Whilst I did start the “5 Secrets” blog four years ago now, I soon ran out of enthusiasm for it. Look at the time gap since my last entry!! I’d been trading for a couple of years and still learning the ropes and looking at what I wrote then it seems a little academic and lacking in real world charm. Well a lot has happened in the four years since I last wrote this blog, some good, some not so good, but I have learnt a lot about what I do and how to do it in that time. Recently one of my clients suggested that I started it again so, Richard, here goes!
This blog is for people running their own businesses who want to keep their business developing and moving forward, to “move to the next stage”, as one of my clients said recently in a testimonial based radio advert I am having made. It is a simple enough aspiration and actually, on the face of it, you might think it was an easy enough thing to do, so why do most people find it almost impossible?
Whilst there are long lists of apparent reasons for businesses to get “stuck” the underlying truth is that entrepreneurs, for me simply people who own and work in their own businesses, often get to a stage where they lack confidence to make the changes necessary to move on. This is often due to some combination of lack of experience and expertise and they are often quite isolated, without many people to talk to about their business, or at least without the right people to talk to about their businesses.
In the last four years my business has evolved to fill that gap, to provide the missing experience, expertise, if you like to provide a “sounding board”, for changes and opportunities that a business has to grow and evolve. At the end of the day I help people feel more confident about what they are doing so that they have the confidence to get on with it.
My experience of small and medium sized business in the UK is that most of them are not moving on, they are not growing or evolving, or developing, they are stuck. Of course the recession has affected everyone to some degree but that isn’t the reason, they were stuck before the recession and they they will be stuck after it too. They are stuck because they just don’t know how to move forward with confidence and so tend to “bob” along hoping it will work out well in the end.
For a few it does, things work out, but mostly businesses decline over time if they aren’t managed to develop and evolve and change with the times. Not just small business either, just look at Sainsbury’s and M&S in recent years, both being saved by white knights coming to their rescue in the nick of time, but our old friend Woolworths wasn’t quite so lucky.
Wikipedia’s list of business failures over the decades can be a rather sobering read, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_business_failures Even big businesses find it hard to resist the gravitational pull of being out of synch with the times. There is a better way and my reincarnated blog is going to focus on the main things you have to get right to make some real progress with your business. What I write about can develop in any way, so please let me know what’s on your mind so that I can respond.