Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors to embark on. Very often, business owners get so caught up in the delivery of their service that they forget to work on the management piece that allows them to grow and expand what their business is able to do. The concept of working on your business, not in your business, encompasses that challenge and prompts business owners to step back from the day to day operations to really work on growth, expansion and process.
1. Be willing to let some stuff go.
Your business is your baby. You’ve built it, nurtured it, and have put your blood, sweat and tears into it. All great entrepreneurs feel this way. Sometimes, however, attachment to a business becomes a bit obsessive, to the point that you want to control every aspect of it. From the finances to the dirty work and management of employees, some entrepreneurs (especially early on) have their hands in everything. Part of working on your business, not in it, means letting some of these things go, and allowing them to be managed by the individuals who have hired to manage them.
2. Hire more people.
In stepping back from working in the business, you are likely going to need to hire more people to replace the labor that you’re not going to be doing anymore. New team members bring new talents and fresh ideas to the table. Take your time to hire quality employees. You need the people that work for you to be trustworthy. Use your existing team to orient your new additions.
3. Train, train, train
You stepping back from the day to day operations of your business means that all of your team needs to be adequately trained to complete tasks as you previously have. Along with your existing team members, you will likely need to participate in the training of the new members of your team. Be patient and don’t rush the training. You want your team to be capable of keeping the quality that you have worked to maintain.
4. Nail down the process.
A huge element of a business’ success is their ability to nail down their process. Look at McDonald’s. They have nailed down the process of getting that McDouble and Fries in a bag in less than 5 minutes, and they can teach and train any individual on that process. You want a process as seamless as McDonalds’. You want to be able to plug people into a position with appropriate training, and achieve the same results every time.
5. Get rid of employees when you need to.
Sometimes being a business owner means deciding when an individual is just a bad fit. Working on the business means that you don’t waste excessive amounts of your time trying to make a bad fit work. Cut your losses and move on.
6. Don’t forget to delegate.
Some entrepreneurs are great delegators, many are not. Some people simply like doing things themselves. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t delegate, you spend time doing things in the business, not for or on the business. Delegating provides the opportunity to spend time doing what you do best, growing your business!
7. Take advantage of the talents of your team.
Every person has a unique set of talents and capabilities. This works in your favor because your team has a host of great skills just waiting to be unleashed! Using the skills of your team not only can help you improve your product or service, but it can also help you develop new ideas for growth. Talk to your team and identify their strengths. Use those strengths to help grow your business and develop your process.
8. Use your time effectively.
Doing all of the above tips will get you nowhere if you’re completely inefficient with your time. Time management is directly associated with your productivity. Establish your own personal goals as well as goals for your business. Be sure that your goals are time limited and identify an appropriate timeline to complete what you have set out to do. By using your time effectively, you can get more accomplished and can grow your businesses both efficiently and with success.
Distancing yourself from the day to day operations of your business can be tough, especially considering how hard you have worked to get where you are today. However, if growing the business is important to you and represents your goal for the future, working on the business, instead of in it, is a necessary move. Not working in the business will provide you with the time to hire, fire, market, network, and fine tune your process; all necessary elements for growth. Embrace this concept and watch your business grow!