Recently, I was invited to attend the ‘Ignite Business Growth’ seminar organised by Barclays Business.

I must admit, I went with a slightly heavy heart – my experience of similar events has sometimes been disappointing – no new, news and too much hard sell from a headline sponsor and their exhibitors.

This seminar from Barclays Business was a pleasing exception. Why…?

Well firstly, the event was extremely professionally managed throughout by a team of Barclay’s staff and Steve Cooper, Managing Director of Barclays Business delivered pertinent market sector insight.

The regional venue itself was a brand new hotel and conference facility offering multiple opportunities to connect and network with like-minded business owners whilst we were enjoying fancy canapés.

The real key driver for my attendance was to hear enthusiastic local business entrepreneurs talking about their growth stories. During the seminar, cameras went live by satellite link from the six regional venues, so that each local business entrepreneur could share their practical tips for success with the audience.

The purpose of this post is to share the same top tips (based upon my scribbled notes) in case they are useful nuggets to help you grow your business: –

1. Research your market thoroughly and seek outside advice – beyond just friends and family
2. Listen to your customers and learn – understand your business through your customers
3. For a more rounded business, bring in the experts – recruit people you would want to work for
4. Don’t be too tempted to diversify – focus on what you do best
5. Think about who you could best partner for success – support and learn from one another
6. Be positive in outlook, persistent, confident and committed in attitude – success will follow

Look out for my next post – Lessons from Innocent Drinks – the rise, (almost) fall and rise again.