- September 21, 2017
- Posted by: Lloyd Skinner
- Category: Business plans, Tips
So, time is a strange thing, one minute it can feel slow, and a bit like pulling teeth waiting for a potential client to respond to your latest proposal. The next minute it goes quickly, especially with a big deadline is looming……so here we are, 12 months since Greyfly was launched onto the unsuspecting Creative, Digital, Technology sectors, primarily in Bristol – which also happens to be my new home.
We’ve had some good times, my first employee, my first networking success, the creation of a market leading Business Plan and one of my first clients is now experiencing 60% annual growth….but it hasn’t all been plain sailing, we’ve had some bad times too. Mainly waiting on proposal responses, done deals becoming undone, everything taking twice as long as expected, possibility of losing a client (of course no fault of ours but a change in circumstances, possibly wasting money on inappropriate marketing channels etc.)
So what is now becoming time-honoured fashion I thought I would scribble down a few end of year lessons – so here goes nothing:
1. “Don’t count your chickens”
Until a deal is a completely done, it isn’t done at all – Scratch that, not until all the work has been conducted, and the client is satisfied with payment provided can you say the deal is then ‘done’.
2. “Practice what you preach”
As well as Project Management services, we also provide assistance with Business Planning, but imagine if we didn’t have a Business Plan? It would be ironic (Don’t you think). So why “Practice what you preach”? Well here’s an example, if you are a Digital Agency specialising SEO is it acceptable to not to have the best SEO? Or perhaps you’re a web developer, who has created some marvellous websites in the past, but your own website is rather, well, shoddy. It’s important to show customers that you can provide quality, and where better place to start than your own front door.
3. “It takes time”
We at Greyfly may be more susceptible than others to this because of the nature of our service and the clients we target but it really takes time to build relationships. Snap decisions rarely happen – work at it!
4. “Be careful with your Marketing Budget”
When you have limited budget be really careful where you spend your scarce funds – for example if you are offered the ‘best advertising deal’ possible, ’a once in a lifetime offer etc’.. just consider whether it will really work for you. Analyse the benefits and drawbacks to each medium equally and try not to base it on what a Telesales person is telling you– (shush but caught at the right time I am a Telesales dream client!)
5. “It takes two”
Work with complementary companies – This could potentially even be in commercial trades to help reach new clients and build your brand reputation– like any contract make sure it is beneficial for both parties and select your trades wisely!
6. “Plan Action Review”
I hear you soothe Sayers – You knew I would say this but I honestly believe it. Set out a direction – a target to reach, work it out and then take a course of actions to get you there. With your actions in place it’s imperative to review progress and consider what is or isn’t working and don’t be afraid to take corrective action. Each cycle should be better than the last!
Of course, given the nature of the service there is somewhat irony in this post but then again, I think it makes me feel closer to my own smaller clients’ journeys. I’m sure there are more lessons than this list too, but I don’t want to be wasting your time reading too much, which would give you less time spent focusing on your goals (or is that another one sneaking in?) I’m pleased we have made it to 1 year. We are Greyfly and we are steadily growing and building our brand. Hopefully we can make it to two and achieve the same levels of business growth from our clients – either way, its corny, but running a business is really like a roller coaster people elude to – enjoy the ride, don’t fall out but definitely put your arms up!
About Lloyd Skinner
You can see Lloyd Skinner talking about Business Risks at the South Gloucester Business Show on the 4th of October 2017. Additionally Greyfly will be running a Managing Business Risks seminar on Wednesday 18th of October with low risk – super early bird tickets still on sale.