Are You Working In Versus Working On Your Business?

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Moving Toward Working In Your Business

Are there times that you feel you are working 24 hours a day on your business, but do not believe that you are getting what needs to get done accomplished?  Do you at times feel overwhelmed?   If this is the case, you are most likely experiencing what most small business owner have experienced at some point  with  their business. This experience is usually a symptom of working too much “in” your business versus “on” your business.

It is not uncommon to have worked to grow your business to a certain size, but become stagnate and have difficulty in jumping to the next level of growth. If you are trying to figure out if this might be you, then here are a few characteristics to determine where the differences are regarding working “in” versus “on” your business. This list is not all inclusive and you can probably add a few lines yourself.


Finance & Accounting

  • Working In

  1. Plan your business spending around what is in your bank account.

  2. Wonder who you will pay each week based on the money in your account . Write cheques to suppliers but do not send them out to make your accounting reports "look balanced".

  3. Take a sale without consideration of whether you are going to make money on the sale.

  • Working On

  1. Develop an annual budget and spend money based on the budget .

  2. Review and handle your finances on a monthly basis: Collecting A/R on time, Manage Expenses, Plan spending based on business need & free cash flow generated by business .

  3. Calculate the return on sales before accepting the order for a sale.

Human Resources

  • Working In

  1. Business relies solely on your being in business and you micro manage employees (in other words you are the business). You do not take vacations as you feel the business will not survive without you.

  2. Employees do not have job descriptions, objectives and do not receive performance