The Shoemaker’s Child Goes Shoeless! The Importance of Working On Your Business

work on your business

Working on your business?

Entrepreneurs and business owners are a bit different than the masses. We are the people who aren’t satisfied with a ‘normal’ job. We often become bored very quickly with the status quo and once we have mastered a specific task or goal, we are eager to move on to a new challenge.

We also are guilty of taking on EVERYTHING! Because we put so much of ourselves into our businesses and projects, we seem to be a bit reluctant to trust others to maintain our high standards and protect our brand and our reputation.

So this means that often we end up juggling all aspects of the business; from bookkeeping to branding, to marketing, to web design and maintenance, to marketing and PR – and everything in between!

But by taking all this on, we are actually doing a disservice to our businesses! There are only so many hours in a day, and taking on the main responsibility of all aspects of the business makes it impossible to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and energy to every area. The result is that many tasks are incomplete, inadequate or simply ignored. We have all heard the adage, ‘the shoemaker’s child has no shoes’. In this case, the child is your business.

For years we also all have heard the phrase, ‘work on your business, not just in it’. In fact, this is advice that I have routinely handed out to clients. I have worked with many of them over the years, helping identify exactly what their priorities and goals are, and developing a strategy to guide them to the achievement of these goals. I have helped them learn the importance of structure and discipline in managing the various aspects of their business, and to understand that sometimes life happens that alters this structure temporarily. But at the root of successful growth is the need to schedule specific times that are dedicated to working on the business, not in the business.

And just like the shoemaker whose child is shoeless, I have been guilty of guiding my clients through this process while not implementing this important practice in my own business! For years, I have been busy working in my business, doing bits and pieces on the businesses when I could spare the time. The result was sporadic growth, varying revenues, and lack of focus.

I took a hard look at my business at the end of 2014 and went through the process of defining exactly what it is that I want the business to be. Sure, we can do lots of things for lots of businesses, but where is our focus? What is our core business, and how do we deliver value to our clients?

Once our focus was defined, things became clearer. And we don’t have to stop providing additional services to our clients; these can be offered to the client as supplementary services to help support our core business.

I resolved to allocate a specific amount of time to working on the development of the business. This included such things as:

• the launch of a new website
• regular twice-weekly blog posts
• the launch of a monthly newsletter
• the integration of video and the production of various video series (despite being completely uncomfortable in front of a camera)
• participation in podcasts
• actually using our corporate social media channels
• attending various networking opportunities

So has it worked?

Of course it has! Just as I knew it would, from helping clients and providing them with measurement. Unique visitors to our site grew over a three month period by over 150%, and continues to grow each month. Page views have increased by 300%! One in every 6 visitors to the site is staying on for at least a half hour and is each visitor to the site is looking at an average of 5 pages per visit. We are now growing organically and are getting great feedback on the quality of our content.

At the end of the day, people still do business with people who they like, know and trust. As we communicate more and more through electronic means, this trust can be harder to build.

Commitment to working on your business, and persistence paired with quality content, will help build your credibility and grow your business.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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