Well, at least, I’ve decided that is the mentality with which I am going to approach the start of our fourth financial year, which starts in February 2015. Our fourth financial year!? I couldn’t have even imagined saying that when I started out with my second hand Transit van, during my days off from work, moving one rooms worth of boxes at a time and roping in friends whenever I needed a hand. OK, so I still rope in friends every now and then but 99% of the time it’s real employees going out in the vans, who admittedly, quickly become friends.
So why is next year going to be THE YEAR?
When I first started the business I immersed myself in research. I scoured HMRCs website for information on tax, employment and the like. I went to the Business and IP Centre at the British Library almost weekly, attending free or very cheap courses on everything from digital marketing, to finance for business, to trademarks and IP. I went to the business show and attended every free seminar going. I loved working on the website and social media and building the perfect brand identity. I did financial planning 5 years ahead that made me super rich by then. It was great. Only thing is I had loads of time to do it all because I had no work.
The two years since that time have been filled with crazy hours, the ebb and flow of manageable and totally unmanageable stress levels, and a slow realization that it takes a lot of hard work to build a sustainable lifestyle for yourself from your own business, not just a great brand and some research. I haven’t had time for financial projections, targets and checking our progress against them. It’s all been about building the brand, getting jobs under our belts and building a huge bank of previous customers willing to rave about us to anyone who asks. As long as we survived financially as a company that was enough.
Next year, this has to change.
I need to start focusing on profit. Sounds obvious to anyone in business but I have thus far been building a very robust springboard whilst keeping us afloat. I’ve amassed supporters of the business by doing a great job and making our customers happy, I’ve built a very recognizable brand and I’ve built a network of people around me, the sum of whose advice could rocket anyone to success. Most importantly I’ve got a staff of incredible people who are committed to the core values of the business and love the work and each other. It sounds cheesy but it’s true.
So, that’s the springboard, but now it’s time to jump.
We have three vans now, which are regularly busy doing our own work. We are in the process of white-labeling our concept, so that other removals companies can sell female crews, provided by us, to their customers to widen their offering. We are going to be able to offer full time work to more of our staff next year, and I will be planning projections and targets for us to strive for over the next year, as I should have been doing all along. I’m going to combine the enthusiasm over numbers and planning from the first few months with the hard work involved in delivering our service and hope that this ensures that next year is THE YEAR!!!
Wish me luck!