Last Thursday was both a challenging & inspiring day!
I was invited to be a judge again at the Young Enterprise Scotland finals, where 15 companies were coming together to compete for the top prize!
They’d already won their area finals, so you can imagine how hard it would have been to pick a winner, with the standards being so high & them all being deserving of it!
After watching each team deliver their presentations, seeing their products on their trade stands & then putting them through their paces during a panel interview … the shining stars were Pure Chuffed from Glasgow.
There were 5 key things that I took away from the experience & the winning company in particular, that I personally think all business owners & entrepreneurs could do with learning or being reminded about!
1. Focus focus focus
I loved how Pure Chuffed nailed it with their brand & kept it consistent in everything they did.
They showed that they’re truly proud to be from Glasgow & reflected this in their jewellery range. They kept this focus across three ranges they produced, Pure Auld, Pure New & Pure Street! So even though they had a diverse range of styles to suit their different customers, they weren’t all random & trying to be everything to everyone!
2. Just be YOU
From every interaction we had with the team, you truly felt they were being authentic & themselves! They were super professional but not ‘corporate’ or acting like they thought ‘business people’ should be! This really made them stand out for me.
3. Playing to your strengths
They were a diverse range of pupils who had different skills & experiences. It was refreshing to hear during their interview how they were aware of this from the start & proactively decide to harness the strengths of the individuals & appreciated that each person brought something different to the company!
4. We all have challenges
It was clear that every company faced some challenges & set backs along the way. But it was refreshing to see how they dealt with them & still focused on what they could do rather than throwing in the towel.
They were having to focus upon starting & growing their business, whilst also studying towards their final years of high school …. no mean feat for anyone!
This reminded me how a lot of the business owners & entrepreneurs that I coach & mentor, also have that juggling act at times when they’re either growing their business on the side whilst also having other commitments too.
5. Focus on where the ‘flow’ is!
I was also super impressed at how another super strong company 5th Scent generated high volume of sales by thinking differently.
Instead of solely focusing on selling their candles & scented products to individual customers, they also go themselves out their to corporate customers.
They managed to secure orders for corporate gifts & events, which meant they tapped into where there was a bigger flow of opportunities for them to do bulk sales! This also led them to securing orders for a hotel chain too!
Remember these business owners are between 14-16 years old!
I’m positive that for every single young person who took part in the Young Enterprise programme will have benefitted massively & even more than they may even realise right now!
Whether they go onto become a business owners or choose whatever path they want, the real life skills & experience they’ve had will beat just reading or thinking about the world of business!
So what can you learn from these youngsters that can help you to grow your business too?
Share your biggest learning & insight by dropping a comment below.
I look forward to sharing more with you again next time.
Best wishes as always