Yes, you are busy working in your business, but are you spending your time wisely?
There is a difference between working IN your business and working ON your business!
As a business owner, your to-do list is always long. There’s never an end to what you have to get accomplished, even when you have staff to delegate to. But not all work is created equal. You need to be aware of the kind of tasks that actually move your business forward and which are simply the things that need to get done.
What I call working IN your business verses working ON your business.
Let me start by describing working ON your business.
When you work ON your business, your focus is on the bigger picture – where you are going and how you’re going to get there. Tasks that fall under this category include (but are not limited to):
- Strategy development
- Marketing plans
- Networking events
- Social media strategy
- Development of new product ideas
- Market research
- Business plans
- Financial forecasts
- Personal development that benefits the business
Note that the tasks that come under working ON your business are mostly things that only you can do. There are a few things that you could hire out (like market research), but the underlying strategy and direction for these activities will always fall under your responsibility.
In contrast, working IN your business includes the things that show up on your daily to-do list:
- Meeting with clients
- Doing the work your clients pay you for
- Answering phones and email
- Delivering products/programs
- Customer service
- Accounting and record keeping
(Note that while all of the tasks listed here under work IN your business are important, they are ALL things that can be hired out).
One of the dangers of only working IN your business is that most of your new clients come from your work ON your business, which creates vulnerability. If your current clients disappear, your business does too!
The work IN your business must get done. You have to serve your clients and give them what they pay you for. But balance it with the time you spend ON your business.
How do you tell if you are spending too much time IN your business? One easy way is to notice that you feel more like you have a job than you are running a business. Then you know you are more IN the business, than ON it.
Spend some dedicated time each week working ON your business. It will be time well spent, as you are paving the way for more clients to come to you – ensuring that you have the time, energy, and commitment to take care of their needs – while also taking care of the needs of your business.
What tasks do you find you spend the most of your time on? Are they IN or ON tasks? Share your comments below.