Our Top Business Strategies from Successful Entrepreneurs
Successful entrepreneurs have a plethora of strong attributes within marketing, sales, product development, leadership, management and finance to name but a few, which allow them to fulfil their vision.
But they also experience the highs and lows of business, the growing pains of adapting to market changes and knocks which can grind others down.
We wanted to find out some of the successful business strategies we could learn from a handful of entrepreneurs in our little black book, so we asked, and they kindly replied...
Piers Linney - HR is important even in small businesses
A former dragon on BBC's Dragons' Den, Piers is the Director of the government development at British Business Bank, which has invested billions to unlock capital for UK SMEs. He has founded and been the CEO of technology and communications businesses with combined revenues of over £50m and over 400 employees.
"As a business grows and matures, different skills may be required, and it is common for some employees to be outgrown. Not everybody will make it and usually they are the first to realise that. Human resource management becomes important, even in small businesses. Ensure that you conduct reviews against personal development plans and targets and closely manage underperformance. This will reduce the ability for people to hide and play for time. The new-guard can become very frustrated if the old-guard isn’t pulling its weight and this can create discord. In the long run the cost of inaction will be higher to the business, so make the changes."
Fraser Doherty - Listen to feedback
Fraser is the former ‘Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year’ who took ‘SuperJam’ from his Gran's kitchen to all the major supermarkets.
"The most important tip is just to find a way of testing out your ideas as quickly as you can. They won't be perfect the first time around, so be willing to listen to the feedback you get from customers to make changes until you have something that they'll love. The worst thing to do is to get into 'analysis paralysis', where you spend months and month planning and researching - something you just don't know if an idea is going to work until you just try."
Claire Harper - Be Patient
Claire took the Mamas & Papas brand to great heights before unlocking her entrepreneurial spirit by founding the award-winning IndiaCoco.
"You have to understand that it takes a long time to build a strong brand. It is incredibly tempting to accept every opportunity, even if you’re not ready. I take the view it is better to crawl, and then walk and then run. "
Marianne Abib-Pech - Cash is King
The Global CFO of Shell Aviation at only 35, Marianne left the corporate world to satisfy her entrepreneurial spirit, launching her own boutique advisory firm in Merger and Acquisitions.
"I would highly recommend to always start with a big enough “slush fund". It is important to ensure you can maintain a certain level of control to focus solely on your business. Money will give you the luxury of saying no to things you feel are not right for you or for your business."
Rob Law - Test, analyse feedback, modify, test and repeat
The creator of innovative luggage concept Trunki (the first ride-on suitcase for kids), Rob Law is an expert in taking a new product to market against all odds.
"My advice would be to come up with hundreds of ways of solving a problem, filter it down, prototype it, share it, get valuable market insight, refine it, prototype it and repeat. This process will continue until several leading ideas amalgamate into one that the market says yes to. Now you have a good idea, the next challenge is bringing it to market!"
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