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Business Owners: You Work in Your Business… but Do You Ever Work on Your Business?

Business Owners: You Work in Your Business… but Do You Ever Work on Your Business?

You Work in Your Business… but Do You Ever Work on Your Business?


If you’re a little confused by the title, just think about how many hours you put in every day, every week, and every month at your business – those are hours you work IN the business. But that may not be what’s really best for growing your business, because all the time that you’re putting into the business is time that you can’t be working ON the business.

By that, we mean doing those things which require your business knowledge and expertise as an entrepreneur, as opposed to you moving boxes in a warehouse or cashing out customers in a checkout line. If you’re guilty of this kind of mis-allocated effort, you should disengage for a while and think about how you can bring greater value to your business by working ON it and not IN it.

Leave the Comfort Zone Behind

If you’ve been working your head off because it’s what you know best and what you’re most comfortable with, you need to re-evaluate. Before your business can grow, you need to experience personal growth, and leave behind the mundane tasks of your comfort zone. Manage. Delegate. Lead. Don’t move boxes.

Hire the Right People and Train Them

If you’ve hired the right people for your company, you should be able to delegate lesser tasks to some of them, so you can be freed up to make management decisions and run the business. If you don’t have these kind of people in your organization, you need to go out and find them. When you’re comfortable with the staff you’ve assembled, provide them with the means to succeed by training them in the processes and knowledge that they need to have. This will also promote much greater employee satisfaction, which in turn, leads to greater motivation on the job and greater employee retention, which will save your business a bundle.

Don’t Let Bad Apples Spoil the Barrel

Just as having the right employees in your organization will be a springboard to all kinds of positive developments and achievements, so will having the wrong sort of employee act as a brake on business success. It should be easy enough to spot these individuals, and if you need a second opinion, talk with supervisors whose judgment you trust and who can be relied upon. It may seem harsh, but weeding out these bad apples will make your business run a lot more smoothly, and will remove some of the obstacles to success.

Cultivate Honesty and Candor

You need to get honest feedback from your employees about what’s going right and what’s not, and if you haven’t cultivated an atmosphere of candor among employees, you may hear nothing more useful than what they think you want to hear. In order to receive information that’s useful and upon which you can make sound business decisions, it is essential that your employees know you want to hear real business information, and not just happy news divorced from reality.

Standards, Procedures, Methods for Improvement

Very few haphazard businesses become truly successful. One of the best ways that you can work ON your business is to standardize your successful business processes so they are repeatable, and can easily be learned by employees. Also, establish an environment where employees are encouraged to offer suggestions for improving on those processes. After all, they are the ones performing them, and they are best positioned to find even more efficient, more advantageous ways of conducting your business processes.

If you’d like have coffee and discuss ways to work ON your business rather than IN it, please contact Emory Ware at businesspartneralliance.com.