After 7 months of running our own business, whilst we are really enjoying the change in lifestyle and the opportunity to work with a wide range of businesses, there have been many things we have learnt about what it takes to be successful. We hope that you find these useful in your own endeavors.
1. You have to dedicate time to business development on a continual basis. Whilst it is important to deliver great quality outcomes for your customers it is easy to forget the future and just focus on the now. Make sure that you are always thinking about the short, medium and long term pipeline. We learnt this the hard way!
2. We were surprised at how many amazing people we knew and just how willing they were to help us out with regard to introductions, advice and support. Don't be scared to ask your friends and contacts for help.
3. Being resilient, bouncing back and learning from mistakes when things don't go to plan is important. The success of your business is about your energy levels and resilience and whilst it is sometimes hard to maintain the high levels of energy required it is important to maintain focus. If things don't go to plan, take a breath, reflect on what happened, enjoy a glass of wine and move on.
4. It is tempting try to be all things to all potential customers. You need to determine what you are and who you work with early on otherwise you will burn a lot of energy chasing too many opportunities and not focusing on the critical ones that will generate revenue. Be clear on what you are and what you do. If you are too vague or generic, your potential clients will be left wondering what you actually do, and how you can support them.
5. Be clear on your service offerings and what benefits your clients get from you. This something we are still working on to perfect.
6. Keeping on top of administration - administration and accounting are definitely the least most exciting aspects of running a business but one of the most critical. Setting this up right from the start and keeping on top of it make things much simpler when those quarterly deadlines come around.
We always welcome your insights and feedback! Please share with us your thoughts.