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No time to work ON your business? Try these 5 steps…

by Alison Bradford

Post image for No time to work ON your business? Try these 5 steps…

You know that as a business owner you should be working ON your business and not just IN it right? But the reality is that you just don’t have the time.

There’s always something that needs doing urgently, and a to-do list as long as your arm to work through.

Is it really damaging your business that much?

Well, I guess it depends. If everything’s going well and you’re on track for achieving your objectives then possibly not.

If however, you’re running around all the time, never quite able to stay on top of everything, or struggling to take any time away from your business, or not achieving the income you want from your business, then I guess it is.

I completely get how difficult it can be when you are busy to take a step back and work on your business, but it’s exactly because of this ‘busyness’ that you need to.

Working on the day to day stuff is unlikely to help you change your situation to enable you to work less hours, take a break and make more money.

To achieve this it’s necessary to step back and work on the big picture of your business.

Imagine that you are being taken up in a helicopter to hover directly over your business – what does it look like? What are the component parts?

This is where you need to go to work on your business. Here are my 5 steps to help you.

Step 1 – Commit

Before you can do anything you need to commit to making this happen and to recognise that it’s necessary to achieve your goals. Once you fully commit to doing this then the rest of the steps become easier.

Step 2 – Plan what you are going to do

Using your helicopter view, what areas of your overall business do you need to be working on?

Here are some common areas I work on with clients to help your thinking get started:

  1. Setting clear objectives
  2. Processes and systems
  3. Marketing strategy and plan (getting customers)
  4. Customer feedback and review
  5. Management information
  6. Improving profitability

Pick the ones that are going to make the biggest impact and will be the easiest for you to work on.

Step 3 – Schedule time in

I know you don’t have the time, but hopefully by now you’ve made the commitment to do this so the only way it’s going to happen is if you schedule time in, right now, in your diary.

That ‘half a day’ sometime is never going to magically appear unless you commit to scheduling it in.

How much time you should schedule in depends on different factors such as the stage your business is at right now. Unfortunately once you move out of start-up and into the growth stage of your business, is usually the time when you need to work on your business the most but is also when you have the least time to do it!

As a loose rule of thumb I’d recommend between 3-8 hours a month.

But if you can only commit to schedule in half an hour right now then that it’s still better than nothing.

Schedule in something, right now!

Make this time non-negotiable and do not be tempted to move it. This should be up there with your highest priorities.

Step 4 – Get some help

This isn’t essential but is certainly useful. Sometimes you just want to bounce around ideas with other people, as well as be challenged in a constructive way.

Getting some other input will help to make the output of working on your business a lot stronger than trying to do it alone.

Who do you know who would be willing to take this role? Maybe a senior level employee? Maybe another business owner? Maybe a coach or mentor?

Step 5 – Invest in your key asset

Also known as YOU, the business owner. Working on developing your skills and expertise as a business owner is time spent working on your business.

Identify what support and training that you need to help you achieve your objectives in the business. Come up with 2 or 3 areas that you are willing to invest in over the next year, and how they are going to help you to grow your business.

I’d love to hear what action you are going to take after reading this, so please leave me a comment to let me know.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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