Part 3: Heading for Entrepreneur Country? Successful entrepreneurs share their learnings at the latest Forum

This is our third instalment from our trip to the Entrepreneur Country Forum this week. We are sharing a few snippets and learnings from some of the new speakers that stood out for us, read part 1and 2  here.
Martyn Dawes founder of Coffee Nation
The topic of Martyn’s keynote was on how to create a scale business. One of the most inspiring elements of this was his thinking around the importance of a disruptive business model: Martyn swears coffee was not his lightbulb moment for his business – a business model was. Inspired by the rental of photocopiers to newsagents and corner shops, he was motivated to find an idea that was equally disruptive.
In looking for a suitable idea, he devised a criteria that would result in scale:

  • Find a growth category
  • where you can become a market leader
  • that has a large addressable target market beyond theUK
  • is a scalable opportunity
  • and that plays to a long term consumer trend

Martyn emphasised the importance of knowing what doesn’t work and why, as vital to making it through the early years, along with bootstrapping. His mantra was ‘spend a little and learn a lot’.
His final tips were around how to move successfully from a small to a growth business:

  • Build an over-talented team for your boardroom
  • Pick the very best CEO. Be brave, if you are the entrepreneur – it might not be you.
  • Get a great Financial Director early on
  • Recruit the very best and grow together
  • Have rigour and discipline as you grow

Our favourite quote from Martyn was “I was recently asked how to build a big company? Simple I said, you build a small one and use the profits to hire great people.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Tomorrow’s final edition will feature Will King on the topic of social media