I’m sure you know the story of the three friends who quit their consulting and advertising jobs in the Summer of 1998 to sell fruit smoothies at a festival and launch Innocent Drinks a year later.

Adam Balon, one of the three founders of Innocent Drinks, was the key headline speaker at the recent ‘Ignite Business Growth’ seminar organised by Barclays Business.

Adam, an engaging, honest and often humorous speaker, re-told the Innocent story – the big idea behind “all the fruit you need, in a bottle, for a day”, the rapid business growth prior to the 2008 trading conditions that led to the decision to take investment from The Coca-Cola Company, the brand’s international growth ambitions, and most recently, becoming the official smoothie and juice for London 2012.

In this post, I simply wanted to share five of Adam’s key business lessons (from a 60-minute talk) to add to the entrepreneurial top tips shared in my last post: –

1. “Have a Clear Mission”: Stand for something and deliver a real Purpose, Vision and Values
2. “Be Transparent”: Communicate internally and the worse things are, the more you need to talk about it
3. “Start Small”: Make your mistakes on a small scale before the grand go-to-market launch
4. “Open Up/ Listen Up”: Listen and learn from the voice of the consumer
5. “Keep Up with the New”: Don’t sacrifice innovation in tough times, e.g. build a better mousetrap!

Why not share your top business tips, via the blog comments, and we’ll round-up them up in a future post.