Are you working IN or ON your business?

If you follow me on social media, there are 3 things you will hear me speak about often:

  • Business planning (reviewing past and determining future actions to move your business forward);
  • Business health (how your business and you are doing); and
  • Growth hacks (how to scale your business)

What do these have in common?

They are all about working ON your business and not IN your business.  And if you want to run a successful business you need to work on all of these.

In this blog, I want us to look at:

  • What working ON your business looks like
  • Why you need to work on your business and why it matters
  • How you do this
  • And practical tips to help you implement this

Let’s break this down…

What does this look like?

Working IN: day to day workings of your business such as going through your emails, sending out invoices, updating your diary, ordering stationery, booking travel etc.

Working ON: reading, researching, reviewing and planning.  For example, creating a marketing plan, developing your product, researching market trends, signing up for training to develop yourself etc.

Both are important but the challenge is that we sometimes spend a disproportionate amount of time working IN our business.

“That order has to go out”, “I need to…”

When we first launch our businesses, we have a good balance, we are excited about the possibilities and we are determined to get things moving.  We are closer to our ‘WHY’ – the reason for starting the business.

But then we start to see some results, challenges come up and we get caught up in troubleshooting/firefighting and just about have enough time to manage the present, talk less of the future.

Some symptoms of not spending enough time working ON our businesses include being:

  • Over-focused on the present only and no clarity about tomorrow
  • Always playing catch up to the competition
  • Not seeing results for the effort put in
  • Heard the expression “rolling with punches”?
  • Know what to do but can’t seem to do it
  • Things seem to be working but you are not sure why

Why it matters?

What if you could…

  • Infuse fresh energy into your business and fuel your motivation to take your business forward
  • Feel more in control and gain perspective over your business
  • Pro-actively add value to your business
  • Find better ways of doing things
  • Connecting the present with the future you desire

Could you do with this?

Solution

You can achieve this by:

Purposefully creating focused time to reconnect with your WHY – the reason you started the business, review (where you are with) your business and developing plans to connect where you are to where you want to be.

Here are 5 examples of what you do when you are working ON your business:

  • Review where you are;
  • Reconnect with why you started the business (has anything changed).  Often times not, but how you go about it might change/have to adapt to changes in your industry or economy;
  • Reflecting on business decisions, day to day ops and overall work-life balance is a key part of being a successful entrepreneur;
  • Re-evaluate your goals
  • Map out how to achieve your goals – develop a solid plan with actionable steps to realise your goals and see your dreams come true

Some Practical Tips

Let’s talk about what it is not:

It is not lying in bed late at night thinking/procrastinating about what you could or making short notes about possibilities in between meetings or calls.

It is a focused and pro-active process that is best done when you are feeling rested and at your sharpest. Your business deserves this!

Depending on the stage of your business, it could be weekly, monthly, quarterly but in my opinion and experience once a month will be ideal.

For me…I have what I call my ‘whisper spot’, a quiet place I go for a day every month to reflect and plan.  I shut everything out – no phone (make sure someone else is able to take any emergency call) and just focus.

I come away refreshed, lighter, clearer on the way forward and way and totally energised to move forward!

Taking time to work on your business is actually the antidote to the hectic business life you currently have.

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