Ready, Set, Delegate!

Handing out tasks is the key to growing your business.

Prove that you want to grow your business. Go ahead, tell us not how much you did today, but how much you didn't do. Sound crazy? The key to growing your company as big and as fast as you want may be getting very good at not doing any work. Here's why: "It's impossible to grow a business without delegating. You can only increase your workload so much," says Ralph Rubio, co-founder and CEO of Rubio's Baja Grill, a $40 million restaurant chain based in San Diego that dominates the fish taco business on the West Coast.

"There's only so much time in a day," adds Don Dailey, partner-in-charge of Cooper & Lybrand's Entrepreneurial Advisory Services Group in the Michigan-Ohio region. "When you're encumbered with daily business issues, you're prevented from attending to the larger issues--business vision, customer relations, growth. That's a fatal error we see in many small businesses. Daily stuff has to be done--somebody has to sign the checks--but if you're doing that when you should be developing your next product or service, you're limiting your future growth."

Robert McGarvey writes on business, psychology and management topics for several national publications. To reach him online with your questions or ideas, e-mail

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This article was originally published in the July 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ready, Set, Delegate!.

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