Happy birthday Get Ahead VA!
Throughout September, we’re celebrating Get Ahead VA’s 10th birthday. Of course, 10 years is a major landmark for any business, and we’re very proud to be here. It also means that we’ve learned a thing or two over the years, so if you want to build a business that lasts, here are our 10 top tips to give your business staying power. Read on and hopefully you too can celebrate 10 years one day!
1. Be responsive
Being in business for a long time means you will not only have to get used to change, but learn to thrive in it. Markets change, economies fluctuate and customers develop new needs – the key to longevity is keeping your finger on the pulse and learning how to adapt when you need to.
2. Know the heart of your business
You will also need to understand what your business is about at its heart. You won’t survive by being only responsive and leaping from one trend to the next; instead, learn all you can about the niche you fill and what your unique offering is, and let those core principles guide you.
3. Work with good people
A business is only as strong as the people who work with it, so make sure you gather the best people around you that you can. This includes staff, suppliers, investors, peers and cheerleaders – surround your business with skilled, supportive people who share your vision.
4. Treat your staff well
Once you’ve got a great employee, do what you can to keep them around, or at least treat them as well as you can while they’re with you. It’s vital to value the people who keep your business running, and having a reputation as a good employer will certainly build your business’ longevity.
5. Gather loyal customers
Most customers will come and go, but having a small percentage who stick with you even in the tough times can help you through. You can build a strong foundation of customers by rewarding loyalty, responding quickly to queries and taking on board any constructive feedback you receive.
6. Think long term
If you want to be around 10 years or more in the future, start laying plans for that now. These plans don’t have to be detailed and they shouldn’t be rigid, but having some goals for the future will mean that the long term is always at the back of your mind in every day-to-day decision you make.
7. Be realistic
Many a business has foundered because the owner’s grand vision didn’t match up to reality, so be realistic about everything you do, from financial planning to time management to long-term goal setting. Your business dreams can come true, if you gather as much information as possible and work your way, step by step, towards them.
8. Reflect and learn
Know this now: you will make mistakes and you will fail at things. This is OK – the important thing is that you look back honestly at what you did and learn how to do it better next time.
9. Build your business around your life
When a business is new, you can easily over-commit yourself, take on too much and burn yourself out. In order to sustain a business over the long term it will need to fit around your life in a sustainable way – sometimes the best thing for a business is for it not to always be your top priority.
10. Hold on to your ‘why’
Being in business a long time can mean you forget why you started it in the first place, so make sure you revisit your ‘why’ at least once a year and reaffirm it. Why are you running this business? Why do you enjoy it? Why do you want to keep going? The answers may change over time, but having a ‘why’ will mean you always have a reason to carry on.
All businesses could do with some extra support now and again, and Get Ahead VA’s team of virtual assistants can give you that support as and when you need it. We offer a range of business and marketing services, including telephone answering, accounting and administration. To find out how we can help you, get in touch today on 01483 332 230, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.