7 top tips for anyone thinking about starting their own business?
As MD of a successful accountancy recruitment business covering the East Midlands, I wanted to share these tips, which I hope will inspire you.
1/ Be Positive.
- Have courage in your convictions; Do not simply put your business idea down on paper and leave it, always see how it can be pursued. Ask “How can I make this happen?”
- Be a doer not a watcher. When we were made redundant I was devastated for one day and then asked myself: What am I going to do now? I knew I was skilled in my sector, sought after with a great reputation. It seemed clear to me that I should set up on my own and so I approached my now business partner, who I’d worked with for several years and trusted. She agreed to move forward and here we are seven years later with an award-winning business.
2/ Surround yourself with talented people and keep hold of them!
- Staff recruitment, retention, training and motivation are all absolutely key to a successful business. Any organisation is only as strong as the people it employs. Everyone in a business is important, need to feel fully engaged, on board and valued by their firm. Of course, you need to have some fun too and always reward success!
3/ Remember, “cash is king”.
- It is a brutal fact that even if you have the best business, product or service in the world, without money in your bank account you are unable to pay your suppliers, creditors or staff – let alone yourself.
- You need to have a firm but fair approach to cash flow management and a constant eye on your bottom line. All of the time, not just at the end of the month or quarter!
- Scrutinise your debtor
- Maintain strong and clear lines of communication with your creditors to ensure you and any business partners, are always on top of your current cash position.
4/ Truly understand your business:
- You have to know what makes your business unique and why people should pay for your specific service or product.
- You should have USPs which set you apart from your competition such as our unique Triple-Point Guarantee. Consider new USPs you can offer.
- Constantly ask yourself: “How is what I am doing now benefiting my business? Is what I am doing now the best use of my time?”
5/ Don’t stay stuck in a bubble!
- Take yourself out of the day to day and run your business without letting it run you! You should endeavour to take yourself out of your comfort zone.
- Always be prepared to try and learn new things.
- Social media is constantly evolving alongside all methods of communication, branding and marketing. To support your company you need to constantly engage with your target audience in a meaningful, educational and non-confrontational way – your business needs to be synonymous with quality and professionalism.
- Think about the message you, your team and your social media channels are communicating about your brand and business.
- Your customers are rightly becoming more discerning. Help them to understand your specific business and what you can do for them. They need to appreciate that your company is an expert in it’s field as the result of clever communications rather than through shouting the loudest and incessant sales calls!
6/ If you don’t know something always ask!
- Seek out people who are experts in their field who will benefit your business – you will learn from them!
7/ Always be yourself and be proud of what you have done!
- It is easy to become so involved in the day to day that you fail to perceive your company’s standing in the wider business community and realise how far you have come.
- The most successful entrepreneurs are passionate about their businesses, but also recognise their achievements too.
Set your three-year strategic business plan and be forward thinking. Never lose sight of why you started out in the first place!
Let me know if you found this post useful. Your comments and feedback are really welcome.