Happy Birthday to us
As Woodhurst celebrates its first birthday today I sat down to reflect on the business learnings which we can take from the last 12 months. Business is much like anything new: you throw yourself into it, make mistakes, learn from them and hopefully avoid making the same mistake twice! I’m a big fan of lists of three so below are my three biggest learnings from our formative months in business:
If you don’t know how to do something, engage with the experts who do.
It can be easy in business to try and save costs and rationalise by doing everything yourself. However, if it’s not something you’re skilled in then it may take a long time to learn or you might struggle to complete the task up to the required standard. After all, time is money and your time should be spent doing what you do best – in our case, working with our clients.
An example of this is when we tried to run recruitment ourselves, sourcing candidates from LinkedIn whilst spending endless hours scouring through profiles. We had limited success with this method and took the decision to engage with two recruitment consultancies who saved us precious time and have connected us with some amazing candidates.
Our thanks to all our partners who have helped build Woodhurst to where it is today: Checkback International, Incaloop, JBM, Moore Kingston Smith and YK Associates.
Make targets, make plans, hold yourselves to account.
Setting short term goals to meet long term targets is critical for driving the business forward and measuring success. We were probably a bit lax in doing this in our formative months and found that it became easy to defer activities if there weren’t clear actions dictating what needed to be done and by whom.
Having clear actions, responsibilities and owners helps empower people whilst the fear of letting the team down drives collective progress.
Go into business with people you will enjoy working with.
Managing a business where you’re not the sole owner means a lot of conversations about key strategic decisions. It’s unlikely (and probably unhealthy) if you and your business partners agree on everything so you need to be prepared to explain your point of view and come to a collective group decision.
These conversations would be made even harder if you didn’t get on with your partners! Fortunately for Woodhurst the three directors are as good friends outside of work as we are making business decisions. And although we’ve spent countless hours together over the past 12 months we’re still not quite sick of each other yet.
It’s fantastic to look back and see the growth and changes across Woodhurst over the past 12 months. We’ve worked on 4 different client projects, have produced over 40 pieces of thought leadership – including a detailed white paper – and are looking forward to welcoming our first permanent employee in the coming months. If we can avoid making the same mistake twice then I have no doubt that Woodhurst will continue to succeed and I can’t wait to see where we are in another 12 months!