25 Business Tips from Sage One customers

3 years ago

Whenever we do a case study / interview with a Sage One customer, we always ask the question “What advice would you give to someone starting out in business / following in your footsteps?”

They always give us some great tips and here’s a selection of our favourites:

“You need to be passionate about what you do, when you are your own boss you need to be excited about getting up in the morning and working. You need to learn your strengths and weaknesses and accept help in the areas you need it. Also set yourself sales targets. My mentor said to me that unless you make money and grow it is not a business, it is a hobby and that has always stayed with me.”
Lorna Syson (LornaSyson.co.uk)

“Self-belief and perseverance are two of the most important characteristics you need to start a business. There will always be someone to tell you that your business idea won’t work, but if you research your market and identify a gap or an opportunity, then go for it! The worst thing would be to open a paper a few years from now and see that someone has succeeded with an idea you had before.” Teanne & Anthony Andrews (We Are Parable)

“Too many people worry about what other people are doing. Look at yourself and improve, don’t look at your competitors. If you focus on yourself, you’ll become THEIR competition – but if you look at them, they will stay as your competition.” Gary Dennis (Crazy Beat Records)

“It is really easy to think, “Let me just jump in and see if I can swim”, and there is something to be said for this approach but it is important to have a firm grasp on your finances from the beginning. This is what allows you to see whether or not you’re swimming or sinking.” Fiona Timba (Packed Munches)

“Just get stuck in, there are so many services and websites out there to provide help and guidance with your business. The costs to take your first steps in business are now so low, in my opinion there has never been a better time to start a business.” Paul Stewart (Uni Baggage)

“My main piece of advice would be to simplify and automate as much of the business administration as you can. In doing so, you can focus on the most important thing, your customers!” James Richards (Acclivis Ltd)

“Research your market place before you start out and determine where the true demand lies, not just where you think it will be. Also, getting an accounts package such as Sage One from the outset will make things much easier in the long run.” Claire Crumpton (Danesmoor House Day Nursery)

“Sage One offers a free trial so it costs nothing to try and see for yourself how simple and uncomplicated it can be and how much time it will save in your business. Time is one of the most important things when you’re running a business so anything that can save it is a benefit!” Carla Hutchison (UKPrint.biz)

“Do as much research into what you will need from HMRC first then it will make the transition so much easier into having a steady business.”
Kelly Smith (Cherubs Childcare @ Redesdale)

“Keeping an eye on what I spend money on and when has without a doubt been a major reason why we are still in business after three years. You have to know how much money is in the bank, when money needs to go out and when you can expect money to come in.” Jules Quinn (The *TeaShed)

“Invest in an accounts package like Sage One right from the start – keeping track of where you are financially is critical, and who wants to spend whole weekends trying to make spreadsheets balance? I can’t believe it took me as long to realise I could have time off at weekends!” Maureen Parker (De Ville’s Health & Fitness)

“Make sure that you have something unique to offer – especially if the business is in IT. The market is saturated and highly competitive. If you are the smaller player competing against larger local and national companies, you have to have something that sets you apart. Financially, the key to our survival in today’s somewhat difficult and competitive landscape has been constant forecasting. Knowing everything that comes in and goes out of the business right down to the last penny is crucial! The best advice we were given when starting out was, ‘If you don’t see it coming, you can’t do anything about it!”
Karen Nelson (Calibre Secured)

“Don’t let paperwork build up! If a bill arrives, enter it as an expense as you go along. If you complete a job do the same, This way you never have a long list of things to do each month end.” Gareth Byrne (Gareth Byrne Photography)

“The right tools for managing the business have to be in place first, in terms of legal compliance and company infrastructure before taking on your initial projects. This will help ensuring that both your employees and clients have an enjoyable experience when engaging with your company which can only translate into positive development for your business.”
Jorge Gonzalez (Britain & Latin America Logistics Ltd)

“Write a business plan from day one and keep updating it every 6 months. Also get an accounts system (like Sage One Accounts) from day one so you know exactly where you are financially in line with your business plan.” Jon Petrie (DS Music)

“For start-up businesses, my number one tip would be to find an accountant that you like and trust! Look for someone with recognised qualifications and then leverage their knowledge and contacts. This would be my advice even if I wasn’t an accountant!” Carolyn Burchell (Composure Accounting & Taxation)

“My advice would be to persevere and never underestimate the amount of relational interaction needed. Also, do spend considerable effort on establishing a presence on the Internet. The best thing we have done is to employ a PR/marketing person. Our logic is to establish a web-presence first and then have a person dedicated for 6 months to get us into the rhythm of professional communication.” Simon Middleton (Watershed)

“Start as small as possible. Whatever your idea is, half it and it will still be too big to execute!” Alex Depledge (Hassle.com)

“The main thing we would say would be to just go for it and believe in your idea. Think about all the positives that come with running your own business and have fun!” Jodi & Stella Kean (Choclateas / O’My Tea!)

“Cash flow is key. Manage your cash flow well. Make sure you have a brand, something that sets you apart from your competition. Market smart, don’t just pour money into advertising, research your target market and specifically tailor your campaign so it has maximum impact and analyse EVERYTHING. This will allow you to have maximum return on your time and investment. Finally, work hard, but work smart!” Dan Williams (Tailor & Baker)

“Be prepared to work hard, weekends and days off are few and far between, be creative constantly looking to change and keep one step ahead of your competition. Most importantly, enjoy it as there’s no more rewarding feeling than working for yourself!” Simon Williams (Evergreen Art Café)

“Network, network, network! Research what you’re doing – and make friends whilst you’re doing it. If you know what you need to do and how you need to do it, you can get it right! But most importantly – you have got to love what you do, and have passion for it.” Gareth Molyneux (The Stitcher’s Garden)

“Spread sheets are a good way to start, but we all know they have their limits, even with lots of formula! Sage One enables you to do so much more, almost with the click of a button, and before you know it the invoice you have just created has been emailed to the client. To me, this seems a cost effective and a wise use of my time.” Trudy Jacklin (TM Services)

“When I started my business there were lots of administrative tasks to complete and processes to set up. As there were so many other things to deal with at the time, payroll seemed like something I should get help with from an accountant. If I had known just how easy and convenient it would be to run my own payroll with Sage One I would have started using it from the beginning.”
Aidan Garnish (65Hours Limited)

“Graft HARD!” Liam Watson (Natty)