The average five-year survival rate of start-ups in the UK is 42.4%, with Bristol pitching everyone to the post with a high of 44%. In fact, the South West is one of the most lucrative regions for business success, with almost half of all start-ups making it over the five-year mark and rooting themselves firmly within their industries. But what is it that makes these businesses not only survive but thrive? Of course, every founder will tell you something different, but I believe great businesses create success because the owners work on themselves before, and while, working on their business.

Working in the business

When running a business, especially as a solo founder, the daily whirlwind of activities can take up all your time.

Whether it’s the never-ending inbox, client meetings, spending time with your team, or putting out fires when they arise, your headspace becomes full of urgent matters that demand your attention. In the analogy of filling your jar, working in the business is the sand. It’s all-consuming and there becomes very little space for anything else to go in.

As a founder, it’s crucial you find ways to delegate these tasks out. This can either be to staff if you’ve got a growing team, or to external sources of support. You’ll very quickly notice the difference in mental clarity and stress levels when you manage to move from working in the business to working on the business.

Fractional Finance is a key example of a business that can reduce the amount you work in the business. Not only can we ensure that your finances are in order, but we’ll also support you in understanding how your financial forecasts dictate the plans you can make for the short, medium, and long-term future of your business.

Working on the business

Working on the business means undertaking tasks that will help your organisation grow and is a crucial part to success. It might be launching a new product or service, getting your systems and processes running smoothly, or getting out there and winning new clients.

Remember, by delegating those ‘in the business’ tasks, like your finances, you’ll have a clearer idea of what ‘on the business’ tasks you can complete profitably and successfully to drive growth.

Tasks where you work on the business are the pebbles in your jar. You can’t fit them in if you put the sand in first, so you need to have a plan to ringfence time to work on these. You need to have accountability so that you make sure you’re prioritising them.

Really, we should be working on ourselves to create business success

But there is another area that you need to spend your time on. One that needs to happen before you start any work in or on your business and continues throughout your growth. That’s working on yourself.

Moving back to the jar analogy, working on yourself helps your jar to grow. And the bigger the jar, the more space there is for sand and pebbles.

Your business is a part of you, it can only grow as big as you allow it. You, personally, need to be growing and expanding so you can make space for a growing business. Since running my own business, I’ve found that by working on myself and becoming the most expansive version of myself I can be, the more my business has flourished. Fractional has converted a client a month every month for the past eight months, and we’ve already made our first hire ahead of schedule.

Of course, working on yourself will look different to you than it does to me. But it could be anything from additional learning and qualifications, understanding what triggers negative emotions that hold you back and finding mechanisms to manage these, or understanding how you can be better at working on the business rather than in it.

Need support doing those ‘in the business’ tasks so you’ve got more time to work on yourself and on your business? Talk to me today about how Fractional Finance can take the weight of managing finances off your plate, helping you to create business success.