My influences: Marc Morley-Freer

The entrepreneur you most admire
I tend to admire and be inspired by people I come into contact with in business, as I feel I can relate to them more easily than well-known entrepreneurs. One of my first bosses very early on in my career was a true inspiration to me. He had started in business as a school leaver without any particularly good grades, worked really hard and ended up leading a management buyout. Needless to say, the company went on to great things and was a leader in its field. What he taught me was that in all aspects of life and business you get out what you put in. He was not an academic but a really hard worker, who was a great believer in keeping businesses simple and using common sense – an approach I continue to use today.

usual-suspects-line-upYour favourite film
That’s an easy one, The Usual Suspects. It’s an excellent film, and every time I watch it, something new catches my eye, such as a different camera angle or viewpoint, or implied meaning. Kevin Spacey once commented that you can watch the same play many times from different seats and each time you get an entirely different experience. I apply this thought process to business, so spend time in as many departments as I can, to get different viewpoints.



Your favourite music/band
I have a diverse taste in music, depending on my mood. Currently, I am listening to Eminem’s ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ and Pink’s ‘Try This’.

Your favourite TV Show
Top Gear – it’s good family viewing and has the benefit of a splattering of nerdy car stuff thrown in too.

I am not really a theatre goer, the last performance I went to see was at Saddlers Wells Dance theatre but that was to see my daughter.

n1084Your favourite book(s)
I have two books that really changed the way I look at things – ‘Dice Man’ by George Cockcroft and ‘The Leaky Funnel’ by Hugh McFarlane.

A person you admire
On a personal level, my wife, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half the things I have achieved in my life so far. On a business level, I admire the Apple Company and brand. Who would have thought less than 12 years ago that pretty much everyone would have a personal digital jukebox, or need one? Apple made everyone want one whether they needed it or not.

One piece of advice you would give to a new start-up
Once you have identified the business area in which you would like to compete, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Not all customers are the same, but most will go through a familiar buying pattern. Talking to your customers is critically important whether on email, over the phone or face to face. If you are not communicating with them then your competitors are. I was once told that ‘not everyone wants to get married on the first date’ – it’s a good attitude to adopt when marketing to your clients. Some clients buy quickly, others need more time to consider their options and be convinced. Ignore your existing leads database at your peril.