How owner managers can work fewer hours without the wheels falling off

If you were out of the business for an extended period – whether this is going through the process of selling your business, seeking acquisitions – or taking a break, long would it take before the wheels fell off your business bandwagon?

As a business strategist who has helped hundreds of business owners to enjoy a work life balance without the wheels rattling – let alone flying off, I know that the secret of success lies in working ‘on’ as opposed to ‘in’ your business.

It also means setting in place the right systems, processes and people.

A good start is to identify the eight key tasks that only you can do – and which are critical to the survival of your company.

  1. Review business performance against the plan and decide the most appropriate options/ actions in light of the challenges and constraints
  2. Take on the role of executive coach. Conduct 1-2-1s with your key executives to coach and develop them to make better choices and decisions. Keep them focused on the strategic goals
  3. Walk the four corners of the business, see what’s going on and what requires reviewing in the 1-2-1s
  4. Regularly visit customers and listen to their thoughts and future plans
  5. Find out what suppliers are working on and what is happening in their markets
  6. Communicate with all your stakeholders (inside and outside the business) to ensure everyone knows what is happening and why
  7. Develop yourself by joining a peer group learning forum such as What If Forums
  8. Research future possibilities and attend conferences, exhibitions and events.

How many hours a week are you currently working versus how many you aspire to work?

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  1. I really like this – “working ‘on’ as opposed to ‘in’ your business”. Once you’re sucked in to the day to day running it can be hard to get out of it again. So, yes, as you say, get the right systems and people in place as early on as possible – ideally from the outset.

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