Small business lessons from successful business owners: Part 6

We have surveyed some of Australia’s successful small business owners and asked them for their best advice as part of our six-part series. In this final instalment of the series, our experts share two lessons that they learned along the way, so that you can learn from their experience.

If you missed the rest of this series, you can catch-up on the valuable advice here:

Part 1: Small business lessons – taking care of your team and customers

Part 2: Small business lessons – your business comes down to you

Part 3: Small business lessons – I’ve got the (people’s) power!

Part 4: Small business lessons – the fundamentals of business success

Part 5: Small business lessons – making it happen

Here’s what some of our small business experts had to say on what they wish they’d known before starting out:

Andrew Laurie at ActionCOACH Sydney highlights the importance of marketing and people in growing your business:

[blockquote text=” 1) Invest in building a “marketing machine;. Having a reliable, constant stream of leads or prospects makes all the difference when trying to grow a business.

2) Recruit wisely. Know the different recruitment processes at your disposal, and learn how to recruit for attitude instead of skill. It makes all the difference in finding the right people.
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Andrew is the managing director of ACTIONCoach Sydney and is ranked amongst the top business and executive coaches in the country. www.actioncoachsydneycity.com.au

Fletcher Tax Accountants’ Janna Fikh agrees with Andrew on the importance of marketing and building relationships wisely:

[blockquote text=” 1) Networking and customer relations are key. People do business with people they like or understand. It is not enough to be the best of the best; you get to be the best with the right combination of skill and customer service.

2) Marketing does not have to cost an arm and a leg. You need to think outside the box and be where your target clientele is.
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Janna started Fletcher Tax Accountants in 2009 and continues to be a highly sought after chartered accountant specialising in all things tax. In fact, she is Good Business Consulting’s accountant! http://fletchertaxaccountants.com.au/

Laney Clancy from Pipe Perfection Plumbers shares valuable wisdom for business survival:

[blockquote text=” 1) Think slow then act fast. Or at the very least, just act. Implementation is everything. It was frustrating when in our business we would have all of these fabulous ideas but the business wasn’t going the way we wanted. Why? Because ideas either weren’t implemented, were half implemented or rolled out then left to idle and die.

2) Make sure you can manage a team of people effectively before you grow. Growing by recruiting but not leading and managing just leads to poor profitability or worse, a business that has to shrink or fold. For example, being a great plumber does not equip you for being a great leader and manager. Find a coach whose style matches yours who can hold your hand and mentor you as you transform yourself into a managing director. You will outgrow coaches as you become more skilful and confident.
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Laney Clancy is the co-founder and Marketing and Finance Manager at Pipe Perfection Plumbers. They are one of Sydney’s best-known plumbing experts and can be found at http://pipeperfection.com.au/

Belinda Weaver at Copywrite Matters speaks from experience:

[blockquote text=” 1) An unforseen outcome is a learning experience. Each surprising scenario helps you form a strong and reasonable set of terms around your service.

2) It’s much easier to regularly set aside GST before the BAS is due! It’s also much less stress!
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Belinda is a professional marketing copywriter who specialises in website, SEO and marketing copywriting. See www.copywritematters.com.au

What do you wish you knew, before you started your business? Share your experiences in the comments section to help other small business owners.

Missed the rest of this series and want to learn more from successful small business owners? Catch up here:

Part 1: Small business lessons: Taking care of your team and customers

Part 2: Small business lessons: Your business comes down to you

Part 3: Small business lessons: I’ve got the (people’s) power!

Part 4: Small business lessons: The fundamentals of business success

Part 5: Small business lessons – making it happen


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