7 Tasks a Founder Spends Too Much Time On

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Too much to do, too little time?

The life of a founder is unarguably busy. Busy doesn’t even do it justice. Hundreds of email notifications, management needs, and to-do lists later, it’s hard to know what to prioritise, and when. As the cliché goes, time is money, it and needs to be utilised to the fullest. The key is prioritisation.

The reason many founders struggle to prioritise, is because they struggle to delegate. Effectively assigning tasks to others is not easy. The common objections are: ‘I can do it better and faster’, ‘they won’t do it to my standard’, ‘I like to have control’, or ‘I don’t feel comfortable managing others’.

‘If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate’

Richard Branson

Whilst these are all valid objections, there comes a time when it’s near to impossible to grow and scale a business without delegation. It’s important to do it at the right time, and to remember that spending time on bigger problems in your business leads to better outcomes. Of the hundreds of tasks on your radar, over 90% will only marginally drive business growth and improvement – focus on the few that offer the biggest opportunity. 

Regardless of your skills, experience, or how involved you want to be in brand development, trying to do everything yourself can, and will, lead to burn out. It’s important to take a step back and regularly ask yourself: ‘which of these to-do’s is absolutely necessary for me to do, and which can be done by someone else?’

The process of delegating tasks centres around three main steps: identifying which tasks to delegate, deciding who will do the tasks, and finally, delegating with trust.

7 Tasks you Should Consider Delegating

1. Admin

Scheduling meetings, sifting through emails, planning travel, or preparing administrative documents seems quick, but in reality, they sum to make up a sizable chunk of your working time. Sometimes they boil over, and a temporary assistant could just give you the breathing space to power through with high value tasks. 

Admin tasks might include: preparing policy-related documents, developing workflows, facilitating communication between teams, cleaning up shared drives or project management software, researching ways to improve current administrative processes, or inbox and calendar management.

2. Brand design

Brand design is important – it’s the face of your product and/or service that customers first interact with. There is a downside to its importance: many founders spend countless sleepless nights deciding on minute details of brand design. It is unquestionably a difficult task, as you hope to marry your vision for the brand, with what customers like to see. It’s important to remember that many companies rebrand along the way, so it’s not a be-all and end-all. Consider the Apple or Coca Cola logos over the years.

Having an external and diverse perspective on brand design is very useful. Someone might have more experience than you in branding, which might translate into better quality. Quality and experience in this area is definitely important. To put things into perspective, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive, and 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the website design. Source: Sweor – Feb 2021

Brand tasks might include: company name choice, logo design, brand colours, font selection, graphic design, marketing material, website layout.

3. Competitor Research

Product development itself should be driven by customers, not competitors. It’s important to understand what they want and need. Placing faith in your team’s knowledge and intuition about the market, paired with actively listening to customers, is likely to prove more effective than keeping a close eye on competitors and shadowing their moves.

With that being said, it’s interesting to know how competitors position themselves. Keeping track of who competitors are, what they are doing, and what people think about them, can inform your positioning and diversification strategy. This applies to virtually everything: the product, marketing, branding. Instead of sifting through piles of material, outsource and keep your eye on the most valuable to-do’s. 

Research tasks might include: tracking social media content and engagement of competitors, their competitive product developments, relevant press releases, or collating data on business-specific sites.

4. Customer Research

Defining who our customers are, and identifying their pain-points, wants and needs are arguably some of the most important tasks for product or service development. Sometimes, our target market might be broader than we think, and often, it will be far more complex than it initially seems. Furthermore, the process of customer research is iterative: customer perception, desires and needs not only change over time, but also change with every iteration of our product. Research is key. 

Customer research tasks might include: setting up online feedback communities, secondary research, focus groups, surveys, phone calls.

5. Customer Support

Customer interaction and maintaining quick response times are important for customer satisfaction. If you’re not fast enough in responding to their query, it’s highly likely they’ll go away to sort it elsewhere. Outsourcing support and ensuring consistency by developing an FAQ list with a basic response guideline, to which personalisation can be added, is an easy way to make the customer feel valued. 81% of satisfied customers are more likely to do business with you again if they have a positive experience, whilst 95% of customers will take action after a negative experience – like sharing concerns with family and friends.Source: Nicereply – Sept 2020

Support tasks might include: replying to queries, sending out thank you and follow-up messages, setting up touch-points for certain relationships, directing to the right person or source of information.

6. Social media management

Our social media and marketing material more broadly is often the first interaction customers have with the brand. We want to make a great first impression, and ensure that all of the content they are exposed to is on-brand. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to do it all ourselves. 

Guidelines that lay out the brand story, voice, vision and mission, as well as target customer profiles, relevant keywords, or even stylistic boundaries all make the marketing process far more repeatable. Anyone presented with the guidelines should be able to effectively produce on-brand material and engage with customers in a tone reflective of the overall brand.

Social Media tasks might include: developing social media content, posting to social media platforms, replying to comments or messages, engagement, building a following, or social listening.

7. Website maintenance

Websites are never fully finished. It is important to keep them regularly updated for two main reasons: a) customers coming across them need up-to-date information, and b) search engine optimization requires updates over time. Tweaks on the website can take a lot of time: from copywriting and blogging, adding new features, developing new product descriptions, or graphic design updates. Focussing on these takes time away from strategic brand developments. 

Website tasks might include: copywriting, page design, UX testing, research for content development.

Deciding Who to Delegate to

The great things is,  tasks like these can be affordably outsourced, all whilst benefiting students that are hungry for the experience. Paperound Taskers have an amazing range of skill sets, backgrounds, strengths, and areas they want to work on that could benefit any small business. 

It just takes a moment to consider what tasks can be handed-off to someone else to free-up your time to focus on the important business opportunities. 

Ideally, you want to find individuals who you can trust to carry out those tasks and deliver on the quality you expect with minimum effort (otherwise you might as well do it yourself!). 

Taking the time to develop a simple brief / process to know what is expected from both parties is crucial. Plus, the opportunity for open feedback when delegating tasks ensures a smooth process and ultimately a recipe for success.

If you’re a small business who just need an extra pair of hands to get tasks done or to support a project you just haven’t had time to start, check out Paperound.com.

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