A big thank you is due to entrepreneurial leaders Mike Welch of www.blackcircles.com, Chris Gauld of www.sparkenergy.co.uk and Keith Neilson of www.craneware.com for sharing with us their entrepreneurial journey at last night’s meeting of www.businessforumscotland.com.
Their stories were all very different but all equally inspiring and told under the able guidance of Alistair Balfour who proved himself to be a natural chat show host.
It is hard to think what energy, software for the healthcare sector and tyres have got in common. However, I have been reflecting overnight on some of the common themes which should apply to anyone starting and building a business:-
The businesses have all spotted and exploited a new or growing niche in very large markets;
They have all exploited their niche in such a way that they are the “go to” brand in their respective chosen markets, making it more difficult for competitors to gain traction;
They are not operating in static markets and aim to grow their businesses through growing their markets;
They have all surrounded themselves with exceptional and supportive people, be they business partners, co-directors or shareholders and have been prepared to listen to and take good advice;
They all understand the importance of financial rigour, a strong Board and good corporate governance;
They are all extremely focused and determined to succeed; and
They all strive for faultless execution and to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
These are the main messages which I took away from listening to the stories of these exceptional companies. They are all relentlessly positive, have a “can do” attitude and do not let problems get in the way of achieving their goals. Every aspiring entrepreneur should take heed of these messages and ensure that they apply in an appropriate way in their working environment.
Much credit must go to the team at Business Forum for organising such a great event – keep up the good work!