How confident are you about your business right now? In this post we’ll be looking at the essentials of small business confidence.
If you’re feeling optimistic, then you’re not alone. In fact according to a recent survey (1) , a whopping 80 per cent of SMEs in the UK have overall confidence in the way business is going right now. This good news was underlined last week with the equally buoyant results of a new survey into SME confidence by the Federation of Small Businesses (2) which indicates that SMEs have been reporting a positive outlook for the seventh quarter in a row.
Of course business, like life itself has its ups and downs. So where do you look for inspiration when optimism seems to be a little thin on the ground? I’ve produced this short 5 point list in order to highlight some of the essentials of business confidence.
Why do economies bounce back after a downturn? The answer is in the resilience of businesspeople. Look at the world-beating success of the Moshi Monsters franchise. From the outside it may look like life has been an uninterrupted trajectory of success for its CEO, Michael Acton Smith. But in reality, it was nothing less than pure resilience that got Smith’s company to where it is today. Their previous venture, Perplex City, was placed on ‘indefinite hold’ after it stalled, having had millions invested in it.
See confidence as a work in progress
Nobody – not even Donald Trump – emerged into the world with infinite confidence. And confidence is something that you can build on within yourself and among your staff. Think for instance about the world’s most customer-centric companies. They listen to all the feedback they get and act on it. If you fail at something, it’s doesn’t make you a failure – it provides a solid set of learnings to build on when – using your resilience, you get right back into the ring, ready once again to punch above your weight.
Remember small business is big business
Did you know that, according to the FSB, SMEs “accounted for 99.9 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK, 59.3 per cent of private sector employment and 48.1 per cent of private sector turnover” by the start of last year? This means that no matter what your area of business you’re in, the chances are that there’s likely to be a wealth of information and support out there.
Break down the barriers
In his autobiography, entrepreneur Richard Branson talks engagingly about how while many of his friends were into music, the thing that gave him the greatest pleasure was to set himself big objectives, and then go all out to achieve them. big challenges don’t need to be barriers – and when they’ve been met, confidence is guaranteed to rush in.
Find a little time for yourself
Many of us feel a real drive within ourselves, but none of us is a dynamo. Or as the great Peter Jones puts it: “commit to a goal and make it happen, but commit to yourself and your health too”. And if someone as busy as Peter Jones can find time for a little work-life balance, it’s a string signal that the rest of us should, too.