In case you couldn’t discern this from my incessant ramblings in yesterday’s post, this is something I’ve been struggling with lately.
If you ask me, there’s a big difference between running your business and growing your business. You’ve probably all heard the cliché statements like, “You need to work on your business, and not in it.”
At any rate, I view the two differently in the following simple way:
RUNNING MY BUSINESS means I’m caught up in the day-to-day. I’m answering emails, working on client work, keeping track of invoices, and generally just doing all I can to keep my head above water.
GROWING MY BUSINESS means I’m actively working on improving and refining things. I’m identifying new opportunities, streamlining my processes, and stepping up my marketing. They’re not billable hours. But, in the long run, they should lead to increased income.
See the major difference here? Lately, I’ve been struggling to balance the two. I’m swamped in client work and want to continue to maintain that—after all, that’s what pays my bills. But, at the same time, I don’t want to stagnate. I want to be continuously evolving and growing in my business.
Needless to say, this isn’t an easy balance to strike. In fact, walking that fine line has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a business owner.
I’m definitely not a master at this yet (obviously). But, I have identified a few quick tips that have helped me at least somewhat manage these two different aspects of business ownership. Curious? Here they are!
I’ve fallen into this trap one too many times. I sit down with the intention of doing some really productive business development work—only to wind up staring at my computer screen with my mouth hanging open for ten minutes. I have no idea where to get started.
This is why it’s important to keep a running list of those long-term things you want to accomplish. I recently organized mine into a Trello board so that I can easily keep track of my goals and progress.
Find a method that works for you, and then reference that list whenever you have some free time to dedicate to your business. Then, you don’t need to waste time wondering where on earth to get started!
This sounds like a simple idea. But, I assure you, it’s actually somewhat complicated to implement. If you want to have time to work on your business, you need to make time. It’s as simple as that.
What works for me is to pick a particular chunk of my day or week and then dedicate that solely to my business—and no client work. I literally block that time out in my planner. It forces me to reserve time for those important things. Let’s be honest—we all need that push and accountability sometimes.
If I’m being perfectly honest with myself (which I think is always a suitable first step!), I’m not going to be able to accomplish many of the things on my list on my own. I’m going to need a few more cooks in the kitchen in order to pull them off successfully.
For example, I had mentioned wanting to bring my business website and blog into one place and revamping the branding so it’s one cohesive identity. I can take care of chunks of this. But, as far as the actual web development? Well, I need help.
I’m serious about taking on this project in the near future. So, I sent out some emails to get some price quotes and get this thing rolling. Recognize what you’re capable of and what you’re not capable of. It’s crucial for being as productive as possible.
I definitely don’t consider myself a “techy” sort of person. However, there are a few tools and resources that can really help to save you some precious time—meaning you have more hours to dedicate to the things that really matter.
When it comes to stepping up your social media strategy, definitely check out a scheduling tool like Buffer. You can spend one chunk of time and load it up with some different social posts, and then not have to worry about it again!
You can also look into some different time-saving integrations with tools like IFTTT or Zapier. I’ve managed to implement all sorts of different recipes that cut down on those pesky tasks I used to have to complete manually.
How do you strike a balance between running and growing your business? A girl could always use some tips!
Until next time!