What are you Looking for?
Last week, WorkGuru partner, Apparatus Quo was announced as a Xero Awards Finalist in the Sole Trader category. The nomination has come as a huge milestone for the business that began operating in 2020.
“I really didn’t know if we were in with a chance,” said founder Josh Licence, “but I decided to just go for it and apply.”
Josh and his business have been committed in the past year to providing the best consulting service to his customers and he feels like that commitment has helped him land a place as a finalist.
“We’ve always been about facilitating sustainable growth, it’s even our tagline. It’s what we do and I think just being genuine really helped in our application” said Josh on his nomination.
Starting up and managing a business solo during a pandemic was never going to be an easy task, but Josh is happy with the support that Apparatus Quo has been able to provide throughout.
“Apparatus Quo was really lucky and was able to be flexible and adapt to the markets that need help the most,” commented Josh. “I feel immense gratitude towards our clients, partners and suppliers who have supported us; we are very fortunate to have identified pockets of demand for our services during a difficult period of time in 2020-21.”
One of the big wins driving Apparatus Quo’s success during this time was the strong relationships that Josh was able to build. In a year that had a strong focus on community, Josh saw firsthand the importance of building connections. It’s one of the things he’s focused on from the start and believes those connections helped get the word out.
“Good relationships have helped me build my business from the ground up. Everyone that I work with, I’m still connected with. I still have strong relationships with the team I worked with in the past at BlueRock and I’m thankful for the huge amount of support through our partnership.”
Be consistent with who you are
Apparatus Quo has always been true to its motto, “Facilitating Sustainable Growth” and it shows in everything the business does. From the markets Josh services, to their commitment and care to their customers “sustainability” is always the focus.
“Be genuine and do what you’ll say you do,” advises Josh. “It’s important to only promise what you are confident you can deliver, to stick to those commitments, and have proactive conversations if the situation changes.”
Beware of burn out & how to prevent it
Running a small business means working a multitude of jobs at the same time and rarely do sole traders give themselves the breaks they deserve.
Josh advises other sole traders to watch how they use their energy and be aware. “It’s okay – sometimes necessary – to go at 200% for short periods, but ensure you prioritise time to catch your breath and have periods when you are going at 80% because that’s okay too!”
Having the support of his partner and family has also been so important to Josh. “My wife has always been so supportive, we’re a team and that means the world to me,” says Josh.
While not often discussed in business, having a personal support network, as well as a professional one, is crucial when it comes to being a sole trader. Your close circle can help you identify and prevent burnout, or help you out when your energy is low.
Don’t undervalue your community
“Don’t underestimate the power of getting your name out there,” warns Josh. Putting the time and effort into your public profile and your fame agenda in your industry can make a huge difference to your business.
Apparatus Quo places a high value on relationships.
“Your community can look out for you, find opportunities and support your growth. Focus on building your win-win relationships.”
Keep learning and building your toolkit
When you’re working on your business every day, it can be hard to keep learning. But, Josh recommends that you continue to invest in yourself and your ongoing education, and to ensure this stays on your priority list.
“I read a lot,” confirmed Josh, “It’s about picking out the lessons and tips that resonate with you and then adding them to your repertoire.”
Apparatus Quo can help you and your business with everything from business systems strategy to implementation, to ongoing training and more. Reach out to Josh on the Apparatus Quo website to get started.