World entrepreneurship day – 5 tips for entrepreneurs from Paresh Davdra, CEO RationalFX & Xendpay
This week saw World Entrepreneurs Day celebrated by business owners across the globe. According to Government figures, there were 5.5million businesses operating in the UK in 2016, of which 99% were small-to-medium sized businesses. After launching RationalFX in 2005 and sister brand Xendpay in 2012, alongside my partner Rajesh Agrawal, my journey as an entrepreneur over this period has demonstrated what a rewarding experience it is. But with UK SMEs most likely to be at risk from Brexit uncertainty and potential disruptions, it can appear a daunting prospect for even the most experienced entrepreneur.
For any entrepreneur, below are a few top tips to consider with these uncertain times ahead:
Perseverance is crucial for being an entrepreneur. Life is challenging, and starting your own business is equally so – if you believe in what you’re offering, stick with it and others are sure to believe in it too.
This isn’t to mean you won’t fail, but it’s worth a try if you’re fighting for something you really want! Big organizations like IBM and Apple made heavy losses at one point but made a remarkable comeback due to the determination of few highly motivated individuals.
Take Risks & Grasp Opportunities
Another piece of advice, in the same vein, is to be brave and take risks. No successful business has reached where they are without the involvement of a risk appetite. When a good opportunity comes your way, grab it with both hands. Don’t worry about being perfectly prepared because you’ll learn a lot along the way.
Risk-taking is part of what it takes to become successful, so you must commit and persevere Don’t wait too long for the perfect opportunity to start your business, however, because you could be waiting forever.
Invest in your staff
It is also important to have the right people working for you. Employ experienced professionals from within your industry but also from outside to ensure you get the right balance of talent. Training is essential to ensuring staff understand the business but also feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
Invest in your staff by empowering individuals and teams to lead in their specific fields. You can also provide support by offering internal and external courses to further develop. Don’t forget to generate a great team spirit within the office!
Follow your own path – but don’t be afraid to look for support
Whilst it is vital to listen to advice it is also important to be wary of spending too much time listening and not enough time developing and executing plans. It is important to learn from your experiences as they will enable you to make the right decisions.
Even with an independent philosophy when starting up, sometimes a little support can go a long way. There is a lot of free advice at your fingertips; the government is a good source of help for businesses at a local and national level. This can range from grant support for environmental and innovation initiatives, to advice on staff, tax and how to grow your business.
Don’t be afraid of Brexit
Brexit is definitely a big challenge for SMEs. There has been growing uncertainty over the terms of Brexit, which has affected investor confidence in general, while also impacting investment appetite. However, it has now become increasingly clear that the outcome depends on whether it will be a ‘soft’ or a ‘hard’ Brexit. Entrepreneurs have been assured that the government does seek a transitionary period, and that a softer Brexit is the aim of the UK.
With negotiations off to a mostly positive start, it seems likely that the UK will maintain its crown as a FinTech hub and a centre for entrepreneurship, allowing the country to continue to uphold the international business values it has championed over the years. This means that despite the uncertainty, businesses should expect to continue to find new and exciting opportunities for growth.