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The making of an entrepreneur by pier paolo mucelli @nacue 2010 02

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  • 1. Pier Paolo Mucelli “ The Making of an Entrepreneur” ENTREPRISE BOOTCAMP - Jan 2010
  • 2. Background
    • Originally from North East of Italy (manufacturing cluster)
    • Father successful entrepreneur (self made)
    • Two brothers run a large manufacturing company (plastic card industry), exporting worldwide
    • Other family members set up businesses in the past with mixed success
    • Family witnessed several economic cycles in 60ies, 70ies, 80ies, 90ies, 00ies, and 10ies
  • 3. Education / Working Experience
    • Graduated at Warwick University late 80ies
    • Specialization in international marketing in Toulouse - Sup De Co
    • Worked during summer as intern
    • First real job as management consultant, quit after 9 months
    • Joined university friends and worked in sales with a new company in Malaysia (manufacturing) in early 90ies
    • Become Vice President with worldwide sales responsibility, company exported to 100 countries
    • 2000 failed stock market float, resigned early 2001
  • 4. The Business Idea
    • Original idea end of 1999
    • Brand eOffice registered before business was born
    • Influenced by dot-com boom of late 90ies, emergence of new technologies and ways of working
    • Fascinated by design and technology, ideal to create a great workplace for entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • 5. eOffice – The Concept
    • eOffice  offers beautifully designed, high tech, fully furnished and serviced offices in city centre locations
    • eOffice  workspace is based on an open plan environment, or “office neighbourhoods” with few wall to wall partitions, where good aesthetics and design are combined with information-age technology.
    • Main service lines are virtual offices (business address and telephone answering), hot desking (touch down), fully furnished office, meeting and conference facilities
    • Additional services include administration and online services, making eOffice a one-stop-shop for start-ups and SMEs
    • Strong activities for members, including company visits, networking events and powerful online communities (
    • eOffice  centres provide a suitable office solution for small businesses, start-ups and self-employed, in particular in the creative, media and technology sectors
    • All services are sold online, with an ecommerce platform
  • 6.
    • eOffice Soho
  • 7.
    • eOffice Manchester
  • 8.
    • eOffice Birmingham
  • 9.
    • eOffice Bristol
  • 10. How did I start
    • Idea : Develop a unique concept, a superior offering to the current offers in the market
    • Funding : Received funds from father to buy a flat in London, sold it and invested in the business
    • Premises : rented a small room at my accountant office
    • Team : Initially only a part time marketing consultant, then employed cousin as sales executive, only started to employ after launch
    • Launch: after Sep 11 th landlords become more flexible, secured first lease and launched in Soho Apr 2 nd 2002
  • 11. Early Challenges
    • Very slow take up because of economic slowdown and lack of visibility
    • Company loss making immediately after launch
    • Early technical glitches
    • Small and inexperienced team
  • 12. Turn around
    • Focused on providing personalised service to existing clients
    • Launched Google ad campaign
    • Serial networking and presence at local exhibitions
    • Small but dedicated team
    • Company breaks even after 18 months
    • Expansion starts in 2006
    • Currently in 4 UK locations, soon to launch franchise scheme
  • 13. Building Knowledge
    • Properties: Working with property consultant to identify appropriate sites. Visited hundreds of properties since 2001, hands on approach
    • Interiors: Since 2000, visited major design/trade exhibitions including Salone del Mobile – Milano, and French/Germany/UK fairs
    • Technology: Attending small and large technology events, including Cebit
    • Start up community : Attending smaller events targeting startup community in London and UK, and sponsoring many events
    • Client Networking: Participating to eOffice networking events (Net Thursdays, Coffee Fridays, and Lunch with the CEO), to understand clients requirements. Several online group resources
    • Knowledge building: Subscribing to over 50 publications, and several specialised newsletters/blogs/online resources
  • 14. Tips and lessons learned
    • Knowledge: Prepare yourself, study the market, attend events/fair/presentation and read a lot
    • Innovate: W hatever you do, do it better than existing providers, offer benefits to your clients
    • Marketing: Try different marketing and promotional activities and then focus on the most effective
    • People : Even with the best products/services, you need a good team around you to implement your vision
    • Perseverance: If you believe in what you do, be focused and patient, it takes a long time to build a stable business
  • 15. The Myths of Entrepreneurship
    • Work for yourself: You are working for everybody else (other shareholders, your employees, banks, business partners, suppliers and clients)
    • Great lifestyle: Get ready for longer hours, shorter holidays and more responsibilities
    • Make money: A small percentage of small businesses succeed and be prepared to get no salary for a long period of time
  • 16. Current Opportunities for Startups
    • The Workforce: You can outsource several company functions and bright human resources are available at competitive conditions
    • The Workplace: You can work anywhere and your workplace infrastructure can be flexible, scalable and economic
    • The Markets: WWW (worldwideweb) gives access to global information resources and international markets as never before
  • 17. Resources
    • Techcruch: www.techcrunch.com/
    • Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.com
    • MyeOffice Blog: www.myeoffice.com
    • SmallBiz Pod: www.smallbizpod.co.uk