One of the most pernicious business myths is that all entrepreneurs have to do to grow their businesses is to delegate their day-to-day operations in favor of "higher value" activities. While most small business owners would love to deploy teams of employees and contractors to pick up their workloads, far fewer are in a position to do so. Many entrepreneurs simply can't afford to hire and train a staff that allows them to work on nothing but business development activities.

Luckily, you can accomplish the same result through much less costly means.

The way of the part-time partner

Just as social media allows entrepreneurs to build relationships with each other regardless of geography, digital communication lets them collaborate to their mutual benefit in ways their predecessors never could have dreamed.

Let's use an example from my industry (content marketing) to illustrate the point. Imagine there are two entrepreneurs who have wanted to launch blogs for a long time. Both know doing so would establish them as experts, give them access to potential clients, and drive lots of new business. Yet neither of these small businesspeople gets around to it because they are short-staffed and overwhelmed with running their companies.

What these entrepreneurs should do is figure out where their expertise overlaps and where it diverges. Based on that, they could create a blog, podcast, online video show, or Web-based trade magazine on a topic that would appeal to both of their target markets. In addition to helping them complete an important growth activity in a fraction of the time, the temporary partnership would also instantly multiply the size of each owner's audience.

Keep in mind that this approach is in no way restricted to content creation or Internet marketing. Forming temporary partnerships is a fantastic way to accomplish a wide array of business-building activities. The trick is to find fellow business owners with skill sets that complement yours and to work together so that each party ends up better off than when they started.

You may never need to delegate again.

Published on: Oct 21, 2014