After founding Rodial skincare group in 1999 by identifying a niche for treatments targeted to specific skin concerns, here are my top tips for starting and growing a successful business.
You have to be ready for seasonal fluctuations across your business, may that be through staff turnover, volatile revenue or fluctuations in supply and demand. Running a small business is always highly unpredictable as volatility and unexpected changes in the market place present both opportunities and challenges. It’s therefore important for businesses to be able to cope with these high and low periods by having flexibility ‘baked in’, including the contracts you sign for the technology that runs your business. So look for offerings that don’t unnecessarily lock you in such as O2 Business Essentials tariff.
As a business owner, staff turnover is one area to keep an eye on throughout the year. High turnover is financially costly to the business because it needs to spend time and resources filling the position.
A company with low turnover of staff is generally more productive too – this is because the employees know and trust each other. Offering simple benefits such as being able to work flexibly can have a huge positive impact too. It’s well known for example that if staff are allowed the opportunity to work flexibly they can become more loyal and more willing to devote their personal energy to the job.
Each business should have an up-to date business and financial plan that includes worst-case scenarios – one with a reduction in revenue, the other if something drastic occurs. Each should include an action plan to reduce costs to get you through to the next cycle, and this can be easily incorporated into your business through cloud-based tools.
Look ahead at least six months to plan appropriately. To carry the business through slower periods and lulls consider many options, including adapting your technology to suit these periods.
Emotional highs and lows
It’s also important to ensure that your life is balanced so that you can be prepared for the emotional highs and lows of running a business. Schedule some time to spend with family and friends and with at least 30 minutes of exercise daily – you can always flexibly work away from the office.
Starting a business takes a lot of work and it won’t stop once you’re up and running. But this isn’t a reason to let the job get the better of you. It’s important for your business for you to be happy and healthy, and if you’re effectively living in the office it’s unlikely you will be. So utilise technology to help you achieve this such as such as Microsoft Office 365, 4G, cloud-based software, and collaboration tools to make it easy to conduct business from beyond the confines of the office.
By Maria Hatzistefanis, O2 Business Ambassador, Founder of Rodial Skincare Group