International Men’s Day: focus on brand-building British men
It’s International Men’s Day today, so we’re celebrating the successes of a few British men. These giants of enterprise started small businesses that flourished and, in some cases, became mega brands. All of these male entrepreneurs started small, and often with very little cash or experience behind them. What they all displayed, though, is the grit and determination that anyone starting a business must have.
They also spotted opportunities in the marketplace, had impeccable timing, or recognised how to pitch a product in the right way. Did they have some luck along the way? Probably. But as the saying goes – and this is one that the thousands of business buyers and sellers registered with Daltons Business will know: ‘the harder you work the luckier you get!’
Richard Branson – how to build several successful businesses
One of the first names that springs to mind when we think of British entrepreneurs is Richard Branson. As one of the world’s most recognised businessmen, his Virgin Group owns dozens of brands and has a net worth in excess of £5billion. It all started small, though, back in 1968 when Branson published a student magazine. Two years later the Virgin brand was launched as a mail order business selling records, and then the first Virgin Record Shop opened in 1971.
From Airlines to trainlines, and from banking to broadband, Branson has invested in a wide variety of non-related industries. His story should be inspirational to all budding entrepreneurs. If you’re just starting out in business and fancy yourself as the next Richard Branson, you might find some useful tips in these advice guides.
John Caudwell and Sir Charles Dunstone – why retailing is a route to success
The most popular category on Daltons business is retail, with over 10,000 retail businesses for sale. And plenty of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs have made their money in retailing. John Caudwell and Sir Charles Dunstone both rode the wave of the mobile telephone boom, spotting an opportunity to capitalise on the rise of new technology. Caudwell’s Phones4U started as a Mail Order shop, whereas Dunstone’s Carphone Warehouse had even more humble beginnings, with the first mobile phones being sold from his bedroom.
Both telecom retailing pioneers are worth around £1.5billion each. And, with the chancellor announcing good news for independent retailers in the recent budget, perhaps now is the right time for you to buy a retail business.
Charlie Mullins – how you can make millions from the services sector
What about service-related businesses – the next most popular category on Daltons business? Service business range from white-collar accountancy practices to trades such as plumbing and heating contractors. Charlie Mullins, who started Pimlico Plumbing back in 1979 from a basement, has grown his brand into the well-known plumbing business. He’s regularly seen on TV and has featured on several programmes including ‘The Secret Millionaire.’
What did Mullins do to make his business stand out from the crowd? Put simply, it was to work harder than anyone else, and deliver customer service that is often lacking in many trades. It’s good advice for anyone buying a service business – to focus on the customer above everything else.
Jon Hunt – why investing in property is as relevant as ever today
Plenty of people will tell you that property is a sound investment, and it certainly was for Jon Hunt who set up Foxtons in 1981. He borrowed £100 to buy his first property when just 19 years old and is now worth more than £1billion.
While property prices have flatlined in much of the South East, areas like Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield have been identified as areas with healthy returns and yields. Don’t forget commercial property either, as this is another area to build up a portfolio that, one day, could match someone like Jon Hunt.
Duncan Bannatyne – why buying into a franchise is a safe investment
The final nod in this celebration of British entrepreneurs goes to ex-Dragons Den favourite, Duncan Bannatyne. He’s definitely in, and not out, of this list, with a ‘rags to riches’ story to match anyone else’s. Bannatyne’s first investment was a second-hand ice cream van, bought for less than £500, that set him on his way to success.
Further investments in nursing homes, bed and breakfasts, gyms and spas helped him earn his first few million, and securing his seat for a decade on Dragon’s Den. More recently, Bannatyne he has been involved in the franchise industry, proving that investing in a franchise is a savvy business move – even for the most experienced of investors.
On International Men’s Day, Daltons business would like to celebrate all those male business owners, entrepreneurs and start-up pioneers. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, looking for your next investment opportunity, or a fledgling newbie just starting out in business, you might find your perfect new opportunity on Daltons Business today.