2016 saw 25% of adults in the UK wanting to start a business, rising to 70% amongst those between the ages of 25-34. When hearing stories that detail the successes of a start-up business, it is easy to get caught up in the idealistic narrative of the all-important ‘million-pound idea.’ However, the actual business idea is just the beginning of the story. EcigWizard present their advice to budding entrepreneurs on how to build a successful start-up and what happens next.
It’s all about people
Finding the right staff that fit within the company’s ethos is hard. It is crucial that you nurture any members of the team that are within the brand and constantly build on their current skill set. As directors, it is easy to try and do everything yourself and take control of every aspect of the business. However, this is impossible so it is vital that you have a skilled trusting team that you can delegate tasks to.
Set the foundations and then make time to grow
Once the fundamentals of your business are in place and you have survived the start- up process, it is time to grow your brand. It is easy to go gung ho but it is key in the success of your business to hold back at times and follow a well-planned strategy. Always be mindful of budgets and remember that finances have to be healthy.
It takes time
It can be easy to work relentlessly for a period of time and hold the mindset that you will reap the rewards in the short term. However, for any business, patience is a virtue.
Oliver Warburton, Director of the successful Ecigwizard brand says, ‘I used to work hard on a Monday and expect a reward the same day. It doesn’t work like that. The projects I am working on today, will come to fruition in 6, 12 maybe even 18 months’ time. The biggest discipline I have learnt in our success is that of delayed gratification. I.e., putting the hard work and effort in today for tomorrow, not now. You have to be incredibly patient and wait for success to come later on. I see this clearly in people now- those that aren’t blinded by instant gratification and are prepared to work hard and wait are those that find their way to success’.
Just ‘being around isn’t enough’.
At some point you’ll get to a point where just being around isn’t enough to grow any bigger. Where you see real entrepreneurs at work, is where they build through these plateaus. Initially you may just assume by working harder, you’ll push through it. Then you will realise you have to get better as a business and a person. Work on your branding, write a marketing plan and start to bring in experience heads of department. Eventually you’ll push on and grow to a bigger size.
Growing a business quickly isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, the real challenge is where you get to certain sizes
When initiating Ecigwizard, Warburton recalls that laying the groundwork was surprisingly the easy part. ‘Setting up a website these days is a lot easier than it was’, says Warburton. ‘You can jump on social media right away and start building a customer base. Going back 5 years ago, in under 6 months we had built a business turning over more than £100,000 per month through a website running basic free ecommerce software. The branding was terrible. But we were really hot on customer service. How can you not be when you are working 18 hours a day, every day? 85% of our customers were in Finland. I even went out and bought a ‘I Love Finland’ t-shirt. I remember at the time finishing work in the early hours one Friday, and having to pinch myself with how incredulous life had become. We’d been at the right place at the right time, and been pretty smart. Nothing world beating, though’.
Always grow and adapt
It is easy to begin experiencing success and think that the hard work is done and reach a plateau, but you have to move forward. Warburton says, ‘I recall being in the plateau stage 4 times now. We are just about to head out of our latest one. Each time, it’s like playing a computer game, where to get to the next level, you have to beat the ‘boss’. When you are further on in the game, you always look at that those bosses from earlier levels and realise how easy you can beat them now. To be successful, you just have to be continually improving, otherwise you’ve had it.