How to escape from Groundhog Day

Ardingly businessman Paul Hannam (submitted).
Ardingly businessman Paul Hannam (submitted).
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Escaping Groundhog Day - making the same mistakes over and over again - is easy enough for business owners, according to a professional coach, author and teacher.

Paul Hannam, from Ardingly, formed Fast Growth Club last October to help entrepreneurs stop repeating mistakes in business, advocating the introduction of small but constant changes to the way people do business on a daily basis.

Distilling 25 years of knowledge spent as an entrepreneur, he has taught at University of Oxford, coached more than 2,000 business owners, and published two books.

He said: “Everybody is looking at ways of changing. You have got to get them to understand your own habits and patterns of behaviour. Every business problem is a personal problem in disguise.

“A lot of reasons businesses fail is because people do not change themselves. People carry on doing what they have always done rather than changing.”

The Fast Growth Club involves six to eight business people around a table, with half the time devoted to him teaching them and the other half to facilitating group discussion. Business owners are free to report back to the group what has worked for them and what has not.

He said that often entrepreneurs stake their future on an idea without any preparation or formal training.

“They go in and they build the business through their own skills, but they do not build up new skills,” Paul explained.

“The idea of the club is almost having your own board of advisors.”

Members range from Horsham, Brighton, Crawley, Mid Sussex and Surrey.

In the current climate a lot of people had become self-employed after being made redundant after the credit crunch hit in 2008, and many businesses were doing well to even survive.

“So many people are doing that because there’s a lot less employment opportunities for these over 45 people in that age group so they start up their own business,” Paul said.

“There’s a whole series of mistakes that start-ups make and we want to prevent them.”

While there is never any guarantee of business success, he believes his formula can dramatically increase the odds of success.

For more information on the Fast Growth Club email Paul at paul@fastgrowthclub.com