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Leo Fung

Here are 10 things anyone can do to build a business

Going For Growth’s Paula Fitzsimons shares some of her insights.

Going for Growth is a programme for female entrepreneurs started by Dublin businesswoman Paula Fitzsimons. The free scheme, which is funded by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, includes mentoring from leading figures like PayPal EMEA head Louise Phelan.

Ahead of the next group of 60 participants starting the programme, here are some of Fitzsimons’ top tips for those looking to grow a business:

1. Think Strategic

You need to look at the bigger picture and develop a vision for your businesses from the outset. It is too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business and not take time to be strategic and forward-looking. Get into the ‘helicopter’ at least once a month and take time to think strategically. Then develop a roadmap of where you want to go, setting down goals and milestones to measure progress along that road.

2. Focus On The Cash

Cash is the lifeblood of a business. Without it a business is dead, even if sales are growing. Always know how much cash is in the business and be mindful that if you are growing, you will need more cash to support additional sales.

3. Get Good People

Your business is only as good as the team that your surround yourself with. You cannot do everything yourself. Surround yourself with great people and don’t be afraid to hire people who you consider better than you are. Know what you are good at and not good at and recruit for complementary skills, not clones of yourself. Give time to induct them into your company’s way of thinking and help them to buy into your customer-centred culture.

4. It’s All About Your Customers

It is customers who buy your products or services. Without them you do not have a business. Focus on the problem that you are helping your customers to solve. Their satisfaction will encourage them to continue to buy from you and will be a recommendation to others.

5. Don’t Compromise Your Standards

Excellence in all aspects of the business is the only standard. Lead from the front and always illustrate by your own commitment and actions what you expect of others.

6. Apply The 24 Hours Rule

No knee-jerk reactions! Your considered response will be a lot better than your immediate response to a difficult situation or email. Vent your true feelings to a trusted colleague or compose an email which encapsulate your strong views, but don’t send it. You will find that 24 hours later your reaction will have modified and your considered response will be a lot better than your instant reaction.

7. Punch Above Your Weight

Always try and deliver more than might be expected. Look at what Ireland has achieved on the sports field – in women’s boxing, golf and on the rugby pitch. World class athletes from a population of just over 4 million in sports that are not even the most popular.

8. Invest And Innovate

Listen to what your customers want and try to constantly innovate. Even in tough times, it’s important to continue investing in innovation to stay ahead of the curve. Complacency has no place in business. If you don’t constantly renew, your competitors, existing or new, will take advantage of that.

9. Be Focused And Just Go For It

Keep the goal in mind and be determined to succeed. A growth mindset is important. Of course there will be knockbacks! Be persistent and make sure you are one of those who is always going for growth and succeeding!

10. Make Sure to Enjoy It

It can be tough and lonely running a business at times – so make sure you celebrate and enjoy any key achievements, no matter how small. It will help give you perspective on where you are going next.

Applications for the next Going for Growth programme close tomorrow at midnight. For more information visit

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