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What I wish I’d known before I started: Marc Rafferty

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Marc Rafferty

Marc Rafferty

Marc Rafferty

'The most important thing I have learnt is that 'Excel' is sexier than Photoshop.'

Act responsibly

One of the first entrepreneurs I worked for told me that although he did not own his own home, have a car or indeed children, he found himself responsible for 16 lives, a dozen mortgages, 10 car repayments, and an inordinate amount of creche fees - not to mention several dozen city breaks and sun holidays per year.

A successful business will make enough to pay employees so they too can reach their goals and have a fulfilling life through your business. The plus side is that if you do, they will deliver.

Create win-win situations

At Linked Finance, we sit between lenders and borrowers. When we do our job well, both sides benefit. A win-win business has the potential to grow and experience exciting developments.

Be true to your ideals and yourself

It's okay to believe your ideas and ways of doing things are better that the conventional norm. I stand by the dictum: 'You don't need eyes to see, you need vision'.

As an entrepreneur, your vision and 'ideal' will come under pressure from all angles. Don't buckle and be true to your beliefs. It takes lots of convincing of yourself and others to keep on track.

Remember the aim has to be what you dreamt of. Don't get caught up on regrets. "To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development" is an Oscar Wilde line of which I often remind myself.

Know your finances

The most important thing I have learnt is that 'Excel' is sexier than Photoshop.

You need to know how to read, understand and experiment with your accounts, finances and cash flow.

If you ever meet a successful business owner who doesn't understand fully exactly how their business works from a finance point of view, then run very fast in the opposite direction.

My experience, from Linked Finance especially, is that those business owners who sleep at night and have cholesterol levels of five or less have learnt financials over the years and have gotten themselves an excellent accountant and financial advisor.

Start small and grow

I notice more and more Irish businesses starting small, growing as customers grow, and gradually adding features and increasing their hours of business. This is a great approach, as it limits risk, lets you grow organically, have time to think - and, most important of all, keeps customers coming back for more.

Marc Rafferty was in conversation with Louise McBride

Sunday Indo Business