Working ON the Business vs IN the Business: The Strategy Small Business Owners Need

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You may have heard this before “work ON your business as much or more than you work IN your business” (Gerber 1986). This is the key to gaining the freedom you are searching for as an entrepreneur. If it’s more free time to go to your kids soccer games, or more money to support the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of, working ON your business vs IN your business is the first change you can make to reach your goals.

What exactly does working ON your business mean?

Strategic vs tactical

Working ON your business means you are doing strategic work. These are the decisions you make as the leader of your company. It’s how you plan and solve problems for lasting solutions.

When you work IN your business, you are doing tactical work. That means you are focusing on day-to-day activities. This is the work that makes or delivers your product.

Below are some examples of working on the business (strategic work) vs working in the business (tactical work)

examples of working on the business (strategic work) vs working in the business (tactical work)

By identifying which tasks are strategic and which tasks are tactical you will start to see where your time is best spent. Where are you spending your time?

When you delegate the tactical work, you can focus on strategic work. Then your role changes from ” your most important employee” to the leader of your business.

Working on your business

You may not be able to delegate all the tasks you want to right away. Maybe you still need to build your team or implement stronger systems. For now, you can set 5 hours of strategic work a week. You will start to see changes and new opportunities for your business with this dedicated time.

Ask yourself, am I working on the business or in the business? This simple adjustment to your mindset can spark changes in your company allowing for more personal and financial freedom as the owner.

What is one strategic task you are going to do this week?

Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

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