This is an extract from an article published in The Guardian
Author Sean Hargrave Clarity was one of the case studies in “New Business: Next Steps”
Entrepreneurs typically share the same vision, to launch a successful business and grow it. It is no secret this usually involves selling more goods and services to new markets. However, as ever, the devil can lay in the detail.
According to business advisor and author, Ann Hawkins, one of the biggest issues can be when entrepreneurs find it difficult to step away from the proverbial coal face. It is only when they can get away from the ‘doing’ that they often have the time and space to generate new business and spot opportunities.
Clarity was one of the case studies in “New Business: Next Steps”
“A lot of people decide they need to grow their business when they realise they’ve just been ticking along, the same as last year,” she says.
“You can only grow by taking a step back and investigating how what you’re doing can be altered so you supply goods and services with better margins to new markets. I know an architect firm that moved into interior design for businesses because their research showed there were better margins working inside than on exteriors.”
You have to trust that you can generate the work to keep your people busy
Her top tip for all business owners is to set goals for growth. If you have no targets, she cautions, businesses just tend to chug along with no destination in sight.
From pipe dreams to a brand
This was certainly the case for Vince Rudgewick, co-founder of Clarity Heating. With Ann as his business coach he went from a two-man business to employing six new people in just two years. He plans to treble his turnover in the next year. He claims the business’s success is down to the brand being taken more seriously by larger clients with bigger budgets.
“I realised the business wasn’t really going anywhere, it was just ticking along with the same revenue each year,” he says. “So I took the brave step to put down my tools and work on growing the business and hiring people to do the work. It’s a leap of faith but you have to trust that you can generate the work to keep your people busy. The big thing we’ve found is that when you set yourself to generating new business you become bigger, which means you can go for bigger contracts – it’s a virtuous circle.”