Cutting Through points us to some work of Jonathan Briggs on what he would have liked to know before starting his business, instead of learning-by-doing. 10 things to know before you start
- Understanding cashflow is the first important lesson to learn. The cheque is never in the post.
- Clients will always change their minds.
- Make sure that you charge properly for the work you do or you will not survive as a business.
- Business is a combination of therapy, battle and the circus.
- It is better to deliver 100% of the project than 110% of 90%. Leave exciting ideas that crop up during the project to phase 2.
- Software engineers cannot spell.
- Banks don't want to help small businesses because they will not take risks.
- There is a considerable danger in over-planning projects. Plan but allow for unexpected events.
- Don't accept all the work that you are offered because some of it is not worth doing.
- Managing client expectations and client education is a major part of the job.
A friend has already warned me about number 10. When we were talking about potentially working together, he said that as a consultant I have to remember that it is my responsibility to "make it right" for the client. I can no longer blame the software or some outside influence if the project in question doesn't succeed marvelously. It's my responsibility as the consultant to make sure I do everything in my power to make it succeed.