entrecode Blog


Five brilliant ways entrepreneurs delight their customers…. and gain competitive advantage

  1. Do what it says on the tin.  Fancy marketing and sales will not cover up poor products and services for long, customers are not stupid. So ensure your product or service does what it is supposed to do, really well, every time.
  2. Under promise, over deliver.  Surprise customers by going the extra mile and surprising them with your service levels.  Deliver quicker, make it friendly and personal.
  3. Treat your customers like your friends and with dignity and respect.  Be honest and straightforward and you will stand out from the crowd.  Customers want honesty, inspiration and competence – that’s your recipe for success.
  4. Help customers to solve their problems.  Customers don’t buy products or services, they buy solutions to their problems.  So make sure your product or service really does solve your customers’ problems.
  5. Seek to build long term partnerships and relationships with customers.  Most customers want to deal with people they like and trust and are creatures of habit. They want the certainty that you can bring to their lives.

The five killer mistakes you need to avoid as an entrepreneur

  1. Trying to do everything yourself.  You cannot be good at everything so learn to delegate things you are not good at.  The reality is that the more you delegate the more you control.
  2. Not managing cashflow.  Cash is king in business so hang on to it as long as you can. Ensure cash flow is measured and monitored, then you can sleep at night.
  3. Diversify away from problems.  Some entrepreneurs try to solve their business problems by diversifying into another field and hoping the problems in their existing business will disappear.  They won’t, so deal with them and don’t bury your head in the sand.
  4. Not looking after and caring for customers.  70% of entrepreneurs lose customers because of an attitude of indifference towards them.  Don’t make that mistake. If you really do the opposite and delight customers you will find you get high levels of repeat business, new business from referrals from delighted customers and a lowering of sensitivity to price.  Worth having!
  5. Leaving strategy and culture to chance.  Being too busy working in the business and not spending enough time working on it in order to develop it.  You get strategy and culture either by design (one you want) or by default (one you usually don’t want), so spend time developing your strategy, WHAT we do and your culture, HOW we do it.

How to grow your business the entrepreneurial way

Job one is to get a strategy for growth.  This is not a financial forecast or budget, it is the DNA of the business.  You need to address the key strategic questions:

  1. What business are we in?
  2. Where will we be in five years time?
  3. What are our core values?
  4. What markets and products will we focus on?
  5. What competencies do we need to develop?

Addressing these critical questions sets the business up for growing successfully.  In order to grow you need to let go of the parts of your job others could do in order to focus on the strategic priorities.  Some entrepreneurs find this difficult, they want to be ‘Jack of all trades’.  Don’t make this mistake!

In order to feel confident in letting go you need to invest in talented people.  The rule is complimentary values to you, different skills.  Hire people who are good at what you are not.  Obvious, but entrepreneurs often make the mistake of hiring in their own image, people like me, and that limits your growth potential.

Entrepreneurs create new growth opportunities by either selling more of what they have to existing customers (penetration) or developing new markets or products.  They use the process of finding customer problems, solving them and then selling the solution, the new product, to everybody else.

Finally, entrepreneurs invest time and resource in working ON the business as well as IN the business in order to improve its efficiency, service levels, productivity or general performance.  They marshall the resources and build their capacity to grow.

Follow these entrepreneurial principles and fly!

How to become an Entrepreneur

My latest book entrecode: Unlocking the entrepreneurial DNA provides the tools and lessons to enable everybody to become an entrepreneur.  Here is how to do it.

  1. Serve an apprenticeship.  Work for a business in the sector you want to start a business in and learn how to do it at somebody else’s expense.  This will dramatically improve your chances of success and reduce your risk of failing.
  2. Develop your entrepreneurial skills.  In order to become an entrepreneur you need to develop the skills required to be successful.  These are clearly set out in my entrecode book and the good news is that they can be developed.
  3. Discover your passion.  What are you really interested in?  What fascinates you? You need to find something you really want to make your life’s work and that you will still be obsessed with in ten years time.
  4. Find a customer problem and turn it into an opportunity.  All successful entrepreneurs turn problems into profitable opportunities.  So you need to spend time with customers and find a problem you can solve and then sell the solution to the world.
  5. Work out what you are really good at and get people around you who compliment your skills.  Don’t try and be all things to all people.  Make sure you get good people with the same values but complimentary skills.  Your role is to set the strategy and pick the people capable of helping you deliver it.

So there it is, your recipe for entrepreneurial success.


5 things entrepreneurs do to innovate

We discovered in our Entrecode research that entrepreneurs innovate in order to create new solutions to customers’ problems.  Here is how they do it, you can do the same:

  1. Break the Rules.  If you always do what you have always done, you will always get…… Innovation means new, different, improved, developed, changed, so in order to achieve that you have to do something different which usually breaks the rules of sameness, order, ritual and routine.
  2. Find a customer problem to solve that they will pay for the solution.  Inventors make things they are passionate about; entrepreneurs solve customer problems by trial and error pilots and constant innovation.
  3. Join the dots.  Entrepreneurs open up to the world and find interesting ideas which they join together to make something new and different.
  4. Accept failure.  You can’t get it right every time, entrepreneurs accept that.  They also value the learning they get by trying and failing so they move on and try again.
  5. Stay Persistent.  Entrepreneurs keep going when others would give up.  They are driven by a passion and obsession to succeed so they don’t recognise problem or blockages just projects to be worked on in order to get to the prize. 

None on this is rocket science but entrepreneurs do it while the rest look on and wonder……

How you can really boost your business using Entrecode toolkits

A key insight in my book, entrecode© – Unlocking the Entrepreneurial DNA, was that entrepreneurs work ON as well as IN their businesses in order to boost their performance. In order to do that I developed a toolkit based on how successful entrepreneurs actually work ON their business.

If you would like a free copy of the new toolkit ‘Working ON your business’ then please e-mail me david@davidhalluk.com

Entrecode – Unlocking the Entrepreneurial DNA

The idea behind the entrecode book was to let successful entrepreneurs tell their businesses like stories in order to provide insights into how they really do create great businesses. We also know that their stories inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Veena Patil grew her business from having no shoes, electricity or running water in her village into an award winning international travel group.

Paul Cave overcome unbelievable obstacles to create the most successful tourist attraction in Australia – The Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb.

These are just two examples of the amazing people you will meet in the book.

The other idea behind the book was to discover entrepreneurs from around the world to see if the entrepreneurial principles are universal and we discovered that they are. That is how we knew we had unlocked the entrepreneurial DNA.