Since starting a small business can seem overwhelming or even staggering at times, getting tips to go from nothing to an actual business start up is worth it’s weight in gold. Discover great advice if you are moving towards starting your own business in this snippet of an interview between Dale Beaumont and Michael Twelftree. Michael Twelftree is the co-founder of Two Hands Wines, an Adelaide based company which today exports over 15,000 cases of wine per year.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to get started in a business of their own?
- Begin working on funding right from the start. Richard has taught me that if you have your funding right you can achieve almost anything. Then, remember that you are judged by the company you keep, so put yourself around people that have similar goals to you and from whom you can learn.
- Know that there is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Displaying a focused, driven confidence is great, but going around kicking everybody’s tyres and talking yourself up can be very damaging. I see it with so many other winemakers in Australia and what they forget is that internationally we are all kicking toward the same end.
Having said that, if there were three secrets for an aspiring entrepreneur, I would say:
- Build a business that makes money while you are not there. You can pretty well buy anything you like in the Western world, but you can never buy extra time. The reality of our business is that 70 per cent of our wines are sold in the USA, so most of our sales take place while I am asleep.
- Work on building strong personal relationships with your clients and peers. No one can sell your products or skills better than you can, so control them at every level. I travel around the world four or five times a year and meet with the leading wine writers in each country, one-on-one. They love hearing the truth from the ‘horse’s mouth’ and it gives me a chance to make my wines much more three-dimensional than just a glass bottle with grape juice in it.
- Don’t fall into the trap of trying to build something extravagant from the beginning. This is a common mistake of first-time business owners. They are too flashy, trying to promote a strong image without the substance to back it up. Start out lean, keep your overheads low and set some short-term goals that you must achieve before moving on to the next stage.
For more of this interview and on small business start up check out “Secrets of Male Entrepreneurs Exposed!“