A frustrated client explained that he was getting tied up doing low-level work instead of his marketing.
He was frustrated, because if things didn’t change, his business would stop growing.
The problem? He was working at the wrong level – doing too much hands-on work for his stage of business.
A very common problem in a growth business.
If you always work on short-term priorities, you have no time for medium and long-term work.
You end up in a cycle of feast and famine. One month flat out, the next scrabbling around for more work.
It’s because there are 4 different levels of work in your business.
Moving beyond levels 1 and 2 is the key to unlock growth.
Level 1 – Doing
Doing is the detailed, hands-on work that could be described easily in procedures and processes.
Doing the work gets the job done according to your standards and procedures. It is task orientated, payable by the hour kind of work, or perhaps with a bonus.
It could be operating a machine, serving in a shop, hand-making furniture, or serving customers over a counter.
It might be your sales people, your engineers, your programmers or your van drivers.
It’s the kind of worked that frustrated my client.
Everyday, job type work.
It can be represented by a simple phrase – “Exchanging your time for money”.
Working hard, not working smart.
And it is the work that ultimately you want employees to be doing for you, so that you’re earning money for the hours they work.
Level 2 – Managing
Successful businesses employ others to do the work.
This work must be organised, delegated, supervised and quality controlled.
All of these tasks are about managing work, including dealing with any issues that arise when things go wrong.
Both managing and doing keep service consistent and reliable.
But neither of them make the business really move up a gear.
Which brings us nicely to the first of the two improver levels…
Level 3 – Developing
Developing the business is about improving the way it works.
It is creating processes to make performance more consistent and predictable.
It is automating tasks to make them quicker and less prone to errors.
It is introducing checklists, forms, operational meetings and improvement plans.
It is analysing the results of marketing and choosing what to do next.
It is the application of new sales techniques and teaching them to your sales people, or improving the conversion rate of your webpages.
It is going through your operational finances to discover ways to shave costs out of every single sale, improving your margins and making more money for no more work.
In short it is about improving the performance of any and every aspect of your business.
It is the level at which you really step up and fill your boots as the business owner.
It is how you are different to people you employ.
But it’s still not being an entrepreneur. That comes at the final level…
Level 4 – Creating
Creation is at the heart of entrepreneurship.
And this level is about creating businesses, creating products, creating new markets. It is about transforming ideas into profits, creating something from nothing.
It is about seizing opportunities and following through on ideas, it is about weighing up the risks and taking chances.
It is leadership in its boldest form, reaching upwards and outwards, striving to reach your true potential.
It is investing for the future and exploiting the now.
For my client, relentlessly doing the work and being frustrated by it, the only way out is to change his habit.
He must stretch himself to do more work at the managing and developing levels if he is to achieve his goal of massive business growth.
But it’s hard. And that’s good.
Because if it wasn’t, everybody would be doing it.
Which Level Do You Routinely Step Off?
If your business is an elevator, with a floor for each of these levels, where do you habitually stop and get out to spend your day?
What might happen if you got off at a different floor?
Are you in need of some help to move up a level in your business?
Get in touch for a free strategy session today by clicking here.