Running a small business is hard at times. Hard but also incredibly rewarding. At Tudor Farmhouse Hotel we are always looking for ways to collaborate with local businesses so that we can support each other. We want to be part of a thriving business community. The food in our restaurant is locally sourced because we know that we have excellent, high quality producers right on our doorstep. We also work with local service providers to host unique experiences that make our guest’s stay with us even more memorable. Going into 2023 we recognise how hard it is for small businesses to stay profitable. That’s why we wanted to share what we think helps build a successful business. Here are our 6 top tips for starting and growing a successful business.
Have a plan for your business
What do you want your business to do? Who is it for and what impact are you hoping to have? Not all businesses need a formal business plan but you do need to have an idea of what you want to achieve and where you want to go. Having a vision can help you launch and grow your business. Having a vision can also help you in the times when your business feels tough. You can use your mission statement to remind yourself of why you started in the first place.
Master your mindset
Running a small business can be a series of lows and highs. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, if it was everyone would be doing it. There’s no sickness pay, no holiday pay and very often if you don’t go to work you don’t make any money. The hours are unsociable and sometimes it can be really hard to switch off. This is where your mindset will make all the difference. The most successful businesses aren’t owned by the cleverest people. They aren’t the ones that make the most money. The most successful business owners are resilient. They learn from failure and use it to come back even stronger.
Don’t take it personally
Your business journey will involve some difficult decisions, negative feedback and uncomfortable conversations. It’s not about you. No business has zero refund requests or a 100% approval rating. Try not to take this personally. Always do your best but establish your boundaries right at the start and stick to them. It’ll save you time, money and heartache.
Get the right support
What do you need? None of us were born knowing all the answers. Some entrepreneurs can run successfully for years without really understanding the difference between cashflow and sales. You don’t need to know everything but you do need to know who to ask and how to get the right advice in your business. We could do our own accounts but we know that they are more accurate if our accountant does them for us. It would also take us longer and we’d hate it. You could do everything in your business but that doesn’t mean you should.
If you’re a one man band what is the back up plan if you’re not well? Do you have an assistant who could manage your diary? Do you have income protection so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills if you break a leg and can’t work? You don’t need to have all the answers but this is important stuff to start thinking about.
Join a community
Entrepreneurship can be lonely. If there’s just one of you, you may spend a lot of time working alone. Maybe you’re the only person in your family who is self-employed and nobody around you really understands what it’s like or the pressure that you’re under. That’s why it’s so important to find and join a local networking community. Joining a networking community has numerous benefits including building relationships with likeminded people, finding the people who can support you to grow your own business and meeting potential new clients and customers.
Don’t go along to networking events with the sole goal of selling, go to meet people. If you just go to sell it may be off putting for people who don’t want or need what you’re selling. If you get to know people and tell them who you are and what you do, they can tell other people about your business for you.
Learn new skills
“No man is an island” as the saying goes. We talked a bit earlier about outsourcing some work but if you don’t have the budget then you need to look at what skills you need to start building. You may not be the world’s best writer and you don’t need to be. But if you are responsible for all the marketing in your business you need to have a clear message that can be understood by potential clients and customers. If you want to grow your business but you’ve got more time on the tools than you have business skills it might be a good idea to work with a coach or business strategist. It’s never too late to start and you’re never too old to learn. The internet is chock full of free information and advice but our advice is to ask for referrals. Google will give you millions of results in a search, a business contact may give you two names of people they’ve worked with and who they recommend.
At Tudor Farmhouse Hotel part of our mission is to support local entrepreneurs and small business owners across the UK. Part of this work includes hosting valuable business retreats to give you that all important time and space to work on and develop your business.
If your goal is to start a business or grow a current business we have some brilliant opportunities for you to learn and benefit from expert advice. In March 2023 we are hosting two all inclusive business retreats, right here at the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in the Forest of Dean.
This retreat is a two night, three day break from everyday life so that you can concentrate on perfecting your vision for your life, setting your goals and then spending time thinking about how to achieve them. For this retreat we are joined by Business Coaches Ali Tait and Bev Jones. This retreat will involve the design and creation of your very own vision board as you map what you want your business and your life to look like and get the steps you need to bring it to life. You can find out more and book your place here
Marketing can be confusing, overwhelming and frustrating. This retreat will give you a unique opportunity to tap into and take advantage of the experience and expertise of four marketing professionals. This is a two night, three day experience to help you create a personalised marketing strategy. Guests who book onto this business retreat will also leave with a set of professional headshots to take away and use. You can find out more and book your place here