How to Effectively Work ON Your Business
You have heard this saying for years from Michael Gerber, the author of “The E-Myth”, “You must work ON your business not just IN your business”. This refers to the top reason why many small business owners fail; they work almost exclusively in the business on a day to day basis. They are “too busy” to work ON the business to improve the branding, systems, copy or customer service.
There is a great story that shares the real power of working ON your business. There were two guys cutting logs in a race to see who could cut more logs in three hours. One guy took a break every 30 minutes and the other guy was sawing straight through. The guy who took a break every 30 minutes cut more logs in the three hours and won the contest. The guy who cut straight through was in disbelief. He asked the other guy how did you beat me, you took a break every 30 minutes, they guy responded, “I was not taking a break, I was sharpening my saw!” The moral is…are you taking the time to “sharpen your saw” in business or not?
Let’s assume you get that. You are working ON your business. Are you doing it effectively? Here are some tips to help you become more effective:
- Do you schedule time to work ON your business? If it just happens randomly, that is not effective. Do you schedule the time but do not stick to it because you are “behind”? That does not work either. You must proactively schedule on your calendar time to work ON your business and do not allow for any interruptions during that time.
- Work on items to improve your SYSTEMS. Do you have a lead and client system? Do you improve that system, from the online process as a lead to the client process? Is there a template for it? Here is the big question. Could you hire 10 people next week and within 2 weeks have them all on the same page? Not that you need to hire 10 people, but do you have the systems in place with your training and tools to make that happen. This may be the biggest area to improve. Do you take the time to document your systems for your staff? Do you have videos on steps and processes internally so if you hire someone they can easily take over?
- Do you measure daily, weekly and monthly? Are you taking the time to measure your results so you can better determine other areas in your business to improve on the systems? I am not just talking about how much revenue you brought up in unique visitors to your website. We measure everything from lead sources, lead closing ratio, closing ratio by rep, mix of sales, lead closes by source, ratios between calls, approaches, presentations and closes, open orders in several areas, phone calls, time on the phone, all the accounting numbers, social media numbers, web stats…This all is critical to help you determine what areas in your business need to improve. You must have some areas that you measure on a regular basis, so it is not random.
- Do you delegate effectively? You can’t do everything yourself. The more you can delegate or outsource and hold accountable will help you make tremendous progress on your effectiveness. This is how you may be working on 4-5 projects at the same time. Each project might have a different step in the process. The more you detail the steps of each project the easier to track. When you delegate make sure you are clear what is being delegated, the time frame that is due and if the deadline is missed what happens next. You will need to track what is delegated and to whom and do your own follow up.
You must be organized to be effective. When you are you will get more results. That means you need to schedule time to be organized! Every night before I leave the office I take about 10-20 minutes to plan my next day and organize my priorities. On the weekend, I take about 2 hours to plan out our Monday staff meeting; organize my next week, and more time to work ON the business. If I didn’t do that I do not think I would be in business after 15 years. This is a must for short and long term success. I know at times, you feel it is not the most important and you need to bring in revenue. Yet, taking time to work ON the business will make a huge difference over time.