Working ON Your Business

Someone posted a question on LinkedIn yesterday asking the question "Do you spend more time working "in" your business, rather than "on" your business?"  It got my attention since the purpose of this blog from Day 1 has been to help you do just the opposite.  To succeed, particularly in today's economy, you must set time aside to work on the business.

In his best-selling book "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" Steven Covey introduced the concept of the four quadrants of our daily activity.  Our natural tendency is to focus on the "urgent and important" and the "urgent and not important".  The "important but not urgent" always seems to suffer.  Most of the time, a ringing telephone trumps working on the business plan.  And that's where we get into trouble.  The phone never stops ringing and the business plan never gets done and a year later we've made little or no progress and we wonder what happened.

The fact that you're reading this blog shows that you do spend time on the non-urgent.  That's good.  Hopefully you follow other relevant blogs and podcasts too.  There's a wealth of good information on the Internet.  There's plenty of print material out there as well.  

Michael E. Gerber, in his book, "The E-Myth Revisited" strongly pushes for a Business Development Process.  According to Gerber, every business should be set up like a franchise.  Each process should be identified and documented so that anyone can do the things necessary to run the business.  Setting up a Business Development Process takes time, but in the long run, it's time well spent.  It means that you can duplicate the business as many times as you like, knowing that each location will be run exactly like the original. I've been to McDonald's restaurants all over the country, and even in other countries.  A Big Mac tastes the same in Taipei as it does in Chicago.  It also means that you can take time off for R & R without worrying about what's going on in your absence.

It's only natural for us to deal with emergencies as they happen.  But for the long-term health of the business we have to spend the time to work on it, not just in it.


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