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From Surviving to Thriving: The Importance of Making the Shift from Working IN Your Business to Working ON Your Business

Too many Accounting and Bookkeeping business owners work IN their business instead of ON their business, and as a result, only around 4% of businesses survive beyond the 10-year mark.   

This shift will allow you to focus on managing the work, clients, and systems involved in your business rather than doing the actual work yourself. It’s a challenge for most small business owners to make this shift, but it’s critical if you want to succeed! 

If you’re like most accounting practice owners, you probably wear a lot of hats. You’re the rainmaker, the accountant, the bookkeeper, the office manager, and more. And while there’s nothing wrong with being a jack-of-all-trades, at some point, you have to make a choice: do you want to continue working IN your business or do you want to work ON your business?   

There’s a big difference between the two. Working IN your business means that you’re focused on the day-to-day tasks and putting out fires as they come up. This can be extremely stressful, and it’s not sustainable in the long run. Working ON your business, on the other hand, means that you’re focused on high-level strategy and growth. It’s about taking a step back from the day-to-day grind to see the bigger picture and make decisions that will help your business thrive in the future.  

So, why is making the shift from working IN your business to working ON your business so important? Let’s take a look. 


How Working ON Your Business Can Help You Grow 

 If you want your accounting practice to grow, you need to start working ON your business instead of IN it. When you’re bogged down with day-to-day tasks, it’s hard to find time to focus on long-term strategy and growth. As a result, your accounting practice stays stagnant—and that’s not good for anyone.   

Most small business people are trained as technicians in their respective lines of business, so it can be a challenge to shift their focus to management. However, this is critical if you want to progress from being a person doing the actual work to someone who is involved in managing the work.  

Hiring technicians to do the work for you frees up your time so that you can focus on things like managing clients and systems. If you don’t make this shift, you’ll join the growing list of businesses that fail. 

Working ON your business gives you the opportunity to take a step back and assess where you are and where you want to be. It allows you to set goals and create a plan of action to help you achieve those goals.  

Perhaps most importantly, it gives you time to work ON building relationships with clients and referral sources. These are the people who will help you grow your accounting practice—but only if they like, trust, and respect you.  

The goal for any business owner should be to create a company that can run without them. In other words, the business should be able to sustain itself financially and operationally in its absence.  

This can be accomplished by developing strong systems and hiring competent staff who can carry out the day-to-day operations. When done correctly, the owner can step away from the business and still enjoy a healthy cash flow and dividend.  

Not to mention, they will have more time to pursue other interests and endeavors. So, the ultimate goal is to create a business that works for the owner rather than the other way around. 

If you’re not happy with the way your business is going, the first thing that needs to change is your perspective. You have to be willing to do things differently in order to get different results. Too often, people go through the motions expecting things to just “fix themselves.” But that’s not how business works. You have to be proactive and make changes yourself if you want to see any real growth.  

It may seem daunting, but it’s definitely possible if you’re willing to put in the work. Just remember: the definition of insanity is expecting a different result but doing things the same way. So if you want things to change, you have to be willing to change too. 

And while it’s true that making the shift from working IN your business to working ON your business can be scary—after all, it’s hard to let go of control—it’s also incredibly rewarding when done correctly, making this shift can help you take your accounting practice from surviving to thriving.  

In order to create a business that runs without you working on it, the question you need to ask is: how would this get done if I weren’t here to do it? You have to open your mind and accept change. What you learn at school, university, or any other institution generally doesn’t prepare you for running your own business. 

You may even have to go back to school to re-educate and up-skill yourself and learn how to become a manager and a leader. The skills required to run your own business and manage and lead people can be far more complex than those skills required actually to do the work.  

But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can be immensely rewarding both financially and personally. So ask yourself: how would this get done if I weren’t here to do it? And then go out and make it happen. 

Are you ready to make the shift from working IN your business to working ON your business? Wize Mentoring has developed a roadmap that can help you do just that.   

We’ll help you assess where you are and where you want to be so we can create a plan of action tailored specifically for YOU and YOUR accounting practice. Together, we’ll help take your accounting practice from surviving to thriving. Book a 60-minute session with us and let’s get started on making your accounting practice everything it can be.  


PS: Whenever you’re ready… here are the fastest 3 ways we can help you transform your accounting/bookkeeping practice: 

1.  Get our practice transformation Friday tips to your inbox – Every week Ed Chan shares a tip on his experience of building a $20million firm that runs without him – start getting your Friday Tip emails here 

2.Get full access to the toolkit and business blueprint we’re using to build our own $10million firm for $49.99 – A 30-day access login to our WizePulse membership will give you unrestricted access to every tool, template and training we are using to grow our own firms – Get yours here

3. Join Jamie for a 60min practice growth diagnostic for free – Let Jamie Johns, coFounder of Wize and CEO of Sky Accountants, show you his own 7-Step Freedom scorecard. He’s used it to build sky to $4million and only work 1 day a week – Book in here