7 Lessons From 7 Years
Here at Dawson Radford we recently celebrated 7 years in business. To mark the occasion our founder Jo Dawson put together 7 lessons from 7 years.
1. Cash is king
I am obsessive about cash and cash reserves – where it is going, when it is coming in, has it come in, what other potential cash will come in? I constantly monitor it because I know that without it we simply cannot function even if we have work in the pipeline. My biggest expense is people, and without people the business is nothing.
2. People will come and go
Inevitably not everyone will stay in the business forever, either through their choice or mine. It’s not personal, it’s just business and whilst you can really like someone, sometimes someone who is right for the business at one time isn’t right at another time. I am not everyone’s mother, people are adults.
3. Don’t compare yourself
I could keep myself awake at night comparing myself to other law firms, and other business owners wishing I was more successful, had a bigger team, took better holidays etc. The reality is though, we only see what other people choose to let us see, and they probably have just the same challenges as us, they just don’t tell us. Just be yourself, and stay in your own lane.
4. The number of employees you have isn’t always a marker for growth
People always ask “how many employees have you got now?” as if that somehow represents the growth of the business. However, for me maybe the question should be “How many high-performing team members do you have, utilising processes and efficiencies to enable them to be empowered and productive?” That would be a better marker of growth. People who aren’t invested, not reaching their full potential, and not making a 100% contribution to the business isn’t growth, it’s a resource drain.
5. Make decisions quickly
Particularly when you know something isn’t right. Trust your gut because the feeling you have is probably right. Being able to quickly change course without dithering over a decision can make all the difference. Deciding something doesn’t work anymore isn’t a failure, it is recognising that you need to make changes. Living long-term with bad decisions just breeds resentment (and probably a lack of profit).
6. Grow your network
I spend a lot of time on social media because I know it helps me to grow my business. I get that some people don’t like it, but it’s such a valuable tool for me, I just wouldn’t be able to not use it. Being visible to potential clients, other professionals and potential introducers of new work is vital to me to keep my business growing, and opening up potential new revenue streams.
7. Get a mentor
I’m really lucky to be surrounded by a number of highly successful and driven business owners. I love chatting with them about their businesses and the strategies they adopt to grow their businesses. I also have personal mentors who I speak with several times a month. We discuss growth plans, challenges and most importantly of all, I have to be accountable for the things I say I am going to do. For someone with a notorious “squirrel brain” when it comes to implementation, this is absolutely vital for me, but I would recommend that absolutely everyone in business has a sounding board they can trust to discuss both high-level strategy and everyday highs and lows.
So there they are, our 7 lessons from 7 years. Hope they help!