Working on or in your business?

One of the hardest paths to navigate when you run a business is how and when to start working on your business, rather that just in it.

I own a hair salon, and I can work in it, by answering the phone, replying to emails, tweets, making coffee and sweeping the floor. All of these things could be a full time job. 

If you own a window cleaning business, you could fill all of your hours with making windows glisten. 

These are working in the business, but not on your business.

So what does working on your business look like?

Planning forward - having a clear plan to work towards takes time

Reflecting back - taking stock of what has happened so far

Admin - taxes, payroll, ordering, stock taking etc

 Expanding - hiring, recruiting, premises etc

Advertising - Designing, logos, website, social media

Tracking - profit and loss, revenue prediction etc

How to make the jump from working in to working on?

The usual way to create more time to work on, not in, your business is to hire staff. You may start with a virtual PA, or a freelancer, before working up to employing someone more permanently. It's scary hiring staff as it rarely feel like the right time!

The leap of faith is that you need to hire someone, just before you really need them. If you wait till you feel sure, you'll have had to turn lots of opportunities down. It's scary though!

Once you have hired someone to take over some of the 'working in' you need to learn to delegate! It's easy to believe that only you're capable of doing everything the way you want it done, but that's letting your ego win, and you're the only loser there.

Work out which tasks only you can do, and then start to work out how to pass over some of the other jobs to other people. 

If you're not quite ready to hire staff, you can learn to automate some of your tasks as a stepping stone towards hiring.

I use freeagent, to automate a lot of my accounting, and I autoschedule some of my social media using buffer, IFTTT, Swayy and Hootsuite.