“The most vital and valuable resource in your business is your people,” he said at the Entrepreneur’s Summit earlier this week. Dutton reckons that hanging on to good staff is the key to surviving an economic downturn. Failing businesses will be looking to poach them, and cost-cutting may tempt you to overlook them, but star players need to be extra-specially nurtured when times are hard. “Keep an eye on your timing,” he continues. “You have to know when to get out and when to get in.” Dutton’s been running his PVC-window and conservatory business since 1980, but there’s no room for sentimentality in business. He’d turn his back on his firm in an instant, should customer demand dry up. “If a bubble were to hit my business tomorrow,” he says. “The next day, I’d be in a new sector. You have to be adaptable and flexible to survive. Especially now.” RB has no doubt that Dutton’s a man of his word. This straight-talking entrepreneur has balls of steel. “I’m sanguine about my business future,” he concludes. “My business requires the same skills as any other. Running a business is a science in it’s own right.”
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