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Brad Burton: My intent is to become largely unignorable

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“We’re like the McDonalds of networking – a networking superpower,” he says. “Members of 4networking can go across to a completely different city and straight away know that they will be able to go to a networking event with a format they are familiar with.”

In 2009 Burton self-published his first book ‘Get Off Your Arse’, a self-help book which has performed remarkably well on Amazon. Brad’s second book, ‘Get Off Your Arse Too’, enjoyed similar success, prompting an approach by Capstone Publishing to ask him to release a third – ‘Life. Business. Just Got Easier.’ – which comes out in September.

As a result of his book and business success, Brad is in high demand as a public and motivational speaker – he says one firm paid for him to fly out to Spain to motivate their employees and he’s third on the bill of keynote speakers at this year’s The Business Show.

Brad’s success in business contrasts with the popular image of SMEs struggling in a difficult economic and political climate. He says that entrepreneurs need to realise their destiny is in their own hands.

“The government are doing nothing for small business. It’s an absolute smokescreen! What they need to do is give people belief, not inducements.

“People are looking to the government for answers. For a safety net. But I never looked to the government.”

He says that the government needs to reduce regulation, and he hopes one day he will be able to get a seat on the Question Time panel, so he can deliver some home truths about the business world to the political class.

“My intent is to become largely unignorable and make it so that they have no option but to change their ways,” he says.

Brad’s can-do attitude extends to his opinion of the SME funding climate. Whilst many start-ups feel disadvantaged by banks that seem unwilling or unable to lend, he says that businesses should ask themselves whether they really need outside finance.

“Don’t get me wrong, the bankers are t*****s for not lending. But you can’t expect someone to bet their house on it when you’re not prepared to. People waste their life trying to access finance and while they’re doing that, I’m getting on with growing my business organically.

“The thing with getting outside finance is that you’re either getting yourself into debt, or you’re giving away some ownership and control over your business. That’s why I begged, stole and borrowed my business into growth.”

I ask Brad what his long-term plans for the future are and he says: “Business plans go out the window on the first day, so why even bother? My business plan is to be better in the next two weeks than in the last two. And that’s it.” 

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