We were delighted to welcome seven business owners to our second seminar last night on the topic of ‘Working on your Business’. It was a very interesting subject for a room of sole traders and start up companies because, of course, it can feel like there is so much working in your business to be done. For those not familiar with the term, working on your business means working on shaping the structure and mechanism of your business rather than doing the day to day tasks of your business. It means planning and implementing changes to the way resources are expended that make the business more profitable. Often it means mechanising, systemising and delegating.
Whilst preparing the seminar I realised that the reason this topic has attracted so much attention in the business world and given rise to books and indeed this seminar, is not because it is a particularly revolutionary idea. Clearly if you want a successful business you would be interested to get the shape right, to set up the system so that it delivers a return. That is hardly a big deal. It is not even that doing it is very important, though it is. It is also important to deliver your service well. The real reason that it has become a hot topic, is that so little of it actually happens. It is vital and ignored.
For example I have been meeting a lot of business owners recently and to date not a single one has an annual budget. My theory (unproven), is that there is a psychological block with working on your business. There is a kind of safety in the day to day routine. There is an unwillingness to let go of doing other things that might free the business owner up to work on their business. Working on your business implies looking at it in cold blood and shaping it rationally. Of course people are not rational and regard their business as ‘their baby’. As such we are deeply emotionally involved. There is also a tendancy to regard it as a dehumanising process. I can understand that but would argue that in plenty of walks of life, deep rooted structure, time keeping and division of labour is combined with artistry and human expression. Theatre is great example.
I highly recommend looking into the topic. I drew on the following sources for the seminar and I think that getting to know them first hand is a great investment in time. They tend to be quite American in tone, but deliver an important message:
- The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Business Building Presentation by Rich Schefen
Again feedback from the the seminar was very positive, scoring over 9.5/10 for overall value. Here are some of the comments:
“Love this, combining some of the thoughts I already have but feel very empowered after each seminar and feel I have gained some structure towards my business.”
“A good opportunity to get back to basics after a few months trading, to reassess our priorities.”
“It is definitely worth coming to this event if you want to improve your business.”
The next seminar will take place on 30th January, 7-9pm, the topic is Pricing and the venue is to be confirmed. Sadly The Bespoke Space now has a regular Monday booking. All suggestions of alternative venues are gratefully recieved.