Today I want to talk about spending more time on your business. That’s something that I know is on your mind as we're coming up on the end of the year. My name is Rick Whittington, and I work at Whittington Consulting, which is a growth agency that helps companies meet or exceed revenue growth goals.

As the leader in your business, it's easy for you to get completely immersed in the day today operations and not take enough time to work on the business.

About a year and a half ago, I realized that I needed to spend more time working on the business rather than in the business. So I thought today, I would share a tip that helped me carve out some time to think strategically and plan next steps.

The key to making time to work on your business is getting away from your office and turning off your phone and email. For me, that's 8 to 11 o'clock in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I usually work from home or from a public library. That allows me to get away from the office so that I'm not distracted by side conversations, knocks on the door or questions from my staff.

For me, working on the business means that I am developing financial projections, working on a budget, doing staff planning or strategic planning, or even some lead generation or business development. 

Things like that are so important to your business that they require focus. And I would encourage you as you think about winding down the year to start planning some time in your calendar to work on your business. Maybe it’s just a morning a week to start with. You might even consider delegating some tasks to a capable employee to make that time.

The first time you take a morning to work on your business, sit down with a piece of paper. Not a phone, computer or tablet, and write down four columns:

  1. What’s working for your business right now
  2. What’s broken about your business right now
  3. What’s missing from your business right now
  4. What’s confusing about your business right now

Take some time to brainstorm several items for each of these columns, and eventually, a to do list will start to take shape that you can tackle as you carve out more time to work on your business.

And as you start to pick items on that list to work on, be sure to give yourself lots of margin just to think and brainstorm possible solutions. One mistake I made at the beginning of dedicating time to work on my business is that I tried to cram too much into a morning. You’ll be amazed when you give yourself margin to think.

What could you achieve next year if you carve out some time and focus on your business?  I hope you have a great day.

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