Oct 12, 2017
I go to many networking events and I have been called a serial networker. I used to use a different phrase but dropped that as a few thought it may be offensive to some readers.
Yesterday I was at a speed networking event and as usual it was a fantastic opportunity to meet with many businesses, even though we only had 4 minutes to introduce ourselves to each other. It was frantic, exciting and informative.
Whilst we as small business owners strive to win new business and increase our sales and client base, hence the reason for all this networking, we lose sight of the fundamentals of our business – the foundations.
It could happen that one day, whilst at a networking event, you meet the client of your dreams. You grab the opportunity, you follow up, you are what the client needs and desires. All the stars are aligned. You win the business.
Then Bang! Due to the neglect you have shown your business in the mundane, you find you are unable to service this nice and shiny big new order that is going to change your world. Don’t get me wrong, perhaps the word neglect is a bit strong. But we spend so much time chasing the sale, we forget that the rest of the business requires our attention.
Stop! Take time out now to look at your business from the bottom up. Look at your procedures for doing stuff. Look at your policies. We may not have them written down because we are so small, which if fine, but know and understand what they are. These are important should you need to take on staff.
Does your accounting system work, have you outsourced it to a bookkeeper? Can they offer more hours when you need them? Is your insurance appropriate for the type of work you do? Have you reviewed it? Do you have funds to cover a nice big new client or do you have enough credit with your current supplier? Cash flow is a major consideration when working with new clients. Will the bank help – do you have an overdraft facility, does it need extending?
Only when we have the foundations of our business at a level that we can build upon to expand, should we think about that next big win. The vision is to grow, granted, but the action and development plan should be written and followed. Always be aware of what could be around the next corner. Ensure you know what to do when something goes wrong. Everyone is happy when business is going well, but when things go wrong, you must act quickly with great communication. Things will go wrong. The world is full of humans. It is human nature that mistakes will happen. We would prefer them not to, but it will be the way you handle them that makes you a success or not.
Philip has been in business for 28 years in the small to medium arena and has worked with multi million pound turnover businesses and built a million pound property portfolio. If you would like to chat about how he can help you and your business to success, make contact via email on this site or email@example.com