Essential start-up advice from inspiring female entrepreneur Rebecca Jones

Amanda Orton
Marketing Executive | Business West
10th March 2017

This International Women’s Day we were fortunate to attend the TEN Women in Business Conference at the beautiful Bowood House. The conference provided a platform for local female entrepreneurs to be inspired, expand their network and access support to continue their business success.

One of the fantastic keynote speakers, Rebecca Jones, shared words of wisdom based on her experience as an entrepreneur. Her advice is essential for all entrepreneurs, not just women! Here is what we learnt;

1. Have an enterprise mindset

An enterprise mindset will take you out of your comfort zone and will show you that you can achieve business success beyond anything you thought was possible. We all know the feeling of being confident with our work, happily operating inside our cosy comfort zones, only taking on what we know we can achieve and everything we do is a success. But this is not where the magic happens.

In business, when you push yourself to take risks or take on projects that you have never attempted before, and when you succeed the reward is huge. The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when you achieve something that you never thought you could is the fuel that will keep you going and growing. Stagnation is the entrepreneur’s enemy, so keep pushing yourself to tackle new challenges. Growth (both professional and personal) isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.


2. Use enterprise thinking

When launching and running a business you will regularly approach challenges that you have never faced before. To overcome these challenges and turn them into successes you will need to change your way of thinking and adopt an enterprise mindset. By thinking about your challenges from a different perspective you will be able to see opportunities where once you only saw misfortune.

An enterprise mindset is comprised of a variety of qualities, including; being self motivated, innovative, collaborative, inquisitive and future focused. There are many others, but don’t be put off, you don’t have to master every one of these traits to be a successful entrepreneur, you should just aim to incorporate as many as you can into your day to day activities. One of the key qualities to keep in mind is to be stretchy, not flexible.


3. Be stretchy, not flexible

Being flexible is one of the most desired qualities of recruiters and employees alike, as it implies a more efficient, more suitable work environment for both parties. As an entrepreneur, however, flexibility is of little benefit to you or your business – you need to be stretchy.

While being flexible implies; ‘can you start work an hour earlier tomorrow’ or ‘can you change your reporting specifications’, being stretchy means being completely and totally adaptable to any situation. Being stretchy will allow you to make instantaneous, significant changes to your business or product, keeping you ahead of the trend and able to instantly react to changes in the market. Being stretchy can also apply to redesigning your entire business strategy. If something isn’t working, don’t try to be flexible until you run your business into the ground, be stretchy and turn your business on its head. Adapt and transform to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Being stretchy will enable you to create a business that you’re truly proud of.


4. Create a business that you’re proud of

As an entrepreneur it is pretty much guaranteed that you will be devoting the majority of your spare time to working on your business. To keep your sanity and stay focused on your business goals, you need to create a business that you’re proud of. At the end of the day, you will become a big part of your business and your business will become a big part of you, so make sure that when someone asks you what you do that you’re confident and proud to share. If you’re proud of the business you’ve created you will be even more motivated to work harder and longer. This is your business, no one else’s, so create it exactly as you want it, no exceptions.

Need some extra help to stay on track and achieve your start-up goals? Our expert team are here to help you with everything from business planning to accessing finance and beyond! See how we can help you.

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