Running a business can be a tough challenge, everyone knows that. Learning from other peoples’ mistakes can help you along the way, and that’s why we’ve put together some crucial advice for fellow business owners and entrepreneurs to learn from. Likewise, Saecom recently hit it’s 3rd birthday so we have come up with 3 top tips to account for each year we have been in business!
1. Understanding the customer is key to business
As a family run business we are big enough to cope, but small enough to care. We have learnt that the benefits of being a SME is that our customers can reach us straight away and any issues are dealt with efficiently by a member of our friendly team!
Many large corporate companies see their customers as just a number on their screen. Often you will find you’re left on hold for ages or you end up speaking to someone reading from a call centre script. From this experience we’ve learnt that in modern society, our customers rely on hassle-free connections and quick fixes to their problems.
Understanding the customer and their needs is the key to our business. Since we work with various suppliers, we can personalise products and tailor services to suit their business’ needs.
Over the years we have learnt that not one product will suit everyone. The ‘one size fits all’ approach rarely works for any business no matter what products/services they sell. From a B2B point of view, we’ve discovered that every one just wants the best for their own business and that’s okay. For instance, we have found that many people believe that Fibre broadband is the best and only broadband option, whereas an ADSL connection can purposely serve a business well whilst keeping the bills down.
Analyse what your client wants with what they actually need.
2. Stay organised and keep an eye on your finances
Whether you’re a one man band or a company with 20+ employees, you should always be keeping an eye on your finances. It is imperative to make sure that you’ve paid your taxes, rent, bills etc. Whilst they can all seem very daunting, keeping a structured spreadsheet and billing calendar can really help you visualise your expenses. Realising you’ve forgotten to pay a bill can result in late fees and financial consequences, so staying in check with your finances is vital.
Even better, get yourself professional support; an accountant or bookkeeper can do all the hard work and keep it organised for you. It might seem expensive but having someone do it for you will take the weight off your shoulders and you will find that being organised = a more efficient business!
Oh, and don’t put things off –as tempting as it may seem..
3. Value the sense of achievement & continuous learning
When it comes to running a business, knowing how to deal with problems is critical, however, the feeling of achievement after overcoming obstacles can be very rewarding. After running Saecom for 3 years, there have been many learning curves! Some issues appear to be impossible to solve, but with a focus on the customer, an ability to assess options and good time management, you can get there in the end.
However, whilst the sense of achievement in fixing people’s broadband and phone lines is a significant factor of the business, we still learn new things as the business continues to grow. Not one person will know the answer to everything, and part of the fun in running a business is in solving problems.
Lastly, receiving positive customer feedback can also be a motivational factor. Why not put up a customer testimonial on your website? Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn sometimes!
Read more about Saecom’s success on the Business Wales website.
Have you got any tips for running a business? Feel free to share your advice with us!