Owning and running a business is not about doing whatever you do…. Accountancy, Bricklaying, Clothing, Design, Engineering, Farming, Grocery….. We can work our way right through the alphabet but these are all just products and services. A business is:
- The people (You and the other people you work with)
- The way you deliver your product/service
- Your engagement with your customers and suppliers
- Your communication with your markets
- Your processes to develop all of the above – oh, and do the admin, accounts and keep on the right side of the law!
Do you work ON your business or IN your business?
It’s a well established cliché that many people spend too much time working in their business and not enough working on their business, but I think we can take this a step further. If all you do is accounts or bricklaying or buying and selling clothes etc then I suggest you aren’t running a business, you are doing a job. Just as doing a job takes time, so does developing a business. I appreciate that it is doing the job that generates the vital short-term income but it is developing the business that drives growth and opportunity.
The value of taking time out
It is so easy to tell yourself you are just too busy doing your job (and time with family, etc. etc.) but if you are going to develop your business, the first step is simply to take the decision that you will make the time to do it. This is perhaps the hardest yet most valuable step because by giving yourself the time you create the opportunity to develop your business. In practice, if you think about it, it should not be difficult to find some time once you have decided that you are going to! It may be a change in routine, delegation, or even one less round of golf but the time will be there somewhere. If you genuinely believe there is no way to find time to develop your business then maybe you should question its viability!
Developing your business – a process, not an event
As with everything else, business development is a process, not an event. Finding time isn’t about a few hours a week on Saturday, it’s about regular time. Here is a post looking at 5 Rules for Effective Planning which hopefully might give you some ideas. I can personally vouch for the approach outlined in this post because it is the one we have used successfully for a number of years! Since we started taking time out for our business we have seen real and significant development.