When those feelings come, it can be easy to want to hide under covers. Or to consider going back to the ‘safety’ of regular employment by looking at what jobs are out there.
But you don’t need a job. You just need to put a little time back into your business. Because your relationship with your business is a lot like your relationship with people – it takes work, love and attention to make it flourish.
In this post, I’ll show you why working on your business matters and how starting to work ON your business today will make you feel like you’re back in control. It’s time to make your relationship with your business productive, happy and profitable again.
Why working ON your business matters
When you work ON your business, you give it the time and effort it needs to shine. And when your business is shining, you’ll shine too.
But working on your business isn’t a ‘once-and-done’ kind of thing. It’s something you need to do regularly and consistently. While nobody said being your own boss would be easy, when you invest the time and effort to work ON your business, things will get progressively easier.
You’ll reduce the feeling of overwhelm
When you make the time to work on your business, you’ll feel more on top of things. You’ll be more in control of your daily business life and see the benefit of the effort you’ve put in. You’ll know what you need to do each week and reduce the overwhelm you’ve been feeling about all the things you want to do – because you’ll actually be doing them!
You’ll make progress step-by-step
By planning and doing the work when you schedule it, you’ll start ticking off wins and building momentum towards achieving your bigger-picture goals. Every week, you’ll be doing a little bit to keep you moving forward – and believe me when I say it will feel so good!
You’ll be able to manage when things don’t go to plan
We all know how easy it is for life to get in the way of business. But if you dedicate time each week to work on your business, you won’t have to worry if you need to take a little time to deal with life. You’ll have a built-in buffer, so you’re already ahead of the game (and your business will be able to manage without you while you take the time you need to sort things out).
You’ll improve your visibility and credibility
By working on your business, you’ll build credibility and visibility simply by showing up. When your systems are in tip-top shape, and your marketing and networking are rolling along, your brand will flourish, and people will notice your commitment consistency and your confidence will build. (Unfortunately, they’ll also notice when you’re all over the place and disorganised… but not in a good way.)
You’ll build a pipeline of regular work
When you’re kicking goals with your business management, the incredible outcome will be a more secure pipeline of work. By showing up consistently and targeting the right services to the right people, your business will keep working for you – even when you’re sleeping. And you’ll soon find people knocking on your business door because you will have built that ‘know, like and trust factor’ – which is worth its weight in gold!
How you can start working ON your business today
Know you’ve seen why it’s important to work on your business, it’s time to make a start. But you don’t need to wait until you have all your ducks lined up in a neat little row (you never will!). You can start working ON your business TODAY. Just follow my four-step plan, and you’ll be back to loving your business again in no time.
Step 1 – Make time and build boundaries (and stick to them)
The best thing you can do today is to go to your calendar and book a regular time slot to work ON your business. Even if it’s just one hour a week, block that time out now and use it to work towards achieving goals that will improve your business and make you shine brighter.
And once you’ve blocked out that time – respect it. Set boundaries to protect that time and don’t give it away for clients, family or other outside distractions. That time is yours every week to work on YOUR business – not to work on someone else’s. (And if you absolutely have to give it away because of something completely unmissable – reschedule it immediately for that same week.)
Tip: Find the quietest time of your week to work ON your business. This might be the beginning of the week, or the end of the week. Whenever it is, choose a time you know you’ll be able to keep for your business.
Step 2 – Focus on your marketing driver as your priority
If you don’t already have a marketing driver, pick one and invest effort into building it. Your marketing driver is your main content marketing focus – it could be a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel or another content channel where you get to share your expertise and value. Keep an ongoing list of ideas so that you’ve already got it planned when it’s time to work on your next post, episode or video.
As you build your content library with your marketing driver, share your advice far and wide via social media, newsletters, by being a guest on other podcasts or other promotional opportunities. By sharing your expertise, you’ll grow your audience and show them how serious you are about your business. And with an expanding portfolio of valuable content, your audience will get to know more about you and how your services can help them.
Step 3 – Review your business foundations
Once your marketing driver is strong, it’s time to review the rest of your small business foundations.
I like to call your business foundations your ‘marketing sandwich’. Where your marketing driver is your bread and butter (or avocado if you prefer) and your business foundations are the fillings that bring it all together in an irresistible way.
And when your business foundations come together in that delicious sandwich, the process of running your business will feel (and be) much, much easier.
If you’re not sure what your business foundations are, read my comprehensive blog on small business foundations to help you decide what to focus on next.
Step 4 – Break it down quarter by quarter
When it comes to working on your business, there is always (ALWAYS) something to do! Which can make it hard to know where to start. My advice for the ‘don’t-know-where-to-starts’ is to break your goals down quarter by quarter and take it one step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once – you can’t (and you’d be setting yourself up for failure).
Instead, set yourself up for success by planning to achieve ONE thing each quarter and mapping each step into bite-sized (achievable) chunks. That way, you’ll know where to focus when working ON your business and enjoy ticking off each milestone achievement.
If you need help moving forward with your quarter-by-quarter action plan, look at my Quarterly Business Planning service – I made it to help people like you achieve your business goals, one step at a time.