As it reaches its final stages, fans of The Apprentice are now deeply divided as to who should become Lord Sugar’s next business partner. At Fair Business Loans - as our name implies - we do strive to be impartial, but thought it would be useful to highlight some of the lessons learned from the latest series.
As a small business owner you may not have Lord Sugar as your business partner but you can still take heed of some of his feedback to the wannabe apprentices. Here are five things you need to know to ensure you are hired not fired!
Know your numbers
Whether it’s your projected sales or profit for the year, the best price you can give a customer, or the maximum you can pay suppliers or staff, your business will struggle if you are not completely on top of the numbers at all times. You cannot afford to make mistakes in this area.
Know your audience
If you are trying to win new business then put yourself in the shoes of those who will influence that decision. Do your research. Talk at their level. Give them the information they need, not what you feel like saying. Go in it to win it!
Know your product
You need to be able to explain every detail of your product and answer any question with confidence. Moreover, you need to exude belief in and enthusiasm for your product. No second best here.
Know your suppliers
Find people you can trust to source your products. Get a good price and the best service. Treat your suppliers well and expect them to do likewise. Demand quality and don’t settle for less. Gain a reputation for caring about your reputation.
Know your strengths
As a small business owner you are responsible for every aspect of your business but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. If you are not the best at pitching to a potential client, or direct selling, or creating marketing or advertising material - then use someone else who is. Don’t insist on doing everything yourself if it is not your strength: you will make your business look weak.
As an existing small business owner you know far better than any of the contestants how much difference a £250,000 cash injection would make to your business! But you also know that you can succeed without it, and if you follow the above advice you will be well on your way.
However, if your business could do with a little help with cashflow, or if you are inspired to push your business forward then why not speak to us at Fair Business Loans? We specialise in small business loans of up to £20,000 to businesses that have been trading for at least a year. We’d be happy to talk to you about your requirements and see if we can help. Call us today and let’s see if we can become winning business partners!