The key step to creating a successful business

The key step to creating a successful business

A top tip to creating a successful business from a 42-year-old millionaire.

Whilst on holiday, I got chatting to a chap who having retired at the ripe old age of just 42 appeared to have the key to creating a successful business.  From what I could gather he was a very wealthy individual and I had to dig deeper into what he did to become so successful at such a young age.

The very short story is that he took over a failing company, built it up, sold it for millions and retired.

When I asked how he built the business up so quickly, he told me he focused purely on customer service. Yes, the product had to be up to scratch but he concentrated on giving the best customer service he could, and then some. And the interesting thing is that after a year of him selling the business, it had started to fail and has since fallen bankrupt.

I can totally relate to this, as those of you who know me, will know I bang on about how the customer is the person who will make or break your business and if you are serious about creating a successful business, you need to give exceptional customer service at all times.

Aeons ago, I built up a failing estate agency practice to become one of the most successful in the chain of offices by focusing on customer service. As many of you may have discovered for yourself, customer service is severely lacking in the majority of estate agencies. I made sure every single vendor and buyer was contacted each week to let them know what was going on with the sale and purchase. I made sure every single person looking for a property was contacted at least once a month to update their details and discuss what was happening in the marketplace.

All our clients and contacts knew we were working behind the scenes to do the best for them and that our staff cared. This resulted in a HUGE turnaround for the agency and we won many awards.

Focus on customer complaints

When I started as Operations Director for another company, it had no less than six full-time workers dealing with customer complaints. I was asked to help sort out the sales staff so more customers could be brought on board. Rather than doing this, I focused on the complaints, what was causing them and ways to stop them from happening again. This resulted in eventually having just one person answering the phone to complaints on an ad hoc basis with a huge increase in turnover due to cancellations being reduced dramatically.

Too many businesses don’t focus on existing customers and are always looking to find new ones. Take care of your existing customers and clients who will appreciate your efforts, keep coming back to buy from you and bring new people with them.

Remember, it can take months to find a new customer but just seconds to lose one.

Create an exceptional customer experience

If you would like to find out how to create a customer experience that is the key to creating a successful business and gets you remembered for all the right reasons, check out the module in my member’s area which includes:

  • Customer service review sheet to score your business in different areas
  • A client touch point sheet with examples of how to ‘wow’ your customers
  • A sample follow up plan to stay in contact with your customers
  • A client contact sheet template

Access the module now.

Moving from Sole Trader to Limited Company – is the time right for you?

Moving from Sole Trader to Limited Company – is the time right for you?

Many small businesses with low risk and lower profits start off as sole traders as it is much easier to set up and the financial administration is much simpler. Moving from a sole trader to a Limited Company can be done at any time, although one of the most common times is when profits start to increase significantly.

Things to consider when considering moving from sole trader to a Limited Company are:

Protect yourself

Are you looking to protect yourself as an individual? Should someone suffer financial loss due to advice you have given, you won’t be personally liable if someone makes a claim against you (the business).

Protect your business name

Do you want to add a level of protection to your business name? This could be a useful move for you as your business brand is growing. Registering a company name at Companies House means that the chosen name cannot be registered by any other business

Profit levels

What are your profit levels? There are a lot more tax benefits to be had by moving to a limited company if you are in a higher tax bracket. If not, you need to weigh up the costs involved with a Limited company against the profits you are making as a sole trader. There used to be a general rule of thumb that if your profits were under £30,000 you would be better off staying as a sole trader. However, this is subject to change and a number of other factors so professional advice from an accountant should be taken.

Administration time

Do bear in mind the increased time and tasks you will need by incorporating your business. End of year accountancy fees will also be higher so if your business is low risk and with profits of under £30,000 you may wish to remain as a sole trader. If you are a sole trader it can be easy to do the end of year accounts yourself but as a Limited Company, I would always advise using an accountant.

Credibility

Another benefit to moving to a Limited company is that it makes your business look more professional and can boost your status to prospective clients. It will also put you in higher stead should you look to raise finance in the future.

Take professional advice

It is strongly recommended to speak to a Chartered Accountant or financial adviser before making a final decision as they will be able to advise on your individual business needs.

Taking the next step from Sole Trader to Limited Company

If you have made the decision to set up as a Limited Company, Gov.uk has a step-by-step guide to help you. This guide includes:

  • Choosing and registering your business name
  • Choosing director and a company secretary]
  • Deciding who the shareholders are
  • Identifying people with significant control over your company
  • Preparing a ‘memorandum of association’ and ‘articles of association’
  • What company records you need to keep
  • What accounting and financial records you need to keep
  • Selecting a Standard industrial classification of economic activities (SIC) code
  • Registering for Corporation Tax

If you need further advice, get in touch if you would like recommendations of Chartered Accountants who will be able to help.