5 Lessons I didn't learn until I ran my own business

Glen Feechan
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When I worked in other people's finance departments I thought I knew everything about business. When I set up my own consultancy business nearly 10 years  ago, there was no stopping me. Some lessons can only be learned the hard way. I thought it might be worth picking out the areas where my thinking has changed dramatically in the last 10 years.

All of the lessons below have been learned since I set out into the wild world of business as that fresh-faced, and incredibly naive, 30 year-old. Education can be very expensive!

I will elaborate on some of them in future posts but for now I just want to put them out there and see what others think - particularly those still working in finance departments.

Lessons I didn't learn until I ran my own business:

  1. The salesmen and women were right. Sales must come first.
  2. Flexibility is far more valuable than you think.
  3. It's not about how you look - it's about what you do.
  4. Cash flow and profitability must come before any other ambition you have for the business.
  5. Never mistake an overhead for a sign of success.
Please comment below whether you agree or disagree. It would also be interesting to know which perspective you are coming from - i.e. whether you are running your own business or not.

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About Glen Feechan

Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in management reporting, Microsoft Excel and business process improvement.

Also runs a spreadsheet development business at http://www.needaspreadsheet.com.

Provides consulting on the above specialisms as well as providing cost savings to clients at no cost.

Editor and chief contributor to Not Just Numbers Ezine - The ezine for those who know it's not just about the numbers.


Cost Saving for SMEs, Overhead reduction, Excel, Management Reporting, Process Improvement, PISO.


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By chatman
24th Oct 2010 10:40

"It's not about how you look - it's about what you do"

How do you reconcile this with the widely-held belief that people judge people on their appearance (first impressions and all that)?

I agree with the other four points.

My perspective: I am a sole practitioner; I work from home; I hate wearing a suit and I sound like a market trader.

Thanks (0)