Celebrating 30 years in business – Chestnut Associates
It’s a huge achievement to be in business for 30 years and I thought I would share some things that have happened to me in my business during this time:
Some mistakes I learnt in my 30 years
- Be careful who you employ. Once had a girl that took over some Food Hygiene Training for some councils in Windsor, Maidenhead and Berkshire so I could spend some quality time with my daughter when she was a baby. After her 2nd session I received a call from my clients to say she was able to offer this training at £50 cheaper. That was her last day working with me. Funny thing was she lived in the same small village as me and got lots of abuse from the local businesses – she moved away!!
- Always make time to work on your business – planning is a key part of this. My business got so busy I didn’t have time to do everything I needed to do and this created a huge problem. I started to outsource so employing a secretary was 1 of the best moves I ever did and she’s still with me today.
- Know your limits. I have always said 50 clients is the most I will ever be working with and in 2000 I had a waiting list of 15 companies wanting to work with me. It took 6 years for one client but he has been with me ever since.
- Learn to say no. This was a big problem for me as I would say yes to all of my clients and then be working all night to get the work completed. Consequently the next day I didn’t produce very much. So for me setting daily tasks work.
- Staying off social media during certain work periods. It is so time consuming and such a waste of precious time. Sometimes friends don’t get this when they see me at home they just pop in and have coffee – so had to be tough and say no not at the minute but I’m around at 6pm etc..
- Check out all suppliers carefully, make sure you look at their previous work/contracts and always get references and look at reviews. I won’t recommend anybody that I haven’t used myself.
- Trusting people with delivery deadlines and payment promises. I have had a few experiences of both of these. So now I use people that I know can deliver what is needed and payments are all paid in stage payments and deposits are also paid as required.
- Always go with your gut instincts – try not to listen to everyone as it can get confusing.
- Hire professional people to support you in your business. I tried to do everything myself at the beginning and it really doesn’t work. Hire a PA, get your website built and managed by an expert, use a business coach, use a copywriter for important documents – these experts spend less time doing what you need doing and allowing you to concentrate on what you do best in your business.
- Learn. I am learning all the time from experts in their field whether it is a podcast, training session, e-learning, reading books, researching or having regular meetings to learn from people. Always have an open mind and be ready to soak up their knowledge.
I hope these tips have helped you as I really believe in them and I learn something from someone each day on my journey with business or personally. Jo x