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

The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards – Apply Now!

The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards – Apply Now!

Applications close: 28th June. Free to enter. Oxfordshire-based companies only. READ MORE

Media partnership with Business & Innovation Magazine

Media partnership with Business & Innovation Magazine

We're excited to announce a new media partnership with Business & Innovation Magazine. READ MORE

A new era for Venturefest Oxford

A new era for Venturefest Oxford

Venturefest Oxford has announced the appointment of Mike Foster to take over the Chair role vacated by Lynn Shepherd last December.  ... 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