With the forthcoming Epson Business Council just around the corner, we thought we’d look at a few highlights from the 2010 event to see what issues were raised and, more importantly, what advice and guidance the council gave for small businesses.
The Epson Business Council is a series of events, providing business insights as well as support and advice to small businesses by some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs. Rather than write an editorial for the day, we thought we’d build on a few key insights and suggestions from the entrepreneurs. Here goes:
On taking an idea and running with it: I bought a postcard in Carnaby Street when I was 16 of a man on a diving board that said if you don’t do it you’ll never know what would have happened if you had done it. I just thought back to that postcard and decided to dive off the edge. Jo Fairley, founder of Green and Blacks
On entrepreneurship and the role of social media: Don’t forget that many of the customers an entrepreneur is targeting could be older and not as comfortable with the online world. People say it’s easy to establish a business through the internet. But they face failure if they don’t bring the offline and online worlds together. Dr Hasso Kaempfe, chairman of the board, Mast-Jagermeister
On launching a start-up: When you launch a start-up it’s often not rational. You have done all your calculations and research, but then there is a moment when you have to say: I go or I don’t go. I risk or I don’t risk. If you wait until you are 100% sure you will never launch because the business is never ready. The YouTube founders didn’t say when they started that they would reinvent television. Internet start-ups are not rational. You have to be able to handle that. Marco Montemagno, co-founder of Augmendy
On finding and keeping the right staff: I make two promises to my new employees. The first is that you are going to be useful and help your clients grow. Secondly, when you join the company you are also going to grow. We spend 4-5% of total remuneration on training compared to the mandated 1% in France. We also give our employees their birthday off. Alain Bosetti, partner, Soho Agency
The full report from the event can be found here, so take a look if you’d like to read topics such as the entrepreneurs’ biggest recruitment mistakes, the changing role of an entrepreneur as the company grows, training for entrepreneurs, and much more.
The next Epson Business Council will take place on the 8th of November, so we’ll be reporting on all findings from each event. Following the last Business Council, we’re sure the event and subsequent report will be packed full of advice and guidance for small businesses, so check back on the 8th and let us know what you think. Finally, if you have any questions to put to the entrepreneurs, feel free to leave a comment.