How to work on your business not in it

How to work on your business not in it

A common problem for a lot of people in business is that they spend all of their time working in their business and by the time they get to a point where they know they need to work on their business, they’re exhausted.It’s late at night and they have paperwork to do. Is it any wonder?


Think about when you started your business. Most people started their business because they are really good at what they do. For example if you’re a plumber, maybe you started a plumbing business. If you’re a hairdresser you started a hairdressing business. If you’re a lawyer you might start a legal practice.


The reality is that because you have the skill set you feel obliged to do all the work. By doing all the work in the business you don’t get time to work on the business. It is a difficult transition to make, but it is necessary if you are serious about growing your business to the next level. In fact, the ideal scenario is if the plumber started a hairdressing business and the hairdresser started a plumbing business, because then they couldn't work in the business!


The first step in making the move from working in your business to working on it is to make the decision to do it. And not just when it’s convenient or when you have time. You have to decide you will do it and actually carry through with that decision regardless of what else is happening.


A wise man once said to me, “If you spend all your money you can always make more but spend your time and it’s gone forever.” By understanding that time is a non-renewable resource that you'll never get back, you'll start to think of it in another way. If you start spending more your time working on your business, will it be more successful? Would you have more money in the bank and a better lifestyle than you do now? I can almost guarantee the answer is yes. You’re going to be working less hours and you’re going to make your life much easier. When you’re working in the business, you are putting out all the fires, you’re on the tools, in the shop or at the desk and the phone doesn't stop ringing. You don’t have time to think clearly and you can't go on holidays. Am I painting a picture of something you’re experiencing now?


So here's the tip. Grab a pen and paper and write down what you’re doing every 30 minutes of every day. The purpose of this is so you can get an idea of what tasks you are doing. When you have done this for two weeks, decide what you don’t really need to be doing. I'll give you an example; imagine you’re doing the invoicing at night and I say to you, is that something you have to do or is that something you can outsource to a book keeper.


I know a book keeper is going to cost you $40, $50 or $60 an hour but they can do it in half the time you can. Then you can use this time to either relax or work on the business instead of getting the book work done. Rejuvenating yourself would improve your efficiency when you are working. Putting together a marketing plan, or a business plan, or doing some team training will make you more than $60 an hour.


Another example is you might be taking your money to the bank each day or taking the rubbish out. You can leverage your time and get someone else to do these activities. The reality is, you have to say to yourself what would it cost me to replace me doing that job? If it’s $40/hour or $50/hour but you’re going to make $200/hour then you’re better off because your business is going to work more efficiently and you’re going to make more money.


So for the next two weeks write down what you've done each day. At the end of the two weeks have a look at what you can delegate and what you can outsource or hire someone else to do. Straight away you’re going to be more of a master of your time. If you can free up enough time that even 20% of your time is spent working on your business, you'll start to see some real results.



About the Author


Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.

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