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Strathclyde Business School

Business enterprise education: a building block for success

By Jennifer Hope - Posted on 19 December 2013

Jennifer Hope, SBS graduate and founder of The Wee House Company discusses how she applied her knowledge to start her own enterprise…

Throughout your degree the thought of your final-year dissertation towers over you like the toughest mountain to climb, but in reality it won’t be the hardest challenge you face come 4th year! Getting yourself a job is the true Everest! There is, however, another option – create your own job.

Following graduation in June 2013, I started up The Wee House Company. We build one and two bedroom turnkey package homes, with an attractive, traditional finish. Constructed as modular units the homes can be distributed anywhere in the UK from our Ayrshire manufacturing base.

The idea came to me when looking for a first home of my own. The gap between what I could afford and the cute, cosy home I pictured in my mind was ENORMOUS and I knew others must feel the same.

At first I shelved the idea for some point in the future when I had more experience but then I realised having a degree in business enterprise gave me a great knowledge base to start from. In fact, there have been three key lessons which have made all the difference in building my business so far.

  1. Never underestimate the power of networking
  2. Know your numbers
  3. You must have a strategic direction to follow

Starting with number one, both learning about networking and developing contacts through my course has been tremendously helpful.  Every day I’m doing at least one thing that I’ve never done before, from sales calls to using online accounting software. That means I need advice and lots of it! Having experienced and trustworthy people in your network is invaluable on a daily basis. Strathclyde Business School, Entrepreneurial Spark and family networks have all contributed great advice and assistance.

Secondly, having a handle on my cashflow and projections is vital. These things don’t come naturally to me and I can’t pretend to have enjoyed them during university, but I’m glad I have that basic understanding now. Knowing the numbers enables me to confidently decide what money to spend where and whether we are on track to meet revenue targets.

Finally, through the many cases I studied during my course I found that a sound strategic direction appeared to make the difference between businesses which made it big and businesses which have trundled along without ever having significant growth. I try to set three year targets for the business and, although they have changed a few times, I know exactly what I’m aiming for.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below…

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University of Strathclyde
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