I was at Virgin for a very long time and have done a lot of innovation work, so I often get asked what my advice is for young entrepreneurs. It’s really tempting to say, “Just go for it!”
But you do have to do your homework first because it’s so easy to lose money so quickly.
Even with all my experience in one of the best companies in the world, probably 50% of what we’ve done here has been a balls-up! You have to be prepared for those harsh lessons.
You might be really lucky, and if so – well done! The rest of us are bruising.
If you have a food concept, London’s really good at embracing new trends when they’re new. But the important thing to do is to check there’s longevity, and that it’s tied to a longer term or a larger consumer need. Things such as the street food trend are initially embraced but then they get over-done and the market can become over-crowded.
It’s important to do some market research. At Redemption we did start out with residencies but this was because I had more experience with innovation so we had a really strong idea of what we were aiming for. Before that I did market research which was statistically robust so I knew there was a market for it, which is why I went straight in with the residency approach.