Business Birthday

January 10th brings a big birthday for the ValueAdd team. 11 years in business. So we’ve pulled together a list of 11 things we’ve learnt over the last 11 years.

  1. Every day is a school day. Looking back to 2011, I can see how naive I was. I was excited about making a big splash and being so successful I’d be retired at 50. Nothing wrong with ambition, but the reality is often a different thing. Slow and steady wins the race.
  2. Even small businesses have red tape to fight their way through. Compliance often take more time and energy that you think it should.
  3. Being in the “comfort zone” might sound nice, but it’s a luxury you can’t really afford if you want to grow your business. Step out of it and feel the excitement of taking the leap of faith.
  4. If a client tells you it’ll be a 5 minute job, chances are it’s going to take half an hour. Some people assume that by giving short deadlines they’ll save money, but its false economy.
  5. Your favourite clients become your best sales people (you know who you are).
  6. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. This was my Mum’s favourite saying, and I now realise why.
  7. A really hard one for me to learn was “done is better than perfect”. I’m still struggling with this if I’m honest. Perfectionism sounds good but sometimes it holds you back.
  8. Social Media can be a fabulous marketing tool, but don’t get too caught up in it. There can be a lot of smoke and mirrors involved, so keep that in the back of your mind before you compare yourself to others on public platforms.
  9. In the same smoke and mirror bucket is Awards. There are some fabulous opportunities out there and we’ve been luck to be associated with some amazing organisations but there are equally some dubious “vanity awards” which mean absolutely nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming all awards are meaningful – you need to sort the wheat from the chaff.
  10. Don’t be afraid to take advice. There’s always going to be someone whose path took them down a different route. You can learn a lot from their experiences.
  11. You can’t do everything yourself – and even if you can you probably shouldn’t. You’ll burn out… and be miserable!

Bonus: It’s your business. Run it your way. If you want to have Wednesday as a day off – do it. If you’re not a morning person and you prefer to start at 10 or even 11am – do it. You make the rules.