This month, the business I founded when I was 50 celebrated it’s 10th birthday. Ten years ago, I had two teenage children (twins) and a husband. I now have adult children, an ex-husband and a dog. In reflecting back over the past decade, I thought I would share with you some of the successes and key learnings…
- You are NEVER too old to start a business. Certainly having not only business but life experience has stood me in good stead. In fact one of my celebrations, is that last year, I founded a new business, which I believe will have a positive impact on the Australian retail industry.
- Ensure you develop a brand, with core values, not just a business selling products or services and then ensure that everyone who works with you understands and lives those values too.
- Get yourself a good accountant and a good lawyer. Both are worth their weight in gold. Your accountant will set up your business properly from the start and your lawyer will ensure that your contracts and terms & conditions will protect you down the line.
- Don’t be afraid to turn work down, even in the early years when you are trying to establish the business and grow your sales. If you are having to jump through hoops, or severely discount your pricing, walk away.
- Play to your strengths, and off-load the tasks that don’t align with your particular natural aptitude, whether it be IT, graphic design or bookkeeping. We can learn new skills, but if you don’t have a good eye, you are never going to be good at creating graphics or exciting social media content.
- Become tech savvy! Age is not an excuse to be unable to use the plethora of software we now use to communicate with our teams, or our customers.
- Deliver exceptional service, always! One of the things I am most proud of is that our clients come back to us time and time again. We have also worked with some people through three or four companies over that time.
- Collaborate. Find companies operating in similar markets and see where you can share IP, refer clients and leverage their skills. One of our first collabs was with a similar company operating in the UK. Over the past six years, we have mutually benefitted from co-developing course content and sharing global best practice knowledge.
- Push yourself further than you think you can go. Five years ago, with little or no experience or understanding, we created our first online course. We now have over 18 courses which we deliver online and have sold as far afield as Canada, Holland, Thailand, Japan and even the British Virgin Isles.
- And lastly, don’t give up! Resilience is your superpower. It’s a bumpy road and the past two years has tested all of us. Take the knocks, learn from the set-backs and get back out there.
And so, happy 10th to the business, happy 60th to me and here’s to the next decade…