I am 2 years in to the project that is my business, and as such I thought it would be a good idea to talk through some of the successes, and challenges I have had over that time to show the journey so far
I started a Mortgage and Insurance broker, off the back of 10 years experience in the industry working for corporate companies, making them large sums of profit- but feeling trapped, and suffocated in the senior management role I had.
Looking back at my time in corporate world I accept that the time spent was essential to give me the foundation and skills needed to head out and give this a go for myself. I appreciate the training and development they were able to provide me with, but there is a still a side of me that says- I can do it better; and I continuously strive towards this every day.
I still remember my first day walking in to the tiny office I rented within an estate agent in a small market town in Suffolk. I had no appointments in my diary but had this pure confidence that I was talented enough to make this a success. I worked 7 days a week for pretty much a year. Everything I was doing online or off was to promote and grow the business. I recruited introducers, and started to get some momentum fairly quickly. I am an exceptional broker, and skilled at winning business in this sector. My experienced helped me get a foothold on the market quickly.
6 months in to trading I was able to recruit my first employee. An experienced broker to come on board and help me grow the business. This broker has done fantastically for us and continues to help us grow the business and understands our macro goals and what we are looking to achieve. This recruitment, whilst well ahead of schedule, allowed us to open a further location, opening up a new geography market place. 8 months later we expanded again taking on a trainee, which was a serious investment to put them through the qualifications. However, once qualified they again allowed us to open further locations.
The expansion of the business has happened quickly. I took the approach that as soon as I could afford to recruit I needed to do it. We needed to grow our capacity and give ourselves the foundation to grow the business top line revenue through having business writers, and those who could multiply my efforts. However, this doesn’t come without risk and personal sacrifice. A new business does not have the stability of cash flow that we would expect to have at 5 years, and definitely 10 years of trading. Personal income sacrifices have had to be made. I have had to work even harder to grow the client base, and provide lead for the team I have created. Having staff comes with the responsibility to ensure their employment is secure and they are looked after- sometime at the detriment to your own financial security. This I guess is the sacrifice you make as a business owner and entrepreneur when trying to grow a business that will eventually work for you.
It’s been a tough 2 years, and a lot has happened. If I am honest with myself I haven’t got to where I wanted to be in that time. I set really challenging goals, and have missed them. I try to balance somewhat a busy family life with a young family, with a busy entrepreneurial career- at times something has to give. But I am my own worst critic and others, who have successful businesses have suggested I should be happy with the results achieved because they are good. Personally, I don’t think there is a result I can feel happy with. Its just not my nature to not keep pushing forward, wanting more, and striving to make my business something better that it was yesterday.
Irrelevant of the results- whether I feel they are good, poor, or indifferent. I love this journey, and the challenges it poses. I wouldn’t ever go back to not owning my own company, and having every decision made – good or bad, my responsibility.
I’d love to hear about your business journey so far in the comments.