I started my career working with small businesses in 1997, and started my first business in 2005. Since then I have learned a lot, but I am still learning tips that make me stop and think I wish I’d known that earlier!
The following are a collection of some of the more practical common tips I wish I’d known earlier:
- Always have 2 bank accounts with the same bank
- Always take a deposit
- Always carry business cards – always
- Re-prioritise your to-do list daily
- Regularly ‘brain dump’ – everything you need to do
- Those annoying things that sit at the bottom of your to-do list – move three of them to the top weekly
- Be aware of what your competitors are doing
- Always ask for any design work in vector base (.eps and .ai)
- Always move your VAT on sales into another bank account as soon as it clears
- Ask for all intellectual property (IP) rights on all web/design
- Keep all your passwords secure and together – including ones you think others should be keeping safe for you
- Always back-up your systems
- Check you have the right insurance policies that will actually cover you!
There are also some philosophical ones I think are worth reading:
- Never make assumptions about day to day client interactions – what they think compared to what your think
- The way to only get a wrong answer is not to ask the question
- If you don’t value your product/service/time no one else will
- There’s a big difference between knowing something and being told something
- If you don’t market you don’t make it
- Fail to plan, plan to fail
- Always have a back-up plan
I would love to update these lists regularly – so please send me your top tips and best advice and they will get added to my next update!