Tell us about you: I’ve moved around quite a bit. I’ve worked and lived in London, Tokyo, Leeds & Manchester and came to rest in Shropshire 2 years ago so I could focus on building the business. The move also brought me back to my family; Mum, Dad (separated but still friends), a brother & sister-in-law, a sister (16 years my junior) and 3 nieces. Together, they constitute one of my great distractions from work – the other is going to the gym!
When did you launch?
www.enterprisenation.com was launched in January 2006 so we’re getting ready to celebrate a 3rd year in business. It’s double the length of time that I owned my first business and yet it feels like the time has flown.
How did you go about getting started?
Enterprise Nation was founded on personal experience. I started my first business when I was 27 and successfully sold it 15 months later. By the time we sold, there were 5 of us working from home offices across the UK. After selling, I had time to figure out what I wanted to do next. It hit me that I’d started and grown the business from home – and many more people were choosing to start from home – yet there was no source of information on this way of working. I decided to do something about it.
What has worked well about your business?
Timing. Or maybe I should say patience – it’s certainly a virtue when starting a new venture. It took me 2 years of researching the market before we launched and it took a year post-launch to really hone our offer and product. What is working for us is that as we build our brand in the home business sector, the market is moving in our direction. More people are starting businesses from home and we’re here to provide them with the information and inspiration they need to make it happen. Saying this, we never get complacent and we work every day to develop the brand, improve the site and think of new ways to deliver content to our members.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
The biggest challenge? Assembling a world-class team. How have I dealt with it? I’ve come to accept that the best and brightest people on the market are already running their own businesses so, rather than hire them, I’m just very happy to partner with them. My vision is to build the world’s most successful media company for anyone starting and growing a business from home and the business plan envisages this happening with a staff of only 5 people. We’ll achieve it. And we’ll do it by outsourcing to experts in chosen fields.
How do you fit in work with the family?
By starting work early, saving one day per week (by not having a commute) and having a family who practically order me out of the home office!
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
Do your homework and research your market thoroughly, become an expert in your field, treat everyone you meet with respect and don’t waste a single day in realising your ambitions.
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