Day two of Elite Business Live kicked off with an incredible start as guests arrived and mingled for breakfast networking before our host, Oli Barret, and co-host, Alana Spencer welcomed our first speaker for the day. Eric Partaker, co-founder of Chilango suffered a near heart attack on a plane back to London which acted as a wake-up call to change his life for the better. Eric spoke about what it means to perform at a high level and how your daily routine can make or break your path to success. He was joined by panellists Alana Spencer, founder of Ridiculously Rich by Alana, Jenny Knighting, founder of Nutcracker and our very own Scott English, brand director at CE Marketing Group. The panellists revealed the unique approaches they took to expand their business and also discussed their top strategies for commercial growth, overcoming common obstacles, and how to successfully market your company.
Technology can be a common pitfall for many SMEs out there. And that is why we invited Carl Reader, Founder at #BeYourOwnBoss and Chairman of d&t, to speak about the different types of technology available to business owners and exactly how to choose the right ones. Joining him on the panel were Sam Goss, co-founder and CMO of Comma Group, Melissa Snover, Founder of Nourished, Dan Maudhub, Managing Director of The Wonderful Creative Agency and Drew Ellis, founder of We are Like Minds. The panel discussed how to make decisions using data, the pitfalls to avoid and how to use technology to reach your vision and business goals. Melissa warned SMEs against outsourcing their technology, explaining how it was essential to do it internally in order to avoid things going massively wrong.
Next up was the talent and regulations talk hosted by Ally Maughan, founder of People Puzzles, who spoke about how to assess employee skills and talents effectively to draw the right talent into your company. She stressed the importance of hiring staff that can bring significant value to your company rather than selecting someone based on personal preferences. She was joined by panellists Matthew Phelan, head of global happiness at The Happiness Index and Scott Mullins, CEO of Pimlico Plumbers. Matthew said it is essential to make happiness a goal in your company rather than stressing too much about the numbers, revealing how this has helped increase productivity with his staff and in turn boosted finances in the long-term. Scott spoke about how recognising employees and adding company incentives such as an on-site gym, lunch and even a masseur can be a tremendous boost to employee morale and become an incredible driving force to Increasing staff productivity.
Attendees were given a fantastic insight into the financial side of business in a talk led by Phil Hobden, Head of Education at Capitalise. He spoke about the rise in bank closures across the country and how many people are opting for online banking as a quick and easy alternative to managing their finances. He was joined by panellists Adrian Blair, CEO of Receipt Bank, Lucy Mullins, co-founder of Stepladder and Randy McFariane. Lucy spoke about how many millennials are embracing digital as the way forward and are often attracted to the idea of online banking over traditional banks. With all the options out there at reach, Adrian argued how important it is for businesses to choose a trusted bank that offers good rates and incentives, and encouraged start-up owners to pick a long-term investment rather than jumping the bandwagon.
Chris Forbes, co-founder of The Cheeky Panda took to the stage to speak about how his ethically sustainable and biodegradable toilet tissue and wipes products have taken over the globe and are now stocked in over 20 countries. Chris spoke about how social media has transformed the way businesses target potential customers across the world by using influencers through various platforms to maximise their outward reach. He was joined by Jordan Kensington, President of Invincible Media, Sarra Bejaoul, Founder and Managing Director at SmartPA, Marco Forgione, Director General at the Institute of Export and International Trade and Michael Altom, General Manager at Virtuo. The panel revealed the strategies they’ve implemented to successfully take their business abroad and also discussed the regulations that all SMEs must keep in mind when expanding overseas.
The day ended with a passionate speech by Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks, who revealed how she started her chocolate business from her bedroom and brought it on a global scale. Jo spoke about she derived the name Green & Blacks – “green” being her ethical and sustainable business model and “black” which comes from her strong focus on the richness and quality of her chocolate. She explained how with every business there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome, and encouraged start-up owners always have a vision and look forwards in their journey instead of backwards. Jo said it is important to never feel isolated in their start-up journey, as there too are many other business owners out there who can relate to the challenges and obstacles many are currently facing.