25 April, 2024

Matthew Podger: What Does it Take to be a Successful Entrepreneur?

Prior to embarking on his entrepreneurial journey, Matthew Podger worked as a financing lawyer for two top UK law firms. In 2021, he founded Schooner Bar – a fully independent bar business – opening a venue in Wandsworth, London. This article will provide an overview of the qualities and competencies required to build and grow a successful enterprise.

For many people, being their own boss is the ultimate dream, providing full creative control – as well as the potential for flexible hours and the freedom that comes with being their own boss. However, behind the scenes, building and growing a successful business requires a huge amount of dedication and hard work, not to mention scrupulous planning.

The first step in entrepreneurship is identifying a profitable business idea. For the founder, choosing a product category for their online business will be one of the most important decisions they will ever make.

The key to minimising risk is ensuring that the product or service offered by the company will:

  • Solve a problem or serve a passion
  • Fall within a growing product category rather than being part of a fleeting fad
  • Fulfil consumer demand

Prior to launching a business, founders need to weigh up a variety of different factors, chief among them their motivation for starting the venture. People turn their back on a secure job and career, putting themselves through the uncertainty and risks associated with starting a business, for a variety of reasons. The clearer the entrepreneur is about their ambitions, the better placed they are to achieve them.

It is also important for the founder to ensure that their goals align with their business idea. For example, for someone seeking wealth, focusing on the fintech industry may be prudent, since revenues and business valuations tend to be higher in this arena than other types of start-up business. Conversely, someone who seeks recognition and fame may be best suited to a business operating in the entertainment sector.

Entrepreneurs do not necessarily need business experience in order to stand out. Indeed, everyone has to start somewhere, and even the world’s most successful entrepreneurs started their journey with a simple business concept or product idea.

Whether the entrepreneur is fresh out of college or a 40-year-old seeking a change in direction, launching and growing a business requires a particular mindset, including determination, dedication and an ability to take calculated risks and embrace change.

In addition, successful founders need to keep careful track of corporate finances, planning and liaising with professionals where necessary. They also need to be adept communicators, as well as being accountable for their actions – showing decisiveness and humility, and surrounding themselves with talented individuals capable of helping them propel the business to success.

Claire James


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