Elon Musk: Expert reveals ‘driving force’ for entrepreneurs
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Co-founders Luke Powell and Andy Gibson’s business success have proven that qualifications or experience in running a business is not necessary to be an entrepreneur. Mr Powell shared the journey of HEX MCR in an exclusive comment to Express.co.uk along with entrepreneurial advice from alldayPA founder Reuben Singh.
Originally starting with just trucker caps, the co-founders Luke Powell and Andy Gibson extended the HEX MCR range due to its egregiously high demand, which now includes eco-friendly clothing and bags.
“Andy and I started trading with HEX in October 2020. We initially formed the company in June 2020 and spent some time researching and meeting suppliers,” Mr Powell began.
“We wanted to ensure that when we went to market we were offering a strong product that would hold it’s own.
“We’re both based within the construction industry so when the first lockdown hit, HEX was almost a crisis business.”
This was the sad reality for many lockdown entrepreneurs and side hustlers as the scrummaged everything they could to make a successful business.
“We were unsure on the stability on the industry given that social distancing had been introduced. We felt that an area that would naturally thrive would be ecommerce.”
Luke Powell and Andy Gibson saw sales rise by 400 percent in their first five months of business (Image: HEX MCR founders)
However, this seemingly obvious business choice was easier said than done, so the pair capitalised on the skills and experience they did have to help the business succeed.
“Admittedly neither Andy or I have a background in fashion but we do have experience in strategising and team building.
“I think that we’d always do things differently given a second chance but that’s probably the perfectionist in us both.
“We’ve made plenty of mistakes so far but rather than seeing them as mistakes, we prefer to look at them as valuable industry experience that we didn’t have before forming HEX.
“We can’t say that we’ve had a perfect start but I suppose that we couldn’t really expect to, given we decided to start a business in one of the biggest global pandemics recorded.”
Mr Powell noted that there is no secret to success in small business, but rather that consistency, hard work and the right tools are what enable success.
“We currently use Shopify as our ecommerce platform. It’s a really simple sales platform that anyone can use to get started selling online. There’s an abundance of apps that you can use on there to make life easier as well.
“At the moment we’re focusing strongly on UK growth. We love to collaborate with other brands and people of influence. We’ve currently got a collab that we’re working on with an up and coming music artist based in Manchester.
“We find that by bringing external influence into the business we produce products and styles that wouldn’t otherwise have been on our radar.”
He shared the future for HEX MCR is unlimited, but at no point along the way do the founding duo intend to stray from their original intentions.
“Ultimately, we want to grow HEX to the point where it’s known worldwide but we’re not willing to sacrifice the quality, creativity and service to get this position so we’re just going to take our time.
“We’re comfortable with the growth of the business, we’re not in profit mode yet. Andy and I have agreed from day one that the first three year should be spent focused on expansion.
alldayPA founder Reuben Singh founded his business in 1999 (Image: Reuben Singh)
“We set targets and aim to trim costs at each stage. With growth comes stronger buying power.
“We think that any entrepreneur will tell you the same, it’s not about the money, it’s about freedom and creating something along the way, the money is just an added bonus.”
alldayPA is a call answering service for small businesses, and their founder Reuben Singh shared some of the best business advice he had in his arsenal.
Do things out of your comfort zone
“Your vision of what your business could be is what keeps you awake at night. If you don’t get that funny feeling in your stomach, don’t do it.”
“You need to value yourself before you can expect anybody to respect you. To create value, you must have a strong purpose.”
Try not to borrow money
“Find somebody who believes and wants to invest in you because investors will share the pain to grow your businesses and will add value.”
Don’t have a plan B
“If you have a plan B, that means you don’t believe in plan A enough. If you don’t believe in your plan A enough, don’t do it.”
Reward your staff
“Find people who get excited by your vision. More experience can be a hindrance sometimes. Look at somebody’s attitude, not just a degree or experience.”
“The world these days is one single market. If you can sell something to somebody in your postcode area, you can sell it to somebody who is miles away.”