Are you so busy running your business, you can’t find time to work on your business planning and GROW your business?
It’s the classic dilemma faced by nearly ALL start-ups and small business owners everywhere.
Business owners get so consumed with running every aspect of their business because they don’t have enough staff or the resources (money) to delegate by hiring others, that they don’t have time to focus on GROWING their business by investing sufficient effort in business planning. Thus, the vicious cycle of investing more and more effort working in their business leads to diminished returns in growing their business.
This is where I spend the most time coaching my business clients, by introducing them to the critical notion of getting OUT of the day-to-day tasks associated with running their business, so they can set aside invaluable time to invest in their strategic business planning.
If this sounds a LOT like the challenges you face, here are some useful tips for how you can begin to shift your focus from working IN your business, to working ON growing your business.
1. ONLY DO WHAT YOU LOVE:
We start by my administering a self-assessment / skills inventory tool I created, so we can identify and focus on all their core competencies…the things they do really well and LOVE doing. By extension, we are also able to determine the type of busy work that they are better off outsourcing to those folks that specialize in these services.
We outsource EVERYTHING else! as their business consultant, I introduce them to other folks who take over their administrative tasks (I find them a virtual administrative assistant), get them a bookkeeper, find them freelance talent for copy-writing, social media, and graphic design and in effect outsource every single non-core competency that wastes their time.
2. MAKE TIME FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING:
Carve out a predetermined amount of time EVERY DAY that you go to your quiet ALONE place and think about your business. not the mundane tasks, or day to day headaches but the BIG PICTURE stuff. What initiatives would you undertake, if money were no object and your resources were infinite?
3. WHAT’S AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME WORTH?
Think about the average income you generate on a “per hour” basis. How much do you charge per hour for your services, or how much do you charge per product when you break down how much time it takes you to make a product.
However you set up the formula, you have to have an understanding of, and appreciation for, every hour you invest NOT selling is an opportunity cost for the most valuable resource there is…TIME.
4. FIND PARTNERS TO SHARE THE LOAD:
There are formal partnership you can form with shared ownership and financial commitments, as well as informal partnerships (more akin to working relationships) that can be sought with vendors, suppliers, contractors, service providers. By forming both types of relationships, you can off-load your work, split tasks, focus on what you love doing and are best at, maximize your time investment, and pull out of the minutiae of running your business to focus on planning the future of your business.
5. CREATE AN EXIT STRATEGY
This is a really important requirement for clients that I coach that are just starting out. They are so intent on forming their business that asking them to think about their legacy is often a challenge.
But by thinking of what you want to leave behind, and setting up mile markers with benchmarks for achieving everything you set out to accomplish, you will know when it is time to step away from the business to focus on the next chapter of your life.
By committing this to writing, you will define your legacy in such a way that you can document your desired organizational culture, the values you want your organization to represent type of people you want to work with, the ideal employees to achieve success with you, clients you wish to land and serve, the type of social corporate responsibility and contributions you want to make to your community and society.
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach