Friday, 11 June 2010


I have been self-employed and running businesses for 11 years. That’s a little over a decade. And there’s a lot of learning that’s been crammed into that time!

So are there things I wish someone had told me when I was starting out? You bet! Here’s five of them.

1. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a Prince

I’m hoping with this as the first lesson, you’re still taking me seriously! What I mean by this is when you’re looking to partner with others to build your business, a number of these partnerships or relationships will fall by the wayside. The fit isn’t right, the other party doesn’t represent your brand in the way you wish, you’re not confident in their credentials – whatever the reason, don’t settle for anything less than the best – it’s your business that’s at stake!

2. Go with your gut

If a negotiation doesn’t feel right, finish it. It’s unlikely to get any better.

3. Follow the golden triangle

In keeping the business in balance, try to spend a third of your time on three things; business development, customer care, and admin.

4. Innovate, Innovate, Innovate

Strive to be first to market; whether that be with a new product or a new way to promote yourself/your service. Stand out from the crowd and take in as much as you can (by reading/watching/listening) as this helps creativity flow.

5. Be patient

Realising your vision may take a little longer than you thought but don’t ever let go of that vision. For me, patience is a virtue I’m still having to learn!

Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation, a business expert and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up’ and ‘Working 5 to 9’. She is sharing her tips and advice at the Mothers Life Businessmums' Networking Lunch in association with Motivating Mum.

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