Disabled entrepreneurs from across the UK have just four weeks left to enter the competition, for the chance to win a £50,000 prize. Andrew Thomson from Grangemouth in Scotland scooped last year’s prize. Thomson is a director of Sign-now.com, a web-based video conferencing translation service which helps deaf people to communicate with the hearing public. He has been profoundly deaf since birth and uses British Sign Language as his main means of communication. The £50,000 prize money helped him grow the business and market the service to new clients.
“Disability is no barrier to business," comments Stelios. But for a business to grow, it is all about gaining not only the confidence of clients but also their trust and support."
The Greek serial entrepreneur gives us his ten tips for business success:
1. Re-appraise all aspects of your business for maximum efficiency. See yourself as the customer, think about want they want, expect and make sure you are always one step ahead. 2. Get a mentor. Mentoring is a practical support tool that is essential for the growth of all new business. 3. See yourself as the customer, think about want they want, expect and make sure you are always one step ahead. 4. Quality and value always matter. 5. Don’t spread yourself too thin, you can fail to meet the same standards for the client second or third time round, consistency is the key.
6. Never lose sight of the big picture, look for innovative, little-explored directions in which to take your business.
7. Be an entrepreneur not a business manager – allow your business to grow without you.
8. You can learn just as much from a bad experience as a good one, complaints are all part of the package, treat them positively and learn from your mistakes.
9. Don’t work for less than you can afford to, but do offer a discount to customers or clients who sign contracts with you.
10. Surround yourself with supportive people and don’t be discouraged by anyone. If your idea is good and you’re determined to stick with it through the first few difficult years, your chances of success are great!
The closing date for entries is 4 September, 2009. To find out how to enter visit www.disabledentrepreneur.org
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