Being an entrepreneur myself and having shared the stage with hundreds, interviewed and written about eleven of them for my book: Unsexy Business, I am more confident than ever that entrepreneurs with energy and application can achieve anything.
In my opinion, every business needs more than one person with entrepreneurial spirit to succeed against the competitive landscape we see today. The terminology for an employee with entrepreneurial ability within a business is commonly now referred to an intrapreneur. I use this term from here on.
I lay out below my summary on how any business, not just entrepreneur led businesses can achieve entrepreneurialism within their business and get the benefits of this energy; ability to innovate and love of change.
Today is the 23rd September 2019 and I’m fortunate enough to be launching my sixth business, Just. Just is the UK’s first digital marketplace for High Court Enforcement and we have formed the business as a subsidiary of Arum, the global consulting firm I have owned for two years.
The benefits of creating a new business under an existing one are obvious. Shared services, infrastructure, brand and talent are just a few. The challenges however can’t be ignored. Arum, for example, turned 21 years-old last month, that’s a 21-year culture that is about to undertake massive change. So how do you prepare for that?
How to prepare for a massive change in a business?
1. Start early
Six months ago, in preparation for a future where Arum would be supporting an ecosystem of subsidiaries, the Directors attended the best business course that exists in the UK, Cranfield’s Business Growth Development Program (BGP). At BGP, the team went through a six-month course with over 30 other entrepreneurs and founders. The course gave the directors the theory, tools and the confidence to prepare for a future where change would be continuous, and the speed of innovation would be a driver for success.
2. Fill in the gaps
The Directors developed a three-year business plan which included a detailed gap analysis of what skills were missing today and what skills might be missing in the future environment. They then went and recruited to fill the gaps. This included bringing a new executive to the board of Arum, the holding business.
3. Recruit the right people
Arum has over 75 staff that are reasonably new to the entrepreneurial and early-stage business journey. It was vital they mixed the group up with the recruitment of staff that had an alternative skillset. New recruits, in suitable departments, are now required to show entrepreneurial skills or some experience of an early-stage business. Taking people on an entrepreneurial journey is much easier with the support of a group.
4. Develop beyond the executive team
The image above is of Mike Clare the original founder of Dreams the bed superstore. In the development of others and introducing a greater entrepreneurial spirit into the business, they have planned a program of events where entrepreneurs from different industries come and talk to the entire staff base about what they did and how they did it. They take questions and give their opinion on how to introduce entrepreneurialism to corporate business and develop more intrapreneurs. Mike was our first guest the Friday before our Monday launch.
5. Incentivise everyone to get involved
At the end of the first guest speaker event, a challenge was set to every member of the business. Develop an idea for the business, write it down on one page and present it to the board. The idea that offers the most value will get the resource and investment to make it happen. At the next guest speaker event, they come back and present what they have achieved.
If you expect people to be intrapreneurs then give them the theory, the tools, the training and the incentives. Remember, not everyone wants to be entrepreneur so don’t force them. Let’s face it, it’s exhausting the majority of the time to work at that pace and it’s not for everyone. Don’t exclude the others though, get them involved, put them into a team and use their skills to make the new idea’s a success. A business full of entrepreneurs would be no more successful than a business that consists of only corporate personalities. Remember that.
If you want to find out more about Just then visit www.just-dm.co.uk and if you want to read more about twelve entrepreneurs and how they took an idea and turned it into a massive success then the book can be found by clicking here.
About the Author: Jamie Waller
Jamie Waller is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and philanthropist. In 2018 he was awarded the prestigious Cranfield Business School, Entrepreneur of the Year and has been responsible for the formation, development, and sale of two previous businesses in the financial services industry.
Jamie is the Chairman of the Arum Group of companies.