If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard: You should work on your business, not just in your business.
It’s a catchy phrase. It sounds simple enough. However, it creates frustration for a lot of small business owners.
They already have too much to do. How can they find the time for yet one more thing?
They’re busy with important things – serving customers or managing the workflow. After all, somebody has to work in the business!
They fear what will happen if they’re not involved first-hand.
Yes, fear is the underlying issue in most cases.
The problem with being in control
If you’re like most small business owners, you want to be in control. However, it’s easy to get trapped: By trying to maintain full control of your business, you may lose control of your life!
When this happens, you don’t control your business; your business controls you. You work for your business, but your business doesn’t work for you.
People often associate freedom with business ownership. However, in the situation we’re discussing, it can feel more like a prison. We know – we’ve been there!
You can feel trapped. The work keeps coming. There just never seems to be enough time or money to escape. So you press on. You get increasingly tired. Eventually you burn out.
This is precisely why it’s so important to work on your business, not just in it. We won’t mince words – it’s not easy. However, it doesn’t have to be that hard, either.
The starting point isn’t obvious to a lot of business owners. Here’s the secret:
As you work in your business, work on your business simultaneously! Here’s how to do it:
Create your Organizational Chart. You may be the only employee of your business. Maybe you have one or more partners. You may already have employees. It doesn’t matter. Show all the roles required to conduct your business – from the front line to the executive suite.
Document day-to-day activities. Sure, this will take a little time. However, it’s an investment in your future. It creates the foundation upon which you build your whole business. You don’t have to do it all at once. Set goals for yourself. You may only document one task a day. Even one a week will get you ahead over time.
Segment tasks by position. As you get each task outlined, think about which position in your firm is (or will be) responsible for it. Once you have all the tasks divided up, you have created the guts of a manual for each position.
You begin building a business of real value with this simple, three-step process. The less your business depends on you, the more it’s worth!
And when you control your business instead of letting it control you, you can enjoy the freedom that should come with owning a business!
George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster are the co-founders of BIGG Success, your place for entreprenurturing(TM). They also co-host "BIGG Success in a Minute," a syndicated radio show now playing on stations around the United States.