Growth February 6, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 655 Reads share

When It’s Time To Stop Working IN Your Business And Start Working ON It

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Doing What You Love, or Doing What You Need to Do?

As the president or business owner, you need to make business deals and connect with others to grow your business. At my company, we recognized that SEO and organic web traffic was only going to take us so far in finding new customers. It became my responsibility to start forging partnerships with other organizations to bring us new customers. I didn’t have time to do that until I hired other folks to code — even though I absolutely love to code.

That brings up another point that many people don’t realize about small businesses. You often start your business because you want to do what you love. For me, that was coding. For you, that might be baking or designing clothes.

But as you grow your business, you do “that thing” less and less. You, as the owner, now have to focus on strategy to grow, and you hire other people to do the thing you love. It’s disheartening in many ways, but it’s necessary if you want to succeed long-term.

How to Take More of a Strategic Role at Your Company

Look at your typical day. Is it filled with to-dos, like:

  • Order printer cartridges
  • Go to post office
  • Buy coffee
  • Write proposal

If so, you’re working in your business. If you have staff, it’s time to trust them to take over some of these tasks.

One of the biggest mistakes owners make – and this is from personal experience — is believing that a task hasn’t been completed correctly if the employee did not do it exactly like you would have. You have to let go.

Gradually work to take things off your plate. Add in more strategic responsibilities, like business development and partnerships. Network more. Get out there and talk to your customers to find out what they want, and whether you’re delivering it or not.

For some owners this is a big mental switch – it’s been so easy to stay heads down in the office sweating the details. Now you have to put yourself out there as the owner of company. You might even have to cold call (yuck). It takes guts to lead your company, but it will be worth it.

The more you can get your head out of the sand and see the big picture, the more successful your company will be.

Images: ”The word Everything on a To-Do list on a dry erase board to remind you of your tasks, priorities, goals and objectives / Shutterstock.com

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Jon Byrum

Jon Byrum

Jon Byrum is the president of Hello Scheduling, a provider of employee scheduling and time clock software for small businesses. He regularly writes about his startup experience on the Hello Scheduling blog.

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