It will serve you well to learn from other people who have been running a business much longer than you have and take to heart their advise. There are times when you would overlook some things that could have made a difference, so here are five things I hoped I found out earlier:
1. Change has to be dealt with but eventually enforced.
I have seen major adjustments in structure, direction, process and technology in both large and small enterprises. In each instance, management attempts to accommodate those who are scared of change and unwilling to adapt. What I’ve found out is that it is alright to deal with the process and support them. However, business owners should limit the flexibility in order to move forward.
This was exemplified by Sun Alliance UK during the 1990s when a policy to accept claims by fax was implemented. Employees feared that the incidence of fraud would soar and the business would fail. In turned out the business survived and was able to adapt to the new process. It is okay to accommodate the fear of change, but don’t allow it to limit your business.
2. Maintain balance.
The only ones who will care how much time you spend at the office is the family who miss you.
There was a time when I was more than willing to work on Saturday (the money was another incentive) to make a good impression and to volunteer to stay behind to work on time-critical tasks. I thought these actions were appreciated and could advance my career. But when you begin working for yourself, the desire to maintain longer work hours have to be harnessed to ensure you are able to deliver steadily the entire week. It is better for you to have a regular routine that you can follow instead of becoming of victim of fatigue just halfway through the week, month or year. Client relationships will suffer, as will your long-term business, when clients feel that you are not giving them the proper attention. So leave work at the right time and make your family happy.
3. Small businesses can and should specialise.
“Putting food on the table is a generalist’s job, whilst building wealth and power is a specialist’s mission.”
At the beginning of running my business, I was paying more attention on increasing my client base so I never reject a potential client. I thought that was what was needed by a small, suburban business and it could not specialise like the businesses in CBD. I’ve discovered that if you are able to specialise in a particular field and secure that niche, then you could boost the value of your business and raise the quality of your service. You have no other alternative, in the “Google age,” but to step up and bring beyond average results. You will be rewarded if you are able to do this.
4. Give more importance to yourself, your staff and your service than to your customer.
It was hard, but I have learned to say “no.” My staff and I work hard, so I will choose clients who value my work and the role my employees play in providing our service.
5. “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it”.
Regardless of what happens in your personal or work life, it is your reaction in those situations that will shape the ultimate outcome. If you are able to spot life’s trials approaching, then you increase your chances of adjusting well and alleviating the damage. However, even a challenge that surprises you can be a chance for you to flourish or at best transform an adversity into an opportunity. I found that what holds us back in business is the fear of outcomes, not really the outcome itself, which we were able to deal with.
Running your own business can be challenging. Seek help and guidance from a business partner. PJS Accountants are the partners you need to expand your business and help it overcome any challenge or trial. We offer a full range of services including accounting, taxation, business improvement, superannuation, business valuations, asset protection, succession planning, estate planning and bookkeeping. Contact PJS Accountants for enquiries.