In this latest Innovate to Success blog, I am going to help you understand what it really means when people talk about working IN their business or working ON their business and more importantly how choosing what you do can affect your business performance and the quality of your life!

As a seasoned owner of an IT Consultancy, there is a pretty good chance that one day you started at the bottom of the ladder as a technician, doing all of the work yourself. This is what people call working IN the business. You are working IN the business day in and day out and most of your work is transactional as these are “doing” tasks and very similar to a conveyor belt, one task after another.

Your day is probably repetitive, you come in the morning and and then get working on your to do list, which in actual fact was more than likely the list of things that you didn’t complete yesterday.

As I have previously said, ”To-do-lists” are really dangerous because they don’t explain and show the length of time the task will actually take as well as the overall objective and point of each task. Your day was complete when you ticked off all your to-do-list and you felt rewarded by each tick!

This probably continued for years and then all of a sudden you thought “I know, I can create my own money, and I’m going to start up my own company.” OR “I’m going to buy into the management structure of this company and I’m start running the business”.

“I am a great technical engineer so I am the perfect person to do just that!” – Hmmm??

You then take the same mindset that you had when you were working IN the business, on that transactional conveyor belt and all hell breaks loose! All of a sudden you now have accounts to deal with, you have employees, contractors and people problems and loads of things that you have never done before.

If you are really unlucky you will have stepped up and now work above the people you use to work with and that’s tough! Especially when you are the one who now has to tell them they can’t take that holiday or they need to work a little longer.

All of a sudden people are asking YOU what to do! They are asking you what we are doing about the latest project or new customer, they are asking you what do around the latest turn of events in the cybersecurity world and data protection or can we buy a new piece of monitoring software.

Adding to that you now need to manage the financial decisions of the company and that’s a minefield.

Don’t panic though because IT Experts from Innovate to Success is here to help you out, we know the difference between working IN and working ON the business and more importantly how to use the two categories to grow your business and work less hours.

Leverage and focus are two key elements here and leveraging the low level tasks that you were doing previously to others who are more skilled and trained is really scary but your number one priority.

Today we have three Innovate to Success Golden Nuggets that will help you understand the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business and these will help you reduce stress, get more done in your day to help you take your business growth plans to the next level.

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Tip 1
Identify Your Business Goals

When you are working IN your business, it was all transactional work and you were doing tasks and “stuff” that people were giving you to complete with no consideration for your business goals? Identifying your business goals is absolutely key because this sets the foundation of what you need to do and WHY you need to do it moving forward to grow your business. If you want to eventually sell your business, then you need to make sure that the business model that you adapt is one that creates massive value and creates an asset base so that the business is worth more when you come to that time to pass it on. However, if you want a business that is a lifestyle business where you want to afford a flexible lifestyle that provides you with cash flow on a monthly basis, then that is a slightly different model. The key here is to identify WHAT are your business goals; How much profit do you want to make? What lifestyle does that provide for you?  Also you need to make sure that this aligns with your personal life goals as well.

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Tip 2
Enlist Help!

Who do you need to help you take your business to the next level and where are they hiding? Previously, when you were busy working IN your business, you had different people working alongside you. They weren’t necessarily aligned with your goals and values and they were all running their own “To do lists” as well. Now, it is different. Now, you need help because you don’t know all the things that you need to know to run the business. Elements like Finance Commercial, People Planning, Strategy, Marketing and Sales are all new things to you BUT are all critical elements of any sustainable business and must be mastered. Have a think about all the experts that you need to employ and bring in to your business and more importantly, how we can do this at the lowest cost all while meeting yours and your clients quality and service expectations. But don’t panic, you don’t have to employ them on a fulltime basis and all at once. The world we live in today is where flexible-working and also remote working makes it easy to engage people without them physically sitting in your office.

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Tip 3
Plan and Schedule Your Actions Out

You have been busy before, but now you are REALLY busy because you have a whole new job to do as well as supporting your technical staff. You now have to run the business from a strategic level and this needs to be done to keep the business alive. FOCUSING on one task at a time is the absolute key part here. Working your diary hard to make time to fulfill these plans and don’t forget that all important thinking time as well. Blocking time out in your diary to complete certain actions for you is a great tip because you then commit YOURSELF to doing just that – have a meeting with yourself. Find a quiet space, turn your phone and email off and focus 100%. Separate out the tasks that are technical and those that are strategic and make a clear distinction of time between the two. Make sure you take breaks in between because you need to reset and adjust your mindset when doing tasks and when being creative and strategic. Quite simply, with a structured plan that is focused around your ultimate goals that you want to achieve in both your personal and your business life, then you will stay on track, stay out of stress, work less hours (eventually), and earn more money for your business.

As with everything when growing your IT/Tech Business its all about small steps and ensuring that you have a structured and connected Growth Plan.

At Innovate to Success we use our very own tried and tested Drive for Business Model to help you market your IT Business. This helps you understand the day by day steps that you need to take to sustainably grow your business and increase your profit margins. Check out my LinkedIn Introduction video on my profile to learn more about the model works and why we should connect on LinkedIn.

I hope you enjoyed this Blog and if you want more like this, then check out my other Business Development Related Content specifically for IT / Tech based Businesses. Alternately if you want to have a quick chat about how the Drive for Business Model can help you and your IT Business then click HERE to book a call.

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