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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

  1. 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!!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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..
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Always go with your gut instincts – try not to listen to everyone as it can get confusing.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

30 years

Jo Hunt

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