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10 Years... 10 Lessons

04 August 2014

As New Chapter reaches its 10th Anniversary, Adrian Dalby (Managing Director) shares ten reasons why he believes New Chapter Consulting has successfully made this milestone:

Aim high: I started New Chapter with a strong vision - to be the leading FMCG recruiter in the UK. While this vision has developed over the years, I have never taken my eye off this ultimate goal. This drive has kept our business going and ensures we constantly strive for greater things.

Put Values at the heart of your business : Values are more than just words used in marketing campaigns - they form the bedrock of any company and it’s important to get them right while you are small and have the most influence over behaviours and culture. It’s far harder to attempt to build a values culture once you’re employing over 20 people.

Communicate: It sounds simple, but communication is key when you’re building a business. People want to understand, learn and feel a part of the decision making process. They want you to tell them how you feel, what your aspirations are and how you plan to grow. It’s so easy to fall into the email trap - but a small business lends itself to face-to-face communication and interaction. Get that right when you’re small and your staff will reward you for it.

Listen: It’s critically important to continually listen - to what your staff are saying, to what your clients are saying and to the media. By developing great listening tools such as staff engagement surveys or client feedback systems when you’re a young business, you can grow in line with the expectations of your key stakeholders.

Dare to be different: Businesses do well every day by doing things slightly better than everyone else. But great businesses dare to be different. Small organisations can be dynamic and fast-paced - by harnessing ideas from your people early on in the development of your business, and daring to be different from the rest, you have a great chance of building a truly different proposition to the market.

Trust people to do their jobs: It’s easy to get tied into the nitty-gritty when you’re starting out - I learnt very quickly that if I wanted to grow a successful business I had to learn to delegate and allow people to do their jobs.

Have fun: Having fun at work is a great way to build a culture that people love coming to work for. It’s not about throwing endless work parties but about incorporating fun activities into daily operational tasks. 

Surround yourself with great people: It’s important to know your limits. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it, outsource when you need to and engage with great professionals that can add new perspective to your business.

Be consistent: The most important lesson I’ve learnt in management is to be consistent. People will follow your lead and respect you if they can see that you are consistent with them. It’s important to leave your personal issues at the door, and maintain a consistent approach to people at work.

Switch off: Running your own business is highly rewarding but a lot of hard work. Ensuring that you are able to switch off, spend time with your family and enjoy holidays are essential to maintain your physical and mental well being.

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