Let’s kick this around a bit. Work on your business not in your business. How many times have we heard this? Plenty. But as owners, operators, leaders, entrepreneurs it is like a bug to the bright light. “I feel like I have to do it all“. “I can’t afford anyone to do it“. “I don’t trust anyone to do it“. “I can’t keep people/don’t have the person therefore I have no choice“. The list is endless. Often “doing” is the path of least resistance for some. Many struggle to relinquish control. Letting go of the rope as they discuss in EOS (Check that out if you don’t know that that is). And if we are honest with ourselves – many “owners” that had that great idea really belong there – in the trenches, because that is how they are wired. Even a bigger challenge for those individuals is hiring someone that will be their leader! Heck – even the Google dynamic duo hired a boss. They invented Google – and needed a boss. (Pause on that. Yes – way more to that story, don’t run off all distracted. Just take it in and keep reading. Even the visionary needs a leader).
As the RetailSystem team engages with retailers, we hear it so often – I am too busy “working in my business” to “work on my business”. For clarity – what does that look like? Loading trucks, shopping products, selling products, cleaning. Yep, picking up the water bottle or coffee cup left on the sales floor. All those things that must happen. I get it. We scramble from the opening bell to the closing till. Where did the day go? The retail daily grind. It happens.
Without question leaders are pulled to work in their business all the time; like a sucking vortex. When working on their business would better their business. Make it stronger. Make it better prepared for the good times and the bad. Wow – HUGE point in case you missed it. Working “On” your business will make you a stronger retailer. Probably will also lead to having to work less “in your business”. Mind-blown. Sounds so easy. IT’S NOT! Like anything – results take disciplined efforts! The tenacity to plot a course and execute! Willingness to invest uncomfortably big. Ability to make hard scary and bold decisions.
Just imagine if you would have defined and documented your key processes and communicated them to your team so those regular activities happen the same way, each day – the way they are supposed to. How many times have you had to “jump in” because they aren’t? What if you would have taken the plunge and invested correctly in a decent website AND the team to run it like you do your store when you first wrote down that you needed a new website? What is the reluctance to spend scary money then costing you in opportunity cost today? What if you would have fought the good fight with the “change resisters” on your team and made the investment in a point-of-sale that positioned you for the future instead of still being “stuck” with the comforts of the past. “I hate it but we are so comfortable with all these workarounds. It’s the way we have always done it“. So you saying you don’t hate it? Nothing is ever “easy”. Is watching others pass you by easy? Heck no!!
No matter what it is – unless you start – you will never get there. There are always trucks to be loaded and unloaded.