10 February 2014

One of the benefits of having a blog is being able to engage with readers, and I’ve been honoured that off the back of that, people have felt comfortable enough to send me a message if they think I can give advice. Whilst I’m not perfectly placed to answer every question, some of them are very thought-provoking and well worth sharing.

A while ago, I blogged about the attributes that can help when setting up a business and mentioned managing your money as a topic for another day. Well, I was recently asked what business lessons I could pass on and lesson number one is definitely ‘separate your personal life from your business life.’ When you’re starting up your business, this is something that you need to implement from day one.

In the first few years of UKFast, Gail and I had about £11,000 between us at the end of each year and no matter how tough things got, we knew we always had that. That’s what our salary was. It went into our personal account and it was ours to spend. However, we never once went into our business account just because we’d had a good month or a good year. The temptation to pay yourself a bit more because you feel a bit flush is a slippery slope. Whilst you might think you’re doing well, it only takes one hefty bill to knock the wind out of your sails!

That merger of business and personal life is so complicated and well worth avoiding so you’ve got to separate that at the birth of your business. In my experience, not doing this just creates a nightmare where you don’t know where the business stops and your own life starts! Remember, the cash that you generate for your business is oxygen. You need it to survive.

What would your number one business startup lesson be?

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