Wearing too many hats: is it time to delegate or outsource?

  • 04 May 2018

By Thomas Smallwood, CEO of bizee.co

Would you be happy jetting off for your two-weeks in the sun if the pilot had to check the plane for faults, clean the aisles and also serve drinks? 

No, you wouldn’t. 

You wouldn’t because the pilot couldn’t possibly concentrate on what he or she does best, namely flying a plane. 

It wouldn’t work. And the same is true in a business.  

Bootstrapping is good. Knowing and living every aspect of your business is very valuable but you can end up wearing too many hats, trying to do too much and preventing your business from scaling up. It may be time to find a way of delegating or outsourcing some work so let us debunk a few myths for you.


Firstly here are some questions you need to ask yourself

• Do you feel that you cannot step away from your work?
• Do you work extra hours trying to catch up?
• Do you find yourself putting off longer-range projects?
• Do you take your work home in the evening or at weekends?
• Do your business operations slow down when you are away?

All five of these are tell-tale signs that you need to let go of some work. For the good of your business and most likely for your own physical and mental wellbeing.

Nobody can do what I do 

Who are you? Superman? No, you are small business owner and most likely a bit of a perfectionist.

The truth is almost anyone who has run a small business has felt this. But there was also probably a time when you didn’t know.

Secondly you have to consider that if there is no room for you to grow, there is no room for your business to grow and teaching others what you know is the one clear route to continued growth, personal and for your business.

It will be quicker if I do it myself

Well, yes it will. For now at least. But what are you sacrificing? 

We come to the issue of time. There is no currency as valuable as time so any you invest in enabling others to lighten your load will be repaid many times over.  

So much of what we all do in our work is repetitive, so it won’t even take that long to pay you back. Using a virtual assistant can quickly help you to get rid of some time-consuming tasks.

I can’t explain my business

If you really cannot explain what your business does it is quite likely you are not successful enough to need delegating or outsource anything. So rest easy. 

All the rest of you - buck your ideas up. You can explain and you must. The path to real business growth is paved with good communication.



Start simply with a very brief statement to outline your mission. Keep it to a couple of lines that say exactly what you do and what you want to achieve.

As an example here is one I use: “I help small business owners, start-ups and solo-preneurs become more productive, at lower cost, through outsourcing and virtual assistant services”

Add a short paragraph outlining your vision – where you want to get to and what you want to provide - and it will be a great way of introducing what it is you want to achieve to anyone who works for you.

I will lose control

Mm, this one’s a biggie isn’t it? 

This is a fear that many don’t voice but that nevertheless resides within the psyche of a good few small business owners. 

I have worked for people who could not relinquish any kind of responsibility for fear of losing control and it stifles growth. In fact delegating or outsourcing work does not mean you give up control, it means you start becoming a proper manager.


Imagine you make cakes. You want to maintain quality control because it’s your name on the door but you have too many customers and not enough time to make all the cakes. So you delegate aspects of the cake making to someone else but you can still do some, you can check the quality and put the cherry on top before the cake goes out of the door.

Apologies if the above analogy is a trifle simplistic but the most successful entrepreneurs are brilliant delegators. They know that everything they pass on to someone else means they can move on and learn something new. They grow; the business grows.

By Thomas Smallwood, CEO of bizee.co

From call centre to boardroom; Thomas has worked at all levels as well as managing his own start ups and building outsourcing centres for a number of SMEs.

He now helps small business owners, start-ups and solo-preneurs become more productive, at lower cost, through outsourcing and virtual assistant services as well as serving as a Non-Executive Director for other companies.

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