Sophie’s Top Tips
- Make a plan, set goals and stick to them… It’s key that you know where you want to go and how you plan on getting there. Listen to that voice in your head – the one that sees a need, and an opportunity to meet it, allow yourself the moments of inspiration and most importantly, act! Your time is now, listen to your ideas and make them count.
- However much money you think you need, it will be at least twice as much. No one ever went bust with money in the bank, so to give your business the time, and the best chance, for success, never take your eye off that cashflow forecast. Get in money before you’re desperate, and you’ll negotiate the right deal.
- Keep an eye on the current trends… It’s important to look at the wider picture and the emerging trends and influences that are shaping the commercial world and the world of your customer. It’s key to stay one step ahead and use new trends to your advantage. Your reaction to these can differentiate you from your competitors, will help you stay on the front foot and will ensure that your strategy continues to evolve accordingly.
- Never let your staff get demotivated because… you need them more than you might realise. Your team is what keeps the business alive so don’t forget this – make them feel like they are truly part of the business and keep them engaged. Honesty and openness are key as is communication, remember you are all on this journey and it’s important to take them with you.
- You don’t have to be an expert in everything. If you don’t have an expert skill in a particular field… then seek expert help because we aren’t all perfect! That’s what makes a team so wonderful, it’s a group of people with different strengths who combined can build something you could have never done on your own. When building notonthehighstreet.com, Holly Tucker and I were successful because we complimented each others strengths and collaborated in order to achieve.
Ruth’s Top Tips
- Your brand is critical….whether you are an individual or a business. If you are an individual take care to ensure that everything about you from how you look to how you respond to others conveys the person you want to be. Businesses should take care to ensure that all internal practices reinforce their brand.
- Get the right people and support…no matter how big or small your business, you need to get it right on the people front. If you really want to get ahead make sure you are not bogging yourself and others down with unnecessary HR bureaucracy, rules and regulations. Be an informed leader, especially when you hire managers with more experience than you. If you can’t change the people, sometimes you have to change the people. Not everyone who starts the journey, will be right to go all the way.
- Get the right investment……. If you want investors take care to go through a very thorough process to pick those who will compliment you and not try and run your business for you. An investor should never ‘mentor’ a business owner as there will always be a potential conflict of interest. Be clear about what you need to share and what is day to day management is.
- Personality, personality, personality……understand your own personality, that of your team and the business personality you want to project. All three need to work for your business to be successful. The quality of your team will be something that future investors or buyers of your business will look at – it will add or detract from the value of your business. Talk to Amelore about personality profiling.
- Turn adversity into a positive opportunity…….. Often the things that go wrong in our lives are as valuable as the things that go right. Work with an experienced coach or trusted mentor if you want an external perspective, follow some of the exercises in the Shape up your Business book or talk to Amelore