We've had some pretty smart entrepreneurs on the Voom Podcast in 2017, sharing insights on everything from how to make it in the games industry to how to create the perfect subscription business. But what have been our favourite nuggest of advice? Check out three of them right here...
Every business leader dreams of running a company that people love. The easiest way to do that, argues Oliver Bridge from subscription shaving company Cornerstone, is to make a noticeable difference in their daily lives.
Work hard to make people’s lives easier
"Personally I hate shopping. The number one thing I hate shopping for is clothes, followed by toiletries. So you want to help people by coming up with the easiest and most convenient way to get these sorts of products to them.
"For me the cool thing, and why it’s such an interesting area in which to do business, is that it’s of a real interest to the customer. It’s not a business model that’s chosen by entrepreneurs because of recurring revenue, it’s actually about making people’s lives much easier or giving them things they didn’t have before."
The problem is, it's virtually impossible to create a brand that is universally loved. You can't make a positive difference in everyone's life. The most successful businesses will often have their fair share of detractors, which is exactly what you shouldn't be afraid of, argues Rapha co-founder Simon Mottram.
Don’t worry about upsetting people
"You don’t want the haters to outweigh the lovers, but you do have to stand for something. That’s what all the best brands do, they will have detractors and they force you to take sides. We don’t try and force the point too much but absolutely we’re a brand that some people love and some people really don’t like.
"In some parts of the world we’re not a ‘Marmite’ brand, but that’s different in the UK and the US where there is a particular type of consumer who doesn’t like challenger brands, doesn’t like disruptors and people who are pretentious or presumptuous. We presumed to connect around the sport when most brands just wanted to say ‘buy our product’."
However, according to Ian Livingstone (Games Workshop founder, ex-President of Eidos Interactive and serial investor), there is one reason why it can be crucial to be liked by all - leadership.
Being liked is important if you’re a leader
"When I invest in companies what I’m looking for is the technology, but also the people. I want to see that they’re a very experienced and insightful leader who is able to execute ideas and work well with other people.
"They have to have empathy with their team. I hate it when people are disliked by their team, so you’ve got to see what team spirit there is. What mojo does that company have? These things are very important for investors."