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Tips for working 'on' your business, not 'in' it

Running a small business often means you end up wearing many hats. In the early days when you started out, passion was your driver.Now, the day to day distractions are enough to make you lose focus. But what of your goals? What is your end game? Where did you see this passion taking you?

There’s an old saying… Man cannot live by bread alone. Well, the same is true when it comes to passion, and small business owners. You've gotta have a plan.

No rational person sets off for a destination without of map, particularly one they’ve never been to before. So why is it that small business owners believe they can navigate their business to a successful outcome without the aid of a business or marketing plan? How can you know if you’ve reached your goal if you’re not even sure of the destination?

Write a business plan – it’s not rocket science

So why, even if things appear to be bubbling along just fine right now, should you consider writing a business or marketing plan? Well, to begin with, a business plan clearly identifies your goals, your mission, your purpose for turning your passion into a business. It also helps you stay focussed, and keeps you accountable.

Now, if you have a business plan – great, but have you read it lately? Are you on track? Have you followed it, or did you simply file it somewhere and forget about it? Savvy companies display their mission statements prominently to remind everyone in their organisation of their corporate goals. This not only keeps the organisation accountable, but inspires participation and gives employees the opportunity to share in your success.

Conquer the world, but don’t master everything

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. The single best thing you can do as a business owner is to realise your weaknesses and understand your limitations. Once you get over the fact that you can't master everything, you're faced with two choices. First, you can invest the time, money and attention it requires into turning your weaknesses into strengths. Or second, you can hire a resource to fill the gap.

While ongoing education is vital for small business owners, you don’t have to be a master at everything. Identifying and enlisting the right resource to support and advance your endeavours enables you to concentrate on the things you do well, and brings a new perspective and thinking to your business.

Take time to think strategically

To be successful in any endeavour, it helps to think strategically. Taking time away from interruption is sometimes the best way to achieve this.Take a walk, break for a coffee or use the time during your commute to assess how you’re tracking against your business plan. Often these breaks will inspire creativity and fill you with renewed sense of enthusiasm.

Start Networking

Getting out and meeting other business owners exposes you to fresh ideas and different thinking and can open up new opportunities that may otherwise be overlooked.

Everyone has a different way of working ON thier business. Let us know what strategies you use.

Written by Michele Clarke & Ron McMahon

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