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Leaders reflect on key business challenges and mistakes

Most leaders will agree running a company means mistakes and difficulties along the way, but burying your head in the sand will only make them worse.
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We’ve rounded up a group of entrepreneurs who were only happy to speak on camera about their key business challenges of last year, however, which will only benefit them in the long run.

If you make a mistake or encounter business challenges, ignoring them will only make matters worse. Remember how irate customers got after this Krispy Kreme and Uber Eats blunder? I do, I was furious!

Recognising business challenges will allow a leader to iron out any kinks in the operation and meet them face on, effectively overcoming and pushing forward.

Following on from our video in which bosses looked at the biggest company accomplishments in 2017 and how they got there, they’ve now reflected to explain the business challenges.

We joined at Real Business HQ by:

  • Akin Onal, founder and CEO of ethical infant clothing brand Mori
  • David Grady, founder of The Wood Flooring Shop, an independent store based in New Malden
  • Tim Lyons, MD of TrustedHousesitters, a sharing economy business connecting home owners to animal lovers, who will sit for free in return for a place to stay
  • Julianne Ponan, CEO and founder of free-from health food business Creative Nature

Entrepreneurs share how they hit their biggest business achievements of 2017

The New Year is up and running, which means entrepreneurs nationwide will have kick-started their 2018 agendas. But how did they fair in 2017? Real Business found out.


The biggest business challenge for Mori, Onal admitted, is customer acquisition. “In the apparel industry, you have a lot of options as a customer and trying to get into that attention span and acquire them, for a premium brand they don’t know much about, is a big challenge,” he explained. Onal added recruitment was a mistake too, but one he learnt from.

Lyons echoed Onal’s thoughts on the hiring front, which he billed as the main business challenge in 2017.

“As a fast-growing business, you deliver you growth largely through people as well as your proposition,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ponan’s major struggle came from her time on Dragons’ Den, and Grady noted profit margins as an issue.

Find out more on their business challenges in the video below. Can you relate to them?

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