5.5 Tips for Startup Success!

#1. Pay a fair price: Some people say watch the pennies and the pounds look after themselves. Whilst I agree that monitoring business expenses is important, I don’t believe that pushing suppliers into the ground is in your best interest. Not only could you use this negotiation time to meet new clients and make more money, you should also want your suppliers to be successful.

#2. Define success: Everybody talks about success like they know what ‘success’ is. I am always looking to align myself with suppliers, clients, staff and business partners so we all share the same vision of success. I hear many people talk about a: ‘Successful Exit’, but when I ask what this is, they say something very generic like “Errr I don’t know… Maybe 1-5 million in value”. What is even more alarming is when you ask their business partner and they have a completely different number. Defining success, will mean you are really able to focus on the goal of making everyone successful.

#3. Be as accountable for failure as you would be for success: I truly believe that you can’t accept the credit, if you won’t accept the blame. I see this so much in sales people. When we win a deal we say it was because of our strategy and how well we presented, but when we lose the deal we say it was due to market conditions, the time of the year or anything else that shifts the attention away from us. Just say “I lost the deal and it’s my fault”. This may be due to the market conditions, but it admits that you didn’t take that into account when making your proposal.

#4. Don’t always be looking to make ‘a cut’. As you progress through your business life, there will be opportunities to make ‘a cut’ here and there. This could be that a client needs design services and you have a friend you could sub-contract it out to. Unless you are a design agency, then just pass on the lead and introduce two people who can do business together. Focus on what you do and you will make money. Spend your life looking to skim others and it’s likely you will lose focus.

#5. Maintain integrity: In order for long term success, you need to play the long game. Without building credibility and integrity, you will struggle to see long term success. People need to remember that you were the person who did what they said they would do, and not the person who just said yes in order to ‘get the business’. A huge amount of the business I have done over the years is from recommendation. People won’t recommend people easily as they won’t want things to come back on then if things don’t work out.

#5.5. Get a cat: There will be times where you just need someone to listen without them giving an opinion. Cats are best for this in my experience!

This is Sebastian, my rescue cat, who I do often talk to!

This is Sebastian, my rescue cat, who I do often talk to!

David Jones – The name you need to know!

David Jones is ex-chief of Havas, one of the world’s largest global communication specialists. David Jones is the name you need to know because he’s just raised, wait for it … $350 million for a new ‘brandtech’ group.

David is already pretty well known for his work, resigning from Havas in January wasn’t the only work he was famous for, he was also once the advertising adviser to current UK Prime Minister David Cameron in the 2010 Tory campaign and has now launched his own company ‘You & Mr Jones’.

You & Mr Jones aims to “bridge the gap between brands and technology”, which I must admit is a very current issue within the industry, so David might be onto something here…

David has moved pretty quickly, his company ‘You & Mr Jones’ has already invested in ‘Mashable’ and visual marketing firm ‘Pixlee’, before acquiring ‘Mofilm’, the crowd-sourcing company. Jeffrey Merrihue, founder of ‘Mofilm’ has also become a partner at ‘You & Mr Jones’ – David is getting the right guys onboard!

Oh but David doesn’t want to stop there! The company wants to acquire businesses in a range of sectors including: User and machine-generated content, social media marketing, programmatic ad buying and multichannel networks.

David refers to ‘You & Mr Jones’ as a ‘brandtech’ group, which will have a presence in 10 countries worldwide and have a HQ base in New York. The company received funding from 6 unnamed investors.

Even ‘Unilever’ is excited about David’s new company stating: “We are extremely excited about You & Mr Jones, a group we feel has the talent, ambition and technical knowhow to help fill this gap” (Keith Weed, chief marketing officer at Unilever).

David said: ‘There’s been a revolution in the world, but not yet in how we build brands… Technology now enables every part of the brand-building process to be done better, faster and cheaper – from creating content, to producing it, to sharing it, to targeting and measuring … And it’s also created a global creative department of more than 1 billion people, all of whom can now create, produce and share. We’re building a new technology group that aims to leverage all of this for brands.’

Well I most certainly wish you the best of luck David, I’ll be keeping an eye on your ‘brandtech’ group!