What connects managing your cash flow, finding new customers, getting paid on time, keeping your clients happy and growing your business? Ambition.
In fact, at the very beginning of your business journey from the point when you had a light bulb moment to where you are now as a business builder, ambition gave you the momentum to keep going.
When you faced challenges such as chasing a late invoice, changing suppliers to help you keep up with demand or looking for an expert to help find funding to grow your business, ambition was the fuel that kept you on track.
You’re certainly not alone. And to champion that, at Sage we have appointed Peter Jones, a Sage customer for life, as our new Ambition Ambassador.
Like many of you, Peter is a serial entrepreneur. He maintains a portfolio of more than 40 businesses. From his humble beginnings in business, the UK-based business owner became a Sage customer at the age of 16 and today uses Sage Business Cloud to manage everything from money to people.
He has built every business with that unmistakable spark of entrepreneurialism – the passion and ambition for doing something different and the refusal to see limits.
How ambition can drive everything
Like all business builders, ambition is important to Peter: “It’s my ambition that drives everything I do every day. I wanted to run my own business and that ambition came to me when I was really young as a teenager. And everything manifests itself around that word, that magical word called ambition.”
As the owner of multiple businesses, Peter gets to work with lots of different people every day. “Every single day of my life I meet people in business and every single day in my meetings, everybody around our table has different levels of ambition,” he says.
And while he sees the importance of others having the ambition to succeed, it’s just as important for him to make his own ambition a reality too.
Peter says: “If I don’t come to work and I don’t make a difference, I’m not achieving my own goal, my own ambition to help other businesses grow.”
3 ways you can use ambition to meet your business goals
Want to hit your ambitious business goals but not sure how? Here are three ambitions your business may have and tips on how to make them become a reality.
Create a happy workforce
Happy employees equal a happy workforce. And that can lead to a business that succeeds beyond your wildest dreams. To make that happen, you could offer flexible working. Since mobile technologies such as cloud computing have made it more convenient to collaborate from anywhere, giving your employees the option to work from home, a coffee shop or even the beach can be beneficial.
Hire the right people for your business and you’ll see the benefits. Take the time to determine who you need and what role they will fulfil. Make sure they fit your company’s values and culture too – you want them to fit in with your existing workforce.
Show your employees you value them and their contributions to your business. Get regular feedback from your staff and put it into play. Create a culture of recognition and appreciation. And empower your staff to be bold and make the decisions that reach and surpass your company’s ambitions.
Get paid on time
Late payments can be the bane of your life as a business owner and truly stifle the ambitions you have for your future success. But with the right tools, you can minimise the impact they have.
Start by knowing what to put on your invoices. Your documents should be well designed and easy to read, and for any specific legal requirements that you may need to include – if you’re registered for VAT, for example – make sure those details are added.
“Invoice your customers immediately. While making a sale is great, the faster you receive your payment, the sooner your cash reserves are replenished,” says Sage Business Expert Alison Parsons, an accountant from accountancy practice Albert Goodman.
Grow the business
Want to increase the reach of your business? Start by doing some market research and create a shortlist of competitors. This will help you paint a picture of the market and identify where opportunities lie for your business to grow.
Explore different growth strategies and see which ones will help you meet your goals. You might consider offering a new product or service, for example, or selling your existing products to new markets. Research is key before you dive in.
Use external experts to help you in your bid to grow your business. Joanna Booth, co-founder of social media consultancy Social Media Makes Sense, has regular meetings with a business coach to come up with strategies on how to keep expanding her business. It’s worth your business doing the same.
Use technology such as accounting software to free up your time so you can focus on growing your company, like business owner Bryan Collins, who now doesn’t have to look forward to weekends filled with business admin.
Final thoughts: Be bold
Ambition can help your business to go far. So be bold about what you want to do and use your ambition to achieve it. That’s what Peter Jones has done and he continues to do that every day.
Ambition is an attribute shared by Peter, you, your customers and your workforce. Everyone has the ambition to grow, create and reach further. So take the lead and make your company’s dreams come true.
Ambition In Action
Want to grow your business but struggling to do so? Download this free e-book for advice from Peter Jones and the winner and finalists of the Sage Ambition competition who faced challenges and overcame them using their business ambition.