Thursday 10 November 2011 6.00pm
Oxford Brookes University, BG01
‘I knew what to expect; a row of 10 faces, each of whom had a great business idea and wanted to know how to make it happen. Imagine my surprise when after 15 minutes a hand went up and its owner asked ‘yes, but how do you have a business idea?’
There is no ‘normal’ route to starting business, nor are there many certainties in how things will turn out. You will be bombarded with advice which ranges from well-meaning but misguided to simply self-serving. It is easier to see through the maze if you know which questions to ask, and who to listen to.
Having set up 2 successful companies in the same field and spent 25 years dealing with the finance needs of new & SME ventures, Mark Jones has now embarked on a new and totally unrelated venture which involves teaching and mentoring business start-ups.
In this talk, he talks about the journey to starting the business, his self-imposed start-up budget of just £100 and the trials and challenges faced to date, and why this one-man venture provides more personal stimulation and satisfaction than any other business he has been involved in.
It is a ‘warts and all’ account, not of a self-promoting entrepreneur but of a small-businessman embarking on a venture with plenty of relevant skills, but making and handling mistakes along the way.
The talk with be followed by a Q & A session, not just on the venture but on all matters relating to starting a business. Active participation is encouraged in the Q & A session.
About Mark Jones
Mark graduated from Oxford Poly with a BEC HND Business Studies in 1983.
After a few years ‘basic training’ in leasing subsidiaries of Lloyds and Allied Irish Banks, mark set up his first finance brokerage, bankrolled by one of his customers, at the age of 25.
The business has provided not only hands-on experience of running and growing a company including building and managing a sales team, but also involved dealing day-to-day with young, growing and turnaround businesses.
This business is still trading, though Mark left it 3 years ago to create a more specialist and focussed business in the same field.
Following some interesting twists and turns in his private life, he found himself running a Business Start-up Course in a Surrey college – a decision which has impacted on his subsequent career path and personal motivation.
In his personal life Mark likes to keep fit by cycling (road, off-road & spinning) whilst countering the benefits with good food and drink.