Five Min­utes With…

Lisa Bar­ber, award-win­ning fi­nan­cial ad­viser and wealth coach, shares her knowl­edge about build­ing a busi­ness.

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If there was one thing you would ad­vise busi­ness own­ers to do this new fi­nan­cial year, what would it be? Plan ahead — go big. What is the rev­enue tar­get you want to achieve this time next year? Be as spe­cific as pos­si­ble. Break it into quar­terly di­gestible tar­gets, then monthly, weekly and daily. Make sure that ev­ery­body in the busi­ness is aligned and agrees to the tar­get. If there is no agree­ment, you won’t get there. It also can’t be about the money — it’s what the money can do for you and your busi­ness. Money is the mea­sure of suc­cess but should not be the driver. If it can’t be mea­sured it will not hap­pen.

What’s one of the best tricks you know to get fi­nances on track and stay that way? Know your numbers. And not just broadly — know where ev­ery sin­gle cent is go­ing. It’s al­ways a good idea to have a sec­ond, un­bi­ased per­son have a look at your numbers. They will come with a clear per­spec­tive as they have no at­tach­ment. This will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to high­light ar­eas to re­duce spend­ing or ideas to be more ef­fec­tive with your money. It’s of­ten a case of ‘what you don’t know you don’t know’, so be­ing open to a review can usu­ally save you money.

In set­ting up your own busi­ness, was there a key mis­take you made early on that taught you a les­son you still hold close to this day? As en­trepreneurs or busi­ness own­ers we of­ten start a busi­ness be­cause it’s some­thing that we are good at or, if we are lucky, love to do. But this does not mean that we are good at, or even ca­pa­ble of, run­ning a busi­ness. Out­sourc­ing a lot ear­lier in my own busi­ness would have saved me a lot of heartache and would have en­abled me to be more ef­fi­cient with my time. My job is to see clients — if I’m not do­ing that then what am I do­ing?

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