Some Delegation Skills? By salonhowto.com – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Time to Brush Up on Some Delegation Skills? By salonhowto.com – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

I have had many a conversation with salon owners about managing time better.  I frequently hear comments like ‘there isn’t enough hours in the day’ or ‘I wish there were 2 of me’. The end result is generally an over-worked, burnt out and stressed business owner who is no good to anybody!

 

Time to Brush Up on Some Delegation Skills? By salonhowto.com - Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Feeling Overloaded?
Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

There is a mentality that we have to be seen to be ‘hard-working’, but even the association of those 2 words (Hard – Working) implies that work should be hard, tough, a struggle, with little reward. Personally I would rather work smart than work hard. It’s far more productive for you and those around you.  At the end of the day in our industry we sell time…once that time is gone, it’s gone. If you are a sole operator then your income is capped at how many clients you can fit in and retail too.  That’s why it’s so annoying when a client does a no-show!!!

Maybe it’s time you brushed up on some delegation skills.  As an individual we can only do so much in a day and complete so many different tasks.  But imagine if you had people around you (staff) who could take that load off you so you could focus on the real stuff like growing your business. 

I reckon that if more business owners learnt to delegate then more businesses would flourish, in turn more people would be employed and perhaps the economy would be in a better shape than it currently is.  I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in New Zealand 60% of people are business owners or self employed.  We are a nation of entrepreneurs, but we are also a nation of ‘do it yourselfers’ – imagine if these business owners (many of whom are sole traders) learnt how to delegate their tasks. 

In this article I want to talk about all aspects of delegation from how to delegate to who you should delegate too.

Firstly though, the biggest barrier as to why people don’t delegate seems to be that it’s just too much effort.  After-all you live and breathe your business more than any other person, so wouldn’t you be the best person to take each task from start to finish. The question to ask yourself is, ‘would it be a good use of my time?’ Sure it may be easier to do it yourself instead of explaining to someone else how to do it, but wouldn’t you be better off over-seeing the project or task to make sure it is achieved and coming up with new initiatives to drive your business forward.  And by putting some time in up front to develop a person’s skills, then the next time a project came along you can delegate them that job with a lot more confidence. 

For example, in our salon we have trained the staff to do the systems like new client letters.  These get done weekly. A job that would normally take me an hour or 2 each week is no longer my responsibility (that’s almost 100 hours each year I have saved – over 2 working weeks). The staff feel great when they see the clients come back in from the new client letters they have sent – it empowers them.    

But don’t go delegating just willy-nilly.  You need to make sure the person being delegated too is responsible so that the task gets done and that delegating a particular task actually allows that person to develop.  You also need to look at the task and think, is this job likely to re-occur in the future? In which case you are not just training someone for a job that will only happen once which would be an ineffective use of your time.  It is of course far better to delegate tasks that you know will be on-going as training people is time consuming! And is the task you are delegating essential to the success of your business?  In my example earlier of the new client letters, yes this is essential as it helps with our retention.

When you have decided which tasks need to be delegated then the key is to pick the right person for that job.  Who has the necessary experience and the right attitude?  Is the person going to require a lot of training or are they fairly switched on and easy to explain things to?  It’s also good to think about a staff member’s long term goals.  Have they expressed a wish to manage the salon and if so do the tasks you have delegated to them lead towards a managerial role?  And look at your staffs current work load.  If your senior stylist or therapist is currently fully booked and the top money earner, perhaps they don’t need any more workload if it distracts from what they are already doing well.  Another staff member may be twiddling their thumbs and desperate for some more work.  In which case assign them a task that will eventually lead them to be busier in their role as a stylist or therapist…e.g get them to walk the neighbourhood and deliver 500 flyers a week for you until they are making you more money in the salon.

As the salon owner, remember to be patient when delegating tasks, it can sometimes take a staff member a bit of time to get up to the speed you would be able to do the task yourself. 

Another important thing when delegating is to have an end result in mind.  Know what you want to achieve.  Be clear with the staff member who has been assigned the task. If the task is to deliver 500 flyers a week then your end result may be to get 10 new bookings/enquiries a week from this. Make them accountable by reporting back to you. Remember, as the business owner the buck still stops with you.

It’s good to delegate specific tasks to those who are close to the jobs, as they have the most knowledge about the jobs. For example your beauty therapist may have the task of sterilizing all the equipment, your hairdresser may be responsible for making sure the colour station is clean and there is enough stock.  This keeps things efficient and saves you being the one to do this at the end of every day while the staff just wander out the door!  And it’s amazing to find out that your staff may have a better and more efficient way than you to actually do these tasks, so listen and learn and employ their methods…it will make them feel really trusted and special.

Try to avoid jobs being slowly dumped back on your plate. The temptation is to think you can do it better than anyone and slowly steal the task back again. Instead if you are not happy with the current handling of the job get your staff member to come up with solutions to present to you in a one-on-one meeting on how the task can best be done.  If you give them an inch they will take a mile, so make sure you keep them committed to the task and reward them for achieving within timeframes.

At all times ensure that your staff member knows they can come and ask you questions, no matter how silly they may sound. It’s good for you to monitor how the task is going and there’s nothing worse than finding out way down the track that something has been done wrong when it could have been avoided by simple communication.

And make sure any work that you have delegated comes back completed and ONLY accept it if you are happy with it.  Otherwise it will give the wrong message to staff that sub-standard work is okay.  At the end of the day you will end up spending more of your precious time fixing up jobs instead of focusing on your own tasks.  On the other side of the coin you must praise and compliment a job well done to improve the self confidence of a staff member. 

Happy delegating!!!

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Time to Brush Up on Some Delegation Skills? – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327