By Max Clarke

With some 24 years’ managerial level experience in the IT sector, working with the fledgling Apple Inc. in 1979 before spending 17 years heading the European offices of Taxan Ltd, Hugh Chappell abandoned the security of an MD job in order to launch his own business in 2003.

Speaking to Fresh Business Thinking, Hugh offers some essential points to consider for others willing to take the same plunge into business ownership.


Consider the manpower you are likely to need. For an online business, having a programmer can prove invaluable. While this work can be subcontracted, having to contact a third party in order to enact minor changes to the site is both an inconvenience and a likely source of escalating costs.

A well thought out team will often equate to more than the sum of its parts.


For many customers, a domain name will be their first exposure to the company and, as with all relationships, first impressions are crucial. An effective site name should indicate what the company does and while the exponential growth in the number of registered sites has seen fitting, shorter names become hard to come by, suitable domain names are still available to the owner willing to use several words.
Examples of this include www.iwanoneofthose.com and www.freshbusinessthinking.com.


nothing happens until something gets sold”: Thomas Watson Jr., Founder of IBM.

With a coherent sales strategy and knowledge of the revenue that should be achieved, running the rest of the business can be straightforward. In order to achieve this, commercial sales experience on your company’s board is pivotal.


The single most important thing when owning a business is to establish ownership at an early stage. If you have several co-owners contributing varied amounts of time and money, the issue can become a complex one. Setting in writing fair and clear ownership of the business at its onset will eliminate future disagreements.


The importance of PR for any business cannot be overstated; but good PR needn’t involve 5 figure advertising contracts. A wealth of powerful PR tools exist for the proactive business owner: social media has exploded as a channel for cost effective, targeted publicity and a well written press release will go a long way towards getting your company’s message out to the public.

When Hugh launched trustedreviews.com, he worked with product review aggregators- supplying them with original content in exchange for linking to his site, enhancing traffic.

Watch a video of Hugh Chappell, Founder of TrustedReviews.com and Investor in Lovestruck.com, giving advice on marketing, the sales model and ownership.


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