Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Six

So, this six-step guide to setting up your own business has come to an end and I hope it’s proved useful to those of you thinking of jumping into the entrepreneurial breach.

The feedback to date has been extremely positive and it seems there are a large number of people out there who have been deterred from setting up by themselves by the perceived lack of information out there. Thanks to all of you for your kind words.

But in the land of Google things are changing rapidly and there are now many places to find out that sort of information. Hopefully this series can be added to that content and I hope to update and market it later this year.

There are also strong political UK initiatives in time for the 2012 Olympics that are helping to support entrepreneurs. But I’m not going to tell you about them, you’ll have to do it for yourself; that is the essence of being an entrepreneur. If you sit around waiting for somebody to tell you what to do then you probably won’t be successful.

However, by means of closure I’ll sign off with some tips about how to deal with clients once you have successfully pitched to them. This is the trickiest skill and craft of them all and you won’t get it straight away. You’ll lose some, but hopefully you will have learnt enough to prevent your initial mistakes being repeated.

First of all clients will by definition be unreasonable and it is up to you to manage this relationship without chagrin, resentment or anger. Furthermore, it’s 2011 and there is a lot of competition out there. Those who work long hours, offer competitive rates and are always cheerful with their clients will be winners.

For those who have had long careers being paid by somebody else, this can be a big step. We are deep in the age of the smartphone and while there can be some escape when trying to keep distance from a line manager, this is impossible with a client. You have to be there whenever you’re needed.

Another tricky issue is taking time off for illness or holiday. As far as the client is concerned you will never fall ill and you are BANNED from going on holiday. Before you know it you’ve worked for that client for a year and checked your email every day for seven days and haven’t had any necessary time for re-boosting an understandable jaded mojo.

This all comes back to the relationship you start with your client. If you’re daft enough to sign a restricted contract that doesn’t allow time off for holidays then you will pay for it. Ensure that your client relationships aren’t master/slave relationships. They need you as much as you need them. Be transparent from the start. Don’t offer things that ultimately damage your health and creativity.

Ultimately you will work with clients you deserve. If you promised the earth and are getting mighty pissed off that they are demanding the earth then you’re not doing it right. Be a man/woman, not a Labrador. Ensure that if you do decide against working with a ‘bad’ client, then that client is replaced by a good one.

I could go on and on, but perhaps now is the time to bring things to a close and I can go back to serving my clients instead of talking about them. If you want any more information, send me a DM on Twitter or get in touch via the blog at www.mob76outlook.com

Best of British in your new ventures and thanks for listening.

Monty (627 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.