The one deadly mistake to avoid when growing your business

Growing your business and avoid overwork

Growing your business Photo: Pctrough/ Resource:

All entrepreneurs want to grow their business. After some time, many of them feel that they only live for their company. This is particularly true for companies with 10-20 employees. Are you one of those? Then you as the entrepreneur are probably working much more than 40 hours per week.

You were last on vacation for an extended period 3 or 4 years ago. You are convinced that you must be permanently reachable. In the end, you want to grow your business.

You believe that nothing will work without you, and that your company will hit the wall if you are not constantly pushing and working. Right?

Sorry, you are on the wrong track!

As an entrepreneur, you must always be clear-headed and maintain a bird’s eye perspective. I doubt that you have the ability to do so if you are constantly working 60-70 hours per week over a period of months or years, and do not take time to unwind.

The one deadly mistake lots of entrepreneurs make is: They work too much and do not focus on the right tasks! So, how can you work less? What are the right tasks for an entrepreneur, who wants to grow the business?

As the entrepreneur, you are the energy supplier

Keep in mind:
You supply the energy for your company and your employees. But even your energy and health reserves are limited. Only a healthy entrepreneur is also a good entrepreneur. You therefore not only have the right, but the obligation to regularly recharge your batteries and to unwind from the daily routine.

“But nothing gets done when I am not here!”

You may be saying instead: If I do not do my job every day, then my business will fail. – Please don’t get me wrong: I fully believe that you cannot withdraw from your company for several weeks on the spot. But you should set the stage, so that you could do so in several weeks or months.

What are your tasks?

To get there, you should clearly understand what tasks you are spending most of your time on. This is the key question that will help you to get out of the hamster wheel representing the overload and focus on the right things.

Your long-term success as an entrepreneur, and whether your business grows and prospers, is directly a function of what tasks you are spending your time on.

The three areas of responsibility

You can assign any of your tasks to these three areas:

  • Functional tasks
  • Management tasks
  • Entrepreneurial tasks

Why is this distinction so important? If you as the entrepreneur are working on functional tasks, or are spending the majority of your time on management tasks, you are fighting a losing battle. If you want to break free of the hamster wheel and if you want to grow your business you must work on the entrepreneurial tasks.

What are the differences between the three areas of responsibility?

Functional tasks

Functional tasks are activities that are directly tied to the product or service your company provides. If your company produces software, then the typical functional tasks might be:

  • Programming, coding
  • Software sales
  • Accounting
  • Customer telephone support

Management tasks

When you control people and processes in such a way that the functional tasks in your company are performed efficiently, then you are performing management tasks.

In this management role, you are defining and monitoring processes and standards. As a manager, you are coordinating the operational tasks that arise on a daily basis and interact with your employees. Applying this to our aforementioned software company example, these activities might include

  • Definition and introduction of programming quality standards
  • Resource allocation, for example which employees work on which projects
  • Definition and monitoring of sales revenue objectives
  • Reviewing the operational business metrics, such as orders booked, sales revenue and cashflow.

Entrepreneurial tasks

When you are performing entrepreneurial tasks, you are not working in, but rather on your company. You are defining the company’s purpose. You are developing the company strategy, and are determining what your customers need, and how your company can benefit its customers.

You lead and define the direction. You are describing the company vision. You are “living” the company values and leadership principles. As the entrepreneur, you are leading and supervising the company’s managers. You also ensure that your managers are selecting the right employees. In your role as entrepreneur, you should always be on the lookout for outstanding employees and managers.

As an entrepreneur you are in charge to take care of the entrepreneurial tasks. Most of your time should be spent on entrepreneurial tasks

If you are not doing the entrepreneurial tasks, who is?

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  • This is a brilliant post Bernd. It’s something I have fallen foul of myself in the past plus seen others do it too. I now always advise people to delegate jobs they perhaps aren’t good at eg. accounts, sales, office work and concentrate on what they can do well. And as an entrepreneur this is often the overseeing and working on the business rather than in it. Thanks so much for sharing on and I will be sharing on Social Media