Lee Murphy, the founder of www.Pandle.co.uk, the cloud bookkeeping software for microbusinesses and the self-employed, talks about how he works “on the business” and not “in the business”
I currently run two businesses, an innovative cloud accounting software solution; and a digital marketing agency.
My role is to set strategy and keep up the momentum, and if I get bogged down in the day-to-day of micro-managing people and clients it would quickly grind to halt.
I learnt the importance of making sure you “work on the business” and not “in the business” from my first business, building renovations, where I was so busy doing day-to-day work I did not spot when the property market turned against us during the financial crisis. It taught me valuable lessons, and I see many other new entrepreneurs making the same mistake of doing too much day-to-day work and being too busy for the important leadership and direction role they should be fulfilling.
Here’s how I keep myself focused on the big stuff and not on doing my employees’ jobs for them! I hope they are useful for you too… please do use the comments box below to post your own insights/tips/thoughts for keeping focused on the big stuff in the comments section below.’
Keep Learning: Without a deep knowledge of your industry, the market and where it’s heading, it is very difficult to become successful. I personally spend between 1 to 2 hours per day reading industry news, looking at what competitors are doing and learning from industry experts about all aspects of my industry and business in general. Online tools like Feedly can be a big help with this.
Success is created from thousands of small efforts: Success takes time and is made up of thousands of tiny efforts each year. You must be persistent and consistent. Every day you should be doing small things that improve your business. Over time they add up to big results but you must be patient and keep going. I achieve this by listing 5 small improvements I want to make to the business that day and making sure they take priority over everything else I have to do that day. Online tool Trello is a good tool for this.
Learn from your mistakes: Every entrepreneur makes mistakes and a lot of them. The key is to learn from mistakes, find what is working for you and double down on it. Think of failure as a way of learning and do not be disheartened by it.
Reserve time to work on your business: Most business owners will be doing day to day tasks as part of their day. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of doing too much day to day work which suffocates it’s chance of growth. I now set aside a generous portion of my day to work on my businesses.
Find the right people: If you do not have the right people in your business and keep having to intervene to sort out problems, then replace them. The people make a business so it’s very important you find and attract the right people to help your business succeed.
Relinquish control: If you are too controlling of every aspect of your business then you will have no chance of scaling. Assuming you have chosen the right people then giving them control to act autonomously will have many benefits. It will make them more productive and give them responsibility and therefore a greater feeling of value. It will also allow you to work on other aspects of the business.
Be innovative: If you are plain copying competitors or creating a me-too business then it’s much harder to sell your product/service and scale. If you are obsessed with making your industry better and aim to make your employees’ and customers’ lives better then you will undoubtable do very well.
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Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of My Entrepreneur Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, The Property Investor and Gold, Oil and Diamonds, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.