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Let it go to Let it Grow: Pt II

Last time I blogged we were discussing the mindset behind delegating and creating a team in order for your business - and your self - to flourish. I promised that I'd give you some ideas for breaking this down into more achievable and less scary steps, so here goes.

The first port of call is to write a list of every single (and I mean EVERY SINGLE) job you do in your business, right from ordering printer ink through to plastering walls (if that's your thing). Don't hide away from anything, and don't think about delegating anything at this point. Just write down everything that needs to be done to keep things going.

For me, this would start with things like:

- Keep materials stocked

- Write ingredients lists

- Food hygiene records

- Baking

- Making fillings

- Making ganache

- Keeping accounts

- Maintaining the website

And include details like

- Order blue roll

- Clean fridge out

- Stick stickers on goody bags

Right up to the big tasks like:

- Set up wedding cakes

- Make sugar flowers

- Attend wedding fairs

It's probably best to do this over a few days, as you won't think of everything straight away. Once you're happy you've got most of it covered, grab a highlighter (or in my case, click on the highlighter tool in Word - not a paper gal for this kinda thing).

Start by highlighting every job you absolutely LOVE doing. Personally I'd choose yellow or pink for this but it's up to you. This gives you some direction for where you see your role in the business and how it could develop.

Next, highlight in a different colour (I'd go for red) every job you really don't enjoy and wish you didn't have to do - OR, that you can't sustainably keep doing all on your own.

For me, the first time I did this the jobs in red were things like washing up, making fillings, mixing ganache and putting stickers on boxes.

You should then be left with a small but very helpful list of what you'd like to offload onto someone else, or get some help with. This will hopefully seem far less daunting and gives you some focus as to what you can realistically think about doing initially. It will also give you an idea of the kind of person and skillset/attitude you would ideally be looking for. I wanted someone who liked baking, could willingly take instruction and learn new skills and who had an eye for sticking stickers onto things straight.

If you're still feeling overwhelmed, and/or if you'd like to take the load off in other ways as well, here's another idea. To free up time for you to run the business, how about outsourcing jobs from other areas of your life? I pay a cleaner to keep on top of my household jobs so that I: a) have a few extra hours a week to work which I enjoy far more; and b) so that the mental load of worrying about when I'm going to clean is gone. Can you do the same with gardening, ironing, etc.? Could you afford to do a home delivery shop instead of going to the supermarket every week? Some of these small but practical changes may make a huge difference not only to your time, but to your mental resources. It's still letting it go, just in a different way.

Next time in Part III we'll be looking at the red tape of hiring someone, and finding out it really isn't as scary as it sounds!

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