Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

Associate Professor John Mullins provides tips for ambitious entrepreneurs

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Writing in SME magazine (Five tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to break the rules, January 25, 2023) Associate Professor of Management Practice in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, John Mullins, offers some invaluable tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

“If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, how might you learn and adopt a “Beg, borrow, but don’t steal” mindset and the other five mindsets, too? How might you master them and make them your own? First (Tip 1), you’ll need to know what they are. Here follows six break-the-rules mindsets which will help you:

  • Problem-first, not product-first, logic: Entrepreneurs know that if they solve genuine customer problems, their businesses will thrive!
  • Think narrow, not broad: Once success is established in a tiny market, entrepreneurs know learning happens to enable their businesses to grow from there.
  • “Yes, we can!”: When asked by a prospective customer whether they can do something promising that’s entirely new and unfamiliar and falls outside their current competencies, entrepreneurs say “Yes, we can!”. Then they figure out how!
  • Ask for the cash, ride the float: By getting customers to pay in advance, and by paying their suppliers afterwards, entrepreneurs put that spare cash into growing their businesses.
  • Instead of asking permission, beg forgiveness later: When the legal or regulatory landscape is ambiguous or uncertain, entrepreneurs simply plough ahead.
  • Beg, borrow, but don’t steal: “Borrowing” the resources an entrepreneur needs to start something new beats investing in those resources, hands-down.

Break the Rules!: The Six Counter-Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World is available from all leading bookshops and online stockists from January 30 2023.