We have to learn from the challenges and experiences of our past. We will constantly face these on the journey of running our own businesses. If we don’t learn we will without doubt make the same mistakes again and again. Someone once said to me “We should never fail with the same excuse twice”. Wise words, I think

We learn more from the failures we make and the challenges we encounter than we ever do from successes. But it is far deeper than this. Obstacles are put in our way to test our mettle, and to see if and how we overcome them. We will all have come across people who cannot handle them and they use them as an excuse to give up on their dream. If your dream is big enough you will find a way through.

Lets look at just a few challenges most of us are likely to face and I have faced all these in the last 33 years

FINANCIAL – One of the first things we need to do once we start making money is to make sure we have a “Slush” fund of at least 3 months running costs. This will allow our business to keep functioning if there was an obstacle that could not be resolved quickly like a recession or a health crisis (like the COVID 19 issue we are encountering at the time of writing this article). We also need to review our overheads on at least a quarterly basis to make sure we are not overspending. We need to make sure we know the financials and the “numbers” relating to our business at ANY time.

SALES – Sales are what makes our business tick. No matter what our business is, we need to sell something to derive income. We need to keep checking our client base. Keep checking the profits derived from our clients, and if there are certain sectors we work in, check the profits from each sector, and make sure we are maximising our time and money. Check costs from our suppliers and see if these can be trimmed or if there are other suppliers who can supply the services for less. Saving money can be easier sometimes than making money

CLIENT BASE – we need to keep reviewing our client base and this will probably change over the years of running our business. We may start off working with one type of client and then we pick up a new client in another sector and then end up picking more clients in this new sector that are more profitable. Don’t be frightened to evolve or focus more strongly on the most profitable areas of the business. Build strong relationships with your clients.

RELATIONSHIPS – Strong relationships are vital to the success of our business. This is everyone we do business with – staff, clients or suppliers – and everyone we outsource to. The health and wellbeing of our staff is paramount. Our business will function so much better with staff who feel valued and it will also save us time and money. Looking for new staff is a real negative so if we look after the good staff we have, it will help the business run smoother. It will also help with our clients and suppliers if there is continuity of staff.

Having a quality team around us is vital to the success of a business. We need great staff. We need great clients who value the product or service we supply to them and who pay us on time. We need great suppliers who can offer us a great service at a great price. We need other great businesses we can outsource to – Accountants, IT support, HR support, Mentors or Coaches and many others.

These are just a few of the many aspects of running a business, and we need to keep an eye on all areas of our business to make sure we are maximising our potential and our time.

If you are looking for business support, I can help you – not just through my 33 years experience and having gone through all the above and more – but also the trustworthy contacts I have that I can refer you to. I know what I am good at and know when I need to seek other trusted advisors. Email richard@lionheartmanagement.co.uk

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 13/04/2020