Are you running your business or is your business running you ragged?

By: Heather Townsend

Date: 18 March 2010

Think back to those heady, idealist days, before you started running your own business... What was your business meant to stand for? What would your being your own boss give you, which employment couldn’t?

Now honestly, look at how you are running your business? Are you truly in control, or is the tail wagging the dog?

From personal experience, and also my client’s experiences, some of the symptoms of your business running you (rather than the other way around) are:

  • you are always busy
  • the passion you once had for running your business has significantly diminished
  • you don’t get the time or opportunity to work on your business
  • your work/life balance is out of kilter
  • mistakes or poor service/quality is creeping into your work or product
  • you are tired, stressed and potentially run down

Unfortunately, there is no easy one-size fits all solution – every business owner and business is different. Whilst one business owner may want a six figure income, another business owner may be happy with significantly less.

The first step in the process of taking back control of your business is to reconnect with your initial vision for your business and the lifestyle you wanted to lead as a business owner. What was it that so attracted you to business ownership? What was the aim of your business?

The second step is to identify where you have lost control and moved away from this vision, and in what aspects the business is now running you.

The third step is to start to allocate time in your working week to stepping away from the technician role and move into the entrepreneur and manager role. When I talk about technician, this is actually working in the business, doing the client work. The manager is the role where you put in systems and processes into the business, which help run your business more efficiently. Finally, the entrepreneur role allows you to lead your business and take the time to grow it as per your vision.

The fourth step is to plan how you want to run your business rather than letting momentum carry you along. Do you have to be in such a hurry or can world domination wait a little longer?

And then, finally, the last step is to implement the plans for your business.

It may sound simple, but in practice this process may be hard to complete.

Heather Townsend, The Efficiency Coach


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