Thursday, December 17, 2020

40 tips to survive 40 years in business

 A lot can happen in 40 years. From the creation of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the first black President and a global pandemic, at Rochford Engineering, we’ve experienced it all. Perhaps an even bigger achievement for us, is that we have continued to work with major OEMs throughout the past four decades, providing wire forming, welding, fabrication, machining, presswork, thread rolling and screw cutting for a wide range of industries. We’ve learned a lot on this journey and as we look ahead to the next forty years, we wanted to share some of our experiences and tips for fellow small business owners.

  1. Stay ambitious – it’s what enabled us to grow our business, moving from a tiny premises to our current 5,000 sq ft premises
  2. Don’t be afraid to invest – because if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have realised our ambition
  3. Plans change, values shouldn’t
  4. Always deliver what you say you will or more, that’s how you build relationships
  5. Embrace new people and ideas
  6. Always treat your customers and suppliers in a way you’d treat your family
  7. Surround yourself with good people – our customers and suppliers helped us reach 40 years, not Rochford Engineering alone
  8. Keep learning – your education never ends
  9. Be opportunistic – it’s how we expanded our service range
  10. Don’t beat yourself up too much – success means different things to different people
  11. Manage yourself, lead your people
  12. Improvement and success do not happen in straight lines, nor should your mood
  13. When you think something is too difficult, keep going (this counts for pandemics too!)
  14. Your biggest weakness is refusing to accept you have one
  15. Your biggest strength is accepting your weakness
  16. If you run your business in good times, the way you run your business in bad times, you won’t need to worry as much about the bad times
  17. You need your customers and people more than they need you
  18. Celebrate small victories, they’re often more important than big ones
  19. Quality is more than a kite mark or certification
  20. Small customers are as important as larger ones
  21. An employee who feels valued is an employee who feels loyal
  22. Judge people by what they do, not who they are
  23. Keep asking why you do what you do – you’ll always find a different answer
  24. Look for the right attitude. You can teach skills, you can’t teach attitude
  25. Supply chains do not just exist to supply. Listen to their advice
  26. Sustainability means more than waste reduction
  27. Waste covers more than litter
  28. By building a diversified customer base, you create opportunities
  29. Technology is an enabler of a productive workforce, not a replacement for it
  30. Nobody wants to hear your problems, they want to hear your solutions
  31. The input of the best leaders is not missed when they’re not there
  32. Asking for help is not a weakness
  33. Great service does not end with customers
  34. Relationships bring results
  35. Influence is more important than authority
  36. Metal is never off trend
  37. You can step forward into growth or back into safety
  38. Doers are worth more than dreamers, but the best people are both
  39. You never fail, you only learn
  40. The next forty years are always the hardest!


We’d like to thank all our customers, suppliers and employees for a great 40 years and look forward to working with them throughout the next 40.

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