On 30 January 2017 Wisteria celebrated its 15th birthday and over the years we have seen a number of professional service companies succeed from a start up to an established company. Throughout this period there are 5 recurring points that we have noticed with those that have succeeded:
- Fail to plan then plan to fail
Emotion alone will not allow a business to succeed unless it is channelled in the right direction. A written business plan forces you to think realistically and objectively about what you are trying to achieve. The business plan will include assumptions and the strategies to success but should also be clear and easy to communicate with when dealing with individuals such as employees and potential investors. The plan should not be set in stone and should be reviewed constantly and when appropriate updated accordingly.
- Be different
Think about what differentiates you from your competitors. Price alone cannot be a factor as clients may see that as a compromise on quality of service. Are you going to specialise on a particular area of law or recruitment for example? Our most successful clients are always talking to their customers so that they can understand their needs and keep ahead of the opposition. Take client feedback on board as there may be a familiar message coming through and you will need to act before it is too late
- Pay attention to the numbers
If numbers are not your thing then by outsourcing the financial proces
s to a professional adviser will allow them to break that information down and convey it in a way that you can understand. By engaging a professional advisor is also a more efficient use of your time as it allows you to concentrate on working on the business but also someone to bounce ideas off. Please also remember the old adage that turnover is vanity profit is sanity, profit will allow you to invest and grow so do pay attention.
- It is a business not a toy
One of the biggest frustrations we have seen over the years is where the owner treats their business as their personal bank account. In law a business is a separate legal entity and should be treated as such. Where owners starting draining it of cash this can stifle growth prevent it from succeeding it is also not fair when the company has employees and other bills to pay.
- Don’t run before you can walk
Of course you want grow the business but before you consider expanding think about whether you have fully optimized your current market. Make sure your business is adaptable to changes in the market in which you operate. If you are going to expand then make sure the timing is right and that you are adequately prepared do I have the right capital and staff in place?
If you are interested in how we have helped professional services
start-ups succeed then please contact us