Passion and tenacity are essential traits for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, according to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and key local business personalities at a networking breakfast hosted by Moore Stephens and Close Finance.
The event, titled “Going it alone: The struggles and rewards of starting your own business”, took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Jersey this week, running in conjunction with Jersey Business’ Enterprise Week.
Guest mediator James Falla, Channel Island business journalist, quizzed the expert panel comprising Shaun Rankin, Michelin Star chef and owner of restaurant Ormer; Chris Clark, chief executive officer of Prosperity 24.7; Kristina Le Feuvre, owner of aMaizin! Adventure Park and vice president of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce; Andy Cook, chief executive of Jersey Business; and John Garton, chief executive officer of Genuine Jersey Products Association.
Each provided their take on what is required to start your own business – covering the essential steps to take and mistakes to avoid – as well as commenting on the current start-up business landscape and the various support networks available in Jersey.
“I think what came through today was that to be an entrepreneur you need to be passionate about what you do,” said Mr Falla.
“You can overcome most other obstacles if you have that drive and really want to do it. There is a good buzz in Jersey and a good deal of support from the public and private sectors for those who want to go it alone.”
Mrs Le Feuvre said that organisations like Jersey Business were hugely advantageous for modern entrepreneurs, offering all types of business information from a single resource. However, she also stressed that it was important for those with start-up business aspirations to understand that there is no easy route.
“Having your own business is incredibly hard work, often with more frustration than elation. If you’re prepared to accept that and have the tenacity and positivity to take it forward, then it may be for you.”
Along with the personal attributes necessary for business success, the panel touched on several practical requirements including financing options, growth strategies, recruitment and the use of social media.
Mr Clark championed the importance of culture in becoming a “magnetic company” to attract talent, while Mr Cook stressed the necessity of being able to articulate a business idea on paper and the power of good branding.
Jo Gavey, associate in the Accounting and Business Services department at Moore Stephens in Jersey, said:
“From our perspective, the event was a huge success and we are very grateful to James and the panellists for stimulating such a lively and useful debate. There was a refreshing diversity in the advice and anecdotes of the speakers and we have no doubt that delegates will have taken something meaningful away with them.
“As a business, we frequently provide advice to start-ups and small to medium enterprises, so this theme was very fitting for us and as a part of Enterprise Week.”
Gordon Bush, Sales Director at Close Finance, who introduced the event said:
“From a funding perspective, we’re very involved in assisting new businesses during those crucial development stages. It is so important that enterprising – often young – self-starters get the guidance and encouragement they need and we hope this event has been useful to many.”
The event was the third in the Moore Stephens and Close Finance Breakfast Briefing series and a portion of the ticket sales was donated to The Prince’s Trust programmes in Jersey.