Over the past few days I have been lucky enough to spend some time in Oxford University with a group of 20 inspirational and talented entrepreneurs. I stayed at Brasenose College, and the course was run at the Said Business School in Oxford.
This is all courtesy of Goldman Sachs, and their fantastic 10,000 Small Business program.
I have spent 4 coffee-fuelled days of intensive learning, thinking, talking, strategising, listening and generally being inspired to run my business better. There was a real mix of business in the room, from someone who makes Exquisite handmade cakes, to an online retail business and a company that teaches children to ride bikes safely.
There was, however, much common ground – from the challenges we all face in running our business, to the common desire to grow ourselves and our business further.
It would take me too long to talk about all that I have learnt (and I certainly wouldn’t do the material justice!). However, here are a few key learning points that I wanted to share with you:
- When you get 20 amazing people in the room, learning is always fun
- "Industry consolidation is both inevitable and predictable”
- “Growth is linked to the amount of available managerial attention”
- For marketing to be successful, you should segment your markets
- Innovation vouchers allow you to get £5,000 funding to access some very clever people
- Emotional connection between a brand and people is absolutely essential
- Never stop communicating your USP
- The people you need to grow your business to the “next level” might not be the people you have in your business today
- I am very much a visual learner
- Resolve does many things very well
In this type of situation it would be easy to look around the room and see some very successful businesses and business leaders, and feel out of place. However, it was great to think about all of the stuff we do at Resolve so well – the customer service, the speed of our response when a client gets in touch, and the way we train, develop and look after our team here.
I am excited as we look to grow over the next year, but I am also very proud of the team that makes up Resolve, and I am proud to lead them.