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From Startup to Success: Lessons from Trailblazing Entrepreneurs and Innovators

James Sackl has been immersed in entrepreneurship from a tender age. At 16, he had already begun to explore business opportunities and since then identifying areas of demand and making his mark within target markets has become second nature. He set up an events company that orchestrated popular music shows and additionally assisted youngsters to gain employment through mentoring and guidance. James’ journey has seen both victory and disappointment, helping to forge the successful entrepreneur he is today.

For any aspiring entrepreneur, starting a business can be tough. Unyielding commitment, ambition for success and an open mind has taken James on an emotional journey with vivid highs and not-so-high lows. Showing resilience and taking something from these experiences can be the difference between success or failure.

James is clear on the importance of an experienced mentor to guide entrepreneurs through the many potential pitfalls of starting a business. He is also a strong advocate for outsourcing some of the day-to-day tasks, such as design, marketing and accounting. According to James, “No one can do it all by themselves, and this strategic approach can set you up for success over the long term.” Quick action on these points can get revenue flowing faster.

James is a firm believer that the launch of any new business should begin with a strong brand presence. Knowing his audience and their needs, as well as carving out an original position in the competitive market is essential for any success. Having an offer that can’t be duplicated and a brand that stands out amongst the chaos of other products and services is highly important, especially to him. James feels that many businesses don’t reach their potential simply because they start off without solid footing in their industry, working to build their presence as they continue onwards.

James was swiftly able to turn his business into a success despite having no venture capital backing. His idea of producing Covid-19 diagnostic pens was seen as innovative, but initially wasn’t well received. However, when the pandemic took hold, it suddenly became very popular and he was able to achieve a quick turnover.

Noting the need for both customer service and product refinement, James drew up a plan for sales engagement while incorporating feedback from customers and suppliers. This resulted in an uplift in sales. His experience illustrates the value of having a comprehensive sales strategy and being able to act on changing market demands in order to start a successful new business.

Pondering the best approaches to leadership, James believes being ready to make tough decisions and having a willingness to take risks are must-haves for those in charge. The right attitude is also critical; complacency is unwelcome as this dulls the impetus which drives entrepreneurs. “When people have achieved a level of success, they can become lax – that’s when you lose your drive and focus which prevents you from capitalising on new opportunities.” he warns.

Leading a new business is far from easy. James has learnt the value of managing stakeholder expectations, remaining transparent and keeping everyone as informed as possible. Furthermore, it is crucial to be persistent and look for opportunities to innovate and create. Grit, determination and drive are essential qualities for leaders; perseverance in difficult times allows them to enjoy the rewards of their labour.

Alan Bruce
the authorAlan Bruce