Telling the truth about SME life today

Successful entrepreneurs should support startups

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While I never like to count my chickens before theyve hatched, it looks like were starting to ride an economic wave, not only to recovery, but potentially, to prosperity.

After another set of positive employment numbers, last weeks GDP statistics looked good and will no doubt help bolster the confidence of business owners to kick on with investments and growth.

And part of that can be through supporting other entrepreneurs, particularly start-up enterprises.

We are entering a period of time when entrepreneurs really can come into their own. Of course, theyre pretty handy to have around in a recession as they can, and have been, the backbone of the recovery.

But now the garden is starting to look a bit more rosy, they can share their entrepreneurial drive with others that can also improve the growth or the performance of their own business.

However, there may be no immediate benefits to your company, but cast your mind back to when you started your business and the efforts you put in to win your first bit of work.

I remember only too well the challenge of starting my business and the knocking on doors I had to do to get my first customers. It required a lot of blood, sweat and tears along with the hope someone would give you a break. And quite often, it’s other entrepreneurs who give you that chance.

Ive just done it myself and feel really good for doing it in more ways than one! I was approached by a start-up called Relax at Work a workplace massage therapy business looking for their first client.

As anyone who knows Pimlico Plumbers will testify, were always up for trying new things and if there is a possibility to help a new business that I believe in then thats even better.

We had their therapists set up at our HQ for a week and theyve proven to be a massive hit with everyone here, including me. Everyone was raving about it so I had to give it a go myself. Its a brilliant idea to have some time aside for a bit of relaxation at work. Just a few minutes of therapy can reinvigorate you for the rest of the day.

Theyll be returning a couple of times a month and Ive put some money into improving a room at the depot to create a more relaxing and calming atmosphere an oasis away from the 24/7, fast-paced operation we are renowned for.

Now this may just seem like an unashamed plug for Relax at Work and, to be honest, it is. But thats the point. All new businesses need a break and I am proud to have given these guys a chance and I hope they can go on to achieve great things in business.

While it may not be a massage therapist knocking on your door, there will be a start-up out there trying to establish itself that could work with your business.

To my mind, it’s our entrepreneurial duty, wherever possible, to help them out. Its all we wanted when we were in their shoes!

Charlie Mullins is CEO and founder of Pimlico Plumbers

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