Are You Working On – Or In – Your Business?

How do you split your time between working in your business vs. working on your business?

What does this mean – working in – vs. working on – your business? Consider those things we do every day: seeing and serving clients, administrative matters, networking and putting out fires – these are characteristics of working in the business. In other words, getting embroiled in the minutiae of the business and effectively becoming a full time employee. For many businesses, this is borne out of necessity.

Working on your business would incorporate items such as forecasting and budgeting, reviewing results, education and training, setting goals, and planning for the future. Working on your business will achieve results for you and your clients.

Sustainable long term success requires that we do both. The time that we spend that may be considered billable, i.e. serving the needs of today, are working in the business, while those things that do not yield an immediate financial result, but will ultimately yield results and benefits in the future, are considered to be working on the business.

It is easy to get caught up in working in the business. Much of it are those things that we don’t plan for, those fires that we need to put out. Being reactive and needing to deal with that ‘everyday stuff’ can take us off target and distract us from our long term goals and objectives.

The key is to plan and carve out time on a regular basis, without distraction, to work on the business. Make a point of scheduling a regular appointment with yourself to develop that marketing plan, review operational and financial forecasts, or take that professional development class. Enlist the help of key internal and external advisors to help you make that happen.

Remember, a goal without a plan is only a wish.

Frank J. Pedicini, CPA