Nine out of ten start-ups fail, due to ineffective strategic management, poor financial control and a bad business model.
However founder and Managing Director of Sydney-based public relations company, WordStorm PR, Monica Rosenfeld defies the odds as she celebrates 15 years of her company this year. Monica attributes her success to her commitment to honesty and integrity and being ethical in her work.
“Starting a business from scratch as an entrepreneur can be difficult, as many businesses don’t ‘plan to fail’, they just ‘fail to plan’,” says Monica.
“We are currently celebrating 15 years of WordStorm PR, and from my experience over the years, I have found that the success of a business relies on ambition, consistent hard work, a supportive team and most importantly, being passionate about what you do.”
“If you enjoy what you do, it will never feel like work. With three kids under ten, I have also found it’s vital to find the right balance between work and family.”
What is the key to surviving in business?
Monica’s top 10 business tips from working in the PR industry are:
1. Hire slow, fire fast – take the trial period VERY seriously and incorporate the possibility to extend the trial period into your employment contract. Dismissing someone once they’ve passed the trial period is complicated and messy.
2. Take time out to gain a bird’s eye view of the business – it will give you clarity about opportunities and possible weaknesses that need to be dealt with.
3. Employ a business advisor – more experienced people will always have something to teach you and they will be able to show you a different perspective which is likely to benefit your business.
4. Learn to delegate and trust your team – if you have to remain 100% in control of every element of the business, you do not have a business but rather a job (and a very demanding one at that).
5. Take holidays – some business owners take pride in the fact that they don’t go on holidays. It’s not smart and it’s not good for business. Everyone needs time to recharge and the best ideas usually come to us while we are disengaged from the day-to-day routine of running the business.
6. Fake it ‘til you make it – if you are just starting out, have confidence while pitching your services/products. After a few successes, you won’t need to fake your confidence anymore.
7. Create an office culture that appeals to you – it is the culture that will resonate with your clients and it should be authentic.
8. Find solutions to manage cash flow – this is central to the survival of small businesses.
9. Be prepared to adapt – in particular, be ready to adapt to changes in the world that will affect your business.
10. Don’t take on clients that aren’t suitable for your business out of desperation – this usually comes back to bite you.