The Simple Steps To Success

The Simple Steps to Success

There is nothing nicer than seeing a cheque with your name on it. Whether it be for a few quid or thousands of photopounds, it always gives me a little frisson of excitement when I see one on my accountant’s desk.

It is absolutely true that you must provide an excellent service to collect and keep customers. Standards are everything and if you want to make money you must naturally grow and adapt to the market, technology and the competition.

A good friend of mine said to me the other day “you have to do something you really like to be successfully self-employed. You’ve got to be passionate about it”. He’s right but he’s an executive in a global empire. When a project needs investment or a new plan is to be implemented, he simply turns to his cash mountain and starts the ball rolling.

Believe me it’s a lot more difficult when you start out with nothing. No backer, no grants, no nest egg, just a big juicy overdraft. You have to be incredibly careful how you spend your money. No wonder so many new businesses don’t make the grade. It’s a terribly difficult thing starting your own business and making it work. Being passionate is not much help when you’ve nothing to start with!

You need a good idea and you’ve got to think it through. Ask a successful business person what they think of your plan and ask them to give it to you straight. Experienced and successful people have a nose for these things. When new starters ask me for advice, I’m ultra-critical. I rip their idea to shreds, people are so naïve. It may be a great plan, but they can’t see how to really make it work.

I had loads of crap ideas before I started in business, but no-one to tell me they were rubbish. A pram shop, a map shop, meals on wheels, were all flawed ideas which would have been a big flop.

I was a hotel manager and I was good at recruitment – Chef Agency – duh!

All the businesses I’ve started have been really economical to set up, just a desk, a phone and me. They’ve all been profitable, because I’ve run a tight ship and not been afraid to ask people to buy from me.

Years ago I sold licenses/franchises in Yellow Page areas for my recruitment business, the price was either £10k + 10% of GP for 10 years or a £25k one-off fee. How do you get people to pay you £25k for a business that does not yet exist? When they ask you how much it costs, tell them! Look them in the eye and tell them the price, and then shut up and see what they say.

I’ll tell you it’s nice seeing a £25k cheque in front of you with your name on it. Have a good idea, check it out, talk to successful people in a similar market, and believe in yourself.

These days with the internet you can reach national and global markets easily, but you’ve got to take that first step to make it happen.

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