Six VOOM Podcast lessons in business from 2016

We’ve had some truly wonderful entrepreneurs appear on the VOOM Podcast this year, from Richard Branson grilling Tyra Banks on the future of the fashion industry, to Rory Sutherland and Tim Armoo facing off on the next generation of advertising...

If you’d like to take a look at the back catalogue, you can head over to our VOOM Podcast page. But before that, why not check out six of our favourite pieces of advice and insight from the year.

Who was your favourite VOOM entrepreneur from this year? Let us know below.

"Advertising isn't about shouting for attention - it’s about showing beauty." Nalden, WeTransfer founder.

A quick look at the WeTransfer website will confirm this belief of Nalden’s. Yes, there are ads. But how could you mind such beautiful ads? I go on the site and actually wonder what ad I’ll be shown. Oh, and they also have a higher click through rate (CTR) than Facebook. Not bad.

"If you have total belief then nothing is going to stop you." Jimmy Cregan, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee co-founder.

If you want to hear Jim’s story about how he got Whole Foods to stock Jimmy’s Iced Coffee then you need to listen to the podcast, it's quite something. But this quote from him gives you a clue as to why he did what he did: "if you’re worried about doing something, it means you’re doubting your product." Harsh, but true.

"We decode messages not just on what they inherently contain, but on the difficulty of generating them." Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy.

For example: let’s say you get two wedding invitations, and they're for the same weekend. One of them comes through the post, has a beautiful design, and is handwritten. The other comes through by email. Which one are you going to choose? The one that comes through the post - and it’s probably not even close. Our brains haven't quite evolved to take communication literally, and that’s why we look at what sort of "skin in the game" the communicator has.

"A lack of business experience can be an advantage." Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers CEO.

Jacqueline thought she had a massive disadvantage when she first started working at Ann Summers because, at 21, she had absolutely no business experience at all. But it turned out to be her biggest strength and most important competitive advantage. Why? Because "a lack of business experience forced [her] to rely on feedback from customers." She didn’t just want the feedback - she needed it, because she didn’t know any better.

"Become an expert as quickly as possible." Ross Bailey, Appear Here founder and CEO.

Ross started off as - in his own words - naïve. But just as being naïve is no excuse not to start, there’s also no excuse to not try to become an expert as quickly as possible. "So, although I was naïve, I think it’s then about very quickly trying to become an expert, and spending all those hours making sure you do understand the industry... then you don’t waste time." And become an expert he did.

"When you make your rules about what you stand for, you have to stick to them." Anthony Fletcher, Graze CEO.

There have been a number of postal strikes while Anthony has been running Graze, and as a business which relies on its products being posted through your letterbox, this is a little bit of a problem. But did Anthony give up? Did he just think this whole thing just wasn’t worth it? No and no. Because he, and the people at Graze, believed in what they were doing. The lesson here? As Anthony says, "you have to be resilient".

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