Delegation | How to Grow a Business


Hello Foxy Readers, Phoebe here! I have been pondering addressing this topic for a while.

This uncomfortable and confronting topic, that is called Delegation. In a different industry, this might be a straightforward task, but as a business owner it comes with its own set of worries – loss of control, change in product outcome, increased time to complete task – more grey hair for me!

I want to address our initial hesitation, how I have personally overcome the uncertainty and learned to delegate successfully, allowing our business to evolve.

DISCLAIMER: Depending on the style of your business and your future goals, delegation may not be the best option for you. All examples mentioned in this article are based on our own experiences with the intent to grow our business.

What is Delegation in the Styling World?

Assigning of tasks/roles to an employee or another person (virtual admin, husband, contractors).

This is a fun video we made with the team back in 2019, Brooklyn 99 style! 🙂 

When should you start delegating?

Looking back, I have identified three main points in time when we made conscious effort to delegate:

1. Right at the start

2. When you are starting to decline jobs or lose your consistency

3. When the task is not your strength, or it is not a revenue-generating activity

In the early days of running Foxy Home Staging, I had a clear idea about the few things I was ready to outsource straight away, one of which was moving furniture.

The physical job of moving furniture from the warehouse into the truck and then into the property, as well as styling the home afterwards, was (and still is) an unimaginable concept for me. We have outsourced this right at the start, until we were in the position to hire in-house and have our own team of removalists.

Other tasks worthy of delegation became apparent later on, as the business started taking off and I found myself in a spot when I had to decline jobs, because my schedule was full. Seeing how limiting this was to the growth of our business had been a wake-up call I needed to come up with an action plan.

I have summarized all the tasks I was doing at that time and identified those, that were either not my strong suit or were too time-consuming and not business-building.

Business Areas We Delegated in


Marketing

Jake and I have always been big believers in the power of social media and the impact it can have on our business.

In the early days, I was determined to post at least one picture on Instagram a day. Sure enough (and I am sure lots of Stylists will be able to relate to this), when things got busy – posting pretty pictures fell to the bottom of my priority list and I found myself inconsistent with our social media presence.

In the business world, consistency is the key to what makes marketing successful.

That is why we hired Cody – our Marketing Manager, relatively early in our business journey. Up to date, most of the work we receive is a direct result of his consistent efforts.

TIP: If you are not in the financial position to hire your own marketing team, consider outsourcing some of these duties to a Virtual Assistant.

picture of Cody

Finance

Following up on unpaid invoices and drafting contracts is not a money-making task, which is why I delegated this to my other half – Jake, pretty much right at the beginning.  With a background in finance & accounting, keeping our accounts up to date was second nature to him.

Understandably, not everyone has the benefit of having a financially minded business partner, in which case you have two options. Spend time and money on learning this task or outsource it to an experienced bookkeeper, until you are in the position to hire internally.

Property Styling

This was the area I have personally struggled with the most. If you are currently going through the same doubts and fear, my biggest tip is to Embrace the Difference!

All our Stylists have different styles they prefer doing, and I know they will do them the best. Different does not mean worse. It actually makes for a better finish, adding a splash of a fresh personality to our ‘usual’ portfolio.

My tips for effective selection process of a Stylist:

  • Make sure you pick a person you get along with.
  • Choose interview questions based around their personality to find out if they are a good cultural fit to the team.
  • Experience in the industry is not necessarily better, people with a “clean slate” are more coachable.
  • Train them well and avoid micro-managing.
  • Give them time to develop their own style.
  • Maintain an open and consistent communication with regular constructive feedback.

Tools To Help You Stay on Top of Everything

To ensure that everything runs smoothly, I had to find a way to capture our existing processes and create easy-to-use templates to keep everyone on the same page. Communication is VITAL for successful day-to-day operations, influencing the overall success of your company.

We have three main Online Tools that we use every day to keep the communication flow going.

  • Trello – project management tool tracking the stage of every single property we style
  • Slack – app for an instant group chat, keeping the entire team connected
  • Google Drive – before & after pictures of every home we staged

To find out exactly how we use each one of these online tools and what is it exactly that we like about them, click here to have a read!

person holding up a phone with the logos of Trello & Slack

Why are we so afraid of delegation?

It is the letting go of control that holds us back. We are fearful of losing the handle on our business or potentially reducing the quality of our finished job.

A very common worry amongst Stylists is that a new styling assistant won’t be able to replicate their job and uphold the same standard of work as they did.

To be fully transparent, I was of the exact same opinion at the beginning and found it quite hard to delegate. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of hiring another Stylist, but it turned out to be the best decision for the kickstart of our business growth.

Benefits of Delegating

hand holding onto a rope and letting it go with the caption 'sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go'

The most important reason why I have chosen to delegate my duties was to create more time for myself to spend working ON the business, not IN the business.

That means consciously dedicating more of my time for activities that directly contribute to the growth of our business. For example, building and maintaining relationships with agents, creating strategies to expand, or identifying new market opportunities.

Letting go of a portion of your workload will have a noticeable impact on your stress levels. With an increased capacity and fewer hands-on tasks, you will feel more focused and have a significantly better clarity in your business vision.

Thanks for reading!

If you are still contemplating whether you should or should not hire the extra person for your business, this analogy may help. Think of your capacity as a cup. When the cup starts filling up, do you let it overflow, tip it out, or do you get a bigger cup? For us, the answer is clear.

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