10/11/2014

By Hannah Durham

Ahead of Britain means Business next week (19th and 20th November 2014), we caught up with expert speaker Daryl Woodhouse, Founder and CEO of Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd.

After a number of years working for large corporates from grass root management to national executive leadership level, Daryl developed a passion for supporting businesses. This passion could not be completely fulfilled within a corporate environment so in 2012 Daryl launched Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd and dedicated himself to supporting ambitious business owners by sharing the senior leadership, networking and strategic business experience gained throughout his career.

Britain means business because....?

It has really developed an entrepreneur boom particularly since 2008! We've seen nearly 1.5M businesses set up and run from homes in the last 6 years, and collectively Britain has more than 4.5M Small and Medium size businesses. There are lots of great signs for further growth with us coming out of the recession officially 12 months ago.

Britain means Business is all about ‘collaboration and resilience’. Why do you think resilience is a key characteristic for any business owner or entrepreneur in 2015?

It has to be! Starting, sustaining and growing a successful business is really hard (I have two of my own, and I have mentored hundreds of others just in the last few years). To get through the challenges as an ambitious entrepreneur, as well as being resilient, you need to be patient and open to new knowledge and advice.

Why should businesses be focusing on collaboration, rather than competition, moving forward?

You must stay on top of what your competition are doing so you can take steps to differentiate and stay ahead of them, but you must also stay close to the buying needs and preferences of your ideal prospective and most profitable customers. There is such a thing as competitive collaboration too - our businesses have aligned with numerous 'competitors' who are in our sector but whom share our values, high standards, and who don't do what we do. Our services combined are complimentary and add much more value to our clients.

Why do you think only 20% of businesses survive more than 5 years of operating?

Thankfully there has been lots of research which supports our own experiences of why our business customers have struggled to survive and fulfil their potential. At ABP and Leading Thought, we enjoy sharing our 9 key steps to business survival and success which all starts from getting the basics right, and ensuring you have the essential business growth skills required through your personal development, team and wider network.

Is now the time for businesses and entrepreneurs to aim for high growth? If so, why?

Absolutely! We are 12 months out of the recession. The economy is growing again, Britain is full of ambitious entrepreneurial spirit, and we are moving from fantastic government backed campaigns such as 'Start Up Britain' into getting more of those start ups to survive and establish themselves profitably through the new 'Scale Up Britain' campaign.

What are the key struggles (or bad habits!) businesses looking to grow should be weary of?

Don't be a know it all - know your limitations and invest in developing yourself and your business with the help of experts who can show they have been there and done it with positive case studies to show it. Unfortunately too many people go into business without experience of building a team and growing a business in the past, but they don't make time to learn and develop in the areas they are lacking.

What is your top tip for businesses looking to achieve high growth in the next 3 years?

Plan for and build your dream team. Be clear about your strengths and limitations. Stay great at what you are good at. Invest in new advice, knowledge, advisors and employees to account for the skills your business needs to thrive, and for which you don't personally have the time for or expertise.

Daryl will be sharing his expert knowledge at Britain means Business on the 19th November 2014 (http://www.darylwoodhouse.com/) where he will offer advice on business growth finance, addressing the “what, when, where, and how”. Book you FREE place now (http://www.darylwoodhouse.com/) to get involved!