The do’s and don’ts of successful entrepreneurs
28th April 2016
It is heartening to hear, that even the most successful entrepreneurs have made some mistakes along the way. Here are some ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts:
  1. Do remember that a brand follows a great service or product, not the other way around.
  2. Don’t project your hopes for the product or service onto your customer; what do they actually want?
  3. Do ensure your product or service has ‘natural inertia’ which means that it has to have enough of a differential on the current market to warrant customers using that product or service, and to ensure others don’t  copy what you are doing.
  4. Don’t fail to understand your customer – be the customer yourself.
  5. Do recognise that your product or service doesn’t have to be perfect before your launch – go for a ‘beta launch’, or is it possible to pitch and sell your product or service before it’s fully developed?
  6. Don’t delay getting early professional help and advice, e.g., legal and accountancy advice, for the sake of saving early costs – it will save you in the longer term.
  7. Do try doing a ‘Mum test’ before you pitch your business idea! If you can clearly and succinctly describe and explain your business idea to your Mum, then it’s more likely others will get it.
  8. Don’t settle for people who are ‘fit for purpose’. Aim to hire the best that you can possibly afford.
  9. Do be wary of bartering equity in return for expertise – you might regret it later on!
  10. Don’t overlook the importance of having very clear financial objectives from the outset - entrepreneurship can be a financially risky.
  This article is based on 2016 interviews by Nicola Gardiner with Oxfordshire-based entrepreneurs and those who support local entrepreneurs.

About the author

Nicola Gardiner
Nicola Gardiner Executive Search head hunts senior talent for Oxfordshire‰Ûªs start-ups and SME‰Ûªs, across all tech based sectors. We focus on providing a local and cost effective alternative to using London search firms.

Latest news

Finalists announced for the Trusts’s 2019 Enterprise Awards

Finalists announced for the Trusts’s 2019 Enterprise Awards

The judges for the Trust’s 2019 Enterprise Awards gathered on a hot July day at the new Wood Centre for Innovation at Stansfeld Park to READ MORE

Using Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Using Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

The hiring process is a critical gateway to economic opportunity, determining who can access meaningful employment and who can achieve ... READ MORE

The new Milk-Round: if students all want jobs in start-ups these days, how do you attract and retain them?

The new Milk-Round: if students all want jobs in start-ups these days, how do you attract and retain them?

Oxford University runs many careers fairs annually where established organisations present their graduate programmes, to attract the ... READ MORE



Book Now!

Now in its 21st year, Venturefest Oxford continues to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs with investors, support services and a host of like-minded people who want to be part of the county’s business success.

All tickets include: complimentary bus travel to and from the event, access to all Venturefest Oxford sessions, exhibition, showcase, complimentary tea & coffee, lunch and closing drinks reception. Early bird tickets on sale from 23rd April!

Student entry is free of charge – valid ID will be required.


Keep in touch

Sign up to the Venturefest Oxford newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear the latest news. The next newsletter will be coming out soon! Make sure you're on the list!





Email Preferences


Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus