I started my business 20 years ago today. Here are 7 valuable lessons I learned along the way, which I wish I’d known at the start.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Don’t focus on closing sales. Instead, focus on opening relationships. You do better work when you see the acquisition of a new client as the opening of a relationship, rather than the close or end of a process.
- Consider firing your worst clients or customers. It will lower your stress. It will also give you more time to delight your best clients. Delighted clients stay with you for longer and are a wonderful source of referrals. They also tend to refer other great clients, [birds of a feather and all that].
- Customize the service you provide, so that it’s a reflection of your unique approach to business. This makes your business one-of-a-kind. I did this and no longer have competitors. More marketing professionals hire me than any other profession.
- Open your mind to new information. Things change. People change. If your opinions and views remain static, you will make bad decisions.
- Get the best accountant you can afford. I tried to save money with a cheap accountant in the early years and lost thousands as a result.
- Keep your body active. Do some kind of activity for at least 30 minutes every day. As Leonardo da Vinci said: “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”
- It makes sense to outsmart your competitors. It makes even more sense to outCARE your competitors too.
I hope you find these useful. More importantly, I hope there’s something here you can learn from my experience, rather than learn the hard way.