Are you working on your business or working in your business? How are you striking the right balance between these two?
Yes. I know. The question might be ambiguous. But before you answer, I want us to focus on some statistics for context:
Only 66 percent of businesses make it to the 2-year mark. 50 percent of businesses make it to the 5-year mark. Just 30 percent of businesses make it to the 10-year mark.
Very few business owners spend the required 20 percent of time working on their business and this contributes to businesses failing.
Between one to two hours needs to be spent every day looking at ways to move the business forward.
“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”
– Andrew Carnegie
Having gotten used to doing it all alone, most business founders often find delegation difficult. Many entrepreneurs struggle to pull themselves away from the minutiae of day-to-day operations.
However, learning to differentiate between working on and working in your business will empower you to be the leader of your growing business needs.
As Lisa Firestone, the founder of Managed Care Advisors, succinctly put it:
“(Delegating) took a while to build trust, but once you do, it is so empowering. We started to grow when I could focus on what I do best and not on daily minutiae.”
What does “working in” your business mean?
Working in your business refers to taking on tasks that could be easily handled by a trusted employee. Some examples of this include answering customer service queries, paying invoices or meeting clients.
Oftentimes, owners of new businesses find themselves investing too much of their time on such jobs.
Consequently, they don’t leave themselves enough time for business development, and without this top-level strategizing the business will be doomed to struggle.
The importance of working on your business
Visionary leadership is vital for a business to survive the tough early years.
In fact, some experts say that a lack of long-term planning is one of the primary reasons why just 30 percent of businesses reach the ten-year mark.
Ideally, business-owners need to spend between one to two hours every day developing ways to move their organization forward.
Some examples of tasks that fall under the umbrella of working on your business include:
- Planning for the future
- Spotting problems and delegating solutions
- Researching ways to automate processes
How to strike the right balance between working in and on your business
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
– George S. Patton
The first thing you will need to do is assess how you are spending your days, and to identify jobs that can be passed on to someone else.
It’s important to hire reliable and conscientious staff that you can trust to make smart decisions and think on their feet.
Offer comprehensive training and let them know that you are there to help, but be clear in communicating what tasks you do not want to be bothered with.
Build a trusting relationship with your employees by communicating clearly and by placing an emphasis on transparency.
Learn how to manage your business effectively
If you are interested in learning more about the differences between working in and on your business, we recommend that you take a look at the infographic below from the team at 2Flow.
This guide includes some helpful advice for business-owners about how to set boundaries and delegate responsibilities to open up more time to strategize about how to grow the business.
Working IN Vs. ON Your Business – How to Strike the Right Balance (Infographic)
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