By combining your own business instincts with the advice and opinions of successful entrepreneurs, you’ll develop a productive mind-set and be better prepared to deal with the everyday decisions and issues of running a business.
Here we showcase some of the best business tips from the UK’s most successful and progressive entrepreneurs.
“Never stop listening to your customers. They are the most vital source of information and their feedback is invaluable.” — Jacqueline Gold, chief executive of Ann Summers
“When leading your business, focus on what makes you different — not what is generic. This allows your team, customers and suppliers to ‘buy in’ to why your business matters and why it is worth joining and staying with.” — Alex Cheatle, co-founder of Ten Group
“Keep on implementing new business strategies and growth plans at all times. It may seem obvious, but many companies become dependent on one big client or project, and find themselves in deep trouble should they lose that work.” — Oisin Hanrahan, founder of cleaning and maintenance service, Handy
“The most important things when starting a business are — don't lie, don't pretend, and don't mislead your executives and the masses. And be passionate about the mission, have an innovative mind, and be totally honest in implementing your vision.” — Nirmal Sethia, founder of Newby Teas
“Make sure you have as equal a workforce as you can. Men + women = strongest teams.” — Martha Lane Fox, founder of lastminute.com
“Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. This might be totally new to you but other people will have faced the issues and problems that you currently do.” — Cally Russell, CEO of Mallzee
“Stick with what you believe in, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is an option! As long as you can learn from your mistakes you’re winning the battle, and the rest falls into place eventually — with lots of hard work.” — Tom Hatton, CEO of RefMe
“Expect the worst, hope for the best and let realistic optimism drive your vision and success.” — Andrew Weaver, CEO of LawyerFair
“Delegate earlier and trust others. Starting your own company is exciting and you want to keep control of everything, but soon there is so much to do that you must hire capable employees and most importantly, let go.” — Tim Fouracre, CEO of Clear Books
“Go lean, or go home. Try not to develop an all-singing-all-dancing product or service at launch. The lean approach to product development allows you to leverage your agility as a small start-up and respond to your market quickly in a way that a big corporate company cannot.” — Eduardo Martinez, founder of Geniac
“Trust your instincts. Your gut tells you things. Listen to that.” — Harriet Green, former boss of Thomas Cook Group
“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Fifty per cent of your decisions will be wrong. But the interesting thing is to learn from them and then make it right.” — James Dyson, founder of Dyson
“Once you’ve chosen your team, trust them, invest in them, pay them well, and give them a good working environment. Investing in your team is the most important thing.” — Ruth Rogers, CEO of the River Cafe
“If you can learn to speak directly, give feedback directly, and take pleasure in getting feedback, you will learn and solve problems more quickly, and earn the respect of others.” — Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret a Manger
“Building a solid network serves as an essential foundation for success. The ones around you will help leverage your business when it’s doing well, and will pick you up when times are hard.” — Luca Massaro, CEO of WePLay
“Spotting opinion and assessing it accordingly is an underrated skill, but essential for the budding entrepreneur. The cost associated with pursuing poorly considered advice can be high. All advice is helpful, but needs to be reflected on, questioned and sought from many sources.” — James Rosewell, CEO of 51Degrees
“To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and with more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.” — Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
“A good leader is not necessarily the most popular person in their business, but the best ones are liked because they are respected for their clarity and vision.” — Alan Sugar, business magnate and founder of Amstrad
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