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Are you always working in the day to day of your business and have no time to step back and work on your business?
Symptoms of being stuck in the day to day are feeling you have no time, you are always fire fighting, you never get round to working on the bigger things, you are stressed, everything depends on you, you don't know where the business is going and you are struggling to take your business forward to where you want it to be.
If you were working on your business you would be working on the business goals and strategy, planning, business development, key business decisions, sales and marketing, the financial performance and managing and leading your business and your team.
So how do you make the transition from working in to working on your business?
Take one step at a time. It is very difficult to move from working in your business to working on your business and it can take quite a while to make the change so focus on taking one step at a time.
Make it happen. The only way you are going to make the transition is if you make changes. If you carry on doing what you have always done you will continue to be trapped working in your business. So make it happen by taking action and starting to make changes.
Allocate time to work on the business. If you are going to start working on your business you need to have time to do this. As a starting point you may allocate a few hours each week to start the ball rolling and then you can take action to generate more time in the future. It is up to you how much time you want to spend working on your business and especially in a smaller business this will probably not be 100% of your time.
Develop a strategy and plan. The first area to focus on is deciding on where you want your business to be in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, year and the longer term. From here you can decide what you need to do to achieve your vision and develop a plan to get there. Be realistic in your planning and focus on one area at a time and remember to break down larger projects into smaller achievable steps.
Get organised. To move forward start to get everything in order so you are ready to step back and enable others to work on the day to day. Once you get organised you will also feel much more in control.
Delegate and outsource. Consider everything you are currently doing and what can be delegated or outsourced to generate time for you to work on the business. You may think you need to do certain things but most things can be delegated or outsourced and often the person you pass them on to will do them much quicker than you did them as they will be an expert in that area.
Automate and focus on productivity. Consider all areas of the business as to whether more processes can be automated and look for productivity improvements. An investment in systems and productivity may save your business a lot of time, cost and also improve the information available to manage the business.
Consider the organisation structure and increase resources. First of all consider the best organisation structure for the current business and review your existing staff to see if they are ready to step up into a different role. You may also need to recruit additional staff to enable you to step back from the business. Don't rush into recruitment, make sure you have the right people for the roles and train them fully before delegating work to them.
Lead and manage. You now need to ensure you are leading and managing the business and your staff. This may involve setting up regular management and team meetings (to cover all areas of business and financial performance) and individual one to one meetings, ensuring you have all the information you need to manage the business, communicating the strategy and plans to all concerned, meeting key customers and suppliers, making decisions in a timely fashion and managing the key business risks.
Know and measure performance. What information do you need so you know what is happening in all areas of the business and to base your decisions on? This will depend on your business but may include such things as key performance indicators, sales data, financial information, customer feedback reports etc.
Keep focused. There are many distractions when you are running a business or team so it is very important to keep focused on the key things that will enable you to achieve your business goals. Keep asking yourself what is the next most important thing the business needs to do to take it towards its goals and ensure that is where your attention is focused.
Develop yourself. You may not have the skills and experience to step back and work on your business however you can develop yourself through learning and training in these areas. Consider where you need to enhance your skills and experience so you can step into this role.
Seek help and support. You may want to seek outside help and support to help you with your transition to working on your business. You could use a business coach or business mentor to support you with your journey or you may seek support from someone else such as a business networking contact, a consultant, an investor or board member.
Good luck in moving towards spending more time working on your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: January 2018
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE consultation session to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.