In light of Covid-19 it may not be the biggest, but it is certainly up there! So what is it……….?
Small business owners in order to survive, can only afford the minimum number of staff. They aim to grow to the point where they can employee more and take a bit of pressure off themselves, but until that happens, a lot rests on their shoulders. They are stuck working “in” their business rather than “on” their business. Unless something changes, they potentially remain forever working “in” their business.
Is there a way out? Can the shackles be broken? Unless you are happy to remain forever working in your business and never have the quality of life that you desire, it is not a case of can they be broken, but rather, they must be broken!
So, what does working “on” your business actually mean? It means rather than spending your time fulfilling day-to-day jobs that are required to keep your business running, you are spending time on how to make your business run better and be more successful. In all probability most business owners have a good idea of at least some of the things that they could implement if they had the time, but research and up-skilling (of themselves and staff) are also likely to be key things that they need to do to achieve the best results for their business. Research can take the form of investigating new business opportunities, competitors, ways to become more efficient and so on!
With technology seemingly changing so quickly, the “jack of all trades” small business owner needs “time out” to keep up!
As a small business owner, I know the challenges of time management. I face it every day, like everyone else. I also know, that it is very easy to excuse yourself from not working “on” the businesses, convincing yourself you were too busy….. but were you? I for one (and I know I am not on my own) am guilty of convincing myself I was too busy, but if I was TRULY honest with myself, that was not the case.
I read a book by Steven Covey called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which exposes mine (and others) guilt in not managing our time effectively. See the matrix below:
So, what did I learn? You should be spending most of your time in Quadrant 1 (Q1) and Q2 and avoid Q3 and Q4 as much as possible (ESPECIALLY Q4). How many people can honestly say that they don’t spend any time in Q4? Depending on the person, what Q4 could be worth to them, but I am pretty confident it is at least 15 minutes per day and likely, much more!
Q2 is working “on” your business. Imagine if you saved your wasted time in Q4 and INVESTED it in Q2! Even at 15 minutes per day, the benefit will soon add up. That is an hour and a quarter per week! If you can do more and save more – even better.
The absolute message I want to convey? As small business owners we are busy, but by using Steven Covey’s quadrant analysis shown above, we CAN find time and we CAN start to work “on” our business.
Everything I am doing with Making Sense of Marketing acknowledges the time issue. I have made sure my resources I want you to read/watch, take no more than 15 minutes. I ask of you (for you), to set aside at least 15 minutes per day to work “on” your business/you. Is that too much to ask?
Commit to it: 15 minutes to success!