The Language Bridge

5 lessons learned from running my own business

Vivien Hacker

When I started my company, I was warned that 75% of start-ups at the time failed within the first 18 months. That was 2003.

Quite apart from financial prudence, here are some crucial lessons for survival and success I’ve learned:

1. Mindset
Running your own business doesn’t mean you can delegate to others, put your feet up and just watch the money roll in. Don’t fool yourself. It takes plenty of sacrifices and hard work to build up a business.
 
2. Hard work
You need to put in the hours to build up your business, to make yourself known to the community, to get the contracts, and to keep ticking over. And the more successful you become, the more time you need to put in, frequently becoming a slave to your own success.
 
3. Flexibility
One needs to be adaptable. Follow what prospective customers request, don’t insist on giving them what you think they want, and don’t be afraid of change. You will need to adjust your product or service to meet the taste and the demands of the market.
 
4. Luck
Everyone needs a bit of luck for the first big breakthrough. In my case it was finding a company who saw my potential and who believed in me. That was Checkpoint in Carnforth, now world leaders in wheel safety.
 
5. Skills
Last but not least you need to be good at what you’re doing, distinguish yourself from others, and acquire all round competence in the niche you’ve made for yourself.
So, when you’ve honed your own particular talents and expertise, you have created a real foundation for self-belief and therefore success.
As we Germans like to say: Viel Erfolg (literally Much Success)!
 
An article by Vivien Hacker Waine for the Lancaster & Morecambe Guardian.

Posted: 18th February 2020

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