Working on your business means doing things that will help your business to grow or run more effectively.
The thing is; you’ll never grow your business if you don’t spend time doing the things that will make it more efficient and effective. This means that you should be taking time out on a regular basis to plan and execute improvements.
This video explains what “working on your business” means and how you can get started.
Marketing – look for ways to better get and keep customers 2 – Products – can you work on new offerings to your customers 3 – Processes – you’ll struggle to profitably grow a business if the processes aren’t well worked out.
You may well have heard the phrase work on your business and not just in it.
Now, in my recent experience, the accounting industry seems to be hot on telling all of their clients this. The irony is that not many accountants seem to get the hang of it.
It doesn’t matter because they’re right. You should definitely be working on your business.
So what does “working on your business” really mean?
Well, the point of working on your business is doing stuff that’s going to help make your business grow in some way, shape or form, but not just grow, but also to maintain its sustainability.
You should also develop ideas to make your business run more efficiently. Also, making it as easy as possible to manage has to be one of your goals and this will free up more space for you to develop your business in whatever way you see fit.
Now first things first, you need to dedicate time to this.
It isn’t just going to happen by accident. It isn’t going to happen when you get around to it or find the time to do it, you need to dedicate the time to doing it. In other words, that means putting something in your diary, freeing up that space, getting rid of all distractions and just focusing on what it is you need or want to do to make your business better.
Now, I recommend typically you take at least one day a month to do this.
Just tell everybody that you’re going to be unavailable for the day and just go somewhere other than your typical workspace take a notepad and a laptop if you have to, you could spend literally.
You could spend whole time in a café as long as you’re spending money. Most people don’t mind. You could rent a small office for the day.
There’s a guy I know in the UK who takes a train journey of two and a half hours in the morning, has some lunch and then catches the two and a half hour train back in the afternoon. He uses that time just to think about his business, to come up with ideas for his business, work out, plans to pad out ideas, et cetera. But that’s a good way of doing it.
Whatever you do, you need to take time out to do this. And usually it’s very hard to do while you’re in your normal work space as well, because there is the other distraction that goes with being at work in the office, even if your office is in your home.
What to work on
In my experience, there’s three areas to do with developing and sustaining your business.
1 – Marketing
And this could be not just current marketing. It could be developing a whole new market.
It could be reaching out to a whole different group of potential buyers for whatever it is you’re offering.
But your marketing should be regularly analysed anyway, simply because you need to make sure that what you’re doing is working. And if there’s something that isn’t, it needs changing or ditching.
But work on your marketing.
Can you do things better? Can you reach more people more effectively? Can you reach more people more cheaply? Can you do things that make a bigger difference with less effort and less spend?
This could well be if you’re going to grow your business, the best time spent working on your marketing. Another thing to look at is products and services.
Are there things that you can develop? Are there things that your customers or clients are asking you for that you don’t yet do.
When I ran my web design business, we were asked regularly to do SEO and a little bit of advertising and marketing. So we started doing a lot more of that stuff for clients because people trusted us to build their website. And then they asked us if we could do other stuff they were offering us buying signals.
Are your clients doing the same? Are they asking you if you can do things and if you can’t? Is there a way of developing them?
2 – Develop products and services
You should always be looking to improve and develop your products and services. No business should stand still on this.
And there are number of key questions to ask:
What are they going to look like?
How much you’re going to charge?
What you’re going to do for the money?
What kind of profit margins are they going to be?
Who’s going to buy it?
Eve if you’re not working on new products, can you sell more existing products to the customers you’ve got? Can you sell more to them.
3 – You business processes
Are your business processes fit for purpose?
And if they’re not, or you’re constantly battling to get stuff done, then maybe you need to have a look at how you’re working.
Even if it is just you in your business, there will probably be ways where you could make your own life easier with some automations.
The aim is to make your business the slickest it can possibly be to maximise profit and minimise the effort involved.
Have a look at Zapier.com for process and software automation ideas.
Have a look at Active Campaign for email and marketing automation.
Check out this article and video: Why you should get into automation in your business
If you search on YouTube and look for simple small business automations, there’s absolutely loads.
The more you can make your processes more efficient, the more time will be freed up for you to do the stuff you need (or want) to do.
Whether that’s doing more work for clients to earn more money or developing your marketing new products. Thing is, your processes are important.
Make sure your processes are as good as they can be, and they will need constant refinement as your business changes as your product offering changes as your marketing changes.
Business is a process, whether you realise or not. It’s marketing, sales, product delivery, get paid, repeat.
All those little bits need attention and they need making as efficient and as effective as you can possibly make them.
If you’ve got bad processes, it’s going to be a struggle to add more work on top of what you’re already struggling to do.
So ask yourself if there’s a better way of doing things.
Working on your business means making your business better in some way, shape or form Not just for the sake of doing it, but to make your business better, easier to manage, more sustainable, and ultimately help it to be more profitable.
If you got any questions, please ask. It’d be great to hear from you.
Want more on building your business? Check out:
Why taking time out to build your business is a good idea (article and video)