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10 Years in Business, this much I know...

Date Posted: 18/10/2011 11:07:49
Posted By: Geometry PR

As Geometry PR celebrates 10 years in business, I find myself irresistibly drawn to share some of the key lessons Iíve learned.

Since the agency relocated to Bath in April 2011, we have enjoyed something of a renaissance. The move has invigorated Rick and myself, but has also breathed new life into Geometry PR and the team. This has been reflected in the way we have both attracted new business, especially local business, and strengthened our relationships with longstanding clients.

Like all businesses we have experienced highs and lows over the years. But throughout certain constants have become obvious. These are the lessons I have learned which will (hopefully) help to guide me through the next ten years. If sharing these lessons helps other businesses, I will be more than happy. But for many readers, these lessons will no doubt already have been learned.

1. New business development is best focused on when business is good. When you have cash in the bank and clients beating at your door you still need to drive forward and look for the next piece of work that will further secures your business position. A highly profitable set of books one year, does not guarantee security for the next. In short, NEVER rest on your laurels.

2. Positive thinking does not always see you through, much as you might hope it will. Positive thinking is always the easy option, but itís hard graft that delivers results.

3. Fix your price at what you genuinely believe you are worth and don't negotiate. Everybody else does.

4. Deliver on time, to deadline and manage expectations. Consistent over delivery and over servicing will end up costing you money.

5. Agreeing contractual terms with a client, supplier or staff when you have a hangover is never a good idea. You will invariably be way too generous.

6. Bad news is best delivered face to face preferably over a pint, but it is NEVER good form to expect them to pay for the round.

7. Be generous with advice, particularly to relatively new and smaller businesses. It's nice to be nice and those you help on the way up will remember and think favourably of you.

8. Doing business and running a business with friends is tricky, more so if they are relatives.

9. A 'chat' with a staff member usually implies a resignation, a pregnancy or a request for increased reward. Prepare your sympathetic understanding smile as soon as that email arrives.

10. Always reply to speculative applicants even if you do not have a position to offer. We all know how depressing it can be to be ignored in the workplace. Treat people with respect. If nothing else, it will make you feel good.

11. Resist the temptation to keep a swear jar in the office, you'll be penniless in a week!

12. Use the phone rather than email to get things done.

13. Use email rather than the phone because you always have a record of whatís been said.

14. Try not to get confused over the relative merits of telephone and email.

15. Skype and videoconferencing is the Devilís business. It means you always have to have your face on.

16. Never stop learning, not that youíll have a choice.

Linda Donaldson

October 2011