Heather Barrie runs Harrie’s Coffee – an ethical, independent Sussex-based coffee retailer and wholesaler. Harrie’s gets delicious real coffee in to businesses to inspire conversation, collaboration, creativity and productivity amongst staff as well as to impress clients.
Like many of you, I choose to be an entrepreneur as I love being my own boss – but it takes energy and time and can be riddled with uncertainty – but it is also hugely rewarding….. you need to be strong-willed, focused and determined. When the world around you is changing daily and challenging you continually, I’ve found that some simple strategies can help to keep you going …
BE FOCUSED: What is your vision…. why you do what you do? your vision keeps you going when things get rough and it helps to keep you on track or to adapt to circumstances!
BE ANALYTICAL: Use SWOT to evaluate your capacity to thrive in a crowded marketplace – identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that exist internally and externally. A PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) analysis further identifies the external factors that can affect your niche.
BE LEAN: Outsource where you can – be clear about what your business does, your ideal customers and the resources you need to reach them and then seal and deliver the deal! Outsource the jobs you hate and get a coach to help you achieve your goals!
BE ORGANISED: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail! Whether it’s your day or your week or your strategy or your business plan or your budget, you need to know where you’re going and what resources you need to get there!
BE AGILE: At times of uncertainty, you need to be able to adapt and change! As an SME, it is simpler to implement change as things change around you… learn to act with agility to take advantage of opportunities and avoid the impact of external influences
BE POSITIVE: Always look on the bright side of life!!
BE COLLABORATIVE: Working with others gets things done, keeps you sane, positive, creative, inspired and accountable. It enables you to broaden your client offer and can increase the number of incoming enquiries. Collaboration enables you to focus on doing what you love to keep the business growing!
BE CREATIVE: When things around you are uncertain you have to be creative with your marketing, your offer, your routes to market, your customer experience – stand out and have people wanting what you do, irrespective of what is going on in the world.
BE INSPIRING: You need to inspire people with your story. Your brand, your content, your marketing and your interactions should all reflect your story and your vision, which should inspire people to buy from you, work with you and share what you’re doing with others…
BE HEALTHY: Remember to look after yourself – it’s likely that in times of change that life will be a bit more stressful – you need your body and mind to be working at their best – so feed it well, water it well, exercise it well and rest it well
All in all, although it might look like a scary time, I always see uncertainty and change as a time of opportunity….. embrace it!