StartUp Britain – inspiring the next generation

All aboard!

Last year, I was asked if I would sit on a bus for a morning and have lots of strangers talk to me about their ideas to take over the world. Now normally, this would not hold huge appeal.

However, this was no ordinary bus and these were no ordinary strangers. It was the first ever StartUp Britain Tour and I was intrigued and more than happy to get involved. It was a fantastic experience so when I got an email last month to see whether I would help out again I jumped at the chance.

This time around it was a little different, with a focus on inspiring students of all ages to get involved in starting their own businesses but it was still open to members of the public. I pitched up at the National Ice Centre at 9am and there was already a steady flow of people eager to learn from various experts in accounting, law, marketing and of course PR *waveshandtocrowd

In fact, by 10.30, having left the bus to take a call from a journalist, I couldn’t squeeze back on to dispense further pearls of PR wisdom.

As a result, I took to lurking outside in the fairly chilly conditions where I found people chatting away merrily about what they wanted to do and how they were going to do it. Then one lady, who had been hovering nearby but seemed unsure about whether to get involved came within my line of sight and I pounced (gently). She was a tad hesitant to hop on board the bus because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, just that she wanted to start an online business.

I had been talking to Krisi Smith and Mike Turner of the Bluebird Tea Company who had come along as advisers too. They have a relatively young business but they were keen to help anyone if they could. After all, one of the hardest parts of starting a new business is having the push to just get started. Mike and I chatted to this lady for 5 or 10 minutes, not about PR or online retailing, just about discovering her passion.

What would make her get up every day and inspire her to be her best? As we were chatting, she began to take a few more hesitant steps towards the bus so we introduced her to one of the team and after thanking us for our time, she disappeared inside to find out more.

No tips and tricks about how to speak to the media, how to spot a news hook or how to set up an e-commerce website. Just a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Biggest piece of advice from the day…if you are thinking about starting a business, don’t think about it too much to the detriment of it never happening. Perfect plans are just that, plans. Start taking action and putting the first steps in place.