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Virtechs' Ten-Year Top Ten Tips

Ten years gone. So much has changed. So much has stayed the same!

In July 2006 – Virtechs’ first month of trading – the U.K. was in the grip of a heatwave and in the news there were lots of sporting successes and failures, celebrity scandals, political shenanigans and international crises.

Comparing 2006 to 2016, in some ways I am reminded of the late L. J. K. Setright’s remark that he never read newspapers because the stories never changed; only the names did.

Maybe so, but in the days before the 2008 financial crisis (from which we’ve yet to recover!) I recall a general feeling in the country of optimism and financial well-being, which these days is completely absent unless you’re one of the super-rich. The Leveson Report into journalists’ behaviour, the Chilcot Report on the Iraq war and the lingering effects of the Banking Crisis are indicative that the last decade has, by any measure, been one of huge change.

For me, personally, 2006 was a pivotal year. The decisions I made ten years ago have completely transformed me personally and in business and in hindsight the last decade has proved to be the most instructive and enjoyable of my life so far.

So, what, exactly, have I learned from owning my own business for ten years? Here are my ‘Ten-Year Top-Ten Tips!’

  1. Believe in yourself. All of us are capable of far more than we ever thought possible.
  2. Be realistic. You can’t start a business and expect to do just the one thing you love doing. There is a wide range of essential functions to perform and you ignore them at your peril.
  3. Outsource. You can’t possibly do everything yourself, so pay someone to do things for you. Then go off and earn more money with the time you’ve gained.
  4. Say no. There’s no rule that says you have to let someone become your client if you don’t want them to. Remember the 80/20 rule!
  5. Know your value. When I make a purchasing decision I don’t always take the cheapest option – I’m writing this blog on a top-of-the-range MacBook Pro! – and nor do I want to work for anyone who judges my services on price alone.
  6. Network. Customers will not buy from you unless they Know, Like and Trust you. Networking offers the best opportunities to build these kinds of relationships.
  7. Invest.
  8. Improve. Never stop learning. Never stop stretching yourself.
  9. Plan. Work ON your business, not just IN your business. If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never get there.
  10. Relax. Take time out. Switch off. Unwind. Give your subconscious the chance to let in new ideas.

What are your top ten tips? Feel free to leave comments below.

I sincerely thank all Virtechs’ clients – past, present and future – for making the last ten years so incredible for me. Here’s to the next decade!

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