Setting up and running your own firm is a daunting prospect, so how do you remain focused and motivated when all your energy is targeted on the success of your business?
Mike Welch, the entrepreneur who founded online tyre fitter Blackcircles – sold last year in a bumper deal with Michelin – shares his top five tips to help you stay ahead of the pack:
Trust your gut – always be prepared to make the big decisions yourself.
Stay informed at all times – about the business and its latest numbers, what the market and competitors are doing, how the media is covering the marketplace to keep ahead the curve. And always keep the customer front and centre.
Have a strong set of trusted, external advisers around you – they can help you see the bigger picture.
Learn how to switch off – a change of scene, a holiday, a day trip, whatever. I do my best, clearest and most productive thinking when I’m in a new place trying to relax.
Own your numbers – be able to get underneath what is happening and, more importantly, why it is happening; don’t rely on others to understand the detail.
Welch founded Borders-based Blackcircles in 2001 after leaving Kwik Fit. In February, he acquired the intellectual property assets of fashion brand Atterley, which has been relaunched as an online retail platform for boutiques.
Earlier this year he took a seat on the board of online interior design store Houseology alongside former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, who also backed Blackcircles.