From Vision to Exit – An Entrepreneurial Journey

Guy Rigby is the Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson, and we were lucky enough for him to attend one of our Club dinners.  Guy shared some amazing nuggets of wisdom about his own experience and entrepreneurial journey, along with those he’s helped. Below are some of the highlights…

GR: Demand is what makes or breaks a business

The best businesses ‘Generate inbound’

You need to be oversubscribed

NC thoughts: What can you do to make your phone ring off the hook? Right avatar, clear UDP, right messaging, the best offer, build a tribe??

GR: To be successful you don’t necessarily need to completely re-write or disrupt your market

Either stand out in a crowded market Or create your own space

Although the second option is the one that makes it into the press most often, in fact, most entrepreneurs build businesses that find a way to stand out in an already crowded marketplace

NC thoughts: When was the last time you conducted a competitive review (with your team) to refine your UDP (Unique Differentiating Proposition) and how you can stand out?

GR: If it isn’t broken – break it

Become the ‘Internal terrorist’ in your business. Constantly question ‘how can we dbrokeno this better’

The minute you become complacent you lose your market position

Complacency is a business killer

Negative feedback is business oxygen

NC thoughts: We love this. What can you break today?

GR: Betting on the future

We’re not actually building this business for today, we’re building tomorrow’s business

NC thoughts: Adopt a ‘future history’ mindset. Block in grey time in your diary to review not only your current business operation but how you could shape your business for the future

GR: Who care wins

We live in the world of free. I wake up in a morning and head to work, where I pick up my free paper, check my free social media, and so on. People expect more for less

So the care bit is really really important

NC thoughts: The value you deliver in your business proposition is obviously important, but HOW you make people feel as they interact with your brand is more important. Do you have ‘Customer Care’ at the heart of your culture?

GR: High Tech, Low Touch, DIY vs. High Tech, High Touch, Peace of Mind – which do your customers prefer?

Do your customers prefer technology enabled interaction with your product or service, allowing them to solve their own problems, or is your value in the high touch, peace of mind that you can offer?

NC thoughts: Interesting perspective, as the shift of buying patterns for simple transactions has been towards DIY, is your business a one who’s differentiator lies in offering ‘peace of mind’?

GR: A lot of entrepreneurs sell too early, especially first time round

Surround yourself with the best advisors who can help you grow to the next level, rather than abdicating to a ‘new’ management team or outside CEO (who will likely destroy what you have created) or assume that you must sell once your business achieves a certain size or value.

Don’t lose confidence in your own ability to grow your business to the next level.

GR: You can’t afford to professionalise your business without cash

The four stages of entrepreneur development as outlined in Guy’s book Vision to Exit;

Artisan to Hero, to Meddler to finally Strategist.

Most businesses get stuck with a meddler entrepreneur at the helm, but to move up to Strategist means you need to begin professionalising the business – which takes cash. Either from profit or investment

piggybankAsk yourself – what’s my scale-up journey?

Do I need for example;

  • A board
  • A sales team
  • To expand my product range

All of which has an effect on the cash in your business

Nugget: new way of raising cash against invoices – URICA

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/sme-home/news/10750095/urica-quick-fix-slow-payments.html

NC thoughts: Which parts of the Company Shortcuts S.A.M© model do you need to tackle next? If you would like to be emailed the 24 question diagnostic to evaluate where you are at on your journey to professionalising your business – drop us a line – THIS IS A NEW RESOURCE

GR: What’s the number that means you can sleep at night

What’s the cash balance your business needs on a day to day basis that means you can sleep easily?

The biggest mistake a business can make is to run out of cash!

About the Author Company Shortcuts

Company Shortcuts works with a team of outstanding Sales Accelerators to deliver consultancy and training, who also guest blog for us on topics of interest to sales leaders.