It’s Time You Considered Working on – Not in – Your Business
If you want your business to grow, you have to stop working in it, and start working on it. That means you need to drop the micro-managing, and start focusing on the bigger picture, the tasks that will yield those long-term valuable results.
And the key to achieving this is to introduce systems, leverage your resources and implement automation for smaller, administrative tasks, which will see you build and sustain high levels of output.
One person can only do so much work
When you stop working in your business, do you watch your achievements dwindle? That’s because there’s only so much work one person can do. When you think that your success relies on your efforts alone, then you’ll always be restricted in what you can do. To counter this, you need to acknowledge you can’t always be a jack-of-all-trades, and that you’ll need others to step in as you look at long-term growth strategies.
If your business can’t run without you, then it’s about time you introduced processes it so that it can operate smoothly without your involvement, and grow to reflect the talents of your entire team.
Systemise and automate for greater efficiency
By systemising and automating your business, you’ll find your team will begin to work much more efficiently, even when you aren’t there. This could be as simple as automating your accounting and bookkeeping software, or even your social media posting. The more tasks you can automate, the less you can think about them, and the more time you can spend on building long-term growth.
Words I’ve come to live by are those of Michael Gerber, who explains in his book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, that to build a business that’s self-sustaining in the long-term, you need to build one that is systems-dependent, rather than people-dependent.
To do this, Gerber proposes the Business Format Franchise, whereby business owners such as you and I implement “predictable components” in the business that can be replicated and hypothetically sold on, just like a real franchise does. In this way, it’s not so much your product that determines your level of success, but rather the way you sell it.
To do this in your business, you might like to think about implementing more uniformity in terms of how you and your team meet and set priorities or follow up with prospects. This could take the form of campaign management or marketing automation. There’s plenty of automation software out there, but I’m surprised at how few businesses take advantage of them to deliver consistent and predictable outcomes.
Start spending time on non-billable activities
You can forget about working more hours to grow your business. Instead, set to work on long-term strategies like marketing your business online and networking with others to bring in more leads. While you might not see the results of these activities overnight, it’s likely they will yield valuable results down the track. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and news by attending events and conferences, or subscribing to industry news websites.
Create leverage in your business
One of the most effective ways to grow your business is to leverage it, which means working smarter rather than harder. Unfortunately, this might mean relinquishing control to some of your colleagues, and delegating tasks to other team members. It might be difficult to give up this control at the start, but you’ll soon find that while people do things differently to you, it doesn’t make them any less capable.
While you might have started out as a one-man show, it always helps to bring more people on board. You might want to bring in a business partner, or hire freelancers and contract workers to complete the administrative tasks that you no longer have time to focus on.
Once you’ve got a stable team, reliable processes and automation systems, then you’re on your way to building a business that isn’t reliant on your abilities alone. Once you notice things running along smoothly, you can take a step back and work on growing your business for the long-term, rather than for short-term gains.