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LESSONS FROM A FOUNDER: Steve Marsh - 6 Ways to Grow Your Business

last modified Nov 04, 2018 09:39 PM
We met with Steve Marsh, Founder and CEO of GeoSpock; originally a student from Manchester who arrived in Cambridge to study his PhD, before developing his business idea into a flourishing reality

GeoSpock has developed a solution using geospatial intelligence to explore extreme data sets, which illuminate valuable insights into the world around us. The company has been making waves in the press, most recently by announcing a partnership with Tamoco, a global network providing businesses with access to real-time data.

 

Read on to find out Steve’s 6 Ways to Grow Your Business:

 

  • COMPANY VISION. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve before you establish a company. 

Without this it is hard to convince people to follow you. Steve has had first-hand experience of this when working for a student start-up company where the CEO had no real vision and took advantage of the engineering talent he was employing. As a founder you have to lead by example, and with confidence and enthusiasm in the vision.

 

  • MINDSET. Persevere. 

Steve has several examples to illustrate when resilience and determination has proven to be effective. One which is particularly metaphorical is when he attended a Microsoft Lecture during his PhD, he entered a raffle to win a smart phone. Fifteen names were read out with no takers – they had already left. Steve was the sixteenth name and he won the phone. Lesson: If you stick it out, it might just pay off in the end! 

 

  • MENTORING. Find an experienced mentor 

Find a mentor who can leverage experience and help you to find other people who can deal with the different aspects of running a business. Steve met his mentor Darrin Disley at the CUE business competition awards. Despite not winning the main awards, Steve won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award; with Darrin seeing his potential early on, which eventually lead to helping him with founding the business.

 

  • CUSTOMERS. Talk to your customers. 

It can be very easy to hide away from the world and focus on the technological aspects of the company. Steve joined the start-up accelerator Techstars, which emphasised the importance of this. Part of the programme was ‘Mentor Madness’ which involved talking to 80 mentors in 2 weeks, who challenged GeoSpock in a big way. Criticism is hard to take, but essential if you want to succeed. If your customers are not interested in your product, work with them to develop a product that suits them. Customers are your biggest source of intelligence.

 

  • MARKET. Don’t be afraid to focus on a niche. 

Execute that niche really well, but also ensure you are solving a wider problem. Prioritise the short term commercial wins but keep an eye on the long-term market.

 

  • RECRUITMENT. Hire people who are better than you at different things. 

This is key in the development of your business, Steve recognises his own strengths and weaknesses so was able to recruit to fill any skills gaps. A positive company culture is not to be taken for granted, through Steve’s own experience he has found that you shouldn’t be afraid of hiring in experience – especially if you’re a first-time founder, and you should also hire people that have the resilience and adaptability to get through the challenging times.

 

Read more about GeoSpock here 

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