Welcome to yet another fantastic Small Business Chat update, with Jules from The Last Hurdle.
Jules was originally interviewed here on 01 October 2011. Her plan for where she wanted to be with the business by now: “Frantically trying to find cover as I prepare to go off on honeymoon (I will be getting married this time next year). My goals for the business are all set and without going into too much detail I would like to be at the point of being able to cherry pick my clients”. Well, the wedding certainly happened – let’s see how the rest of it has gone!
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes and even further, I did not need to seek additional cover (as per my original answer) as my associates were on hand to cover my own clients, I am thankful for a truly great team! We have been selective with the clients we take on for the vast proportion of the year and have turned away clients when we deemed it appropriate. I have exceeded my own expectations and goals I set, so I am very happy with the progress of the business.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
We have expanded our service range as a natural development and this has been the most positive change. The ethos behind what we do remains the same and our network has grown stronger. We have four associates and we are currently recruiting for an apprentice. The biggest change of all is to come, as we ready ourselves to franchise the business with help and investment from independent sources.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I have learned to go with my gut, if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. I also completed an NLP Diploma with a very good master practitioner, Patsy Wood, I would highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to understand themselves better and be able to communicate more effectively in every aspect of their lives. I wish I had learned this years and years ago, never mind a year ago.
Any more hints and tips for people?
At the risk of repeating myself, people buy from people, so be yourself!
Learn to delegate, this is a tough one as it is my ‘baby’ but I am slowly coming around to the realisation, you can’t do everything yourself.
Invest your trust in a good solid network of business friends, you will find them invaluable to bounce ideas around with and promote each other’s offerings.
Make the most of every opportunity, try not to fall into the trap of taking it all for granted. Make the most of each lead, recommendation and enquiry.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time.
In another year I hope to be very close to the successful completion of the Franchise pilots and have a fantastic working model, to accompany the extensive training programme and support packages. The proof is in the pudding!
With a busy year behind her and an exciting year ahead, what else can I do but wish Jules well with all her plans! It just shows, too, that you CAN start – and maintain – a business in a recession. And what a lot of useful, solid tips she gives us here – thank you! Read how Jules was doing a year later!
M: 07709 124847 T: 01327 359908
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