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Delegating: Essential for a Successful Nutrition Business

When I was younger, I naively thought I could do everything in my business.

And I did.

I built my private practice from the ground up, dove into blogging ,then book writing, speaking, and on and on, until I had a multi-six figure business with several income streams. Even things that were considered “passive income,” like running another website with ads.

As my business grew, it became apparent that I couldn’t do it all myself.

I needed help.

That’s where delegation came in.

I think there are compelling reasons why delegating tasks to others can be so beneficial if you’re running a nutrition business.

Delegating to build a successful nutrition business

Delegation Keeps Your Focus on the Most Important Things

And what are those?

The things that serve your business goals, help you grow your business, and sustain momentum.

If you’re in private practice, that may be marketing to get more clients in the door. Or if you run a large website, having a technical SEO person on hand.

Instead of all the little things you have to keep track in business, delegating helps you stay focused on the big things, like your thought leadership.

In other words, delegating to others helps you not get distracted by the little things that slow you down.

Delegating Helps You Stay Efficient

As a professional and business owner, your “hourly rate” is $XXX. It’s probably up there, given the training and experience you’ve accumulated.

But a contracted assistant, either virtual assistant (VA) or in-person assistant, will likely charge a lower hourly rate.

So if it takes you 2 hours to do the billing at a rate of $XXX, an assistant’s rate may only be $XX for the same time.

There’s a cost efficiency to delegating smaller tasks that aren’t specific to your expertise.

Your time is valuable.

Think about what it’s costing you to write a 3 or 4 hour blog post at your hourly rate versus what it may cost to delegate writing to a professional writer.

Delegating Helps You Scale Your Business

As your business grows, you must ask yourself, If my business load doubled, could I handle it?

The truth is, most of us could not handle our business doubling without help. This is why getting into the practice of delegating now can set you up in the future should you experience unexpected or fast growth.

Why Do Dietitians Avoid Delegating?

As a mentor of many nutrition professionals over the years, I see the same patterns emerge time and again when it comes to delegation.

Waiting until you are completely overwhelmed.

The problem with waiting too long is that onboarding and getting an assistant up to speed can take even more time. Your overwhelm gets even more distressing.

Seeing delegation as a short term strategy to solve an urgent problem.

If done right, delegation should be a planned part of your growing business, not a band-aid or a quick fix. There’s a lot of lost energy in getting a person onboarded, just to release them when you’ve stabilized.

Money mindset hurdles.

You may not see yourself or your business as worthy of investment, but if it’s to grow and develop over time, you must invest time, finances and resources into it.

What Should Nutrition Entrepreneurs Delegate?

Depending on your business model, there are several things you can consider delegating:

Things that Aren’t Your Zone of Genius (ZOG)

If you’re a dietitian, then food and nutrition is your ZOG.

Podcast editing, scheduling, SEO, website updates, marketing, social media and graphics are just some examples where delegating could free up your time to stay on track with your overarching business goals.

Things You Don’t Enjoy Doing

Again, this will be personal to you.

For me, I don’t enjoy social media so much. Well, sometimes I do (when there’s no sense of obligation).

I delegate that to someone else.

Spending time doing things you don’t enjoy may eventually steal the love of your business and slow your momentum.

Things Anyone Could Do

Scheduling appointments, returning emails or answering phone calls are things other people can do and don’t require the RDN skillset.

So now, let’s turn things back to you!

What are you doing right now that you could delegate?

What would your life be like if you delegated these things to someone else?

And more importantly, what would be possible in your business if you started to delegate?

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Jill Castle, MS, RDN