12 tips for surviving those early years in business

Awaken Communications turned 5 years old yesterday. Wow, where did that go. It reminded me of a blog I wrote when we were just 2 – a milestone age that many new businesses never reach. The blog gave 12 tips for survival that we’d cultivated in our early years. Strangely enough, nothing has changed!

So here they are again. The Awaken dozen for surviving those early years in business…and a bit more than that. I’m proud to say, we still practice them:

1. Get into good habits. Arrange one meeting a week with someone who might be helpful. Take regular exercise. Set aside time for the admin.
2. Be hungry for business. Don’t be shy in asking for it.
3. Be disciplined with your time. Don’t waste it. When you’re not engaged with client work, there’s always a new skill to be learned. A new networking meeting to arrange.
4. Control your costs. Why pay £50 a month for a phone package when all you need is a phone?
5. Be 100% reliable. Don’t let anyone down. Customers or partners.
6. Don’t ever get complacent. Stay hungry. Keep sharpening the saw.
7. Be honest. It’s perfectly okay to say: “I have absolutely no idea”. But then try to find out.
8. Know your strengths and play to them.
9. Find talented partners who are good at what they do and good fun to work with.
10. Pay partners on time. Early if possible. And say ‘thank you’.
11. Give your time and expertise to at least one worthy cause a year. Because you have the time and you can make a difference.
12. Don’t fret over minor hiccups and what the boss might think….you are the boss.

Here’s to the next 5.

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