Welcome back to part two of starting a Business
We have read many books about successful businesses, books about successful people, we’ve worked in some of these businesses ourselves and one thing stands true of them all, consistency.
Consistency doesn’t mean resting on your laurels or standing still. A business, a person, a group of people can be creative, innovative, fast paced and be consistent. Growth can happen, the speed in which things happen can change but consistency can be achieved throughout all of this.
Does your business, your product and your service do what it says it will do, consistently, every time?
How many people have you met in your lifetime who said this about a local business?
‘We used to love Mr Windows (made up name) but then they got bigger, we never see Dave anymore and service just isn’t the same, so we found somebody smaller'
Inevitably some things change with growth but a level of consistency has to remain. This comes from the owners of the business and is passed down carefully – we call this, organizing your company!
There is an old saying in retail ‘the customer is always right’, we are throwing this in the bin. We are a customer and we are certainly not always right.
Don’t misinterpret me, without customers a brand is nothing – give them something new to get excited about.
Build something you believe in (do your research of course), and present it in a way that people are intrigued by.
Our brand, packaging, social media and any marketing associated with Blendsmiths had to relate to the taste we had created.
It’s easy to get carried away with your adrenaline-fuelled imagination as an entrepreneur. Moving is a good thing, actually, it’s a great thing but move at a steady and manageable pace.
The most difficult thing to figure out first and foremost when starting a business is ‘yourself’. Who are you, what are your strengths, more importantly, what are your weaknesses?
My third piece of advice is to read a book I’ve read a number of times called ‘The E Myth’ Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it by Michael E. Gerber.
Michael suggests that everybody who goes into business is actually three people.
Entrepreneurnuer – Turns the most trivial condition into an opportunity. The entrepenuer is the visionary in us. The Dreamer. The energy behind every human activity. The imagine that sparks the fire of the future. The catalyst for change.
The Manager – The managerial personality is pragmatic. Without the manager, there would be no planning, no order, no predictability.
The Technician – The Technician is the doer. “If you want it done right, do it yourself” is the technicians credo. The technician loves to tinker. Things are to be taken apart and put back together again.
As Gerber describes quite brilliantly, we all have an entrepreneur, manager and technician inside of us. And if they were equally balanced, we’d be describing an incredibly balanced individual.
Unfortunately, experience shows us that few people who go into business are blessed with such balance. Instead, the typical small business owner is 10% entrepreneur, 20% manager and 70% technician.
While the smaller two are battling it out, The Technician seizes the opportunity and goes into business for himself.
This was a really important lesson for us before we started out, as we evolve and how we grow the business in the future.
Revel in mistakes. It’s hard, there is no doubt about it.
If you are starting small, you are the worker, the ideas person, the finance person, the design person, the sales manager, the director – starting a business and getting it off the ground can be overwhelming, scary, exhausting (unless you’re the NACHieve trait).
Or, you can approach things at your pace – dictate how you want your business to be, how you want it to run and go to work ‘on your business’ not just ‘in your business’.
Inevitably, at first you will have to do both but the idea is to create a business model that works so efficiently that one day when you begin to hire the workers, the ideas person, the finance person, the design person, the sales manager – it isn’t an arduous task.
Why? Because you have worked on the business to be a super well-oiled machine and not allowed your business to consume you with working all hours god sends because to be quite frank, this only leads to you losing your hair and feeling stressed!
To the future
We don’t have all the answers, we’ve made some wrong turns and some right ones – this is the beauty of stepping into the unknown, trying your hand, daring to break the mould, exploring the very nature of pushing yourself to the limits of uncertainty.
Entering a crowded market place can be daunting, it’s easy to get lost, make sure you give yourself the best opportunity to be noticed so you have an opportunity to go again for another 12 months.
We begin again in January, we will strive to improve all areas of our business. We will innovate, we will improve, we will design, we will work harder but we will always keep things simple and stick to our aim of affordable quality
But mostly, we will make sure we are happy and doing what we love.
Good luck with wearing your yellow sweater.