Amazing Entrepreneurs we have forgotten

Sometimes we forget that we humans just continue to do the same thing over and over again. The old adage “Nothing is new under the sun” always comes to mind. So every now and again I need just to remind myself of this fact that there are Amazing Entrepreneurs we have forgotten.

Even with the internet, fastest ever broadband, mobile phones and instant everything, there are many before us who just; firstly made this possible for us and secondly also had it all.

Lets look at five I admire.

Matthew Boulton, Entrepreneurial Manufacturer

Born: 3 September 1728

Birth Place: Birmingham, West Midlands UK

Industry: Entrepreneurial Manufacturer

Matthew Boulton Carl Frederik von Breda 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs Of All Time

 

 

 

 

 

Website: www.matthewboulton2009.org

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Boulton


Richard Trevithick, Steam Engine

Born: 13 April 1771

Birth Place: Tregajorran, Cornwall, England

Industry: Inventor, mining engineer

Influence: Pioneered Steam Engine

 

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Trevithick


Isambard Kingdom Brunel,

Entrepreneurial Engineer

Born: 9 April 1806

Birth Place: Portsmouth, UK

Industry: Civil & Structural Engineering

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isambard_Kingdom_Brunel

 


Andrew Carnegie

andrew carnegie 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs Of All Time Born: 25th November, 1835

Birth Place: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, UK

Industry: Steel Tycoon

Influence: Pioneered many manufacturing processes.

Website: www.carnegiescience.edu


Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs Of All Time Born: 23 October 1942

Birth Place: Littlehampton, UK

Industry: cosmetics

Influence: Green Product Pioneer.

Website: www.AnitaRoddick.com


So today spend some time thinking about these amazing Entrepreneurs we have forgotten and how people still have the same needs, wants and needs for us Entrepreneurs to make or sell them products and services.

Do you know your Exit Strategy?

You will need to ensure you are motivated to exit the business and that means understand the path for your exit strategy. In every sense you must learn from the exit from your business and the experience should motivate you to build a new enterprise which is more amazing and motivated that this. The five common Exit Strategies are:

Initial Public Offering

The stock market offers you the opportunity to increase the capital available to the business, the money invested and also the rewards available to you. The motivation for being independent will have to reduce as shareholders and accountability move into play.

Acquisition

When you have created a truly unique, thriving and attractive business, it will be becoming an appealing proposition for other businesses. When they offer you the large sum of money for your business, what motivates you to say ‘Yes’? What will you do everyday when you no longer have your business to run? The opportunities are then truly amazing and you can become a member of ‘Serial Entrepreneurs’ club.

Liquidation

Walking along any footpath can be uneasy and the same is true about business. The vast majority of entrepreneurs have a company liquidation in there bag, an experience they will never forget, an event which created some the best lessons they have ever learnt. No expects you to walk straight away, so why do you expect to be able to manage a business from day one without making mistakes. This should be expected, however it is in the learning about business, enterprise and yourself which you can create a truly amazing and vibrant business next time around.

Sell to another Entrepreneur

One of my favour saying is that “People buy from people who are like them”. This is the case from buying your newspaper to buying a company. Entrepreneurs look for opportunities and therefore within your network you will know people who want to buy and run your company better and pay you for the chance.

Shareholder

This option which many entrepreneurs follow is to become a shareholder which then provides revenue for the rest of their lives (e.g. Bill Gates). In some cases the shareholder provides revenue for many generations to come, such as the Guinness family. This exit requires you to create a good team around you who are motivated to continue to move the business forward.

So before you start out on your venture, think about your exit strategy and  what you will need the business to look like for you to achieve your goal.

 

The five types of student entrepreneur

After working with over 20,000 students in the last ten years, I have started to stereotype those coming through into five simple student entrepreneur categories. There is no real theory and a great amount of research here, but I just wanted to share my thoughts and observations on these student entrepreneurs.

Wanta-preneur

This group of people want to mega rich, famous and of course a owner of a super big business. They just want it all! Yet hard work, planning and dedication to entrepreneurship is not at the core of their motivations. They sometimes do start businesses, normally with co-founders who do all the work, while they talk about their business, the people they know and the mega plans they have.

Pros : Great talker who other may believe
Cons : Lacks hard work and dedication

Business-Anarchistic-preneur

Staying the same is not an option, so these people think of distributive technology, business models and taking all the biggest businesses, traditional methods and societies. They know that they will succeed as its only there ability to change the world that will save it.

Pros : Out of the box thinking
Cons : Others don’t take them seriously, just too radical

Social Entrepreneur

This group not only want to start a business but one that helps others. They have great amounts of passion, dedication and drive to see this business idea into a fully developed business. These people understand the need to develop others, work in teams and share the value of their business with as many people as possible.

Pros : A Team player
Cons : Takes too long as brings too many people with them

Geek-preneur

The richest people are Geeks, so why not start the the next Microsoft, Apple or Facebook. These people can make technology work for them and create small dynamic businesses which engage users throughout the world in their dream creation.

