DelegatingA fellow entrepreneur I know has a strong ability to delegate.

He said to me, that it’s okay if he didn’t know a thing, as long as he can employ someone is smarter than him.

And, one statement I never forget, when he was asked by one of his employee about his opinion on an issue: “If I knew the answer, I wouldn’t hire you!”

Witty and smart – unfortunately not too relevant today, in my opinion.

Entrepreneurs are always challenged to delegate business operation to their employees. Although this, in my opinion, is a must, many entrepreneurs forget that although they are able to delegate to ‘smarter’ employees, they have to continuously learn on how to better their business – the kaizen way.

Why entrepreneurs have to be better each day

Forget factories and such assets – they were Industrial era ‘gems’.

Today, we are right in the middle of Information era flooding us with rapid tech advances and wealth of information (that most are available for free). In fact, today’s business world is so fast moving, many entrepreneurs are becoming technophobia.

Entrepreneurs today can be successful without owning physical assets, such as factories, buildings, etc. – The owner of Facebook, MySpace, and other community-driven website is today’s new breed of successful entrepreneurs, without having a building or factory as assets (They can if they wanted to, however.)

As a side effect, there goes the days where you can trust your business to others – you need to understand every facet of your business.

Suppose if you wanted to outsource book-keeping function to a third party, you have to know how to read your financial reports. Another example, if you wanted to outsource customer support, you need to know the essence of customer support and CRM.

5 ways to be better in every business facet

Discerning all business information and tech advances is impossible. Not even Bill Gates can do it.

Here’s how to be better in every business facet without being phobic:

  • Aggregate the information you want to know into a ‘container’ that you want to look into every day. For example, you can have your assistants to buy newspapers and scan the information you want to know about. Another example, you can receive updates on the issues you want to keep track in a dashboard, such as iGoogle, in a Feed Reader, or through your email from Google Alert.
  • Read a few select of tech blogs, such as Engadget.com and TechCrunch.com to keep track on tech advances without being overwhelmed.
  • Attend seminars. Believe it or not, most of the time, you’ll feel you learn nothing – The fact is, you actually learn a great deal from seminars. This because the information provided in seminars are a collection of real life case studies and experiences, not only of the speakers, but also the attendees.
  • Join an online business community, such as StartupNation.com, to share what you know and learn what you want to know from other members – take and give is the key in online business networking.
  • You occasionally being offered free trials of productivity toos, office systems, etc. – I suggest you to make the most of it, by saying yes to all offers, as long as there is no-string-attached trial policy.

Ivan Widjaya
Be knowledgeable to be competitive
Image by Joi.