On Wednesday, I finally got my chance to visit the famous Fruit Towers, home of Innocent. Greeted with Innocent Orange juice and tasty, healthy nibbles, we were invited inside to learn the finer points of entrepreneurship. As someone with a few business ideas in mind and one under my belt (Moiself) I was keen to pick up some tips from some of the most successful business owners in the biz.
Charismatic Innocent founder Richard Reed acted as MC and gave the opening talk too. This man inspires like no other, with clear energy, enthusiasm and passion which cannot be faked (“does he have a girlfriend?” whispered a girl in front of me). Richard told us there were five key ingredients to a successful business:
1. Have a mission
2. It’s the people, stupid
3. Start small, but do start
4. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of doing something good
5. Make it the way you want it to be
He was followed by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker from Not on the High Street, Bec Astley-Clarke of Astley Clarke jewellery, Jeremy Gilley from Peace One Day, Eben Upton from Raspberry Pi and Ceviche founder Martin Morales.
We had a break in the middle, sampling some seriously tasty fare from the Scandinavian Kitchen.
An incredible set of entrepreneurs who each gave inspiring talks and excellent advice. You can watch the talk here soon. My notes are pretty random, just some golden nuggets you couldn't pay for.
Recruitment: people with the yes gene
Get rid of people who don't deliver
I’d rather have a hole than an asshole (recruitment-wise)
Start small but do start
Don't let perfection be the enemy of doing something good
Make it the way you want it to be
We want to leave things better than we find them
21st September is Peace One Day
Will must be stronger than skill
Make a film, storytelling is everything
Never underestimate the emotional part.
Final pieces of advice:
Hire my wife! - Raspberry pi
Good PR - Astley Clarke
Not having enough money can be a good thing - Not on the High Street
Social media is key - Ceviche
Make sure you make something that people actually want - Steve Jobs –Richard Reed
I left feeling like I could take on the world and that starting my own business really could happen one day. A wonderful, inspiring evening with free smoothies and yummy snacks - what more could a girl want?
Becky spots Fruit Towers!
Excellent advice in the girls' loo
Mmm Scandi Kitchen meatballs
He's married, sorry girl-in-front-of-me!