Pros : Easy to start boot strapped business
Cons : Lacks people skills to engage others

Just-do-It-preneur

This group just get on with it, never thinking for one moment they can’t. What they lack in skills, knowledge and network, they balance with the shear determination and brut force. They are the bull in the china shop style of entrepreneurship.

Pros : Self belief and determination to make it a success
Cons : Lacks style and skills which makes others believe

As with all people and businesses it about having the team, a set of skills and maybe every business should have a mix of these.

 

So which type of student entrepreneur are you?

The process of developing a business plan

When I look at the process of creating a new venture, I often see people forget some of the basic elements in the process of developing a business plan.

The first three steps are:

  1. Opportunity discovery,
  2. Business modelling
  3. Business planning

 

Opportunity Discovery

The best idea is the one which provides the best business opportunity. Therefore we are not looking for any idea but an idea which provides the best opportunity.

Therefore the process of ideation captures the current industry trends and the competitor in and around them. The technology innovation currently applied to this market and the outlook we see in terms of costs and market adoption trends.

The creative problem solving can not sit in isolation and needs to be surrounded by the context for it to be applied to create an outstanding  value proposition later on.

Business Modelling

For most people this is filling out the Business Model Canvas, a tools which provides a powerful view of the business model. But again this is completed in isolation within a full understanding the ecosystem, actors and their behaviours.

The process of modelling is about understanding the relationship between the key actors within the ecosystem, it doesn’t matter if its designing a new road bridge, a tv or a new products. This dynamic relationship is so important in understanding the processes and metrics to be put in place to plan the business.

Business Planning

The core aspects of Business Planning are risk analysis, scenario planning and financial planning. Once these are done the rest, include product design, marketing strategy and operations are secondary.

All investors want to know you can manage this risk and act accordingly.

The process of developing a business plan are about understanding the dynamic relationship and how to mitigate the risks they pose to your business. Its not an exercise in writing or filling out the right amount of words in the right sections.

 

The process of developing a business plan is simple yet so many people get it wrong. Just remember to understand the dynamic nature of business and that your business startup will be connected with these and therefore needs to adjust to maintain a successful course through the early years.

Developing a business process diagram for your startup

As a entrepreneur, you can have a lifestyle of freedom and flexibility not offered to an employee. However, being a owner of a small business also carries greater responsibility with many more tasks to juggle. This means you need to understand the tasks required by everyone around.

Entrepreneur

  • Planning and Strategy – You are the principal strategist and planner.
  • Finance and Accounting – Depending on the business, some owners can bootstrap and start with a smaller budget, but either way you’ll also need to set up and maintain business bank accounts, payment processing, accounts payable and accounts receivable, and taxes.
  • Legal – From forming a limited liability company to creating legal contracts. You might need to write, review and sign legal contracts and sales agreements.
  • Marketing and Sales – No matter how good your product or service is, you need marketing and sales to drive business. Depending on the business, you could be doing print advertising, public relations, online marketing, networking, cold calling and managing commissioned salespeople.
  • Customer Service – In the beginning, most entrepreneurs are responsible for conducting all of the customer service duties. These include phone calls, email messages and follow-ups concerning product delivery and quality issues.
  • Human Resources – As a small business grows, so do its hiring needs to accommodate more orders and faster growth. The entrepreneur  needs to identify human resources needs, write job descriptions, screen and interview candidates, train, manage and pay employees.

Customers

Nurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a startup business. In this age of ecommerce and technology innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important.

The easiest way to get, keep and get your loyal customer to promote your business is to:

Interact with your customers

Here are some simple lessons:

  • Keeping your patience is key to giving your customer the time to air out their issue.
  • Do everything in your power to provide excellent service to your customers on an ongoing basis.
  • it’s important to truly listen
  • Treat a Customer Like a Valued Partner
  • Build Trust by alerting your customers to Large Scale Changes, Good or Bad
  • Being transparent in the digital age is a must.
  • No matter the circumstance, the customer is always right.

Business operations

This is the core of the business, it handles everything. If you can understand what this does and how it does it, to provide an excellent customer experience each time within budget, your business has the best opportunity for success. Don’t leave any stone unturned in making your operation understandable by ALL stakeholders in the business, staff, shareholders and most importantly your customers.

business process diagram for your startup
business process diagram for your startup

Financial

Financial planning and cash management is fundamental to a startup.  Perhaps the most challenging part of building a startup is forecasting revenue targets. You can take one of two approaches; a top down and bottom up approach.

  • The top down approach involves identifying comparable companies to yours that have grown to be successful and modeling your revenue growth curve similar to these companies.
  • The bottom up approach makes use of your market research to look at how many customers you can reach, the number you can persuade to work with you and how many you can capture as paying customers.

The final step in your financial plan is to develop your cash flows. Revenue minus cost of goods provides positive cash and operating expenses and capital expenses (purchase of assets) use up cash. Every startup must have a good view on how much cash they will need to get through each phase of the business.