10 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success

Angus Bankes is a technology entrepreneur with experience of growing and selling tech start-ups in the UK and the USA.  He founded Moreover Technologies in 1998, where he served as Chief Technical Officer, and successfully developed and sold the company to Verisign (NASD: VRSN) during the UK’s first wave of internet-based business success. Angus is now based in Shoreditch in London and heads up the incubator JustAddRed and is Chief Information Officer at Skimlinks, one of the major Silicon Roundabout technology companies.  A successful serial entrepreneur, Angus shares some of his top tips for business success with SBC Insight:

1. Don’t Look Back

Don’t keep looking back at setbacks, always move on and focus on the future. In a couple of years the setbacks you’ve encountered will make an amusing story.

2. Get People who Get it

If your idea is disruptive, you need to understand that some people won’t understand it. And by the time they do understand, it will be too late. So build your team with those who do, as those that don’t will hold you back.

3. You Define the Culture of Your Business

Whether you like it or not, you define the culture of your business. So lead by example and don’t slip into the world of double standards.

4. Make Time for Networking

When you’re immersed in a business, it’s hard to make time to network. But you have to. Whatever you think, if you work in an industry like tech, you can’t work in isolation. Networking helps you to understand your industry, learn about new areas and it leads to developments that can grow your business. When I took part in the London Business School Tell series (http://tellseries.com/past-events/angus-bankes-moreover-technologies/series) of talks by business people, I was struck by how brilliantly networked the students were there. Those students knew that attending events could be useful for their future business success.

5. Trust your Team

Learn to trust your team and don’t micromanage them. Conversely don’t forget them either, communication and doses of good targeted management go a long way in growing a strong business team.

6. There is no formula

Every entrepreneur is different so your own methodology and style will take time to evolve. Be wary of ‘busy’ work and focus on tasks that actually move the business forward.

7. Never Send an Angry Email

By all means compose one - but leave it in drafts! Nothing good has ever resulted from one. Fact.

8. Use Every Opportunity to Learn

Every day, and every situation, is an opportunity to learn something new. I didn’t attend business school but looking back now, I think it’s something that could have helped me understand some of the things I’ve had to learn on the way, particularly in the areas of finance and economics. To be successful, a business idea has to be good, but it’s also about execution and business schools can definitely help with the latter.

9. Seek Out Mentors

I do a lot of mentoring for start-ups and it’s partly about giving them a sanity check on ideas and on what the industry standard is.  There’s a satisfaction in seeing companies succeed and you like to think that one day they can go on to do you a favour as well. Business schools can also help with mentoring, when start-ups just want to have someone to bounce ideas off.

10. Business is Fun – Enjoy It

I hate the phrase “it’s only business”. Some people like the financial side, some people like sales or tinkering with the product... everyone’s different. At the end of the day, it’s about the people you work with. Business is actually quite fun – enjoy it!