The current challenging economic climate is persuading many people who feel that don’t have many prospects of getting a (new) job, to start up their own businesses. Here are some tips for wannabe successful business start-ups. They have been volunteered by a number of highly successful businesspeople, from a variety of industries, who are based in and round St Albans, in Hertfordshire and who are members of the Platinum Point business breakfast group.
- You can only achieve things by doing them. Don’t spend a long time pondering: just do it!
- Learn to be selfish – clear the desk of all extraneous tasks and materials.
- Develop a high profile for being an expert in your field.
- Be yourself and your business will be in your image.
- Make your own decisions but surround yourself with trusted advisors. Find a mentor or mentors.
- Don’t try to do everything. Only do what you can do well. Get others to do the rest.
- Don’t be afraid to take some time out, especially if things aren’t working out as you want.
- ‘Eat an elephant for breakfast’: do the harder tasks first.
- Keep asking yourself are you doing the most productive thing?
- Persevere – there will be low periods but you’ll get through them.
- Lead generation is the challenge, and needs time and focus.
- Give consistency of service.
- Cash flow is king.
- Make your products and services easy to buy but don’t sell yourself too cheaply.
- Only spend money on what’s absolutely essential.
- Set weekly targets, especially sales targets.
- Think about system scalability from the start.
- Make your payment terms clear from the outset.
- Watch your back by managing risk – especially trading terms & conditions; confirm everything in writing and have a mechanism for solving problems. Proper documentation and contracts are imperative.
- Gain as many champions as you can – and promote your business by entering business awards.
There was one, final, piece of advice that didn’t seem to fit into either category. It was: ‘Don’t listen to business advice!’