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The first hurdle when starting a small business

Posted 5 years ago in Small business by Xero
Posted by Xero

How do you start a business from scratch? As an Olympic champion and world-famous athlete, Sally Gunnell knows a lot about the highs and lows of getting to where you want to be in your field. And according to Sally, the first step should always be having a strong visualisation of your goal, as well as the steps you need to take to get there.

Sally had to work out exactly what training she had to put in place to improve, just as businesses need to ensure they have the right skills at the right level through every stage. “It’s about small steps and working out how to build a company by increments,” explains Sally. “This means enthusing yourself and the team around you, knowing what you want to achieve and, most importantly, what steps need to be taken to progress.”

And just like in sport, the mental preparation is crucial. Believing you have what it takes is a key part of the process, especially in a fiercely competitive market. “Competition is good, and it’s what got me out of the bed in the morning when it was pouring with rain!” says Sally. In her sporting life Sally used competition to fuel her will to win; developing an understanding of what the competition was doing, then countering it and using it to her advantage.

Arguably though, one of the most difficult obstacles in starting a business is to disregard the repetitive routines and tasks to skip to the exciting stuff. The health of your business, more often than not, will come down to the nuts and bolts of your process and cashflow management. How did Sally avoid losing interest when she was working to get to the top? “Put systems in place early and never stop learning. Bring in new techniques and go on courses – however clever and successful you are, there is always more to know.” And as mistakes will inevitably happen, the key is to learn from them. “The skill is to not dwell on it and let it put your business down for the next six months,” says Sally. “Put it behind you and move on.”

Sally Gunnell talks about knowing what you want to achieve:

Sally’s top tip for business success: Know what you want to achieve by visualising it in your mind. Have drive and focus, and don’t be scared to think big!

Discover more business advice from Sally when you download your copy of Business Gold – the book of business success, or join the conversation at #Businessgold

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