Their own inspirational words shine a light on the secrets of success of 4 of Britain’s best business people.
These UK entrepreneurs have built their personal and business brands from scratch.
What can we learn from them?
“Hard work will always bring opportunities”Karren Brady, CEO, West Ham United
Think the odds are stacked against you? Then take inspiration from Karren Brady who at the tender age of just 23 was appointed Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club.
As a young woman making her way in then almost exclusively male world of professional football, she transformed a club in administration and languishing near the foot of England’s second tier into a Premier League club that she sold for £82 million.
Over 20 years on, Karren is still managing an elite football club, but her ceaseless hard work has indeed brought her other opportunities as a business ambassador, a public speaker and a tireless charity campaigner.
“Treat every customer as if they were your Gran”John Roberts, CEO, AO
How do you break into a market littered with epic failures? You break the mould. From a £1 pub bet to a £600 million business in 15 short years, John Roberts has done everything differently.
Why operate big box stores with high overheads and limited footfall, when your state of the art online store can serve millions of visitors 24/7?
If you can’t get a third party logistics business to provide next day delivery and installation on those bulky white goods that you sell, then buy a transport company and do it yourself.
But most of all, build a business with a human face through staff who see themselves as customer champions.
In 2015 AO ousted John Lewis as the UK’s Best Retailer at Verdict’s Customer Satisfaction Awards. The business is now expanding internationally.
“If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito”Anita Roddick, Former CEO, Body Shop
Anita Roddick founded an ethical business long before this was fashionable and in so doing, not only created a global retail brand, she also changed the way that an entire industry operated – for ever.
From the outset, Anita believed that business can do good: Body Shop was a pioneer in promoting fair trade with third world countries and its products have never used ingredients tested on animals.
By the time that Anita sold her business in 2006 for £652 million pounds, L’Oréal, the cosmetics giant that purchased it, in common with other cosmetics businesses had already followed Body Shop’s lead and abandoned testing on animals.
“Screw it, let’s do it”Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group
Today Richard Branson is one of the most admired entrepreneurs on the planet and rightly so. The instantly recognisable face of Virgin, a global diversified business which he built from nothing to over £19.5 billion in 2016.
He has thrived on setting himself challenges, taking chances and daring to go where others fear to tread. A natural innovator, he sees opportunity where others see risk.
His advice to those wishing to follow his path is simple:
Go ahead, take that first step – just do it.
Whether you are at the start of a new adventure, or continuing your journey to personal and professional success, I hope you take inspiration from the secrets of success of 4 of Britain’s best business people.