7 lessons from 7 years in business

Mon, Jan 31, 2022


To celebrate our birthday, we asked our Founder, Matt Portt, for seven things he’s learned since starting the business seven years ago.

From starting in his front room all those years ago, Matt has grown our Outsourced Finance Service to team of 24 people working around the world.

1. Be clear on your strategy and ensure your decision-making is always in alignment with it

If your strategy is to survive, don’t be wasteful with resources. If you have high growth aspirations, make sure you have the right people around you to grow with the company. What you need now isn’t what you will need in 2 years.

2. Don’t be afraid to change strategy

Business plans are based on assumptions, sometimes those assumptions are wrong and sometimes the drivers of those assumptions change. Don’t carry on with a plan that no longer makes sense.

3. Not taking risks is taking risks

If you’re not a psychopath, at some point you will look around and freak out about how many mortgages you are responsible for.

It can be easy to revert to not taking risks to protect what you have. Blockbuster is a well-publicised example of needing to make huge changes to keep the organisation fit for purpose.

People understand that businesses must take risks and the fact that people stay with you is an indication that they trust you to make the right decisions.

4. Be vulnerable

People can very easily tell when you aren’t being genuine. Of course the leader of a business needs to stay calm and composed, but don’t be afraid to show some humanity, it helps build connections and encourages others to share their thoughts with you.

5. Have a stated ‘aim’ beyond growth and profit

We devote so much of our time to our work. Growth and money become poor motivators after the excitement of a new business wears off. If you aspire to achieve something awesome, it will keep you motivated to get through the late nights and early mornings.

6. Play to people’s strengths, including your own

Ensure your team are spending time on tasks that suit their strengths, they will enjoy it more and will achieve better results. Don’t get hung up on people’s weaknesses during performance reviews, try to build on their strengths.

7. Outsource in the early days

In the early stages of a business you will likely be time and cash poor, identify processes that can be managed by a specialist. Don’t get hung up on the hourly rate, think “How much is it worth to me to get this off my desk and have it done well?”.