George Clooney or Olympians? Build a successful business by being different

(2) Work together and harness up-and-coming talent

As a business develops it is important to make sure all team members and areas of the business are communicating and working together. A siloed mentality, where certain departments or team members do not share information with one another, can damage the overall business growth and product development.

Many companies will also look to poach top talent from direct rivals, creating industry headlines in the process. Apple, for example, has previously sought to poach a number of employees from industries they are moving into, such as from the likes of Hublot and Tesla.

Yet growing ventures, irrespective of the sector they operate in, could alternatively turn their attention towards ambitious, upcoming talent that can be nurtured into the leading industry innovators of tomorrow.

Seeking young talent as opposed to established talent will help develop a new generation of pioneers, whose creativity may otherwise be hindered at a larger organisation, all the while keeping costs down.

(3) Keep your friends close

Many brands will wrongly assume that to raise their profile and maximise sales they need to be engaging with as many audiences and consumer groups as possible.

The reality is that unless your core, grassroots fan base is satisfied with your product, those less acquainted with your brand or sector are unlikely to be enthused; ultimately a positive brand reputation will originate from those customers and fans who are aficionados of your product type.

It is towards this core group of fans and customers therefore that brands need to really focus their efforts, which is one reason Christopher Wards maintains a strong connection with its customers and one of the ways we do this is through our quarterly magazine Loupe.

All too often this “core support” can be overlooked and alienated by scale-up brands overly focused on non-traditional audiences. These businesses would be wise to remember not to take this customer base for granted.

Behind the scenes tour: Exploring the magic of a US toy inventor’s workshop

(4) Never forget the product

Businesses start with a product, idea or service – as ventures develop, business leaders can get too distracted with keeping up with the growth and building a brand, that they forget the product at the core.

You can have a great business model, but if your product isn’t up-to-scratch, your business is unlikely to flourish. It is therefore vital that businesses keep their product or service at the heart of everything they do, making sure that it is the best it possible can be.

(5) Think boldly

Any major players in an established industry will be stubborn and either look to discredit the up-and-coming challenger brands, or integrate their ideas themselves. Nowhere is this more evident than in the luxury watch industry, and it is something Christopher Ward experienced when we first entered the market.

Don’t be deterred – and don’t believe making noise simply for the sake of it will provide you with an industry footing. To truly create waves, consider going back to square one and challenging an absolute industry basic, the heart of the status quo.

This is what Christopher Ward did in 2014 with the launch of our own in-house watch movement, Calibre SH21. The industry establishment said it would never work, but it’s proved to be a resounding success.

Mike France previously held positions on the board of companies such as Debenhams, Sears, BHS before becoming CEO/co-owner of the Early Learning Centre, together with business partner, Peter Ellis. The pair sold the business in April 2004 before setting up Christopher Ward with best friend Chris Ward to provide premium, quality Swiss made timepieces at affordable prices.

In other news from the world of luxury, these are the most popular destinations for luxury adventures and the activities of choice.

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