As a small business owner a lot of my time is spent just “doing stuff”. That includes sales, staffing, writing blogs, networking, general admin and being a technician – actually doing some of the geeky stuff. All of those things are necessary and, at least in the case of the geekery, enjoyable.

BUT …

.. what about working on the business?

We all make forecasts on sales over the next few years, size of the team, etc. but what about really working on the business, looking at your busness model, what works well, what doesn’t, is the team right, is the marketing strategy right, do we need to offer more services or less services, what’s the exit strategy, do we have the right processes for sales/delivery/aftercare in place, etc. All of these things are vital for the succes of the business and I know that I will get caught up in the never-ending list of things to do if I don’t have a structure around working on the business.

I have those strategic tasks in my “To-Do” lists with deadlines and timescales attached but will often reschedule when client work comes in. I need a strategy and the discipline to avoid doing that and am very aware of my shortcomings in that area – there’s still work to do there.

There is one way that I do manage to find the time already and that is to sign up for courses that help me work on my business with time committed on attending and there is usually some relevant “homework” to help.

Yesterday I was on the marvellous Scale Masters programme at the University of Teesside organised by Dgital City where we looked at the Business Model Canvas of our individual businesses and as a result I now know areas of the business I need to expand, what the biggest weakness is in the business (which I can now address and turn into a strength and opportunity) and, as always at these sessions, picked up some nuggets from my peers. A great use of my time.

On Saturday and Sunday (and a fortnight later) I will be attending a course run by the brilliant people at Enterprise Made Simple (https://enterprisemadesimple.co.uk/) and having been on a few of their other courses I know this will also improve my business processes and provide other insights from those delivering the course and from peer learning.

Putting structure around the process and having some accountability are the keys for me to doing what I should be doing as a business owner and leader of the team. I’m looking forward to signing up gor more.