What are the secrets to start-up success?

By: Heather Bateman

Date: 20 October 2017

What are the secrets to start-up success?Here at Start Up Donut, we know that there's no-one more qualified to tell us what it takes to succeed as a small business than you - the entrepreneurs who have been there, done that and learned your lessons the hard way.

When we heard about the Recipe for Success campaign by Intuit's QuickBooks, the experts in accounting software for business owners, we knew that it was a subject dear to our hearts - and yours. Here are some of the secrets of business success that you've shared with us over the years.

Make it your passion

"Base your business on something you love. That way it won't seem like work and it will drive you on when the going gets tough."

John Marsden, The Melwood Beer Company

Roll with the punches

"You must be a fighter. Remain determined and learn from your mistakes. Running your own business involves many ups and downs."

Adelle Smith, BKD

Stay close and in control

"Don't delegate at the start. When establishing a new business, you need to be fully involved in every decision. This is important because even a small deviation from your branding could be detrimental to a small start-up,"

Joseph Chakra, Sloane Brothers Frozen Yoghurt Co

Take small steps

"You cannot know everything at the beginning, so test your idea and your ability to run a business one step at a time."

Sarah Giblin, RiutBag

Listen and learn

"Listen to customer feedback and act. It's easy to look at the bigger picture and stop paying attention to the small things. It is these little things which often matter most to the customer."

Beau Spinks, TiiPii

Keep a handle on your brand

"Make sure your branding is consistent throughout and protect it while scaling your business."

Laura Tenison MBE, JoJo Maman Bébé

Look for your niche

"Spot gaps in the market. Which product types are over- or under-saturated? Establish a firm position in a popular yet under-serviced niche."

Adee Phelan, SKNHEAD

Invest in your relationships

"Good relationships are vital - you never know when you are going to need a special favour, such as a rush order that needs to hit a particular deadline."

Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes, founders and creators of the Yuubag

Get the right skills in the team

"Even if you have a great product and an interesting story, you must also be able to sell. If you can't sell, employ someone who can - otherwise your business won't succeed."

Rob Forkan, Gandys

Give service with a smile

"Always project a positive outlook when dealing with customers. People are more likely to buy if you make them smile. Even if they don't, they might recommend you to friends."

Will Starrit and Andrew Taylor, Urban Rider

Remember who it's all about

"Too many people lose their companies by chasing what they want, and not what their customers are demanding. Whatever you're selling, it's crucial to keep your focus on your customers."

Matthew Cooper-Jones, Echo Products