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4,801 posts

171 months

Tuesday 19th November 2013 quote quote all
Never do things as a favour - get a contract in place.

When a client talks about flexibility, they always mean yours, not theirs. See also 'flexible hours'

(I'm bad for this one) Don't let things lie. Fix them or finish them and get on with something else.

Keep an eye on the returns. It's easy to get lost in technically interesting or fun work that has no value.

Always check up on the company history of clients.


11,897 posts

123 months

Tuesday 19th November 2013 quote quote all
I think most mistakes pale into insignificance compared with hiring the wrong people.

Aside from wage costs the effect on morale and the smooth running of the business, the drain on management time and resources, and the opportunity cost compared to having the right person makes it more costly than just about anything else you can do wrong.


6,917 posts

45 months

Tuesday 19th November 2013 quote quote all
Write some robust Ts and Cs and make people sign them.
Leave a paper (or at least email trail) for EVERYTHING - confirm even the most trivial thing in writing
Don't let any payment go over 60 days.
Don't do business with relatives if you can (our ONLY bad debt - ARGHHH!)
Pay your suppliers promptly.


34 posts

12 months

Tuesday 19th November 2013 quote quote all
Started my business September last year and have learnt a lot in a short amount of time (far more than on my business management course).

The main mistake I made was trying to compete on price and not understanding profit margins. I tried to be as cheap as possible and last year I had an average profit margin around 14%. After spending a lot of time studying my business and after a few shocking results, I knew that changes needed to be made. I focused more on offering the best service I could while selling the products at a profitable price, average profit margin this year 27% and I have had a big increase in sales.

My advice, understand your business as best you can and never stop looking at it and analyzing it. Ask for other people's advice, it's amazing how they will spot things that you don't.


5,832 posts

121 months

Friday 21st March quote quote all
Friday bump. Always an interesting thread IMO.


376 posts

8 months

Friday 21st March quote quote all
Some very good advice here that I've already learnt the hard way.
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