19 May 2021

Getting down to business

Adam Bunkle, finance director at Hayes + Storr, shares what he’s learnt from running a business and his top tips for those just starting out. As featured in the current issue of North Norfolk Living Magazine.

It’s all about the numbers: it may sound obvious, but many people go into business because they are passionate about what they do. It’s important to enjoy what you do but make sure the numbers add up.

Keep a very close eye on cash flow; understand the cash operating cycle as it pertains to your business. Try to keep stock and debtors as low as you can. Look to turn what stock you have into a bill and the bill into cash as quickly as possible.

Protect your idea: ring fence your intellectual property where you can. Copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets can all be protected. Operating in the global market provides a huge amount of competition for business.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” What do you want your business to look like in five years’ time? Have a vision for the future and work towards it but be prepared to adapt to changes in the market along the way.

Know your customers and keep them: the more you know about your customers, the better equipped you are to attract them in the first place. The next challenge is to keep them.

Find real reasons to engage with your customers as often as you can: keep your brand at the forefront of their minds so they are likely to come to you when they next need your services.

Build good teams: we’ve built excellent teams here at Hayes + Storr. We look for suitably qualified and experienced staff, and train staff to gain qualifications and experience too.

Purchase to repeat purchase is the objective: and while customers are likely to look at the competition, once people move from a one-off purchase to repeat purchase, the pattern of behaviour is unlikely to change unless something happens to upset the status quo.

Learn from your clients: encourage honest feedback so you can continually improve their experience. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that you need to improve, but never be afraid of the truth.

The first rule of marketing is to have a good product; a bad product with good marketing will ensure your product fails quicker than a good product with no marketing.

The best marketing is generally word of mouth for a job well done. We want every job to be performed exceptionally well so clients can recommend us to family and friends with confidence.

Look at the competition: if you don’t, you can’t compete. We aim for competitive advantage, which sounds simple, but it encompasses many diverse actions to keep offering the best service.

Be resilient: if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have to try and plan for every eventuality, even those we can’t predict. Look ahead, surround yourself with good people, have a rainy-day fund. Learn from the inevitable challenges you’ll face and come out stronger.

For help with any business legal matter, call Hayes + Storr on 01328 863231.