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Five Ways to Work on Your Business and Not in It

Most entrepreneurs are not entrepreneurs at all. They are entrepreneurs in name only because they spend most of their time doing the technical work of the business. They see their business as being similar to having a job, but a job where they are the boss. They work in the business. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, see a business as a product and they work on it and not in for most of the time.

So how you perceive your business and the part you play in it goes a long way to determining its future success. It is important to realise that you are not your business.

One way to potentially look at the situation is to see your business as being like a child of yours. It is something that you have created but it has a life of its own. Who you are is obviously integral to what it is. But just like with a child, you can't live its life for it.

The business will not be able to grow if it's all about you and if it's totally dependent on you. So you need to learn not to work in it but to work on it.

How is that done? Here are 5 tips on doing just that.

1. See your business as a replicable product. A product is consistent and you know what you're getting each time.

2. Where possible, make your business not people-dependent but systems-dependent. In other words, create tools and systems that enable your staff to do their job consistently well. This means having operations manuals for every part of the business. The manuals need to define processes and contain scripts and checklists.

3. Stay on top of your numbers and all other performance indicators.

4. At times, see part of your role as being like a helicopter pilot who can fly over your business. With an aerial view you can see it as a whole but you can still drop down every so often to closer inspect and correct problems, if necessary.

5. Regularly take time out to stop and think. If your business is to develop, you must make this as much of a priority as any other task that needs to be done. One way to do this is to dedicate a set time each week when you won't be disturbed. Take out a pad of paper and pen and just stop. Empty your head and write down any thoughts or ideas that occur to you.