Photo taken in Cotton Studios | Lancashire’s Premier Studio Hire Complex
Our latest growth conversation is with Luke Massie. Luke has been named among the country’s top 100 young entrepreneurs having built up and sold his first business by the age of 18. Luke currently runs four businesses, employing 14 full-time and six part-time staff. He is also the founder of The 1to500 Club, an online student marketing business that has successfully piloted in Preston. Luke is currently looking to roll out the platform, now rebranded as Studenthood, to university cities across the UK.
What is the biggest challenge you faced when growing your business and how did you overcome this?
Finding the individuals to be part of my core team. I overcame this by being patient and waiting for the right calibre of people. I don’t just employee people based on their CV or past achievements. I try to get to know people as individuals before getting them involved in any of my ventures. I’ve managed to find people that I believe can express my vision and are a part of achieving my goals.
What qualities must a growing business owner possess to be successful?
Resilience. You will fail, and the likelihood is you’re going to miss targets you’ve set yourself and feel you’ve not succeeded what you set out to do, but if every time you fail it makes you stronger then that’s what sets you apart as a successful business owner. Many people will doubt you along the way so the business owner has to demonstrate high levels of self belief to achieve success.
What top tip would you give to a business owner embarking on a growth plan?
Dream big and don’t be afraid of failing. Plan little and often because many markets are so dynamic that sometimes long-term planning is in effective. Three-week, three-month and six month planning is absolutely necessary. Consumer needs are changing all the time and you have to be able to adapt, so listen to market research and customer feedback.
Which entrepreneur do you admire and why?
Steve Jobs. He was a true visionary who knew what the consumer wanted even before they did.
Why is Lancashire a great place to grow a business?
With more support coming from the public sector, investors are really starting to notice the talent the county has to offer. There are many SMEs based in Lancashire winning major contracts ahead of other areas of the UK. It demonstrates that as long as you have a good product, service and business, it doesn’t matter where you’re based in the UK, you have a chance to be successful.
Why are you supporting Boost Business Lancashire?
Boost is designed to support business owners, which is something I am passionate about. I want to support other young entrepreneurs that are just embarking on their journey. I have used many of the services the scheme has to offer, for example the Growth Accelerator programme delivered by Winning Pitch, the Access to Finance service and help from specialist mentors. I would recommend any business starting and growing in Lancashire to find out what support is available.