Is 2016 going to be your year? Are you ready to make your dreams come true? Of course you are!

If you have a great business idea and are preparing to set the wheels in motion, take a look at these top tips from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. This little lot have all amassed personal fortunes of millions, if not billions of pounds, so it’s worth listening to what they have to say…

Don’t let your fears hold you back – Fred Smtih, FedEx

Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something. I’m not afraid to take a swing and miss.”

Credit: Wikimedia Commons, author Stanfield PL

The ability to commercialise your idea is key – Larry Page, Google

“Invention is not enough. Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people.”

Surround yourself with people who share your passions – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”

Be prepared to work hard – Denise Coates, Bet365

“You start a 24/7 business and you work 24/7. When you’re not here [in the office], you take calls in the middle of the night, regularly – that’s how the early days were. I’ve worked harder than you can possibly imagine”

Value your customers – Sam Walton, Walmart

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Sara Blakely, Spanx. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, author Gillian Zoe Segal

Hone your sales skills – Sara Blakely, Spanx

Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson – from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I had to position myself to get five minutes in the door with buyers.”

Use your common sense – Deborah Meaden, Dragon’s Den

“Common sense involves knowing how to go about asking basic questions and anticipating challenges. It involves learning how to deal with inevitable setbacks and disappointments. And it tells you when you need to forge ahead and when you should cut your losses. It’s not the easiest thing to acquire, but it is a skill you can hone and develop.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, author

Use technology to increase productivity – Bill Gates, Microsoft

“Paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online, and when I go to a meeting and want to jot things down, I bring my Tablet PC. It’s fully synchronized with my office machine, so I have all the files I need. It also has a note-taking piece of software called OneNote, so all my notes are in digital form.”

Keep your eyes open to opportunity – Steve Jobs, Apple

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

Make sure you have financial backing – Richard Branson, Virgin

“I think that there’s a very thin dividing line between success and failure. And I think if you start a business without financial backing, you’re likely to go the wrong side of that dividing line.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, author TechCrunch

Think big – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

“My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being just a company means to me is not being just that – building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”

Be different – Anita Roddick, The Bodyshop

“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”

Invest in the latest tech – Sir Philip Green, Arcadia

“Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you are going to be left behind.”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, author Steve Jurvetson

Focus on customer experience – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Be prepared for criticism – Larry Ellison, Oracle

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.”

Create a diverse company culture – Amancio Ortega, Zara

More than 12,000 people from many different countries currently make up our group. This diversity is synonymous with open-mindedness and flexibility, and pushes us to continue evolving, with enthusiasm and perseverance, towards new projects.”

Keep things simple when it comes to design – James Dyson, Dyson

 “Far too few designers put any thought into usability, ending up with a great product that’s completely inaccessible.”


Know your company inside out – Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal

I built a steel plant from the grassroots, so I learned all the nuts and bolts. When there was a problem, I would be able to guide them, though I am not a technical person.”

Look for loopholes and shortcuts – Evan Spiegal, Snapchat

It’s not about working harder; it’s about working the system.”

Never give up – Alan Sugar, Amstrad

“To be a successful business entrepreneur, you need more than just a competitive edge. You need a hide like a rhino, the ability to operate way outside normal comfort zones, a willingness to invent the rules, and a total, utter, complete self-belief – against all odds. Self-belief is a critical skill for business success.”


Believe in yourself, think big and dare to be different. Follow the advice of these super successful businessmen and women and watch your entrepreneurial dream come to life in 2016!

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