British Entrepreneurship – Which is the Most Inspirational for Today’s Generation?
In the mid-18th century, Josiah Wedgwood set up a pottery factory in Britain and, within 3 years, was appointed as Queen Charlotte’s royal potter. Wedgwood continues to be popular world-wide. A number of British inventions which rocked the world include “Thermos” vacuum flask (late 19th century), TV (mid-1920s), “cat’s eyes” (1934), and cash dispensing machines (1967) in North London.
In the mid-1990s, fifteen years after James Dyson began designing prototype vacuum cleaners, he launched a product that quickly became the biggest selling vacuum cleaner in the UK. Of course, you don’t need to invent something unique or revolutionary in order to build a business empire. Two well-known British entrepreneurs, who are actively inspirational with younger entrepreneurs today, include Richard Branson and Alan Sugar. As youngsters, with no financial backing or even a telephone (and definitely no computer!), they both had a relentless determination to become rich – without resorting to crime!
Starting points for entrepreneurs could be spotting a gap in the marketplace, filling a niche or creating a desire that can be fulfilled by your new company. As an example, almost a century ago, British financiers behind De Beers needed to create demand for the glut of diamonds that had been mined. They hired an agency to begin the campaign in the USA, a huge potential marketplace, and were wholly instrumental in linking the buying and giving of diamond rings to the tradition of betrothal. So successful was this marketing strategy that most people today still believe that a diamond ring is an essential token of eternal love and their advertising slogan ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ is often still quoted.
Each generation has a different set of circumstances to help or hinder them. The internet is an invaluable asset to help entrepreneurs reach their potential customers but it is equally available to competitors. Unless you have a plan in place, your ideas can be hi-jacked by a better organised company with bigger financial backing. Its tough being an entrepreneur but having an experienced mentor can bring benefits in a number of ways, from starting up, planning and access to funding through to helping with your promotion campaign, including website development and social media management and a monthly mentoring service.
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