Work ‘On’ Your Business

Do you schedule time every week to ‘work on’ your business (as opposed to ‘work in’)?
A. We simply don’t have the time.
B. It’s hit and miss – we schedule time every now and then.
C. We regularly schedule time to ‘work on our business’.
D. We persistently schedule at least two days every month to working strategically.
E. We consciously and persistently schedule a day or more every week to working strategically.
[Score: A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3 & E=4]
Why is this question important?

When you started in business, you were wearing many (if not all) hats in terms of establishing supplier relationships, taking and fulfilling customer orders, answering phone calls, dealing with customer complaints, and much more.  How much you continue to be directly involved in these routine day-to-day tasks depends heavily on the vision you have of what you want your business to be, and how much this requires you to work on the business rather than in it.

There comes a point where you must transition from “doing” to “leading.” This means stepping back from day-to-day operations and moving into the role of leader – “getting things done”, as opposed to doing it yourself.

It means delegating significant responsibilities to your employees – for many entrepreneurs this is more easily said than done.

Learning to delegate is a continuing process. 50% of success is hiring the right people. The other 50% is creating excellent systems, processes and work practices ensuring everyone knows clearly what their tasks and responsibilities are, and which of them take priority over others.

You need to:

  • provide direction
  • set limits to their responsibilities and authority
  • hold them accountable
  • hold regular review meetings
  • formal performance reviews, providing feedback.
  • provide necessary training and up-skilling

Once you put the right team, systems and processes in place, and create a culture of action and accountability, your business should well-nigh run itself.

Then you can devote time to strategic planning, delineation and execution, providing the vision essential to your company’s long-term growth.

Work ‘On’ not ‘In’ Your Business

Successful people have a vision of their business.  They work on their business not just in their business.

Successful people don’t wait to see what is going to happen, they make things happen. They see their vision clearly and take action.

Stop working in your business as an ‘employee’ and start working on your business as an owner.  Working on your business includes activities such as:

  • developing a clear strategy for the next couple of years
  • executing your strategy
  • implementing your marketing plan
  • improving business operating systems
  • developing budgets and projections
  • etc.