I wanted to kick start the biz column this year my reiterating some of my golden business rules! Running a business is never easy with many pitfalls along the way, but they all offer the opportunity to learn. So these are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned through my own experience of running this biz for the last 12 years. My resolution for 2017 is simple – follow my own advice and stick to these:
WRITE DOWN MY GOALS
Any goals, whether they’re for the whole team to work towards or just your own private mission, need to be clear and achievable and concrete. So with every goal I set for myself, I have to write it down or it doesn’t feel like I’m making any progress. For me personally it’s a fab way of committing to a target, measuring how I’m doing and checking if we’re moving in the right direction. Sure, you need to be adaptable in business (5 times out of 10 plans change!) but this helps me remember where we’re ultimately headed.
TELL MY UNIQUE STORY
I’ve never set out to follow or copy others, and I believe this is just smart business sense. You won’t ever gain any significant market share and will just be nickel and diming it for the rest of your life. I always want to make sure that we’re set apart from the crowd. It’s one of the things I’m most proud about in this business. Going after my own USP and not worrying about trends has given me my own unique take on things. All our products tell a narrative, and they all come very much from the heart. For 2017 I want to hang on to our design mantra and make sure it influences everything we’re doing – with the brand, with new opportunities, with developing and buying product ranges. Through all the ups and downs, a compelling story is one of the strongest assets a business can have.
SURROUND MYSELF WITH THE BEST TEAM
Over the years we’ve gone from just moi as a one-woman company, to a team of 17 people. I’ve learned to be super selective when hiring and only surround yourself with the best people. My team are the first port of call to customers, suppliers, clients, the press etc etc. They’re the front of house to the world and they’re promoting my business and also my name (it’s literally above the door!).It’s always scary delegating and learning to let go of the reigns a little – especially when it’s your own company – so only go with a team you can truly trust. I know that always need to hire people smarter than me, people who will work hard in helping me make the biz a success. This is a big goal for us in 2017 as we hiring even more people to push the brand forward.
All I can say is that failure is inevitable. I know that there will be setbacks this year, but I want to be able to get back on my feet fast and not let them get me down. If you’re an entrepreneur and a risk taker of course you will fail, I do a lot but I always try to learn from my mistakes and learn fast. The advantage of being a smaller company is that you can rapidly make changes at lightening speed to change how you are doing things. So this year I’m not going to worry about failing – I’m going to handle it, learn from it, and move on.
You can’t stay focused, motived and push things forward unless you are passionate and committed about what you’re doing. It’s hard to stay focused at the best of times, but especially on the 16 hour days and stressful times I found myself stuck in through 2016. The thing I need to hang on to is that I’m lucky enough to be completely obsessed with what I do. I love interiors, always have, always will do. Hanging on to that means that I’m facing the year ahead knowing I can cope with anything.