Running a business is no cakewalk. Every business has certain unique challenges given its nature, viability, scope of operations, the present circumstances and the ability of the owner. How you run your business will determine its fate. Most business owners start a company and then work in it instead of on it.
You should be working on your business rather than in it. Here’s why…
Don’t buy a job
The very moment you start to work in your business, it could become like any other job. You would have preset tasks that would become chores over time and you would go about running your business just as you would have gone about a job. You should be professional, dedicated and should have schedules but you shouldn’t go about running your business like a job. When you do that, you are just being reactive or attending to the tasks at hand. Whatever needs attention will be addressed and whatever isn’t impending will be ignored or shelved for a later day. This is the beginning of the end for a business. The moment a business is operated like a job, it ceases to develop or grow. It isn’t just about growing your business in its scope or profitability, even retaining the existing clients or holding onto the revenue needs proactive management.
Focus on long term objectives
Time management is extremely important and the only way you can ensure efficient scheduling is if you work on your business rather than in it. If you are working in your business then there would be insurmountable and unending tasks, however minor they are, and you would continue to get snowed under. You wouldn’t be able to think beyond what is obvious and immediately in front of you, seeking your attention or otherwise. You would then work from one impending task to another. This will make you perennially lag behind time. When you are proactive and work on your business you shall be able to manage your time much more efficiently.
Trust your employees with the small stuff, focus on the large
Micromanaging a business is necessary but you would also need to look at the larger picture. When you start a business there is a plan, a detailed business proposition that charts out the initial course of the journey. If you don’t work on another plan that takes the journey forward then you wouldn’t just stop growing your business but you might just recede in many ways. The competition would always get fiercer, unless you are lucky. There will always be new challenges. Any business undergoes a cycle of stagnancy which can spell the death knell and such circumstances have to be worked on. There will be manpower challenges, infrastructure problems, financial doldrums and then there are the natural phases of growth and recession. All the problems can be managed better if you look at the larger picture. Growing your business for the sake of growth isn’t and shouldn’t be the objective. That is the philosophy of a cancer cell but you should be growing your business to further strengthen its roots. Growth doesn’t always pertain to increase in sales or expansion of a business. Refining existing systems, changing modus operandi to make your business more efficient, instilling mechanisms that increases your profitability or working on retention and certain strategies to make more money without any new investment; there are many ways of growing your business. All such probabilities will be within the realm of possibility only when you work on the larger picture.
Often, solutions to problems are available when you take a step back, create some distance and think from afar. When you are in the midst of all turmoil, in the thick of things, you are bound to think in a blinkered manner. You would be so engrossed in the problems and the various other details which will scream for attention that you wouldn’t be able to figure out the remedies, even if they are obvious. As a business owner, you need to learn to disassociate yourself from your employees, you shouldn’t be emotional about the problems and you must not succumb to the onus of finding the solutions. In tough times you need to think rationally and find the solutions, which may come from within your business or beyond. Such kind of quest needs research, awareness of the various developments in an industry, the nature of solutions that are available and what would be appropriate in a given situation. Acquiring such knowledge or awareness isn’t possible when you don’t work on your business. You have to know more than the nitty-gritty of your business. You should at least know everything about the industry you are in. That can only happen when you work on your businesses.
From ensuring that your business remains viable and profitable to growing your business, none of it can be achieved if you keep working in your business.