Work ON your business, not IN your business

a post on leadership and business planning

Owning a business can seem like the best thing in the world. When you’re in the planning and dreaming stage it seems like you’ll have more freedom, time and money. In fact, you probably had visions of spending a lot of time at the beach or on the golf course as you made your plans.

Then reality set in and you soon realized that your business is a daily drudge and worse than a regular job. You start feeling like you want to run away, escape and end your business. But, the truth is, all you need to do is change a few things so that you can work on your business and not in it.

* Change Your Mindset – It can be hard, after years of having an employee mindset, to switch to an ownership and entrepreneurial mindset. It’s time for you to start thinking like an owner, or at least a manager by setting up systems, delegating tasks, and finding ways to do less but still get more done.

* Set Up Systems and Standards – When you set up systems and standards, it will be a lot easier to get people to help you with your business. You’ll have a clear understanding of what needs to be done each day and which things you must do compared to which things your contractors or employees can do.

* Use the Right Tools – Part of setting up systems is to use technology and other tools to help you make the most of your time. Technology such as email autoresponders, customer management, project management, cloud storage and more is important to use as you can afford in order to make the most of your time.

* Plan for Success in Advance – Don’t just work by putting out fires, instead make plans of what you’re going to do each day, week, month, quarter and year. Planning out basic tasks and duties far in advance will give you time to include additional tasks at the last minute as your industry demands.

* Outsource Strategically – When you outsource, ask yourself whether or not that particular task needs your special touch or not. Many tasks, like customer service, data entry, posting blog posts, social media marketing, email marketing and so forth are all things that someone else can do successfully.

* Provide the Right Training – When you outsource to anyone, even though you’ll likely outsource to a specialist, you want to provide training about your business and your processes. Don’t control the process or their function, but rather control the due dates, quality and style which the deliverables will take.

* Delegate and Compensate Fairly – When you outsource to someone, you need to ensure that who you delegate to can do the job, but you also want to pay them fairly. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking they can get something for nothing or near nothing and still get what they need. In truth, you get what you pay for. If you want to command higher rates, you need to be willing to pay for expert help.

* Attract the Right Clients – One thing that will make your business less of a drudge is if you ensure that your marketing efforts are working to attract the right customers to your business. The right customers will be a joy to work with, and you’ll have fewer fires to put out and fewer mistakes to fix.

* Set Your Fees High Enough – Many small business owners make the mistake of setting their rates too low. You need to set them high enough to provide for your family in the manner you deserve commensurate with the type of business you have and who your audience is. For example, high end life coaches will pay more for your personalized services than an internet marketer who uses “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris as their bible.

When you set up the right systems and use the right tools, you’ll be able to manage your business in a successful way that creates the success you deserve.

Pulling it all together begins with a business plan. A task that is made much bigger by the myths that surround business planning. Which is why I’ve developed a business plan bootcamp to help business owners get the plan out of their head and onto paper where it can be worked towards rather than dreamed about.

Join the Business Plan Bootcamp - Live - FREE - December 16

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