Being busy doesn’t mean you’re growing

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Lots of businesses in the area seem to be very busy at the moment. Some companies have full order books and are actually struggling to keep up with customer enquiries. This is cause for celebration (providing of course that your margins mean this is profitable business).

This type of activity is what I like to call ‘hamster wheel’ work. It is the core activity or the ‘quote to invoice’ process that every business has in some form or another. Without this activity you wouldn’t have a business and it also makes us smugly satisfied that we have done a full day of work because most people like to feel industrious.

The bad news with the hamster wheel however is that is doesn’t actually go anywhere. It is easy to get tricked into believing that your business is growing when all that is really happening is that the wheel is going faster for the time being.

Now, if you are flat out because you are focussed on planning your marketing, checking in with your key customers, designing processes to make the wheel smoother, leading and inspiring your team and thinking about the long term; then your business is actually growing.

You see the hamster wheel is also a trap. The more time you, as the owner, stay on the hamster wheel the slower your business will grow. If the wheel is going that fast you need to recruit people to keep yourself off the wheel as much as possible.

Make a commitment to yourself immediately that you will spend one hour of every day focussed on the tasks that will lead to growth and after a few months just notice the difference in your business.