Delegation, that’s what you need….

When I was growing up there was a TV series called Record Breakers. It was fronted initially by Roy Castle with the support of Norris and Ross McWhirter from the Guinness Book of World records.

Roy was a talented entertainer and musician and broke a few records himself. The show always closed with him singing the song “Dedication” which had the line

Dedication, that’s what you need if you want to be a Record Breaker

My version is

Delegation, that’s what you need if you want to be a Business Owner

We’ve all done it. When we start out working for ourselves we do everything. The Marketing, the training, creating templates, leaflets, websites. We set up a spreadsheet for the Accounts and spend ages tweaking it. We handle phone and email enquiries ourselves (when we are not teaching, that is).

We’re on a budget, so understandably you want to do things yourself, but it doesn’t make sense. How much do you think you are worth / want to earn?

  • £11 an hour minimum wage?
  • £25 an hour typical Freelancer rate?
  • £50 an hour if you Book and run the course yourself?
  • £100+ an hour if you are running courses and you have Freelancers / staff also running courses?

I take it you don’t want the first option? If that is the case, why are you busy dealing with the admin, cleaning kit, answering the phone and emails? You should be paying someone else £11 an hour to do that whilst you focus on finding new clients that you and/or a freelancer can deliver. Take these two scenarios.

  1. You have £1000 in the bank. You spend a day on cleaning & Business admin (as above). You still have £1000 in the bank, but no expansion of the Business.
  2. You have £1000 in the bank. You pay someone £11/h for 8 hours to do admin whist you spend those 8 hours following up leads, placing a couple of Social Media Posts and dropping some leaflets through doors. This results in 1 course Booking and 2-3 people that have asked for more information. The course nets you £300 and of those 2-3, one of them Books, netting another £300. Total outlay, £88, total income £600. Now there is £1,512 in the Bank.

To use an overrated term, it’s a no-brainer.

It’s time to review your Business (even if that Business is just you in the corner of the kitchen). What could you delegate immediately, and what could you delegate with a modest amount of work / training? Delegation doesn’t necessarily have to be a human. If you get phone calls asking when your next courses are, how much they are and who they are suitable for, that is information that you can put onto your website. Delegate that dissemination to a computer.

Analysis shows that a simple distraction can eat up as much as 15-20 minutes before you are back in your rhythm again. If your target is to earn just £50 an hour, that telephone call or email has just cost you £12 – 20 !!


  • Course paperwork printing
  • Manikin & other equipment cleaning
  • Telephone answering – I use A real human answers and takes a message. So much more professional than going through to an answerphone.
  • Switch your emails to ‘on demand’ rather than automatic checking. You don’t need to know exactly when one arrives. Check first thing in the morning and at lunch time. Perhaps in the last 20 minutes of the day if you really have to.
  • Turn off phone notifications – OK, as much as you can. Let’s be realistic. Phones pinging all the time are a distraction that are costing you £1 a minute to deal with…….
  • FAQ on your website. Tell people how to Book. Tell them where the public courses are held, where you will travel to to deliver a course. Accreditations. All this sort of information & anything else that might get asked can be written once and read many times, rather than you being distracted by emails or telephone calls asking the same thing over & over.
  • Prices on your website. I don’t get why people don’t do this. Clients are going to find out anyway & hiding behind a “call us” button sounds suspicious. If people contact you, having seen the price, you know that they are happy with the cost. If you don’t have your prices up, you will be fielding a lot of “how much is…” “£xx” “Oh, that’s too much. Thanks, bye” type calls. Waste of your time.
  • Write a Blog (*cough!*). Showcase your strengths and give people a reason to choose you. You can put loads of advice in there that doesn’t cost you much but which could get people thinking.

Modest amount of initial work

  • Delegate setting up courses with your Awarding Body & processing afterwards, including issuing & delivering certificates
  • Hiring a Social Media Manager to post regularly across suitable SM
  • Set up an Accountant to manage the Books at Year End and also a PA to manage them on a day to day basis
  • Ditch Excel. There are so many Accounts Packages out there, ranging from Free to paid. Person-years, even centuries have gone into creating and updating these, spreading that cost across many subscribers. Why expend your energy doing it ‘on the cheap’ with Excel? It’s harder and more time-consuming than you think.
  • Having someone carry out Marketing – letters, emails, face to face. Whatever you think is worth a shot.
  • Organise a photoshoot. Stock shots look just like stock shots, everyone knows. Photos taken during a course can be scruffy and cluttered. Better to create a portfolio that you can use. I set up half a day’s photoshoot with my PA and someone on Work experience. I’ve ended up with a great portfolio to work with.

The 4 Hour Work Week

This is a Bestseller written by Tim Ferriss. Tim is extraordinarily successful and wealthy. This book is an extreme version of this Blog where Tim has delegated any aspect of his life that can be delegated. He has PAs in different countries, where the costs are lower, and a dropshipping Business that he only needed to work on for about an hour a week. I have read this Book and really suggest that you do, too. You can get it on Amazon here.


Accounts packages

Quickfile – free for modest size Businesses. Impressed that even for a free package it includes RTI submissions. I use this for my smaller Businesses.

Xero – Comprehensive package with RTI submissions. I use this for 4 Minutes

Answerphone service / virtual receptionist – I use this for work. It costs about £1 a call.

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