Episode from the podcastHOW TO START UP by FF&M

How to be the new kid on the block with Nick Bridle, Belstone Dart International

Released Tuesday, 17th November 2020
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In this episode we hear from Nick Bridle, who having retired from the military, founded Belstone Dart International, a risk management consultancy in 2017.  Nick explains the importance of getting a client to pay for your product or service as soon as possible, as you need to qualify the concept commercially... because until that happens, it doesn’t really matter how pretty your logo is.  He also talks about how being new to the playing field can mean you’re a target for bullying tactics from the more established players, but that is ok as it means you’re a genuine threat. 
Belstone Dart is a consultancy specialising in providing advice and support for those entering or operating in challenging markets. info@belstonedart.com 
Nick's advice:
  • Be aware of your communication and leadership skills when it comes to stakeholders 
  • Know which strengths you can take from your previous roles and where you may need to improve certain skills
  • Always do what you say you’re going to do
  • Always be reliable and responsive when you’re a start up; get back to your clients straight away and make it easy for them to hire you 
  • In the beginning, ask people for advice and garner opinions on your business idea 
  • Write a business plan to get you in the right mindset
  • Look at your financial projections and costs, know that you’ll reduce the former and increase the latter
  • You just need to start doing it and the rest will follow
  • At the start, get a paying client to see if your idea is viable. Someone paying you is essential to prove your concept works in reality - it almost doesn’t matter how much, you just need an actual transaction to start with
  • Accept that things take longer than you might expect and map that into your plan; it can take months to win business 
  • You’ll work a lot harder when self-employed but you’ll have flexibility as well
  • With pricing, work out what your costs actually are and what margin is fair.  By pricing yourself fairly within the market and being able to justify your pricing clearly, you’ll win more business in the long run
  • If you don’t have to take on a business partner, don’t.  If you do, be really sure you trust that person absolutely.  Question the ratio of ownership as 50/50 can lead to a stalemate if things go wrong 
  • Accept even small clients as you never know where they might lead
  • Growth through word of mouth is the most effective way to grow your business quickly 
Links
Thank you for listening.  I’d love to hear your own startup stories and please do let me know if you have any questions for future guests as well: hello@fallowfieldmason.com
I would also be delighted if you could rate, review and share this podcast with anyone else who may be starting a company in 2020.  Hosted by Juliet Fallowfield, founder of PR for startups advisory Fallow, Field & Mason, How To Start Up hopes to bring you confidence, encouragement and reassurance that you’re on the right track. 
Recorded, edited & published by Juliet Fallowfield in September 2020.
MUSIC CREDIT  Funk Game Loop by Kevin MacLeod.  Link &

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Episode Details

Length
20m 48s
Explicit
No
Season
1
Episode
10
Episode Type
Full

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