5 Steps To Business Success: Working ON Your Business
In the previous article I discussed the importance of working ON your business, not just IN your business. What is the difference between the two?
Working IN your business is what most business owners do all day, every day. It is doing the day-to-day things that keep your business in operation. An example if I had a bakery might be ordering flour, baking bread, and stocking shelves. If I am doctor, it would be examining people, writing prescriptions, and updating charts.
WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS is doing the things that will cause your business to grow. It is doing things to bring in more leads and customers, and more money (whether you are a for profit or a non-profit). And I know right now, many of you are saying, but I don’t have time. I am already working 24X7 just keeping my business in operation. You will be surprised however, once you start making it a priority to work ON your business, that all of the 24X7 things you were doing before to keep it running somehow still get done. Maybe it’s that thing about the job increasing to fit the time slot allotted?
So what does working ON your business look like?
Here are the 5 tips to working ON Your Business:
1. Figure out when you are at your most productive:
Some of us are morning people. I am definitely a morning person – that is my most creative time. I do my best work, my most productive work in the morning. On the other hand, in the afternoon, between about 2 and 4, I am at my lowest, a real slog: I work slower and less efficiently. I am easily distracted. And I find excuses to procrastinate. So, identify your best time.
2. Block out that time on your calendar, regularly. You want a chunk of time. My suggestion is 8 hours over a week, but, if that seems huge, start with a chunk of two straight hours that is marked off on your calendar every week consistently. So, for me, I schedule the 8 hours over 3 different days. It is in the morning, because that is my most productive time. I have one chunk of 4 hours and 2 additional chunks of 2 hours each, on 3 different days. And it’s the same days and time every week.
But even if you just block out two hours every week, like Tuesdays from 6 to 8, this is great and it’s a fabulous start. This time is your work ON your business time and it is inviolate. And at the end of the month, you will have spent 4 two-hour chunks on growing your business, or 8 total hours on growing your business, as opposed to zero! Doesn’t this already feel good? I know you can block two hours a week, so do it now!
3. Mark the time Work ON My Business time, or Grow my business time. And this is the only thing you work on during this time. You do not look at nor answer email, you do not answer the phone, you do not allow interruptions. This is high priority time you are taking to grow your business, make it better, more efficient, more profitable, whatever your most pressing goal is. And do not bend or be flexible about this time. This is your selfish time for your business. Do not accept meeting invites, or appointments
4. At the beginning of each week, or at the end of the preceding week, decide what you will do during this week’s work ON my business time. What is the one thing you can do this week that will help your business grow? It might be design a new product, or work on some new pricing, or a new marketing strategy. It might be reaching out to organizations to schedule speaking engagements, or joining a local chamber to extend your networking opportunities, or picking a place to advertise, or asking for referrals or establishing a procedure to get customer reviews.
5. At the end of the week, write down what you accomplished. Keep a log, it can just be an informal word document with a list. Write what you did that week to work ON your business, to grow it. The following week, when you are planning what to do with your work ON my Business time, refer to this log and decide to continue going down the same path, or to do something different, work on a different aspect, etc.
As a follow-on, now that you are committed to working On your business, we will discuss coming up with a plan to follow to keep you focused on what is most important.
Tags: Time Management, Grow Your Business
Filed Under: Setting Priorities, Business Coaching