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10 Top Small Business Tips from Rachel Watkyn | MD of Tiny Box Company

 by tia on 08 Jun 2017 |
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Ten Top Small Business Tips
from Rachel Watkyn | MD of Tiny Box Company


You asked and we provided! Our readers told us that they would like business tips so we went straight to the top.
We talked to Rachel Watkyn, the managing director and owner of Tiny Box Company about what top tips
she feels would benefit other small businesses and things she has learnt along the way.
We hope these tips will help and inspire you and your business.

 

1. Don't try and do everything yourself!
Focus on what you're good at because if you're a jewellery designer, a cushion maker or a candle maker, that is your skill.
It doesn't mean that you're going to be a fantastic business person, so focus on what you can do and accept your limitations.
If you're bad at finance, it doesn't matter. Get somebody in to do it and buy the best people you can afford to support you.

2. If you can do it on your own without investors, do it.
Because then, you can control the direction of the business and where you want to take it and if you share it with lots of other people, 
it's really hard and you always get conflict of interest. Especially with partners. One partner wants to go in one direction, the other in
another direction. At least with Tiny Box, yes I have partners, but they're pretty silent, so there is just me. I watch all around me other
businesses, where there are 2 or 3 people, and it just ends up a catfight. So, if you are going to have partners, choose them really
carefully, and make sure you make it a Limited company, so you have more control.

3. Don't fritter your pennies.
It's really, really easy, if you get investment, or if you make a bit of money to think
"Ooo, I'll get some lovely swanky business cards, and I'll get a nice leather chair" and so many businesses fail by frittering money in the
first few months.

4. Cash is King!
If you think you're making money, but you've got no cash, it will stop your business. Even the most successful businesses often have
a cash crisis, especially if you're growing because growth takes money and if you don't have the cash people won't lend you any,
and then, even if you think your product is profitable, you can't sell it if you don't have cash.

5. Know your customers.
Target the right customers that are going to buy your products. Loads of people, when you ask them what their target
market is, says; 'Well, everybody is'. Anybody might buy your product, but it's unlikely. If you're selling dainty silver jewellery, your target
market may well be the 35-60 year olds, but you will end up spending more money directing your product at people who may not even
want it. Do your market research and focus on that target market.

6. Brand your product according to your target market.
If you're selling cupcakes, sausages in the title of your business is not ideal. People think that it's trendy to make it a bit different
or not relevant, but it just confuses customers. Brand your product relevant to what you are selling.

7. Don't believe the experts all the time.
Because these so-called 'experts', often, no nothing. So for example; when I set up Tiny Box, I had a meeting with 3 business experts,
that make you 'funding ready', so if you need investment, you go and chat with them and they help you prepare to go in front of investors.
I sat in front of the 3 investment ‘experts’, and we went through all of the product, they sat back, and one of them said 'I don't think you
have a strong enough USP, you won't get funding" and I said 'Okay, well how do I need to change my business model to get funding?"
and they said "If we knew that, we'd be doing it and not sitting here talking to you", my jaw dropped.
Then 6 months later, we got investment from 2 Dragons. They didn't know what they were talking about, and they didn't know my market.
They were just outsiders, with a general opinion of business and not applying it to my market. 

8. Follow your hunches.
People have hunches for a reason, and if you think something's not right in your gut, then it's probably not. I've nearly got ripped off,
big time before, and something in my gut just wasn't sitting right, so I made a phone call, and found out I was potentially
about to be shafted.

9. Take time out!
I am the worst for this! For the first 3 years at Tiny Box, I didn't take any time out at all, and I ran myself into the ground.
It's really important to clear your head, you see things from a different perspective.

10. Have fun!
It does get really serious sometimes, especially with cash flow and banks and not having enough money and everything else.
Growth, and customers and exchange rates and Brexit and politics, and you get points where you forget why you're doing it, but if you
don't enjoy it, it’s too big a time of your life to not have fun and enjoy it.


We hope these tips from Rachel has helped give you some motivation and advice for your own small business.

Big things come from Small beginnings.

To read more about us, have a look at our story.
 
 
 

You can also see more of us on social.
 
  

 


If there is anything else you would like to see on our blog, do not hesitate to contact me on tia@tinyboxcompany.com


Written by Tia | Tiny Box Company

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