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Editor’s Ink: Are You Working ‘In’ or ‘On’ Your Business?

Are you working ‘on’ your business or ‘in’ your business? How you answer that question might determine the future of your store. They’re just two little words: ‘on’ and ‘in.’ But oh, what a difference they make.

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by Brian Cruickshank, Editor, Counterman

Are you working ‘on’ your business or ‘in’ your business? How you answer that question might determine the future of your store.

They’re just two little words: ‘on’ and ‘in.’ But oh, what a difference they make.

I’ve seen Donald Cooper speak before, and each time I listen to him, I find nuggets of information that I think should be passed on to readers. I was again reminded of this when I heard him speak at the recent Automotive Parts Associates group meeting last month in Las Vegas.

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During his presentation to the program group members, Cooper asked a very simple question: How much of your time is spent working in the business and how much of your time is spent working on the business? The two questions are similar, save for the two little words ‘on’ and ‘in.’ How you answer that question might just determine the future of your business.

At least in this case, it’s much better not be part of the ‘in’ crowd; those business owners who spend the majority of their time working ‘in’ the business are merely treading water, running in place. As a business owner, you should be working to expand the business, generating new revenue streams and strategic planning for the future — not working the counter, making deliveries, pulling orders or sweeping the floor.

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Conversely, those people who spend the majority of their time working ‘on’ the business are busily engaged in the very important business of building the business.

Can’t get away from the counter to work ‘on’ the business, you say? Perhaps you’re just very short staffed. In that case, hire someone. But if your store processes and employees just aren’t efficient enough to allow you to work ‘on’ the business, then you need to consider an investment in employee training.

This month’s issue of Counterman includes several articles that address training needs, from both your employees’ and customers’ perspectives. To read them online, go to www.counterman.com and click on “Savvy Store” at the top of the page.

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