We asked our amazing Managing Director, Ryan White, what 5 bits of advice he’d give his younger self starting out in business.
Five things I wish I had known before starting out would be:
1. Surround Yourself with Stronger and Better People
When I was younger and just starting out, I was eager and enthusiastic about the job, which is great to some degree, but I took it to the point of arrogance. I thought I knew better than everyone else, and I was keen to try and prove that. I would think, “why do I need help marketing my pet care business? I already know everything about pet care.” While, yes, I have expertise in pet care, I don’t know much about marketing. Creating a team full of experts in their field is vital in ensuring that you succeed in all aspects of business; they can support you while you also support them.
2. Don’t Handle Finances Yourself
If you have no clue about anything finance, why would you try and handle it all yourself? Get a reliable accountant; it is their job to save you money and advise you on anything money-related. There’s no point trying to do everything yourself, so you might as well ask someone that knows what they’re doing. But make sure you’re utilising their full skillset! They’re not just around to help you with the day-to-day handling of your finances, but they can give you valuable advice on growing your business and maintaining a good level of financial support.
3. Take a Break
Allow yourself a cut-off point where you stop thinking about work. I used to work 19-20 hours constantly, which isn’t me trying to show off because looking back, I realise that only maybe 7 of those hours were me actively working. For the rest, I was just bumbling through and hoping for the best. All that really did was burn me out. I was exhausted all of the time; that isn’t healthy. Make your routine realistic, work from 9 until 5 if that’s what you’re used to and give yourself a break from work after. If you can hire people to help you carry the burden of work, even better.
4. Follow Your Strengths (But Don’t Disregard Your Weaknesses)
Everybody has things that they’re exceptional at and things that they’re not so good with; make sure you do the things that you are good at and not just get bogged down with things you struggle with. I’m not recommending you take the easy route because you still need to set aside time to work on the things you enjoy less. Do the things in business that you’re good at, but never let the other tasks build up and become overwhelming. And if you really do struggle with that task, hire someone good at it!
5. Don’t Just “Go With the Flow”
It’s so easy to let things run their course, floating along the river of business and let yourself bump into things and recover along the way. But if you continue to do this, you will drift onto a riverbank and come to a stop. Nothing will grow or develop if you just let yourself take the easy route the whole time. Take control of the flow. By doing that, you can ensure that things aren’t running too fast or too slow but also that nothing comes to a stop because you’re looking further ahead and actively following the river to success. Know where you are headed and have a realistic and clear plan on how you are getting there.
Watch Ryan talk about his advice here: