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10 top tips for running a small business in Surrey

PUBLISHED: 17:27 10 December 2015 | UPDATED: 18:34 14 December 2015

Antonio Falco is a sales and business consultant and regional chairman for Surrey & West Sussex FSB

Antonio Falco is a sales and business consultant and regional chairman for Surrey & West Sussex FSB

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There’s no point pretending that running a business is easy; it’s not, and there is lots to learn and much to do. Here, Antonio Falco, regional chairman for the Surrey & West Sussex FSB, shares a few tips to think and act upon

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2015

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Decide what kind of business you want...

Are you looking to make a living out of this, or is it more of a lifestyle choice? Be clear from the start how much time you can give.

Write a simple business plan. Most sit in a drawer – useless...

Write a strategy document consisting of two pages. Page 1: What am I selling? Who am I trying to sell it to? How will I do it? What are my targets? Page 2: The numbers. Construct a simple spreadsheet showing your likely costs and projected income (sales) and see if sales exceed costs – if they don’t then look at the figures again.

Ensure you have a clear vision and a USP...

Why is your product or service so great that someone would want to buy it?

Make a marketing plan...

Find six things that you will do through the month to help you promote and market your business. For example: write a blog, network (both on and off-line), tweet, public speaking, mailers and calling people. There are a myriad of ways you can market your business but at some point you also need to pick up the phone.

It’s all about selling...

Don’t be fooled into believing that selling isn’t required because it is. If you’re going to wait for someone to call you, or you think you’re going to tweet yourself to victory, then I wish you luck with that plan. Can’t sell? Learn. You don’t need to be some super salesperson; get to know some basics. There are plenty of sources.

Procrastination is the thief of time and the enemy of success...

We’ve all done it; put off things that we don’t want to do. When running a business, you will have things you don’t want to do but need to. Steel yourself and just do it – you’ll find your business will move ahead.

Find like-minded people...

Working on your own or in a small business can be lonely. Find a group of like-minded business people to meet with regularly – not to promote your business but in order to share experiences. There are some around, 
but they’re not always advertised, so search them out.

Plan your processes...

Make sure that you have processes in your business for how you do things. As you grow, you need to teach employees what to do and if you have a process it’s easier, quicker and more efficient. When selling, you will also need to be able to guide the customer through the buying process.

Put in the effort...

You get out what you put in.

Be persistent and consistent...

Building a business is not an overnight thing. Not many people had heard of Apple, Microsoft or IBM in the first 10 years of their existence. You have to be in it for the long haul; this is not a game show or TV talent contest. And don’t be afraid of getting advice. Big businesses do; why not you?

• Antonio Falco is a sales and business consultant and also regional chairman for the Surrey & West Sussex FSB and a national councillor for the organisation. Views here are his own and not those of the FSB. For more information on joining the FSB, see online at fsb.org,uk. For more about Antonio, visit his website at antoniofalco.com. His new book, Stop pitching & start selling, is out now.

 

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