Do you spend too much time in or on your small business?
If you run a small business, or are thinking of setting one up, there are so many things to do, areas to cover, decisions to make. Like a balance between work and home, there is another deal to strike with yourself. It concerns the level of time you spend “in” or “on” your business.
Some business gurus have expressed an opinion that you shouldn’t really set up a small business doing something you personally are good at (unless it’s simply a one or two person operation). The reasoning behind this is actually quite sound. There is a danger that you will spend too much time “in” your business demonstrating the skills you have and undertaking the tasks you can successfully accomplish. In reality, much of your time should be spent “on” developing the company, finding the right people, setting effective goals, planning from start-up through into the future.
However, most people will create a business that reflects their interests and skills. Therefore, that balance needs your constant attention. Here, other “in” dangers offer easy traps to ensnare your precious time. You might spend too long involved in those areas you most enjoy, say working on the company web design or creating a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. Equally, you may employ people to undertake certain tasks yet still feel that you can accomplish them to a higher standard. This might even be true, but misses the point. Your role should be to develop those others to or above your standard, rather than simply continuing to do the work yourself.
There can also be problems with “on” time. Here, you might become overly focused on planning for the future, thinking about where your business should be going. The result can be that you forget another part of your role is the day-to-day management, that by controlling the present you take one of the steps to the better future you want.
Finally, it pays to take some time to think “outside” your business. This involves examining what others are doing and how you might use or adapt such lessons. Equally, it pays to examine your company and everything you do as if you were a customer and to see your processes and behaviours from their point of view.
Considering these in, on and outside factors should provide you with some pointers to make sure your small business develops as you would wish it to.