Does your business depend on you? If so, this is a must read for YOU!

Work on your business NOT in it

Many business owners fall into the trap of working in their business rather than on it as the demands of a growing business call for more and more of your time. Michael Gerber (E-Myth revisited) refers to this when he says “if you work in your business then you don’t own a business, you own a job”, it is only when you start to work on your business that you start to own a business.

Why make the change?

Firstly, to reduce the impact on the business if the unthinkable happened - you were not able to work for six months; many businesses would not be able to survive. If the business had to cope without you for some considerable time it would be nice to know there was a business for you or your family to come back to.

Secondly, and possibly the more important, by reducing the dependency on you from your business allows you more time to add value to your business and ultimately increase its worth by not only making it more profitable but making it more attractive (worth more money) to others who may want to buy your business in the future. 

8 ways to help you work on your business and reduce its dependency on you
 
  1. The better you
    This will be the hardest step; it requires you to leave your comfort zone and learn new habits and break old ones. You can do this by setting aside one afternoon a week where you have time to yourself to concentrate on the business; keep it up, don’t let these sessions slip.
     
  2. Hiring/missing skill sets
    Hiring the right people will allow you to take time out to make the changes necessary, so get advice and learn how to hire the right people. More importantly hire people that compliment your skill set, if you are not a naturally organised person then you may want to consider employing someone who is.
     
  3. Standards
    One of the first things you may want to do in your new on the “business” time is to establish what the standards are that the business should look to upkeep by everyone within the business, including you.
     
  4. Systemise
    Any business owner should treat their business as if they “were” going to franchise it. For every process that your business carries out more than once, it should be included in the businesses operations manual. This will help you when you take on new team members and reduce mistakes; mistakes mean less time for you to work on the business.
     
  5. Delegation
    It is essential to learn to delegate so that you can free up time to work on the business. At this point it is worth highlighting the importance of delegation not “abdication” - abdicating means you have passed on a task as well as the responsibility, this is an error a large number of growing businesses make, delegation is passing on a task whilst still maintaining responsibility for it. For those that like to do everything themselves remember that your time will be better spent correcting the occasional mistake than doing it all yourself.
     
  6. Firing
    Like hiring, it is equally important to consider firing as an essential part of working on your business, if someone is damaging your business from within you need to remove this problem quickly and then revert to 2. above.
     
  7. Feedback
    It is crucial you accept feedback from your team, the last thing you want is a team of yes men or women; imagine you have a delusional moment where you have got it wrong but your team are eager to please so they go along with your decision - it is much better for you to be open to feedback for the greater good.
     
  8. Protection
    With the best will in the world all of the above will not happen overnight therefore I’d recommend you consider taking out some protection cover to cover both yourself and your family. There is a range of products that you can look to take out to cover short term accident/illness cover to longer term critical illness cover/death cover.

    This is a regulated area of advice and as such you should seek independent financial advice on this matter. Here at Armstrong Watson we have such a team with a wealth of experience looking after growing businesses.

All this may sound daunting so why not take advantage of an Armstrong Watson Blue session where we take you out of your day to day business environment and work with you to help create a personalised strategy that meets your goals and aspirations.

For more information please do get in touch.

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