Most small businesses are created from the burning desire to achieve a better work-life balance, more freedom and work flexibility. However, many business owners find themselves working harder than ever before.
Learning to work on your business rather than in it is often an expertise acquired through skill and hard work, but it doesn’t have to take years to get there. We have put together six strategies that will have you managing your business confidently without getting lost in the chaos of handling every task.
#1 Define your business strategy
A good business strategy will provide you with an accurate plan of where your business will be in years to come and how you’re going to get there. When defining your strategy, it is important to outline your business goals for the short and long-term future, as well as set out quality standards for your business. A well thought out strategy will help to move your business closer to your objectives each day, rather than have you stuck working on mundane tasks that are getting your business nowhere.
#2 Reinforce your leadership skills & learn to trust your team
The way people perceive you as a business owner is how they will perceive your business, and vice versa. A successful business owner understands the importance of building healthy relationships and connections in their industry. They also trust the capabilities of their associates and staff, ensuring not everything has to go past them for approval. By hiring competent workers whom you can trust, you will minimise dependency on yourself and ultimately save you work and time. Learn your workers strengths and delegate whenever possible – you are a team after all.
#3 Identify how much time you want to spend in VS on your business
It’s time to become a visionary and focus on what you want for the future. If you’re a business owner who enjoys the nature of the labour in their industry, then cutting out all skilled tasks from your schedule may not be the best idea. However, if you’re currently spending a large portion of your time working in your business, rather than overseeing the general operation, you’re priorities need some revision. Plan and strategies your time accordingly so you know exactly which tasks are to be completed by you and which should be completed by alternate staff.
#4 Become a trouble-shooter
The role of a team leader involves recognising issues and advising your team to find the solutions (with your unconditional support, of course). You don’t have to ‘fix’ everything as a business owner, you simply need the appropriate team behind you to find the solutions. Furthermore, your staff members should never be afraid to approach you for advice. Appreciate honesty towards any obstacles that stand in their way to ensure problems are fixed accurately and quickly, rather than masking them.
#5 Acknowledge and clear distractions
A simple yet effective solution to working on your business, not in it, is to minimise your distractions and concentrate on the task in hand. If you allow yourself to be distracted by interruptions or mishaps within your business, or any other disturbances for that matter (social media being the main one), you will find yourself spending far more hours in the office than necessary. Try to devise a simple to-do-list each day, including time frames and deadlines, so you can manage your priorities easier, plan how long each task will take and identify when you’re being distracted.
#6 Measure your success
And lastly, measuring the success of your business is extremely important to the future of your company (and you). You can revert back to your business strategy to help you distinguish how well you are meeting your goals and what could be improved. A good leader is always striving for improvement, building a positive team around them and learning new ways to direct the business.