5 years in business & our 5 biggest mistakes – What were yours? - 13th May 2016

Yes, we’ve had one of those weeks when LinkedIn tells us we’ve been in business for x number of years and for us it’s 5. As ever, an anniversary gives a moment to pause and consider what we’ve learnt. I wonder how many of you have similar mistakes made / lessons learned.

Here are five things we’ve learned (and hopefully won’t get wrong again!):

  1. Branding – Spend time at the beginning to get it right. I think we’re there now. Not perfect but professional, clear and simple. We spent 4.5 of our first 5 years without those qualities.
  1. Focus – Be clear what you do, for whom and why. We tried to offer too much to too many and wasted time chasing unrealistic business. There’s a time for expansion and ambition of course but focus on the basics at the beginning.
  1. Vision – the clarity of vision at the beginning is what gives you the impetus to get started. But it doesn’t just stay front of mind without you regularly putting it there. It can get lost in the day-to-day practicalities of business and life. Start each day, each week at worst, reminding ourselves why we do what we do.
  1. Speed – yes, it’s important to concentrate on getting things right but an impatience to do things quickly, hit bigger targets, grow new markets and delight more clients creates a momentum that gathers its own velocity.
  1. Repetition – try things out, refine them. If they work, keep doing them and doing them. Recognise that success comes from delivering top quality service day in day out. Stop reinventing and start repeating.

We’ve probably made loads more mistakes but these are the ones that I can remember and that I think we’ve now changed so I can share them with you all without feeling embarrassed!

I’d love to hear of things other business owners have done wrong and learnt to do better. Also, feel free to tell me if there’s anything else you think we should be doing better. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, we are happy to improve with your guidance.

Thanks to all our clients, candidates and partners for supporting our work so far.

Thanks to you for reading this.

Paul Owen