Selling Books Turnover More than £100million
For Tim Waterstone
Name: Tim Waterstone.
Age: 52 yrs.
'Foolish' Idea: Selling books.
Start-up Capital: £6,000 of own money. Borrowed £75,000 under the Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme and an extra £20,000 to top up.
How Idea was Launched: The start-up capital funded his first Waterstone's bookshop.
Sales: There are over 90 shops in Britain plus expanding chain in America.
Earnings: Turnover is more than £100million.
Tim Waterstone was chairman of W.H. Smiths American Company, until he was fired, because the company had lost a lot of money. So, Tim opened up the first of the Waterstone's bookshop chain.
He came from a typical lower middle-class family with absolutely no money, and had six children at the time of the sacking. Tim Waterstone took all the money he had, which was £6,000, and put it into the business. Borrowed funds of £95,000 added to his own money, funded the first shop.
Tim Waterstone has his own top ten tips to make a million:
- 1. You must learn to totally understand the finances and the way your business is run. Never let an accountant run your business. A business will crash if you are taken by surprise with a cash shortage, so always be obsessed with cash flow.
- 2. Spend your whole time looking forward. Always ask, how much cash are you going to need next year?
- 3. Keep the business simple. Make lines of communication short and concentrate on simple straightforward issues.
- 4. Always run a business you truly understand. Do what you are good at.
- 5. Motivate people instead of bossing them into action. Give people a happy atmosphere to work in.
- 6. Treat everyone you meet well - your staff, shareholders, customers, suppliers.
- 7. Don't try to get your own way all the time. Be prepared to concede smaller issues to win the war. Winning the war, is having the most successful, happy company possible.
- 8. Always be positive and dynamic, planning for an even greater and better future. Be bold.
- 9. Listen to other people's opinions, but at the end of the day, be clear what you're doing, and have the guts to follow your own intuition and make your own decisions.
- 10. Make sure your staff understand the rules and goals - then allow them to exercise responsibility and to have fun at doing things for themselves.
Following these rules, Tim Waterstone has built up the Waterstone's bookshop chain and exceeded well over £100million turnover.
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