Disruptive entrepreneur Rob Moore interviews, Secret Millionaire and Dragons Den investor, experience lawyer, investment banker and fund management manger, Piers Linney to discuss what entrepreneurs are, how they operate and how to raise money if you are just starting up. Get expert advice on how to pitch, how to grow a small business, what marketing works in today's market and much, much more.
Small business owner and entrepreneur is not the same thing. If you've got a corner shop, or you're a freelancer, or you got a small business and it makes 20, 30, 40 grand a year and the chance of going outside of that are pretty slim, you don't want to hire anybody else, you want it to be your thing, you are not an entrepreneur, entrepreneur is about taking risks in the hope of profit. Somebody that may have an existing business and they look to grow that business.
Entrepreneurship is also a mindset as well as a definition. Like having ideas, being creative, being maybe a little bit relentless, you push for more having multiple businesses, you sit on more than one board and you put your finger in a few businesses. There's a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Who is the right person to become an entrepreneur? You don’t have to be born a leader or an entrepreneur, you can learn these skills, you can put the people around you to make sure that you fill all those sorts of skills gap so you can become a more rounded entrepreneur.
How to get funding during a start-up. You can get money from borrowing your friends and family members. You can also get the money by getting loans from financial institutions like banks. You can also pitch your ideas to entrepreneurs and see if you can partner with them and raise the money together.
Pitching. To people you don’t know, you have to bring out your A-Game when pitching to them so that they can be carried away by the pitch and agree to fund your project. Ask yourself these questions, why would someone want to invest in your project? Why would someone buy your product?
What are the key elements of a really good pitch? The important thing about a really good pitch is to understand where you are and who you're pitching to. Do thorough research on what you want to pitch, do your homework well. You must be a good communicator.
Knowledge and skills. The business that you are entering into or starting, do you have the right skills to do it and be successful, have you invested your time and money in trying to learn what this business entails? You need to be educated with the right skills for you to succeed in that business.
Marketing. If you ever want your business to grow a lot more, you have to market your business or product through advertisements. You can hire someone with these kinds of skills to market your product and be sure that this will increase your sales very much.
When you leverage social media, you can reach more customers quicker than ever. People moan about social media, but you can reach millions of people and you don't even have to pay. Facebook is free. LinkedIn is free. Of course, it depends on your product or service. You can't be a personal brand if you haven't got a product or service or a brand or a story that young people have a story to tell. That's where you sell more.
What is scale up? Scale-up is any business that has the ambition to grow. So that means that if you're making two million this year, next year you want to be making seven million, next year 15 million and so on.
Can you work hard and smart and have a balanced life that you still have time for your family? Yes, you can. As long as your mental health and physical health are balanced, in that you're going to gym, you're generating ideas in your head and implementing them in your business and making money, you can put aside some amount of money and go out on a vacation with your family and have some fun.
Mentorship. As an entrepreneur, you need to have at least one mentor or more because there’s always a time where you are in need of a good professional advice or a hurting truth that maybe you don’t want to here or other people are afraid to tell you that might help you in shaping up your business or implement an idea that you have. Mentors help you to make very informed decisions on what you are about to do.
If people refuse to fund you, should you give up? No, send the pitch out, have negative feedback or no feedback and keep sending out the same thing. Go look at it and see if they missed a point and if you can clarify that it and change your presentation and iterative constantly.
What is a successful business? This is when your employees are happy, your teams happy, and the customers are happy because, with this, you're more likely to be successful.
"No company starts up to be a start-up, you start to create a sustainable financial model, a product or service that solves a problem, people are willing to pay a price for and you can deliver that product or service at a lower cost, which means you got profit."
“If you know anything worth doing, is worth doing, it doesn't matter how long it's going to take."
“Put yourself out there a lot in the social media platforms if you want to grow. You’ll be rewarded for volume over quality.”
“We live and learn.”
“Society is not fair until the top of it looks like the bottom of it.”
“The problem we've all got is, if you're riding the wave, you'll go with it. If you're not, you get left behind.”
“Business should be a force for good.”
“The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest opportunities for entrepreneurs, you solve those problems, and you’re a billionaire.”
“A lot of people raise quite a lot of money for nonsense, the best thing that they could be good at is the pitching itself.”
“Don’t raise money unless you have to.”
“If you change the number of scale-ups in the country by just 1%, it generates millions of jobs, generates billions in GDP. It changes our economy massively. So scale-ups are the ones that need to be supported probably the most.”
“Do something that you enjoy doing.”
“Disruptive means staying one step ahead of yourself, and one step ahead of your industry or your market or your model.”
ABOUT THE GUEST
Piers Linney was born in Stoke-on-Trent but grew up in a former mill town in Lancashire where he attended the local comprehensive school. His mother is from Parish of St. Barbados. His father is from working-class Manchester. Although he is often referred to as an entrepreneur and a TV personality following his appearances as an investor on the prime-time BBC show ‘Dragons' Den' and the Channel 4 series, ‘The Secret Millionaire', he has a professional background in law, investment banking, and fund management.
ABOUT THE HOST
Rob Moore is the host of the UK’s no. 1 business podcast “The Disruptive Entrepreneur,” as well as an entrepreneur, property investor, property educator, and holder of 3 world records for public speaking. He is also the author of 9 business books, 5 UK bestsellers, and the global bestseller, Life Leverage.
“If you don't risk anything, you risk everything”