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The True Entrepreneur Is A Doer, Not A Dreamer

Posted on Sep 27, 2012 by  | 0 Comments

By Dug Campbell

Should you start a business alone or with a co-founder? How important is any cash provided by the public sector for new business creation? And how clear are you about the difference between creating a business to support yourself and building one that is designed to pay the salaries of other people as well? 

Our friends at Kiltr, the professional social network for everyone with a Scottish connection, have been running an open hub at the Old Hairdresser’s in Renfield Lane as part ofSocial Media Week 2012. An exploration of the social, cultural and economic impact of social media in different cities worldwide, Glasgow has itself hosted over 100 events during the past five days. I’ve been across to a number of these and been delighted to see the spotlight fall on a number of occasions on precisely how technology can help modern communication methods to drive business results across various sectors.

Last night, I headed along to ‘The True Entrepreneur is a Doer, Not a Dreamer’ at the Kiltr Hub. The stripped-down walls of the venue were a perfect setting for an event which was run in a refreshingly informal way, with the focus being a general chat about entrepreneurship and the art of moving from conception of a business idea to the essential stage of actually taking action. 

Michael Hayes will be known to most of you as the Glasgow-based startup founder ofCodeCreatedMe, curator of StartupDigest Scotland and the man behind the Rookie Ovenblog and meetup. He shared the stage - well, seats at the back of the room – and led the conversation with Breda Doherty, founder ofHubb.it, a digital events startup. 

Here are a few takeaways from both speakers and members of the audience in what turned out to be a very interactive event:

  • Don’t spend time working something out as a startup if you already know someone who has the experience and knowledge that you need. Approach them directly to avoid wasting precious time and money.
  • If you are missing skills in the business, seriously consider the benefits of introducing a co-founder carefully. Whilst some in the room preferred the flexibility of working alone, the majority appeared to feel that the benefit of working with others was significant.
  • Above all, be passionate about your startup. You need to have that enthusiasm that forces you to carry out that essential work on a Saturday evening that’s really going to move the business forwards. 
  • Public money isn’t free. There’s always a cost involved, both in terms of the time and effort that’s required to get it. Don’t turn it down automatically but be realistic about what you’re willing to do to release those funds.
  • Work out early whether you are building a business to pay your salary alone or to also provide a salary for other people. They are fundamentally different business models.
  • Offering your company’s equity in return for services rendered may be of little value to your supplier if your company is worth little and he or she is looking for money to pay the rent. 
  • Be clear about the distinction between what your customer wants and what he or she needs. While there may be an opportunity to make quick cash from a ‘want’, repeat business is more likely if you focus on solving a customer’s needs.

The conversation then continued (even more) informally into the evening over a few beers in the Kiltr Hub. The value of any event like this is always found in the experiences and stories that are shared by those in the room and in that respect, it certainly didn’t disappoint. I know that I for one will be heading back through to Glasgow on Monday night to the next Rookie Oven meetup so that we can continue some of those conversations. How about you?  

@dugcampbell

douglas.campbell@mbmcommercial.co.uk

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