Our founder, Greg Wilkinson, started Reckon 30 years ago with a maxed-out credit card, a loan against a busted-up Holden Commodore and a big idea. Today, Reckon is a publicly listed ASX company with strong financials employing over 500+ people in our operations across the world.Looking back to when I started Reckon 30 years ago, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were many things I wish I could have told my younger self during this time like how to manage your sanity and ensure the business progresses because as we all know there is no one size fits all approach! So in an attempt to give you the help I wish I had upfront (plus a few extra hours sleep a week) here are my top 5 tips.
1) Be brave
I know you’ve probably heard it before but this could not be more true. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo and follow your gut, not everything will work but it will help you be more strategic and forward focused.
The Reckon goal? Enter the market and disrupt everything. I wanted to create a brave, connected community and strip back complex accounting to build a user-friendly solution that utilised the latest technology.
For many small businesses step one is taking that leap and turning your dreams into a functioning business. My advice? Just do it. If it means enough to you, you’ll withstand the storm.
2) Get writing
Journaling will help you take a step back and align your goals. Remember to focus and prioritise the tasks ahead.
I got into the habit of writing down my week ahead then breaking down my time accordingly. By planning in advance you’ll be more realistic with your time and clearly see the areas you need to pivot focus.
3) Learn through trial and error
Despite your best intentions everything won’t happen according to plan the first time round. Words can’t really capture how long it took me to find the right formula. Don’t be deterred and remember the process of learning often involves making mistakes and it’s these mistakes that make us better.
4) You can’t know it all
In other words? Know your capabilities. We know that funds can be tight and you’re not always able to hire experts in finance or marketing. More often than not, you will be wearing all of the hats without an ounce of experience. You might be the best florist, interior designer or engineer in the market but that counts for nothing if you can’t balance the books.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Let’s face it, most of us don’t like asking for help. When it comes to our vision, we usually want to handle everything ourselves but it’s important to acknowledge that there’s always room to learn. Be open to advice from someone you trust; it really can completely transform the way you think, the approach you take and the outcome of the project.
It’s been an enriching 30-year journey for Reckon but what excites me most is our big, bright future. We have come so far yet still managed to maintain the same grit, energy and boundless excitement that we started with. So take it from me, harness that entrepreneurial spirit and take the leap, learn from your mistakes and get back up after that first fail.