Many small business owners start out as technicians. They know how to do a skill, or have created something, have a great idea, and they are emotionally invested in its success. And rightfully so! Much like having children, creating something to contribute to the world, is a heart-felt experience. It's very easy to start out working IN your business when you are a start up, or a new franchise. That is, to be the one who makes the phone calls, schedules, makes sales calls, and so on, becomes a space of comfort. It is what we know.
The tough discipline of business ownership is learning to work ON your business. Employees can be trained to work in the business. They can learn to measure and cut. They can learn how to design and create. They can be empowered to make your business better from the customer service side. What they can't do is be the owner. They can't decide the long-term direction of the business. Staff members aren't necessarily privy to the dream you have for this business 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.
One of the most common conversations needed with business owners is that they need to have the internal controls, the inherent motivation, to set aside time to work on their business because they are the only ones who can do that. So, what are some strategies for doing that?
- Be on top of your calendar: Schedule time into your week, every single week, to work on your business. Don't neglect important factors such as marketing and networking, recruiting talent, long term planning, and systematizing your business. These are tasks that are owned by you. Schedule them in.
- Prioritize working on your business: Once you have scheduled it in, honor that time commitment. That commitment is to the long-term success of your business. Let go of the things that can wait and balance today's needs with those in a year. If you focus only on today, you may find your business in an unexpected tough spot. Today's business climate has taught many business owners that lesson in a rather harsh way. You have to plan, and at the same time, maintain agility.
- Have a reliable recruitment, hiring, and onboarding system in place: You can't work on your business if you don't have great people working in it. Focus on a plan for recruitment, hiring, and onboarding that will build success IN your business's daily operation.
- Never stop!: Once you've seen some success, don't stop working on your business. Keep your focus as an owner and make sure you don't get complacent, or fall back into the role of a technician. If needed, hire and train again... and again.... and again. But maintain that balance between working on and in your business.
More questions about how you can create better balance in your business and your life as an owner? Let us know how Veath Business Consulting can serve you.