Four business tips you can find in scary movies
Halloween is the perfect time of year to hide under the blankets on the sofa and watch a scary movie. Provided you can muster the courage to look at the screen, you may even find that you pick up a few business tips along the way! Here are a few that we've noticed.
Always take care of unfinished business
It's a common cliché for the hero or heroine in a horror movie to breathe a sigh of relief after toppling their nemesis, only to see them come back to life for one final fright (see Billy Loomis in Scream and Michael Myers in Halloween for prime examples). The same can happen in business if you have any unresolved issues lurking in the background. If you don't agree a brief, delivery schedule or rates upfront with your client, for example, these thorny issues could come back to you haunt you later on. Get them sorted early to avoid a nightmare at the end of the project!
Face your fears head on
Characters who run away from the monster or villain in a horror film usually come a cropper, but those who are prepared for battle and confront their nemesis head-on (like the Dream Warriors in Nightmare on Elm Street 3 or Van Helsing in the Dracula movies) often live to fight another day.
There are many difficult and daunting parts of running a business, but it's important not to run away or hide from them. The shadowy spectre of something scary (like chasing an unpaid invoice, for example) isn't going to go away and the more you put off tackling it, the more difficult it will be to master. If it's an awkward conversation about late payment you're trying to avoid, here are some tips to help you tackle it.
Arm yourself with the right tools for the job
How often do you see characters in a scary movie let down by the tools they have at their disposal? It could be the mobile phone that can't get a network signal (Jeepers Creepers, Cabin Fever), or the rusty old car that breaks down (The Hills Have Eyes, Wolf Creek). And of course, there are the unfortunate characters we often see in zombie movies who attempt to stave off a deadly invasion without any weapons at all.
When it comes to choosing the tools for running your business, it's worth making sure you're arming yourself with the most effective equipment for the job. This might mean making an investment in a big piece of equipment, like a computer or desk. If these purchases fall under the remit of “capital assets” (also known as "fixed assets"), check out this information from Emily, FreeAgent's Chief Accountant, about how these purchases are handled in your accounts.
Don't be afraid to call in the experts
Films such as The Exorcist, Jaws and The Lost Boys show us that one of the best ways to survive a scary movie is to enlist the help of someone with specialist expertise.
In business, you may well find that there are times when it could be worth bringing in an expert to help you. It might be a third party professional who you formally hire - such as an accountant to oversee and check your financial records or a PR consultant to help you promote your business - or a friend or family member who you could ask for help on an informal basis. Perhaps you have a friend who is a web designer who can help build you a new website, or a copywriter who can look over your adverts?
Use your network and harness as much expertise as you can - it's usually much better than trying to do everything on your own. Happy Halloween!
- Guest blog post: self-employed? Here’s how to take control of your pension situation
- 2-Step Verification is here!
- What we’ve learned about Making Tax Digital from the new consultation documents
- Video: limited company directors’ responsibilities explained by HMRC
- Change to browser requirements