Business Survival Top Tips after 5 years – still plenty to learn!

There are lots of good survival tips out there.

Richard Branson – he’s survived and prospered.  Martin Sorrell – amazing track record.  Peter Jones – doing OK(!).  Ray Mears – in the jungle or in the dessert.

The Real Business Club – OK so we are not quite in this league.

We have done some looking back on the first of our five years and this has been a worthwhile experience.  We have learned a lot – including that we don’t know everything!  But then I suppose even the characters named above don’t know everything!

Here are some tips – of course we have not got it all

  • Hold your nerve – we did not know where it was going when we started and when we try new things we are not always sure – but we will give it a go and take the learning we can
  • Hold on to core values – we started out with some aims and these have values under them that guide what we are doing.  I don’t mean anything grand by this – just that there are things we will do and things we won’t!
  • Be flexible and creative – we have tried not to get stuck into ways of doing things and always ask ourselves and review – do we still need to do this?  Is this what businesses want?  Is there a better way of doing this?  Are we missing an opportunity?
  • Know what you mean by “productivity” – not just being busy but being genuinely productive for yourself – and if you don’t know, this means have a word with us!
  • Regularly look at the strategy and the operational sides – try to avoid just being so “strategic” that customers don’t know what it is you are doing and avoid being so operational and granular that it’s just about processes
  • Enjoy the feedback you get – take this as a reward because at the top of a small business it can be hard to find praise.
  • Work hard – work smart – keep an eye on profit, not on turnover
  • Try out things and watch what happens – it’s your business and don’t be put in a box.
  • Kiss some frogs and learn from it – others will come along who say they want to work with you, or you want to work with them – in the end not all these will work out – some will and some won’t!
  • Invest in yourself – take time for training and be thinking for the here and now and the what next – and of course you can put the cost against tax too!
  • Thank people who help you – it’s just nice to do – we did at our 5th Birthday networking event – because without these people we would not have got so far and learned so much
  • Work with others that you can have fun with – it is likely you started your business wanting to enjoy it – so having fun matters.

If we can help you put these tips into action – either through helping you make more time, sorting out the money bit or through coaching then get in touch.  Our support service – Focus Port – might be just right (click here for further information!).

For The Real Business Club the context of being partners has brought a terrifically valuable dynamic.  We know that partnership does not suit everyone but here is what we have found valuable:

  • Honesty and openness
  • Complementary skills
  • Common attitudes

Talk to us if you or your business needs a new view or someone else to objectively come along side you and prepare it for the years ahead.

And the next five years……………….

So what did Richard Branson say?

Check him out here – a good read we thought – some we have done and some we have not!