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Unlocking Success: The Power of Working ‘On’ Your Business


As someone with 24+ years of experience as a business owner, I understand the immense challenges you face daily.  One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the distinction between working ‘in’ your business and working ‘on’ your business.  Both are essential, but prioritising the latter is the key to unlocking long-term success and sustainable growth.  In this article, we’ll explore the differences between working ‘on’ and ‘in’ your business, the significance of dedicating time to work ‘on’ your business, why it can be challenging for you as a business owner, the potential consequences of neglecting this aspect, and practical advice to make it a reality.



What is the difference between working ‘on’ and ‘in’ your business?

Working ‘in’ your business refers to the day-to-day operations where you are directly involved in core activities, such as production, service delivery, or customer interactions.  Conversely, working ‘on’ your business entails stepping back from the daily grind to focus on strategic planning, process improvement, marketing, team building, and overall business development.



Why is it important to make time for working ‘on’ your business?


Strategic Vision: Working ‘on’ your business allows you to develop a clear vision for the future and set actionable goals.  It empowers you to chart a course for growth and success.

Maximising Efficiency: By analysing and optimising processes, you can identify bottlenecks and streamline operations for increased efficiency and profitability.

Innovation and Adaptability: Taking time to brainstorm and innovate will help keep your business ahead of the competition and adaptable to market changes.

Effective Delegation: Working on your business allows you to develop and empower your team, making delegation more effective and promoting a culture of trust.

Scaling Opportunities: To scale your business, you need to work on strategies and systems that can be replicated and expanded.



Reasons why it can be challenging to work ‘on’ your business


Time Constraints: As a business owner, you often get caught up in the day-to-day demands, leaving little time for strategic planning.

Mindset Shift: Transitioning from an operational role to a strategic one requires a mindset shift, which can be challenging.

Fear of Delegation: Relinquishing control can be difficult, but it’s crucial for growth.  Fear of delegation can hinder progress.

Lack of Structure: Without a structured approach, working ‘on’ your business can feel overwhelming and unproductive.



What can happen if you don’t make time to work ‘on’ your business?


Stagnation: Failing to plan strategically may lead to stagnation, with no clear direction for growth.

Missed Opportunities: Without dedicated time for innovation, your business may miss out on potential opportunities for expansion and improvement.

Burnout and Micromanagement: You may become overworked and prone to micromanaging, stifling employee growth and motivation.

Competitive Disadvantage: Other businesses that invest time in strategic planning may outperform and outmanoeuvre yours.



Conversely, what is likely to happen if you make time to work ‘on’ your business?


Growth and Innovation: Strategic planning fuels innovation, driving your business towards new heights of success.

Empowered Teams: With a clear vision and effective delegation, your team becomes more empowered and engaged.

Adaptability: A strategic focus allows your business to adapt to changing market conditions effectively.

Long-term Sustainability: By investing in the future of your business, you can ensure its long-term sustainability and relevance.



Practical ideas to help you make time to work ‘on’ your business

Time Blocking: Schedule specific blocks of time each week exclusively for strategic planning and development.

Delegate and Empower: Identify key team members, delegate responsibilities, and empower them to make decisions.

Set Goals: Establish short-term and long-term goals and create actionable plans to achieve them.

Seek External Input: Consider seeking external perspectives, such as hiring a business coach, to gain valuable insights.

Develop Systems: Create efficient systems and processes to streamline day-to-day operations, freeing up time for strategy.

Continuous Learning: Stay updated with industry trends, attend workshops, and invest in learning to stay ahead.

In summary, working ‘on’ your business is a crucial step to move through the Cashflow Quadrant, from being self-employed to a small business owner to becoming a true business investor.  By embracing strategic planning and development, you can unlock the potential for sustainable growth and lasting success for your business.  As your dedicated business coach and an experienced business owner who has achieved this, I am here to guide you on this transformative journey, helping you navigate challenges and make the most of every opportunity for your business’s success.  Working together, we will build a solid foundation for your business’s future, ensuring it succeeds in the ever-evolving market landscape.


Reach out to Dave for an exploratory chat