Think back for a moment. Why did you start your own business? So you could reap the rewards of your hard work? Make more money? Be answerable only to yourself? Have more time with the family?
Is it working?
Most business owners we take on as clients are struggling to achieve what they set out to. They’re busy, but not seeing the rewards of their labour, either financially or in terms of work/life balance.
All they’ve done, effectively, is give themselves five jobs instead of one.
They’re now the sales and marketing manager, operations manager, administrative officer and finance director as well as still doing the donkey work.
Does this sound familiar?
If you’re recognising yourself as you read this, you’ll be glad to hear things can change for the better. You CAN get paid more and work less.
I don’t mean that you don’t need to work hard, but you do need to shift your focus from working hard IN the business to working hard ON it. This is the only way you will see real benefits in terms of making profit and finding that all important balance (and basically get a life back)!
What does working ON the business mean?
When you work in your business, you’re caught up with the day-to-day activities of keeping on top of projects. When you work on your business, you’re improving it and focusing on making it grow and become more profitable.
This could mean:
- Making everything run more smoothly. Implementing processes and procedures to speed up the workflow.
- Planning new activity to attract more profitable work, or bring in work during a quiet period.
- Finding ways of simplifying what you do, maybe trialling software that will automate some of your work or take away time-consuming and stressful jobs.
- Working towards accreditations that can make you more attractive to bigger clients.
- Building working relationships and partnerships, and driving your sales and marketing.
When should you do this?
When you’re just starting out, you might have to juggle working in and on the business. But there will come a point where you just can’t do everything.
As you become busier, something has to give! You’ll either find yourself turning away work, or losing control of one or more aspects of the business. Your quotes will be delayed. Your admin and accounts will get left. This is the turning point – and it’s a really positive sign! It means you’re getting to the point where you have a business that can give you all those things you wanted when you started.
This is when you need to re-focus and work on growing your business, and be more efficient, so you can do less yourself and make more money!
How do you start?
It helps to invest in the right support. Get someone else involved who can offer a fresh perspective on your business.
You’re often too close to your business to see where improvements could be made. A fresh pair of eyes can make a massive difference.
This could be a business coach who can help you get the processes in place to make your business run better, or a proactive accountant who can help you focus on growing your profits. Book in a few meetings or calls and see who you gel with, and who can give you the help you need.
Then work on a business plan. (Our e-book on writing a business plan can help.
Think about where you want your business to be in five years and work out the steps you need to take to get there.
Those steps could include employing more staff, winning bigger contracts, outsourcing services such as marketing and admin or structuring your business.
At Get Smart Accountants we work with our clients to drive growth and help them achieve their dreams.
If you’d like some advice or support to get your business moving in the right direction, then we’d love to hear from you.
Call Emma or Paul on 01902 212937