Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us! We were a year old last week and we are so chuffed to have made it to our first birthday and still be doing well. The statistics show that a significant number of businesses fail during the first year, often as a result of problems with cashflow.
We firmly believe that sound business planning is the route to a successful business. By putting in a secure foundation, the ‘house’ or business is as stable as it can be. We didn’t do a course to help us prepare for business but over the last year I’ve become aware of such courses and I think they offer excellent provision. From Re-con intensive courses for unemployed people with a business idea to Start Your Own Business courses which tend to be one night a week for ten weeks. The business training in schools also focuses on business planning which, if done well, can teach teenagers invaluable skills both for the business they are setting up in school and for later in life too.
I was recently asked if I had to choose one aspect of the business planning that helped us achieve a successful first year in business, and I had to think for a while and revisit the book where Bernie wrote up the process of our business plan. I decided it would have to be the ‘Marketing Mix’ of Chapter 5. We recognised that ‘People’ or in other words, our staff was possibly going to be one of the most difficult aspects of the marketing mix to get right so we really worked hard with our interviewing process to ensure we got the right staff and we invest in training for our staff. Some people would argue that what would happen if we trained our staff and then they left for another business but as a suitable answer would be – wouldn’t it be worse if we didn’t train them and they stayed! Joking apart, our staff need to know that we appreciate them and a successful business is a team effort, hence last week, we had a party in the shop to celebrate with customers and we also had a party in the evening for our staff.
Another nice birthday present is that the book is now available on Amazon and we’ve received some lovely reviews there already too. If you have read it and enjoyed it, we’d love if you could review it too, it would be hugely appreciated.