The Key to Business Success: Do Things Differently

Crimson & Co

UK entrepreneur, Richard Powell’s top tips for business success ten years on for Global Entrepreneurship Week

As Global Entrepreneurship Week comes to an end, UK entrepreneur and Managing Director of supply chain consultancy, Crimson & Co, says that the key to success, even through an economic downturn is to stay ahead of the curve with innovative business processes and models which question the norm.

Powell, who this year celebrated the tenth anniversary of his business commented: “Starting a new business is not for the faint-hearted and no matter how much planning you do and how much advice you seek, you’re sure to come across challenges you did not foresee; if starting a new business, expect the unexpected. However, there’s a lot to be said for learning from other people’s mistakes.” Powell’s top tips are:

Have a Plan B so you can focus on Plan A!

Plan A is the one you want. You will work all hours to make it succeed. But what happens if it goes wrong? If you are frightened of failure because of the ripples through your life, how will that make you act? You must have a back up plan and this will only drive you to succeed further.

Punch above your weight

Don’t be afraid to go after the ‘big boys’ because of your size. A recent survey of our clients showed that some of them thought we are four times our actual size. Focus on the quality of your people, good training, good branding and exceeding expectations on delivery - have confidence in yourselves, or no-one else will.

Keep costs low – every penny counts

It’s tempting to start with a flashy office, assistants and executive cars, but what is really necessary as you get started? You need to ask yourself whether you really need the overhead of larger competitors as a start-up. Starting small can be an opportunity to do things differently, and that usually goes down well with staff and customers.

Treat yourself, especially if ex corporate

Try to do little things to remind you that you are in charge – you do not need to follow the herd. Allow yourselves to buy whatever wacky laptop you want, and get iPhones if this suits you better than a blackberry which is the norm with corporates. Starting your own business should be a chance to set your own rules and you shouldn’t be afraid of standing out from your competition, for whatever reason, be it small or big.

Treat your staff differently

Recruit the best staff. As a start up with no credentials, this is always a challenge so you must figure out a way to attract top talent. You can come up with an innovative remuneration mechanism, a mix of flat salary and potentially unlimited company bonus, to allow you to recruit the best staff whilst minimising fixed costs. Your business is only as good as the people within it and this must never be forgotten, no matter how much the company grows. 

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