Looking to start your own business? Here’s some top tips from three successful UK entrepreneurs

The Guardian Disruptor Debate

The founders of Brompton Bicycles, WAH Nails and Unruly give their words of wisdom on the key challenges to starting a business.  

Staying in your 9-5 job, taking your paid 21 days holidays per year and being assured of your monthly pay is the option that most of us take. But as Steve Jobs once said: “Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.

So you’ve got the idea, you’ve got the passion, now all you need to do is get started. It sounds simple, right? Wrong.

Starting your own business can feel like a daunting prospect and there will no doubt be some hurdles to overcome if you are successful.

We caught up with a handful of successful business founders to ask them one key question: what advice would they give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to begin the journey of starting a business?

Sarah Wood, co founder of Unruly; a video advertising technology business looking to shape the future of marketing, has helped some of the world’s most memorable ads go viral said: “the biggest challenge was making a market. Digital video adverting wasn’t a thing. How did we solve that? We created something called the Viral Video Chart. So if you’re trying to make a market, it’s a really good idea to make a metric. And the metric we are talking about was shares and share abilities. So we were able to rank the most shared videos on the web”.     

Will Butler-Adams, managing director, Brompton Bicycles; the iconic fold-up bikes which have been a huge hit with commuters in London said his biggest challenge was: “Everyone thought I should take a normal career path, and they didn’t believe in the small wheels and the folding bike. So my advice is don’t believe what everyone says. Believe in what you believe in. Stick to your principles.

Savvy stylist-turned-entrepreneur, Sharmadean Reid, founder of Wah Nails, has grown her business into one of the biggest hi-tech nail businesses around. One of her earliest challenges was cash flow: “I highly recommended having a good accountant, a good book keeper, and just always making sure you’re always on top of your finances”.

 So there you have it aspiring entrepreneurs. Make a metric. Stick to your principles. And manage your money.

You can watch all our entrepreneurs and more from the Guardian Disruptor Debate here.

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