You Can't Do It All
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What's a surefire route to success? That question could surely be debated a thousand different ways.
How about a surefire way to failure? That's also widely debatable, although few entrepreneurs would deny this truth: Trying to do everything yourself as your company grows will eventually squelch your company's potential. That's when it's time to practice the three keys to business growth: delegate, delegate, delegate.
Five years ago, Tony Wright was an ordinary 13-year-old in Minneapolis who simply walked into a store and decided to buy a Beanie Baby for $5. When he walked out of the shop, a Beanie Baby collector offered him $50 for the doll. That, says Wright, is the moment he became an entrepreneur.
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In search of more great deals, Wright started attending Beanie Baby trade shows. There he became a "middleman," finding good deals on the small collectible dolls and reselling them to other dealers at a profit.
Later, when Wright started selling his products online through eBay, he discovered there was a huge market for sports memorabilia and collectibles, such as bobbleheads and Pez dispensers. That's when he launched Anthony's Tickets and More, a business that specializes in collectibles as well as tickets to sporting events.
Like many young entrepreneurs, Wright, now 18, saw a market demand and realized he could cash in on the opportunity by opening a business. He also recognized that, as his business grew, he needed help.
Although Wright loves to go on road trips, he can't be at every game where bobbleheads are given away, so he entrusts employees to represent him. Last summer, for example, he had two workers at a baseball game in Chicago while two more were collecting merchandise in Milwaukee. By delegating authority to buyers in other cities, Wright (or 4dude20, as he is known on eBay) is able to offer a wider range of sports collectibles to his customers. He also knows that more products translates into more sales.
"Delegation is important in any business," says Tyler Dikman, 18, founder of CoolTronics, a Tampa, Florida, company that repairs computers and sells computer parts to other businesses. "There are only so many hours in a day. You can't possibly do everything."
Delegating was never more important for Dikman than after he moved to California last fall to attend college. He found it necessary to allow his team members to take on wider task areas with greater levels of authority and responsibility, and his adjustment in management style has paid off. "Better delegation has definitely helped increase profits," says Dikman.
Delegating some of the day-to-day tasks in your business will help you to focus on the things you do best. It will free you up to focus on the direction you want to take your company in terms of marketing strategies and new product development. And that kind of long-term strategy can only boost your bottom line.