I am not a scaleup. I am a startup as I have only been going a few months. I’m certain that I really don’t want to scale my business, I am wanting it to stay very much as what is known as a lifestyle business instead. I am clear about that.
Why then was I at the Newcastle Scaleup Summit last week at the Live Theatre down by the quayside? That is simple, because I am interested in helping those people and companies who do have the ambition and drive to grow, to do so. I have a lot of experience and insight that could prove to be very useful. I have been in business across different sectors for some time now and would like to share it with anyone who could make use of it. I want to stop them falling into the traps that will stifle creativity and cull their talent.
Let me say that the event was excellent. Paul, Sarah and the team had done a fantastic job in bringing interested and talented speakers to entertain and illuminate us. The number of delegates attending was testimony to their quality. I hope it becomes an annual event and, as always, it was a good opportunity to catch up with many of the people who orbit in the same universe.
While in the audience though I got to thinking that yes, I may not be a scaleup, yet many of the issues that are in front of them are exactly the same as I am facing at the start of my adventure. Darren from Zerolight brought things into perspective when he said that ‘Things you think are permanent are temporary, things that you think are stable are uncertain.’
His advice was to Come up with a Minimum Viable Product. Don’t be afraid to be crappy. I was reminded of my efforts to continually reinvent myself. Peter DAykin told us to ‘Only pitch what you are passionate about – then throw the kitchen sink at it.’
Stefan from KArol MArketing summed it up for me however with these four nuggets, which are as relevant for scaling up, starting up or just being in business: Articulate your offer; Understand your audience; Develop your strategy; Add creativity. It is surprising the number of businesses you come across which struggle with these.
I always learn something from events like these. Did I say it was excellent?