Someone once said to me that you haven’t made it in business until you are two years old. Well I’m not sure we’ve made it, but we are two years old. It’s a nice feeling. A very different feeling from when we first started out. Anyone who’s set up a business will know how scary those first few steps are. Scary…. but also quite exhilarating. Twenty four months on, what have we learned and what advice would we give to anyone contemplating doing similar?
Here’s the advice:
1.Get into good habits. Arrange one meeting a week with someone who might be helpful. Take regular exercise. Set aside time for the admin.
2. Be hungry for business. Don’t be shy in asking for it.
3. Be disciplined with your time. Don’t waste it. When you’re not engaged with client work, there’s always a new skill to be learned. A new networking meeting to arrange.
4. Control your costs. Why pay £50 a month for a phone package when all you need is a phone?
5. Be 100% reliable. Don’t let anyone down. Customers or partners.
6. Don’t ever get complacent. Stay hungry. Keep sharpening the saw.
7. Be honest. It’s perfectly okay to say: “I have absolutely no idea”. But then try to find out.
8. Know your strengths and play to them.
9. Find talented partners who are good at what they do and good fun to work with.
10. Pay partners on time. Early if possible. And say ‘thank you’.
11. Give your time and expertise to at least one worthy cause a year. Because you have the time and you can make a difference.
12. Don’t fret over minor hiccups and what the boss might think….you are the boss.
And here’s the learning:
1.Running your own business is incredibly liberating.
2. Assuming you are successful, it’s also great for your confidence
3. Creating work for partners is a nice feeling
4. If you have been good to people in the past, if they can, they will help you now.
5. Ideas are okay, but execution is more important.
6. You absolutely must have cake on your 2nd birthday. You’ve earned it.