We've collected our favourite quotes from 2015. We're not talking about your average "seize the day" nonsense, but incisive comments from experts that have put in the work to become successful entrepreneurs.
These pearls of wisdom embody BusinessZone's 'why' - to provide the expertise and networks growth-stage businesses need to scale - and our continued efforts to avoid the kind of mundane, patronising 'advice' found on so many websites.
Each comes from an article we've published during 2015 (click on the title to read the full feature).
Mark Pearson built MyVoucherCodes from a bedroom (he could even be found on UKBF posting about pet vending machines, many moons ago) into a business worth £55m. Since he exited he's launched an investment fund. In this column, he talks lean startups, what he looks for in an entrepreneur and "...the greatest concentration of work-shy fair-weather founders in the country".
Dawes shared the growing pains his business experienced and how building out a management team helped it scale.
Few entrepreneurs go into the Den and get manage to tame all of the Dragons. While Chika's business doesn't break the mould, here confident pitch and experience were enough to win over all of the TV show's investors. Here she talks about how to develop your pitch.
E-Car Club's famous for being the (probably) first equity crowdfunding exit. This was a big deal because hundreds of millions (probably under two hundred million, actually) has been invested through this new funding route without anyone seeing any returns. More than that, though, E-Car's story's story's extraordinary because it used almost every type of funding during its meteoric growth.
In spite of the ever-increasing visibility and prevalence of female entrepreneurs, there remains a big gender gap. Lucy-Rose Walker, who co-founder Entrepreneurial Spark, one of the largest incubators in the country, looked at the causes of this gender imbalance.
It's also worth checking out Luke Lang's column on the subject, which highlights that women are more likely than men to have successful crowdfunding raises.
Talking about Lang, who founded Crowdcube and plays a leading in the evolution of alternative finance... Here he looks at the top myths surrounding crowdfunding, including this one; "the crowd is unsophisticated.”
Flubit founder Bertie Stephens had spent £750,000 before he realised his startup had built a product that didn't work. Keeping staff, investors and his own sanity in check while pivoting the business was a major challenge. Read the complete profile here.
Lost My Name has a great product and a fantastic business (shortly after this profile, the business completed a £6m funding round). However, the main reason I like this quote is it highlights the way the nature of entrepreneurship has evolved over the last three to five years, and how the barriers to starting up have come crashing down.
We finished with a quote from Marc Wileman because of his sheer enthusiasm. And, because he proved it's not all about huge VC investments or headline-grabbing crowdfunding raise. That you can build a business out of sheer graft. By the time he'd got to the Den, the business was in such a healthy state they couldn't wait to get involved.
What were your favourite business quote of last year? Are there any entrepreneurs you'd like to see on BusinessZone? Leave us a comment below or tweet @BusinessZone.