Words of wisdom and passion - our latest InspiringBusiness2018 seminar
‘Own the ring’, ‘surround yourself with winners’, ‘disrupt to survive’ and ‘ask yourself what the major names in your field don’t have, then create it’, were just some of the messages to come out of the second in our series of InspiringBusiness2018 seminars.
These sage nuggets of advice were imparted by our main speakers David Keel and Alex Hall at our latest event, which took place at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby, on Thursday 14 June.
They were sharing their personal stories of success, challenge – and failure – in a bid to inspire the other businesses in the room to strive for even greater heights.
And the 100-strong audience of regional businesses greeted what they had to say with rapturous applause in what was our most successful event yet.
This month’s seminar was called ‘Don’t let digital eat you for lunch’ and featured David as our keynote speaker. David, is co-founder and was Global Innovations Director of Hull-based company Sonoco Trident, which was founded in 1993 with just five staff and now employs 750 people worldwide, creating and managing digital packaging assets for some of the world’s best-known brands. He is also Chair of Hull’s C4DI (Centre for Digital Innovation), which forms the heart of Hull’s digital and tech community, helping other local businesses to achieve similar objectives.
He described how businesses – even smaller ones – cannot afford to ignore the rapidly evolving world of digital.
David also talked about how he grew up in east Hull and achieved a vague degree of success by being ‘not very good at a lot of things’, but then achieved much more significant success by spotting an overlap between business and technology that could be used by global brands… and running with it, then evolving it all the time.
He explained that some of the most successful brands in the world build their businesses on finding clever ways to supersede what others offer, and why every company therefore needs to constantly challenge itself and evolve to survive.
“Set out to destroy your own business, learn the lessons and make it better,” he said.
“Otherwise, someone else will come along and do it for you. In fact, there are really clever and innovative businesses out there that set out to do exactly that every day, and take over or destroy entire sectors with digital solutions when they’re not watching.”
He described the wide range of local successful digital businesses that many people have never heard of but who touch the lives of people locally, nationally and globally almost every day of the year.
Alex, meanwhile, described how he went ‘From Boothferry to Wembley in 12 rounds’, via a pivotal moment when being arrested live on TV at the rugby Challenge Cup final in 2000, aged 17, ‘wearing double denim’ changed his life.
“Although I was only dancing on the pitch and not involved in the fight that broke out, and no charges were ever brought, this was a horrible experience that got me noticed everywhere for all the wrong reasons, and was enough to make me stop and realise I needed to sort my life out,” he told the audience.
17 years later and his business, Bambu scaffolding, sponsored Hull FC as they won the Challenge Cup at Wembley, demonstrating just what a dramatic turnaround he has achieved during the intervening years.
Trained electrician and successful local entrepreneur Alex also talked about how the iconic St Paul’s boxing academy in Hull’s Trinity Square helped him to get his life back on track after he went off the rails as a result of family issues when he was growing up.
The winning principles he has applied to building successful businesses over the years were drummed into him by well-respected local trainer Mike Bromby, who has coached Hull’s greatest boxing champions including Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell and Commonwealth lightweight title holder Tommy Coyle – including ‘own the ring’ and ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’. Even his company’s mascot, Bam the panda bear, made an appearance during Alex’s presentation, which was by turns poignant and hilarious.
Welcoming Mobius on board
We were delighted to announce, on Thursday, that web design company Mobius, based in Hessle, has joined us as our latest InspiringBusiness2018 campaign partner. They are offering a free website design or online marketing support, worth £5,000 to business that wins our InspiringBusiness2018 competition.
“We’re really delighted to be joining in with this fantastic initiative aimed at helping local businesses succeed,” said Mobius Managing Director Paul Masson.
“The buzz in the room on Thursday was palpable and the very personal stories shared by those speaking were incredibly inspiring.”
A prize worth winning
Mobius’s contribution will bring our total competition prize fund to £25,000, which will be won by one inspiring business with something special to offer.
They will be surrounded by a wealth of support to help them grow to the next level, including a year’s free legals, accountancy services, bid-writing and grant application help, social media promotion and IT support.
This wealth of benefits will be provided by our campaign partners cbaSadofskys chartered accountants, The Marketplace, The Business Culture Hull, the University of Hull’s Enterprise Centre, Stuff of Greatness, Handelsbanken, Peacock Finance and Computanet – as well as us at James Legal, of course.
If you would like to get involved in InspiringBusiness2018, save the date for our next seminar on Thursday, 27 September, from 10 until 1pm. Our keynote speaker for this next event will be Gadget Shop founder and successful entrepreneur Jonathan Elvidge, and we will be sharing full details here soon.
If you have an inspiring business of your own, that you think deserves to win our competition, download an entry form here.