It is a common catchcry among business owners that they are so busy ‘working in’ their business that they do not have time to ‘work on’ their business. They go week to week, month to month, year to year, without giving themselves the space they need to work out if all their activity is leading them to achieve their goals. Their calendars are constantly full and even when they do schedule in time to ‘work on’ their business they don’t know where to start.
If this is something you struggle with then here are some suggestions:
- Revisit and rewrite your goals – jot down the ideas you have while waiting in queues, driving to and from work, and talking with others. Use the spare 5 minutes you get here and there to read these through and filter out what is not really important before you finalise these goals.
- Invest in a business coach to help you chart your course to your goals. You might need to meet them only once, or you might want to meet them regularly to help you keep on track.
- Gather vital business data while you are ‘working in’ your business – for example ask your customers how they heard of you, what parts of your service offering are important to them, why they are not using your competitors, and what unfilled needs they have. All this information can form the basis of your marketing strategy.
- Similarly, record your transactions in a way that will help you to get accurate and timely financial information from your accounting system, like margin by product, that you can review at least monthly. Consider the cost (eg staff time, warehouse space) involved in earning that margin and use that to help you refine your product and service offerings as well as your prices.
- Be courageous – stop doing the things that are not helping you to achieve your goals so that you can invest your time in the things that do.
Finally, if you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance you need to stay focussed. Be clear on what you want to achieve and make sure that your energy is invested into achieving these goals.