April 19, 2013, by Malvika Johal
My guide to starting your own business – Part 3
Written by: R L (Bob) Hall (BSc, PhD; University Of Nottingham )
Owner & MD of Top & Jeffries Limited; Co-owner & Chairman of Fuel Additive Science Technologies Limited, Shropshire, UK
Welcome to the third in the series of my blog discussing “ Starting your own business – what I wish someone had told me 25 years ago.”
People will only buy from or like working with others that are not only competent, but have passion for their work. Enthusiasm cannot be faked. It is real, tangible and naturally infectious. Conversely, negative thoughts are like emotional black holes and act like anchors, dragging progress down on projects.
Avoid colleagues and customers that could suck your energy in. Seek out the passionate ones that actually generate additional energy within you when you work together. More energy means happier people and more effective progress.
Every one of us is only as good as our last delivery. People notice when our standards drop or we start to rest on our laurels. The job is not complete until the customer has paid for the goods/services or the project review paperwork has been finished. It is tempting for us to figure out what needs to be done, develop a plan and then relax, emotionally. I call this “spreadsheet paralysis”, in that the use of a spreadsheet has given us confidence that something might be possible. There is a big difference, however between developing a credible plan and implementing it effectively. Delivering objectives should not involve pushing too hard, or in a sustained manner on the tasks involved.
Nudging several projects forward at different times as shown in figure 3 is more effective. Ensure others know that you are regularly checking progress and figure out what can be done to speed up their delivery and lubricate the path forward.
There are also some important cultural differences. UK folks are very prone to “spreadsheet paralysis”, they keep changing plans as events unfold and are comfortable with doing this. German folks, however, are quite different. They put an incredible amount of effort into developing a plan, assigning personal responsibilities and implementing the plan as written. In most cases, plan changes are culturally unacceptable as it would involve a complete revisit of each individual’s commitment.
For further information, helpful hints and tips please visit our website. The next in this blog series will look at the importance of self- management. Be sure to subscribe to receive updates on our latest blogs.