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Top tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to take their business to the next level
In 2014 the Manufacturer website posted an article entitled “Are we still a nation of inventors and innovators?”  Marking the beginning of the 2014 Manufacturing, Science and Technology week, the article rather worryingly highlighted public perception of UK invention and innovation as a phase confined to history.
In a strange way it is our very success as innovators that contributes to this perception. In school we are taught about the great inventions of the past such as the steam engine but as the world becomes more homogenised, less is made of the UK’s current position at the cutting edge of innovation. Perhaps that’s not surprising; when organisations collaborate freely across a global marketplace people are more likely to accept a product rather than query its origin.
Perception or not, the entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive and flourishing within the UK. At the end of December 2016 there were more than 3.5million companies registered in the UK, an increase of some 200,000 on the previous year.  And these figures don’t even include the numerous unincorporated entities such as those who are self-employed; estimated in November 2016  to amount to some 4.77 million (equating to 15% of the workforce).
Whilst some new businesses will stay at the micro level, delivering great products or services which perfectly match their clients’ requirements; other entrepreneurs will look to grow in order to take their offering to a wider marketplace. Ironically it can be this very expansion which sows the seeds for a business’s downfall. Somehow the entrepreneurial spirit which burns bright and delivers great innovation and customer service at the micro level can be extinguished when others are brought into the fold.
But it doesn’t have to be like this! Some of the greatest innovation success stories of our time have grown from entrepreneurial micro businesses. So what are the top tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to take their business to the next level?
Above all: plan. Organic growth sounds great but without a guiding hand it can become unwieldy and chaotic. You are already an entrepreneur, you are already an innovator; take that knowledge and use it to grow your business as you would grow a product. Understand what the marketplace is looking for in terms of an expanded organisation and then develop the solution which will enable you to deliver success.