Working ON your business vs working IN your business. What should YOU be focusing on?
Posted on November 28 2017
Here at Elevens, we understand what it's like to be the boss, the cleaner, the accounts department, the tech team & just about EVERYTHING else you need to turn your hand to running a small business. It's FULL ON. And, actually, this is the part of business ownership that causes most stress.
It's no fun having to do it all, especially when certain elements of it just aren't your bag or you literally can't face doing (for me, that's ANYTHING to do with maths!). Own up - who has sat there staring at a blank page when you're supposed to be writing a blog post or literally getting sweaty palms at the thought of submitting that VAT return? We ALL have that list of things that we either just can't mentally face & drop to the bottom of our to-do list everyday or don't even acknowledge we should be doing because we simply don't have time.
However, there comes a time in everyone's business when you really have to take a step back. You simply can't grow a business if you can't work ON it rather than working IN it. Marketing plan? Oh, shit, supposed to have done that in January & now it's November. A scatter gun approach to business & day to day firefighting will only get you to a certain point. I don't remember much great advice from school but one thing my history teacher said has totally stuck with me throughout my whole adult life, whether about studying or work: FAIL TO PLAN & YOU PLAN TO FAIL.
A thorough plan, detailed targets & actionable steps are all needed to ensure you reach the destination you want for your business. It might not be that you're aiming for a 6 figure turnover - it might just be that you actually want a Sunday off to play with the kids or want to enjoy an evening out without suddenly realising you haven't posted to Instagram & now your business is suddenly going to go under (it won't, by the way, but you get the gist).
I can honestly say that as soon as I found a way to make my business slicker, it lifted a massive weight off my mind. I stopped freaking out when I had a slow month & quickly knock together a FB ad that costs hundreds & had no impact. I realised that having a team ISN'T a luxury, it's an essential element of keeping your business on track & growing nicely.
How much time are you spending ON your business right now? Or are you still completely stuck IN it?
Here are some quick tips to help you unstick yourself & think about what you can outsource to make life easier for yourself!
1) Don't panic. Having half a day off to make a plan isn't going to ruin your business. Set a few hours aside to write out our job description of what you currently do now. Add up the hours - you will be AMAZED at how long the OUT of the business tasks take!
2) Make a wishlist of 1) tasks you CAN'T do & NEED to outsource 2) things you HATE doing & don't want to do anymore in your business 3) things you LOVE doing & feel you are good at.
3) Make a plan! Find out how much it will cost you to employ someone to do these things. Now, work out how many sales/bookings you need to take to pay that person. Work backwards.
You might find that it is more affordable than you think! Signing up for accounting software may cost you £25 per month but think about the time it will save you. This could be HOURS a month you save which you can take additional bookings for or spending marketing your business!
Let us know how you get on! We'd love to hear which tasks you would love to bin & which ones you are enjoying!