6 top tips for small business owners
Co-founder of Hypermotive, a successful engineering company, shares 6 top tips for small business owners looking to start or grow a business.
Adam has worked as Managing Director in a few businesses in the past and now runs his own business Hypermotive with his co-founder and management team. He explains how the first few years in a business’ journey can be incredibly hard work, but they’re also some of the most rewarding too.
Adam reflects on some of the best advice he has received throughout his career and shares his own ‘top tips’ for small business owners.
6 top tips for small business owners
Don’t be afraid. People often take too much time thinking about doing something – and being nervous of what might happen – and don’t get around to actually doing it. If you don’t act on those ideas nothing will ever happen.
My only regret is that I didn’t ‘go for it’ sooner when setting up Hypermotive.
If you have done your research, worked (and reworked) your business plan, and know that you have something unique to offer, seize the day and be brave.
Engage early when raising finance
Whether it’s speaking with regional funds or organisations like Chartered Accountants or the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, other finance providers or advisers, engage with the relevant people well in advance of actually needing the funds in the bank.
Having time on your side will allow you to understand the steps you’ll need to take, what you’ll need to prepare and how long the process could take. You’ll also be able to identify who the most valuable people and organisations are to engage with throughout the process.
Talk to everyone
Seemingly small and insignificant conversations with different people have sparked up new relationships and new opportunities that have had a huge impact on my business.
Whether it’s business advisers, new clients or even competitors, talk to other business owners.
And don’t forget to talk to your customers too – whether it’s through a formal feedback process or more informally – customer feedback is essential to moving your business forward.
Likewise, reach out to other businesses in your industry. If you talk to people – even your competitors – they will usually offer helpful advice because most of them have been there before and know the challenges you’re faced with. It’s then up to you to decide what you do with that advice.
Use the Business Finance Guide
We reached a stage in the growth of Hypermotive when we needed to take on external finance to support the company’s further growth and investment.
We turned to the the Business Finance Guide to access independent information to help us better understand the different types of finance available to us.
We have found the Business Finance Guide an invaluable resource, explaining the types of funding available to small businesses, and how small businesses can access that funding in a very straightforward manner.
The Business Finance Guide has an interactive Journey tool which helps small business owners explore the funding options available at different stages in their journey.
Read Adam’s story and how he raised finance for his business, Hypermotive.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
When you start up a business, you’ll spend a lot of time in close proximity with your senior management team and staff. Make sure you take on people that share the same passion and vision as you and that you know you can get on with. Ensure your accountant also understands what you are trying to achieve as they can be a great help.
Likewise, if you’re working with business partner(s), make sure your visions and strategy are aligned. Talk openly about what you and your business partners want from the business – as well as from life – and make sure the strategy works for them too.
It’s better to have conversations like that in the early stages rather than five or ten years down the line or when you have to make big decisions.
Get as much varied experience as possible
Whether you already work for yourself, or you currently work for someone else and know you’d like to set up a business further down the line, seize every opportunity that’s thrown at you.
Say yes to every opportunity, and look at it as experience. You might not realise it at the time but putting yourself out there and having lots of varied experiences can be really beneficial in the future.
All experience, whether good or bad, will probably help you further down the line when you are making decisions for your own business.
If you’re inspired to start up or grow your business, explore our interactive Journey tool to find out about the funding options available to businesses at different stages in their journey.