Scaling to 8-Figures: This Is How We Delegate

2021.10.21 06:13 Mispeci Scaling to 8-Figures: This Is How We Delegate

Hello everyone,
My name is Mike and I have spent the last 4 years managing and growing an e-commerce business from 6 to 8 Figures.
The truth is that this Reddit helped me many times in the past - finding answers to my questions, reading inspiring stories, learning from your lessons, …
However, I have never shared a post, I have never left a comment. I just consume the content in silence and I think that many of you can relate (yes, I am talking to you!).
With that being said, I would like to change that and give something back - share a few lessons I have learned over the years in business. I put together this guide that will hopefully benefit you.
Most people start their businesses on their own as solo entrepreneurs. As they quickly max out their hours, they decide to hire a VA to help them with various tasks. They delegate a bunch of low-level tasks they don’t feel like doing and go back to their grind.
I know that because I did the exact same thing. I wanted to grow the business and I did not have time to waste precious hours on hiring and training someone who won’t be able to do the job as well as me anyway.
And I managed to do that on my own! The business was growing, I just… needed to work more. My solution? Productivity tricks and hacks! Supplements! And it worked - the business continued to grow for a while. Until it stopped and I got frustrated. I was overworked, miserable and productivity couldn’t save me anymore. Not only I couldn’t grow the business, but I also couldn’t even sustain it.
I found myself facing a Catch-22. I needed help to run the business, but I did not have the time to find/hire/onboard someone, because I spent ALL of my time running the business… I was in Survival mode, I spent all of my time just to keep the business running at the same level.
Once you find yourself in Survival mode, it is hard to get out. Not only that your business stops growing, but something will eventually break - usually you first and your business next.
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The go-to solution for most starting entrepreneurs is productivity, they just need to get done more things, right? The thing is that we should go after selective efficiency, not mass productivity. Be aware of the productivity trap - when it only makes you work more.
Commit to putting your company's output first & your productivity second!
How do we put our company’s output first? We build a team.
The truth is that most entrepreneurs I talked to are stuck working IN their business instead of working ON their business. Even if they manage to delegate a part of their business, they don’t seem to be able to optimize process flows to truly automate (outputs of one process feeding as inputs into the next) - they remain to be the middleman.
… And the problem is that if they stop working, their business stops as well.
The general rule is that an expensive resource (you!) should not do inexpensive work. That means that you need the time and mental capacity to make decisions that add the most value - decisions only you, as an entrepreneur, can make.
You are the captain, you should steer the ship, so why do you scrub the deck?
Here are the 4 key steps to work ON your business:

