Top Tips for Business Success

 

By John Broderick, a second-generation entrepreneur and MD of family-owned vending and refreshments business Broderick’s,  shares his top tips for business success to second generation entrepreneurs:

  • Balance is important as you need to have the confidence to challenge the status quo whilst keeping everything that’s good about the company’s heritage.
  • You need the vision to ensure that your offering is relevant to today’s target customers: simply carrying on regardless just isn’t good enough.
  • Make innovation your byword. Step back from the business and evaluate what works in today’s environment and what doesn’t. Identify areas where modern working practices – utilise technology to innovate – such as the Broderick’s groundbreaking Loyalty App, cashless payments and desktop ordering – can bring the company’s offering bang up to date and help your employees to become as productive as possible, working smarter not harder.
  • If you know how every area of the business operates before you eventually take over the reins you’ll be in a stronger position to innovate and win the respect of your colleagues. It will help to ensure you’re making informed decisions based on insight and experience of the company and the marketplace in which you are operating.
  • Ensure that you surround yourself with good advisers who are attuned to the modern business world and with the best, most enthusiastic and able employees you can afford. As with all aspects of the business, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! You’ll benefit from the knowledge of the previous generation’s support network, but in the longer term opt for those people whose thinking is in line with your vision of how you want to develop and grow the business. For example, the founding generation may have steered clear of areas such as marketing or new technology like customer relationship software or online orders, as it was outside of their comfort zone, so now’s the time to come into your own!
  • Don’t try to change the world all at once, make sure your actions are considered, but decisive, astute and agile. Having said that, don’t be afraid to take risks or diversify (as long as you make informed )
  • Be sure to develop the confidence to trust your own ideas … that’s exactly what the founders did a generation ago, so if it’s a family firm the chances are you’ll have bucket-loads of entrepreneurship in your DNA, so make sure you use it!
  • Never take your position in the company or its past success for granted. You owe it to the founders and your staff to inject the same verve and vigour into your working day as the first generation.
  • Coasting is not acceptable – don’t see your succession within the company as a windfall!
  • Never stop learning and never, ever give up! Whether it’s industry knowledge or technological advances, if you stop learning, you’ll lose your competitive edge.
  • Adapt to keep up with the times, the competition and customer demands. On that point, we recently introduced a healthy vending machine options service, Broderick’s Better for You – in line with what people are looking for in today’s workplaces.
  • Be your own critical friend – keep motivated and set goals and targets to monitor progress. If you’re motivated, you can inspire your staff to avoid complacency and embrace innovation.
  • Don’t take other people’s word for it, where possible become a frequent customer yourself (ideally incognito), so you sample the customer journey first hand.
  • Be your own person but ensure live by your company’s values – actions speak louder than words. At Broderick’s we believe in giving back to local communities. My father introduced this to the business and today’s fabulous workforce is regularly involved in charitable and community initiatives.
  • Keep in tune with aesthetics as well as functionality. For example, if a vending machine looks like a museum piece, it’s not going to cut it in today’s work spaces. It’s subtle changes like that which need to be addressed by the newer generation.
  • Diversification – if you believe it’s right for the company, take the business to another level or in new directions. The second generation needs to be just as enterprising as the previous For example, we’ve invested in state- of- the- art SMART vending machines incorporating ‘Media Vend’, our own advertising channel; introduced the UK’s first vending sector loyalty App. and established a Broderick’s coffee bar concept at Manchester Airport.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to have the ear of the first generation, don’t be afraid to seek advice or get their ‘take’ on your ideas, but steel yourself for ‘spirited’ discussions if you’re planning to strike out in a different direction in line with the changing marketplace and today’s consumer demands.
John Broderick
John Broderick