Business would be far easier to navigate if we had all the answers in front of us, right? But unfortunately we don’t – we often just have to look for the clues and figure out the puzzle on our own, asking for a little help along the way.
One of my greatest lessons with WINK Models was delegation. Turns out that little four-syllable word is incredibly important to the overall efficiency and day to day running of your business. It’s also played a big role in freeing up my time in recent months to allow me to focus on launching my latest tech startup, theright.fit.
With some of those lessons under my belt, I’d like to give you a virtual hand up in building your business.
Standing in the way of success
When I realised I was the bottleneck in my own company, I knew I needed to make changes. It’s easy to fall into bad management habits when you start a business on your own.
A modelling agency is resource and management heavy, and I insisted on being across every single brief or casting, every new model and every decision, because I was protective of my business.
Planting yourself right in the core of your business not only makes it hard to have vision and a helicopter perspective, it also creates a dangerous reliance on one resource: you.
I make it clear to my team that I want them to come to me with solutions rather than problems.
Responsibility and empowerment are key
Delegation improves efficiency but you can’t just suddenly change the way your whole organisation works and expect it to run smoothly. You need to empower your staff.
I make it clear to my team that I want them to come to me with solutions rather than problems. This allows them to develop problem-solving skills, and they know that I trust them to make decisions. They also know I will support them if they make mistakes so long as they learn for next time.
Being empowered in this way leads to a culture of winning and much better results all round.
We have daily stand up meetings along with a weekly “scrum” where all tasks are put into our project management software (Trello), allocated a time frame and delegated to an individual.
With theright.fit I have been fortunate enough to have an amazing team involved from the outset and we all have clear roles and responsibilities, and complimentary skill sets. Being able to delegate to others who have the expertise helps everyone to be part of the magic.
Promoting leadership and a healthy culture
Once your employees begin to feel a sense of empowerment, the natural leaders will start to emerge, and this is integral if you want to grow and scale. At WINK, everyone is clear on what they are responsible for, be it due dates, KPIs or who they are reporting in to.
It’s also prompted ideation. Day to day, my team is contributing new insights, ideas and better ways of doing things. They show far more initiative knowing that they can “own” a project through to completion. Before I began delegating it always came from me. The change has allowed us to scale, and get more runs on the board.
Communication and responsibility work better when they're systemised.
Communication is king
As a national talent agency and tech startup, we need to be constantly up to date. This means when we’re delegating, communication and responsibility work better when they're systemised.
We use Slack as our internal chat/messaging system in both businesses to ensure accountability and execution. At theright.fit we use Trello to manage projects and allocate time frames to each task, ensuring each member of the team is working efficiently and also being utilised to full capacity.
At the end of the day, learning to delegate can be tough and also scary.
You as an owner or founder put a great deal of love into your business and you have to hope that your team will do the same. But, from experience, if you learn to delegate successfully, your business will grow because of it and your team will thank you for it.
Taryn is the founder and managing director of WINK Models as well as co-founder and chief executive of TheRight.Fit.