  1. Build Process = Create & specify building blocks of your business pipeline
  2. Find Human Talent = Define your team structure and find a person with high potential & relevant abilities
  3. Delegate = Proper onboarding methods, set expectations, and clearly transfer process ownership
  4. Architect: Spend time to envision the possibilities and see the big picture. Loopback to 1
This is Part 1: How to Build a Process. If you guys will be interested I can write down the rest as well. If not, I just wasted 11 hours of my life lol.
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Introduction Every business is different!... Is it?
Your business is a pipeline - with eyeballs on one end and money on the other.
In general, Business is a repeatable process that:
What is a process?
“a series of steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”
A well-defined process should have predictable results. Imagine a production line in McDonald's - each and every step is specified in detail to produce the same output. If followed correctly, the result will be the same every single time - no matter who follows the process.
Key components of a well-defined process
Objective = What are we trying to achieve? What is the problem we are solving?
Inputs = What are the inputs we need to perform the steps?
Steps = What are the routines we need to follow?
Outputs = What do we want to create?
Desired Outcome = What is the result?
Going back to our McDonald’s example:
Inputs = (List of ingredients), (+ usually time, effort, money, …)
Steps = Recipe to prepare the meal
Output = Big Mac
Desired outcome = Tasty Big Mac burger as advertised, ready in 2 minutes
If our business is a repeatable process, then every part of the business should be a repeatable process as well - in order to create our “pipeline”.
Product development? Process. Supply? Process. Marketing? Process. Sales? Process. Once each part of our business is transformed into a process with predictable results, we have a business we can scale since we are able to easily identify bottlenecks.
Why is it important?
I know that this may sound relevant only to people who run a large business, but that is far from the truth. A well-defined process is beneficial even to solo entrepreneurs. Working solo requires you to wear many hats and the best way to keep your focus is to have processes & routines in place.
A well-defined process with detailed SOPs also allows you to hire less experienced labor, therefore saving on Overhead… but more on that later.
If you do not have a process in place, it is not only complicated to hire someone and actually transfer the ownership to them, it is also nearly impossible to:
Imagine a scenario - you finally find someone to manage your supply chain, you train them for 4 months so you can finally focus on your priorities. They decide to leave for some reason and you have to repeat the whole process all over again - wasting a year of your effort.
What if you had a process in place - with instructional videos, checklists, KPIs, and workflows. Replacing them would be a matter of a month.
Where to begin?
The most important component of the process is the objective. People tend to overlook this and then wonder why their business pipeline leaks (flow of outputs from one process is not suitable as inputs for the next process).
To define an objective, you need to think deeply about the thing you are trying to achieve. It may be tempting to say that your objective is to get the outputs, but that does not have to be the case!
Here is a brief example:
Let’s say you have gained some weight and don’t like the way you look… and you do not feel particularly good either.
You decide to go on a strict diet and after 3 months your weight is almost back to normal, but you feel weak and your skin is pale. You don’t like the way you look… and you do not feel particularly good either.
This is obviously an extreme example but hopefully explains my point. Was the objective to lose weight or feel and look healthier? Maybe monitoring your weight isn’t the best outcome to optimize for. If you would spend more time thinking about the objective, you would realize that the steps to achieve the Desired Outcome were something completely different.
This applies to your business as well.
What is the objective of your customer service? Minimize refund rate? Or use every chance you have to show your customers that you care deeply about their experience with your products?
How to develop MVP?
When developing a new process, you need to start with a draft - a minimum viable process.
Every process can (and will) get quite complicated, it is not possible to develop a perfect process from scratch so please, save yourself some time and don’t even try it. I know, it can be tempting once you get into it, to try and develop the greatest workflow the world has ever seen, but you will regret it the first time you will try to actually follow it.
Agile Process Development
BONUS TIP: There already may be a process for the thing you want to do - Search online! You are not the only one with Supply Chain / Sales funnel / Customer service / etc. Save yourself some time - adjusting and optimizing an existing process is always easier than developing a new one from scratch
Integrate with your Project Management software
Visualize your process
You are building an asset - keep that in mind.
… And now we are getting to the good stuff: Process Optimization
How do I optimize my business?
In general, we can say that the objective of the optimization is to get more output with less input. Or the same output with less input. Or more output with the same input.
Quick example:
You improve our sales call script. The call takes the same time on average, you still need one salesman to perform the call, but you achieve a higher conversion rate = more sales. You now have more Output with the same Input.
Avoid the temptation to get fancy! Keep things simple, it is never going to be perfect. The key to successful optimization is your ability to identify bottlenecks. That is the part of your Business Pipeline that produces Output at a lower rate than the rest requires.
We are going to implement Iteration Cycles with a proper Feedback Loop in order to optimize quickly and efficiently.
Iteration Cycle
  1. Take a look at our process as a whole (ideally the visual flowchart)
  2. What could we improve? What are our options?
  3. Based on our experience with the business, we make an educated guess
  4. Define the change
  5. Implement the change
  6. Measure & evaluate - keep it or drop it, Repeat
Feedback Loop
Once we delegate the process to an employee, we want to make sure that the Feedback Loop is closed, which means that ideally, THEY will be able to tell us what could be improved, what is working, and what is not, showing us the data. Especially as your business grows, you won’t be on top of every single process, but your employees should be. Once again, they need to know the Objective and Desired Outcome in order to know what to optimize for.
With time, your iteration cycles should get faster and more accurate. Efficient tweaking will show you the power of aggregation of marginal gains.
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Well, and that is pretty much the end of the first part. As I said in the introduction, there is a lot more to that, but this would be the first step.
As you can probably tell, I am quite passionate about this topic and I truly find it to be the most valuable lesson I have learned in the past… well, ever.
I would be happy to discuss your experience with Team Management & Delegation, so please let me know your thoughts, you can send me a DM or leave a comment below.
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I hope that you found it useful and that once you start implementing it, you will find yourself having more clarity to make the right strategic decisions in your business and more time to pursue things that matters.
I am excited to hear from you so let me know your thoughts, thanks!
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