Work hard and be committed to what you are doing. As a trainee solicitor, I quickly learnt that knowledge of the law was not going to be enough to succeed. To provide a good service and keep clients coming back, every member of the team had to be fully committed, motivated and prepared to work hard.
A good business plan is essential. For Silverstone Residential Surveys Limited, we spent months putting together our business plan and it made us consider everything which meant that we had to take advice and research areas that we were not sure about. Putting everything down on paper made it all feel very real, exciting and dauntin, but it gave us the confidence and focus that we needed to make it happen.
Communication is key when running a business. You need to be able to talk to people effectively. It’s often too easy to hide behind emails, but if you want to build relationships with people – whether with colleagues, clients or advisors – talking face-to-face or on the telephone goes a long way. The more people that you talk to, the more opportunities that arise.
Get to know your clients and provide them with the best service that you possibly can. Clients usually engage our services while they are in the process of moving house which can be an extremely stressful time. We have to make our part in that process as easy as possible for them so we always take the time to engage with them, get to know them and find out how we can help.
Work as a team. You can’t do everything yourself and every individual has different strengths. Success and achievements come from identifying what those strengths are and bringing them together.
Be honest and manage expectations. Our clients often ask us how quickly we can do a survey and provide them with our report. We always provide a clear and achievable timescale from our very first conversation with every client. This way we never promise something that we can’t deliver.
Don’t get complacent. There is nothing better than a client telling you you’ve provided a great service, but that doesn’t mean that you can stop trying. There’s always room for improvement.
Maintain a good work life balance. Setting up a new business can be all consuming, but it is so important to take time to look after yourself because without you, there would be no business.