What I’ve learnt: Peter McKenna

March 2, 2016

Peter McKenna is a partner at financial mis-selling and serious injury legal specialists, TLW Solicitors, based in North Shields. He founded the practice in 2007 and now works with clients across the UK and Europe.

Customer service is key, especially if you are aiming to create longevity in a business. I learnt that while I was a student and I worked part-time in a restaurant. It’s more true today given the explosion in social media – now customers can tell the whole world about your service, if they want to.

There are no short cuts and to build a successful business takes hard work. One quote that I really like is from the legendary American football coach, Vince Lombardi, who said: “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

If you cannot communicate ideas to staff and partners in a way that they understand and engages them, things won’t happen the way you want.

Be honest with yourself. If something isn’t working the way you imagined or hoped, you have to admit that to yourself and do something about it.

Persevere. It would be great if things worked immediately and success came quickly but it rarely does. You have to be strong enough to believe in yourself and your business; to stay focused on your goals.

Make sure you make enough time for your family, friends and, also, yourself. My partner’s mum passed away not so long ago and someone said to me: “This work is just something we do to keep busy, it’s the other things that are most important.”

The worst mistake you can make is not learning from the ones you’ve made.

Make sure that you start a business in something you love. If you’re not passionate about what you are doing you may struggle to overcome problems.

Plan realistic finances to ensure you have the money to see you through until the business is generating income. 

Get advice from specialists. It can be expensive but not getting the right advice is usually more costly.

Make sure you have staff you can trust and are comfortable delegating to. You cannot do everything yourself.

Don’t apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach to motivating your staff. Take the time to get to know each one individually. Financial incentives may not fully motivate everyone.



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Supporting role: Maxine Brown and Marufah Rahman