Episode 37 - Working IN v Working ON your business

Working ON and Working IN your business is a term you will hear often in the business world. It’s something that needs balance for your business to grow and be successful.

Before we can find the balance, let’s first explore the difference between working in and working on.


Working In your business may look like:

  • Completing billable tasks
  • Client Meetings
  • Handling questions from leads
  • Lead generation
  • Creating newsletters, creating and posting content to social media, recording and editing podcasts
  • Invoicing and Bookkeeping

Working on your business may look like:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Working on the big picture tasks
  • Sourcing new products
  • Creating new products or services
  • Creating systems and processes
  • Networking


When you start you will find yourself doing everything. You will most likely be the main person working IN your business and growing it. We often throw ourselves so far into our business that when its time to expand – your clients do not want to deal with anyone but you. This especially true of service-based business.

If you want to be able to grow and scale in the future and take on staff there are a few things you can do to set up an easier transition for your clients and customers

  • Use a generic email like info or hello instead of your name
  • Create your processes and procedures along the way so new staff are easily trained
  • Create templates for use on social media so your branding is consistent
  • Create a tone of voice document for staff to follow

Essentially, you want to make sure you are not the crucial cog in the chain of events for your business to operate. Not only will this make it easier to scale, but it is easier to exit and sell later also. And if you want to seek funding from investors – they will want to know that your business doesn’t depend on you to run. That’s a very high risk of failure for them.

When you’re a solo owner-operator, it can be difficult to find that balance between working IN and Working ON. If you’re not working IN – your not making money. If you’re not working ON – you’re not growing.

So what’s the secret?

Here are my three tips for keeping the balance:

1) Schedule time for everything. Know when in the week you can spend time on marketing, social media scheduling etc. Know when I the week you are going to complete your accounting, and know when in the week you will work on new services or source new products. This will look different for everybody. For some, it may be 30 mins or an hour every day. It might be one whole day a week or fortnight. Or for others it may be a 3 day weekend away to focus on the growth of your business. Or you may do a mixture. It’s ultimately up to you. There is no hard and fast rule. Just that you schedule the time.

2) Automate all your repetitive tasks. The more you can automate, the less hands-on your need to be and the longer it will be until you need to hire a staff member. Automating doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t need to be a tech wizard to automate your business. Reach out if you want to know more about how to automate your business.

3) Make the time to strategically plan your business. You can get distracted by shiny object syndrome when opportunities come along in your business. Having a plan can help you see which opportunities are going to get you closer to your goals, and which are a waste of your time and resources.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you work more ON or IN your business? Or have you found the balance?