Every business starts with a good idea. But turning that idea into some serious cash takes more than just thought. During our 'Entrepreneurs: Making It' series, I have spoken to business founders at all stages of the start-up journey. From living room first-timers to seasoned entrepreneurs on their subsequent adventures. Here are some lessons from our series: 10 things that might make your start-up fly.
What really matters is how the idea is executed. That's what makes the difference. Things like your brand, your marketing, the attention you pay your customers, and crucially - the passion you have for the idea - are what make your proposition unique. Success is built on people, not products or patents.
I was recently at a gathering of entrepreneurs and we talked about our challenges, what we like and what we don't like about what we do. One thing struck me: no-one in the group actually enjoyed being the boss myself included. By that I don't mean that they don't value their independence, we all do, but we all see managing people as a necessary evil, a means to an end not the end itself...
People, especially youth require strong vocational and business management training to equip them with the right knowledge and skills to start successful enterprises along the agribusiness value chain. Easy access to adequate and affordable financing for starting and growing enterprises must be made available. Finally, an enabling environment with strong political leadership that allows entrepreneurship to flourish and embeds the notion of entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector in the wider political and economic agenda must be supported.
The world is filled with young talented people who dream of making it in fashion. They want to be the next star designer like Alexander McQueen or the next star stylist such as Micaela Erlanger and dress fabulous celebrities. With the best will in the world, fashion school cannot teach you all the skills you need to be successful. Here is what you won't learn....but what you will need.
Lack of support can leave women "faced with the feeling like they're not enough at either home or work" and prone to dropping out, says Chivers. "These are women who know they can deliver great things at work and raise happy, normal kids if only their and their partners' employers would trust them enough to crack on in flexible fashion."
Marketing is both the holy grail and a nightmare of corporations and young designers alike, but especially the latter. Marketing puzzles most creative minds as an inconvenient afterthought, after the masterpiece has been produced and exhibited and much after the encouraging lights of the graduation shows have gone out.
Paul's worked in a men's clothing wholesalers, but his real passion was cycling and he hoped to be a professional racing cyclist. When he was 17, he had an accident that put an end to this ambition. While in hospital, he made friends with some 'arty types' and his life had just taken him in an entirely new and unexpected direction.
Starting out can be difficult, it's hard for smaller brands to get cut through in an industry so big, especially when competing with large producers. I think it's all about making sure your brand is different enough, ensuring that quality is your number one priority and always keeping your focus on the consumer. Everyone who starts a business is different but here are a few tips that might help keep aspiring entrepreneurs on the right track...
When news emerged this week that James May of Top Gear fame had announced his intention to buy an electric car, commentators were bemused. As Antony Ingram put it, isn't he the guy best known for being one of "a trio of presenters who hate fuel-efficient cars, think electric cars are useless and like to scream around airfields in gas-guzzling supercars"?