I get to meet amazing people from all walks of life. Some people love what they do, some know a lot about what they do, some are very good at it, and some are great in communicating that to others
Alastair Morrison is such a man. I recently asked Alastair, who specializes in helping business owners and MDs to run more effective businesses, to help me streamline particular areas of my business. I was so impressed by his insight and understanding that I’ve asked his permission to re-publish 4 articles he wrote to help grow business, titled,
- Working On (not In) Your Business
- Do you know who your ideal clients/customers are?
- The Law of the Mind
- Where do you most need to focus your marketing attention?
Part 1 of 4: Working On (not In) Your Business
I heard someone say recently that they would be spending time working on their business, but actually what they were planning was to do some marketing (PR, as I recall). While no doubt this was important, is it really working on the business?
We have all heard the phrase, “work on your business, not [solely] in your business”, but what does this mean exactly and how can we ensure that we do it? Perhaps the confusion in the case above was that, as it was a creative task, it qualified for the “on”, not “in”, label.
I think the real distinction between working “on” and working “in” your business is creativity in the thinking, planning and priorities arena, rather than in the delivery of it. Deciding that you need some PR, or that you need to improve your proposals, comes as a result of working on the business. Writing the article or preparing the proposals is just what needs to be done in the business.
Exactly what you should be considering when working on your business will have to be left for another time. When, however, you are both reviewing the past and thinking about the future, the specifics for you will become apparent. The critical thing is not what exactly should I be thinking about, but when am I going to step back and think (and see your wood for your trees).
I believe there are five distinct planning periods to consider:
Yearly: 1 or 2 days set aside to consider your primary goals and aspirations and the key strategies for success. Perhaps get away for a few days (see “The Secret of Successful CEOs” – Insights July 2004).
Quarterly: ½ to 1 day to break down the year into manageable chunks and priorities.
Monthly: ¼ to ½ day for your regular review, to see if you’re on track to meet your quarterly and annual targets. What needs renewed attention?
Weekly: 1 hour or so to determine what are the key 3 or 4 things that need to be done this week. Schedule your diary (see later).
Daily: 10-20 minutes at the start of each day to establish the priorities and what really must be done by the close of play.
If you would like to make this year significantly different from last year, schedule these slots in your diary today!
Click below to read the other parts of this series: