Home Viewpoints Working on Your Business, Not Just in It

Working on Your Business, Not Just in It

by fatweb

John Scott

Bartercard CEO for Australia and New Zealand

It’s the age-old dilemma — when do you find time to work on your business and not just in it?
Sometimes it’s easier said than done, and despite knowing that you should do it, many small business owners don’t truly understand what it means and what the benefits are.
Starting up a business isn’t easy. While there are many inherent advantages to it, i.e. being your own boss and having the flexibility that goes with that, there are many factors that need to be taken into careful consideration to ensure you get the balance right.
Why did you want your own business in the first place? If you’re not fulfilling those requirements, then you’re spending too much time working in it. You need to start leading and not just doing. Delegation is key!
Half the battle is hiring the right people, people you feel comfortable delegating to and the other half is creating effective work processes, so the business isn’t reliant on just one person – you! Delegating will allow you to concentrate on the strategy and long-term goals of the business.

What are the priorities?

With any small business you tend to find employees wear many hats – and the same goes for the boss. Work out what the priorities are and ensure open lines of communication between all staff members, so everyone understands the vision for the business and the part they play in the organisation.


Look at your processes – could they be made more efficient? Are there areas of the business that could be automated? Do your research and see what technology is out there that could help you and the business – what tasks could be eliminated or further delegated?

Succession planning

Attracting high-quality employees who are well trained, looked after and rewarded for their work will go some way to retaining them.
When it comes to recruiting, it pays to think about how they might fit into your succession plans – what plans do you already have in place? You may not yet have any idea or think it’s too far in the future to think about, but having some sort of plan will help you to formalise your long-term goals for the business, and will help when it comes to hiring quality people.

It doesn’t mean you’re passing the buck or abdicating — far from it.

Learning to build a business with a supporting team will create success and satisfaction; a business that will continue to operate in your absence and might just allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labour occasionally, without having to constantly be the driving force.

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