October 22, 2018

How time passes. Can’t believe I’m 15!

Open and honest note from my experiences.

This month is 15 years since I started Wellington Consulting. When I started I had been made redundant twice and decided to take my fate into my own hands and so the company was born.

Unlike many start-up businesses, I had the advantage of understanding the relationship between sales revenue and costs; the importance of cash flow; and the time it takes to generate income from a standstill. But knowing and applying is not the same thing!

When I started, much of my work was larger, on-going work for other businesses, but wanting to help struggling businesses and getting paid by them caused more than a few sleepless nights. This does not mean I avoid helping struggling businesses, but I do make sure that I also work with successful and growing businesses to protect cash flow and my own business.

Nowadays, I make sure I get paid even if it takes a while to turn a business around, so it is not as though the successful clients are subsidising the messy ones. My aim is to turn these ones around so that they too become successful and are less dependent on me for the day to day issues.

I am sometimes asked what sectors I deal with and my answer must be a wide variety, from heavy engineering to children’s play centre; from retail to consultant; from construction to homeopathy. I am lucky to have this diverse range of industry sectors to add variety to my work and also give me a broader view of life.

One of the biggest factors that has helped my business is knowing when to ask for help.

Although I can do a broad range of tasks within the business, I have, through networking, met people who can do some of these better and faster, because they have the skills and enjoy doing it. I am therefor happy to outsource some tasks as this frees me up to do what I enjoy while knowing it is done and done better than I could do. This even applies to cleaning the house. If I can free up 2 hours a week and earn more in those two hours than I am paying someone else, why wouldn’t I do what I enjoy and have a net income as a result. If you look upon it like that it would be madness not to.

For many business people, this is the view of book-keeping and accounts. In order to delegate well, you need to understand what is involved and the expected outcome. It is the task you are outsourcing, not the responsibility. Learn about the task so you can decide whether you enjoy it, how you can help someone you might engage to do it so you can achieve the best outcome for you and the business.

Remember a business is about its people as much as its products or services, so a big thank you to clients and suppliers alike who have helped me enjoy my business ad make it successful.