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How to succeed as an entrepreneur: advice from our successful customers

How to succeed as an entrepreneur: advice from our successful customers
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How to succeed as an entrepreneur: advice from our successful customers
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

After a successful 2023 for our customers at Capital Space, we round up some of their tips for business success for any budding entrepreneurs thinking of starting a small business or who are in the process of getting their business off its feet.

Starting your own business: founding principles

Business success starts with getting the basics right. Many of the entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their businesses from a Capital Space office, workshop or studio agree that it’s vital to do something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. 

Paul Bailey, Manager of Recruitment Solutions , a recruitment consultancy business which has been in business for nearly 24 years and is now based in Churchill Square Business Centre , sets the ball rolling: “You need to be passionate about the job, take pride and care in what you are doing.”

Rashesh Joshi, Managing Director and Co-founder of Alexander Rosse , one of the UK’s ‘Xero only’ Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisor practices based in Milton Keynes Business Centre , backs this up: “You need to understand what the core purpose of your business is, what are you really trying to achieve? Without this you’ll struggle to know where your business is heading and recruit talent. Make sure you are doing something you are passionate about – that way you will want to work hard and achieve.”

The early days of running your own business

Having a great idea for a business and being passionate about it are good starting points, but they’re not enough on their own to deliver success.

Greenway Business Centre customer Kirth Noel, professional videographer and founder of Kirth Noel Creative Studio , which uses motion controlled robots to capture standout videos and images for their customers, is honest about the fact that you need to put the work in: “Don’t underestimate the cost of starting up your own business. Be patient with it, success doesn't happen overnight. Don't undersell yourself. Let people know you are good at what you do, if you don't believe in yourself, your potential clients won't either!”

Derek Scott, Principal of Scott & Associates Financial Planning which has just celebrated its 10-year anniversary and operates out of our Churchill Square Business Centre in Kings Hill, reinforces this: “Determination and focus are key. Getting the small details right – being disciplined in the smaller things that you do.”

Wearing many hats as an entrepreneur

Unless you have investment, it’s likely that in the early days of your business, you will be doing everything. Our customers agree that they had to master many disciplines to get their businesses off the ground.

Jade Arnold, founder of Jade Arnold Beauty a beauty and reflexology clinic she set up in October 2020 in our Churchill Square Business Centre sums it up: “I started as the beauty therapist, cleaner, accountant and marketer, which was very daunting initially, but it’s allowed me to get where I am now.”

Sydni Hall is the founder of Power Cheer , a cheerleading, dance and gymnastics school for children aged 5-18 years old, which has been going for 10 years and has just expanded with a new branch at our Waterhouse Business Centre : “I’ve had to learn everything – marketing, accountancy, PR, operations.”

The importance of customer relations for business success

No business can succeed without customers, and many of our successful entrepreneurs put client relationships at the top of their priorities.  

Nick Johnson directs Johnson Technical Systems , an IT support company, with his brother Simon at our Waterhouse Business Centre in Chelmsford . They celebrated their 20th anniversary this year and Nick shares that going the extra mile with clients is key to success: “It's so easy to only give someone the service they pay for, but by going above and beyond, it demonstrates to that person that you can do something over and above your contract. It opens the door to provide more services down the road as well as building credibility in making sure your clients don't go anywhere else. Don't stop when your obligations end.”

Dr Raquel Amado, founder of Skin and Medical Cosmetics based in Churchill Square Business Centre , advises would-be entrepreneurs to put a lot of time into their clients: “Keep relationships ongoing with your loyal customers and spend time really understanding them as a person and what they are trying to achieve. Word of mouth is important so if you keep up relationships, people are more likely to refer you to someone they know.”

Michelle Jones, Practice Manager of MEB Design , an architecture firm based in our Churchill Square Business Centre , which specialises in innovative designs, explains that putting customers first has helped them keep going for 40 years: “They always get our full attention when we are working with them. A high percentage of our business comes from recommendation or repeat business via contractors.”

Derek Scott, of Scott & Associates Financial Planning , agrees: “It’s important to show genuine interest into the clients you’ve got and make them feel that and know that. Make your clients feel special as you wouldn’t be a success without them.”

Paul Bailey, at Recruitment Solutions , stresses the value of real-life interactions post-pandemic: “It’s so important to meet with your clients face to face to understand their aspirations and their values to allow you to ensure you are fulfilling their goals.”

Growing business success

As your business grows, it’s important to adapt to the developing challenges.

Dr Raquel Amado, founder of Skin and Medical Cosmetics , cautions that patience is key: “Growth and success doesn’t happen overnight. Stay ahead of your competition by keeping up with the latest technologies. By improving your skills, you can offer more to your clients. Lastly, be open to criticism, without it, you won’t grow. Be willing to learn from other people in the areas you aren’t as confident in.”

For Rashesh Joshi, of Alexander Rosse , recruitment presents new challenges and opportunities: “Work with like-minded people and be passionate about the 3P’s – people, profit and planet!”

Michelle Jones, of MEB Design , argues that developing staff can help your business develop: “We encourage staff to volunteer in as many charity projects as they wish to, and this has taken us as far as Africa where we have been involved in the design of many different community projects including schools (primary and secondary), a rescue centre for children and a large resource centre with student accommodation and teaching facilities.”

Staying the course: keeping your business on track over the long term

Business leaders will generally tell you publicly that things are going great, but no business survives over the long term without weathering a few storms. Our customers advise that perseverance, stamina and determination are key to surviving the bumps in the road.

Sydni Hall, of Power Cheer , is honest about the ups and downs of being your own boss: “When running a business, you can sometimes feel down and that you are not good enough. There are lots of barriers to get through and lots of work to get done. It’s been difficult and now I’m a mum of two, so I also need to juggle and work around that role. Be ready for the downs and don’t give up.”

Chris Weatherhill, CEO AxiaMetrics, a specialist recruitment and business services consultancy which has been based in our Milton Keynes Business Centre for a couple of years, emphasises the importance of learning from your mistakes: “Believe in what you do and double down on what you are doing. If it’s successful, don’t think that you must change with every single swing in the market. But also, you need to be ‘long-term’ flexible. Failure is just one way of learning fast. I also think that when things go wrong, that’s what really defines you. I’d prefer to be told where I can improve if something is not going right. I have a team of people who tell me that, and this is useful, because you can’t always see it from your own viewpoint.” 

Our customers have gone from strength to strength in 2023 and we are looking forward to celebrating the successes 2024 will bring them.

If you’re looking for a flexible, affordable space in which your growing business can thrive please get in touch .