Work On Your Business — AND In It

Stagnation or Growth Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.Don’t Fall into Either/Or Trap! You Can Work On Your Business AND In It at the Same Time

This is a critical issue for a lot of our clients, but especially at the leadership level. When you’re trying to grow revenue and profit, and ultimately make the business more sustainable, you think you have to stop and set aside time for business development. This is an issue – and a trap!

Get Out of Either/Or Mentality

You can work ON your business while you’re working IN it.

The cliché of “Work on your business, not just in it,” just makes you feel guilty. The fact is, you can and should be doing both at the same time.

You’re already gathering this intelligence as you’re working in your business. Think about how you can thin-slice what you’re already doing. What client intelligence do you already have, and how does it relate to other aspects of your business? When you attend an industry event that’s important to one of the verticals you’re working in, are you collecting all of that insight in some kind of location of record that you and your team can access at any time?

Think of ways to weave these things into your everyday work:

  • How to connect with clients
  • Understanding the vertical markets and understanding the subtleties of the geographic locations you’re planning on working in.

The Traditional Business Model Won’t Work Anymore

If you look at sales in a traditional sense, it’s all about working IN your business. And marketing in a traditional sense is all about working ON your business. They are separated out, and that’s another trap. The more your business grows, the more you avoid that thin-slicing of current activities. That’s dangerous to your business’s sustainability.

One of my big responsibilities here at Wayne O’Neill & Associates is to keep up on business and political issues – but it’s also my whole team’s responsibility. I make sure everyone has to deliver on it. When we blend the two concepts – working in and working on – it might feel counterintuitive, but it actually creates speed, robustness and sustainability.

Why More People Aren’t Doing This

The reason many of our clients have stopped (before they come to us, of course) is because they don’t know what to do with the information as they’re getting it. The context and wisdom that they’re accumulating is hard to write down. They don’t know where to put it. So they do call reports and sales summaries. They email the information to their teams, but that goes nowhere and they get frustrated.

What if you used ONE dashboard to collect all that information? Imagine how much easier it would be for your whole team to work on and in your business. You can cobble together a dashboard of your own using tools that are already out there, like Evernote, but my team and I are actually building a business-development-specific dashboard called Connection Flywheel that is going to work better than anything else out there. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on that. We are planning to roll it out to our clients in March.

The Bottom Line

Working on your business and working in your business is not an either/or scenario. You have to do both. And the only way to do both successfully – especially as your business grows larger – is to do them both at the same time. You gather insight from every customer you work with, and you can use that to grow your business without stopping and separating out that client intelligence process.



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