Entrepreneurs are big on dreams but are falling short when it comes to turning their idea into a large business.
That is the view of Stuart Lynn, CTO of Newcastle-based accountancy software giant Sage.
Sage was founded in 1981 by David Goldman, Paul Muller and Graham Wylie and is now the world’s third-largest supplier of enterprise resource planning software behind Oracle and SAP.
It is the largest supplier to small businesses.
“What you find with SMEs in general is they reach a tipping point,” he told BusinessCloud.
“It’s hard to scale a business… turn a small business into a medium-sized business, and beyond.
“We can offer advice to people on how to do that: how to put together a strategy, decide what their goals are.
“A lot of entrepreneurs are following a dream but don’t really know how to commercialise it.”
Jodi Birkett, technology, media and telecommunications partner at Deloitte in the North West, told BusinessCloud that the unicorns of the future will be those businesses that use a global presence to scale quickly.
“To become a unicorn you need to be able to globalise and expand quickly, so scalability in your offering is key,” she told BusinessCloud.
“A great North West example of this would be Missguided, a Manchester eCommerce company that sells to countries in mainland Europe, Australasia and North America.
“Its model works all over the world, which gives it immediate scalability.
“Another example would be Avecto, whose security software is used globally.
“This is technology developed in Manchester which can then be rolled out into companies all over the world.”
Investor Richard Law told us recently that selling an idea can be particularly challenging within the tech industry.
Showing innovation within a rapidly changing industry is key to this scalability factor, Birkett added.
“Reality Mine has secured significant investment and has offices in three continents due to its innovative insights technology, and carfinance247’s platform turned an industry on its head and streamlined an historically complex process.”
Ensuring that these companies can also continue to flourish in the UK though, is a country-wide job.
“There must be focus on the infrastructure needed to support entrepreneurs and start-ups in these early stages,” she said.
“We have identified a range of ‘TMT Hotspots’ in the region – such as MediaCityUK and the Sharp Project – which do a brilliant job of nurturing promising businesses.
“If these hubs are successful then it stands to reason that successful businesses will follow.”
BELOW: Flick through the August edition of BusinessCloud’s interactive digital magazine