Business tips from Darren Westlake of CrowdCube

Simply Business met with several British entrepreneurs at the Business Startup Show in London's ExCeL centre. We've asked business experts about their startup tips to guide new entrepreneurs through the process of starting or growing their business. In this interview, Darren Westlake advises startup business owners to persevere and partner with other people.

Simply Business: Hi, could you just tell us your name and give us a bit of information about your company?

Darren Westlake: Hi there. I’m Darren, and I’m from CrowdCube, a company that allows people to raise finance for their businesses.

Simply Business: You set up a business yourself, and you have experience running a business. If people are coming here and looking for advice on how to start up a business, what would you say from your own experience to help them? Can you give us an overview of your experience running a business?

Darren Westlake: I’ve run two or three different businesses now, and the difficulty I’ve always had is raising money, which is part of the reason why we started CrowdCube. These days, it’s even more difficult to raise money with the banks not lending at all. So, I think, persevere, look for finance, and get your business going.

Simply Business: Are there any gems of advice, or any bits you’ve picked up along the way, that you’d like to pass onto people that are looking to do the same thing?

Darren Westlake: My advice is to persevere. If you’ve got a great idea, stick with it, keep going. There’s going to be lots of barriers in the way, lots of obstacles, but if you keep going and overcome them, you are going to make a success of it. So, I’d say, persevere.

Simply Business: Are there any individuals or organizations that you’ve gotten advice from over the years? Are there any mentors that you’ve gone to that you might recommend to other people?

Darren Westlake: Look around your local community. See who has been successful. Look at other successful business people – people who you can get advice from, and people who have been there and done it before. I found somebody just like that in Exeter, where we’re from, and I got a lot of really good advice. So, use people who are experienced.

Simply Business: What would be a final tip for somebody who is about to start on the journey of their own business?

Darren Westlake: Use other people. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Find partnerships, find other people who can complement your skills, and work with other people.

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