17/03/2015

By Timo Schmidt, co-founded, Gousto


Starting and running a successful business is no mean feat! It takes determination, tenacity and resilience, but more importantly, it takes the ability to learn from others and take heed of advice.

No matter what point your business is in its growth, whether you’re a start-up, or have been going for years; tips and advice from other business owners are really helpful. That’s why I jumped at the chance to contribute to the Business is GREAT Britain’s ‘GREAT Way To Grow’ guide.

Having never set up and run a business before, my business partner and I are so thankful for the helpful tips and advice we’ve received from other business owners. Particularly in those early days when Gousto was in its infancy, but even now, as the business grows we’re both still learning and discovering new ways of doing things all the time.

In The GREAT Way To Grow guide, small businesses, top entrepreneurs and business experts have shared their most valuable pieces of business advice, and other hints and tips to show other businesses how to grow and expand. The guide also encourages other business leader to pass on their own pearls of wisdom. So, to get things started, here are my top five business tips I want to pass on to you:

Take on the best to be the best

If there is one invaluable lesson I have learned since taking on the online food industry, it’s that in order to be the best you need to employ the best. It might sound obvious, but setting the bar high and placing people above everything else is harder than you might imagine. We advise to strictly employ only amazing talent; offer an environment that nurtures personal growth and career development, and give team members bucket loads of responsibility so that everyone is empowered in some way to drive the business forward.

Find your passion & purpose

Another motto I live by is to continually draw back to the purpose I first founded the company on; enabling people to eat delicious, quality food with zero food waste. Doing something you really care about and truly value is paramount to building an infallible company, as that passion will trickle through to everything you do. The customers will sense it in the quality of the service and product you deliver, they will feel it in the way you communicate and the efforts you go to for them. If this purpose and passion is integral to your mission, it will naturally infiltrate every aspect of your operations.

Let’s do it!

It’s important that you do not limit yourself by fearing failure. You must dare to try new things and not constrain yourself by what others might think of you if you fail. Think big and bold, paying no heed to nagging fears, concerns or insecurities. Take the long road and be prepared to take a gamble. It’s a cliché, but he who dares really does win!

Let your team shine

Try never to micromanage, instead trust the team you have hired and give them space to shine. Hire amazing managers, give them targets and budgets, and cheer-lead them on to victory!

Value your environment

Live sustainably - if you live in the UK, you’re better off than the other 99% of people in this world, so do what you can to make the world a little better. It needn’t be anything huge; recycle, eat high animal welfare meat, go green on electricity etc. In the end this will also make you a happier, more fulfilled person.