Let's Talk Business, Leadership

Working in Your Business VS. Working on Your Business – Which Works Best?

By , February 15, 2011

There’s a small story I would like to share that illustrates a great lesson for all of us working in the world of business.

A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way – that’s how grandma always did it.”

Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it. Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. My mother always did it that way.”

So the little girl and the grandma went to visit great-grandma to find ask if she knew the answer. Great-grandma thought for a while and said, “Because my baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish”.

When running a company or business, people often become accustomed to going about their routine of managing the ordinary day-to-day business tasks. These people don’t necessarily put much thought into what they are doing or analyze ways to improve their entity – and who can blame them?

Between jumping from project to project, handling typical workday emergencies, and going through the daily grind of dealing with numerous employees, vendors and customers, it’s difficult to maintain a comprehensive business outlook and come up with ways to improve the company as a whole.

But to truly achieve success, it’s quite necessary.

While it’s crucial to take a hands-on approach and ensure a company remains running properly, smart business owners will often take a step back and implement strategic methods to strengthen their company and keep it on the right track.

Now, I recognize that you probably don’t have the time or luxury to start analyzing ways to work on your overall business strategy – so I’ve done it for you!

Here are a few Ptex Practical Pointers that can easily be implemented to help reinforce your company’s stability, increase business and maximize future brand value:

  • Lock Your Door – Change your business mindset by spending a day alone, away from employees and customers, to take an accounting of the things that are helping your business grow – and those that are impeding it from being successful. Analyze which employees are assets to your business and how they can be given more responsibilities. Think about the steps you take to get your customers returning to your store or business. Calculate ways to outsource certain non-essential tasks that can otherwise slow your productivity.
  • Turn off the cellular phone – Yes, that’s right. Forget about talking to your vendors, friends and relatives – spend the day talking to your employees instead. Ask them for ideas on how they think customer service methods can be improved. Find out how they feel about your business operations and if there are changes that can be made to help it run smoother. Above all, you can boost employee morale by letting them partake in business decisions that relate to their specific field of experience.
  • Unplug the computer – Turn off the distractions posed by your Email’s Inbox and spend the day crunching numbers instead. Calculate which products and/or services are performing well and which ones aren’t. Strategize ways to cut costs and slash wasteful business spending. Analyze which areas of your business are profitable and how you can expand those money-making parts even more.

The fact is you don’t have to abandon your daily business routine to improve overall business strategy – start by following the aforementioned tips and see where it takes you. Or as a client of mine who owns a large bakery and took this advice aptly stated: “I can now have my cake – and eat it, too!”

Onwards and upwards,

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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