It is exciting starting a new business. At first, every day you seem to make enormous leaps forward. Setting new infrastructure, finally getting the IT systems to all talk to one another. Getting new business opportunities in through the door.

Then the manic pace starts to stabilise. Newly on-boarded clients start to find their rhythm and eager new team members join the hive.

Here we are at the end of May. Our fourth month and this month we welcomed our third team member.

But not everything has been plain sailing. Here are just some of the bumps, that we’ve experienced, to be aware of…

Cyber security

Despite setting up what I thought was a very secure IT system and website, the third month in we were hacked. An emailed invoice was intercepted and the bank details changed on route to the client. It was only picked up when a client called to check the ‘new’ details. Thank goodness no actual monies were paid, but that was a full day of panicking, updating security (especially on the website and the contact form which is apparently a known weakness) and reporting attempted fraud and cyber crime to the relevant authorities.

What really surprised me was how commonplace this seems to be. Of four clients I called to inform them of the breach, three said they had experienced a similar issue. The lesson here is don’t skimp on security.

The more you put out to the universe, the more comes back

This may sound a little trite, but the more energy and effort we put into a task, the more luck seems to come our way. Whilst I have been a driver of new business for most of my career, and believe me have a number of methodologies and specialist approaches that I adopt, business growth is still a ‘bit of luck and a bit of magic’. But the old adage remains true, the harder you work, the luckier you become. This month we have had a couple of amazing opportunities come our way, seemingly unconnected to the outreach programmes we have in place. Long may that last!

Unexpected paperwork

For the first time in my life, this week I was asked to do jury service. Ordinarily I would be delighted to service my civil duty but having just started a business, now is not a great time. I was also randomly selected to fill out an incredibly detailed ONS annual purchase survey (which will take hours and hours).

The last couple of months have taught me that you need to prepare for the unexpected. Get your client work done as soon as possible, stay focused on the long and mid-term goals and pass the specialist actions on to the specialists (I’m talking about accounting and tax mainly). Build in time in the week to deal with the unexpected.

Every day we are learning and growing. Long may the growing pains last!