It may have been Election Day fever outside that day, but inside the Mazars offices, attendees were absorbed by tales of planes, sewing machines and sheer audacity.
Aimed at business owners and senior business leaders in the region, the event featured workshops and high-profile speakers to help businesses best boost long term capital value.
Speakers included designer, entrepreneur and fashion chain Red or Dead founder, Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design. He told the audience of finance directors, investors, CEOs and managing directors how his business journey began when he met his future wife Geraldine and moved to London in the early Eighties.
He recalled the early days of Red or Dead when the firm’s clothes line in Kensington Market was spotted at London Fashion Week. By rallying forces, including his mother and an entourage of Lancashire helpers, he managed to speedily fulfil an order for 1,600 pieces for Macy’s in New York – and never looked back.
Later, ‘rags to riches’ entrepreneur Jack Romero related how his Lebanon-based brother’s illness propelled him into an aviation career as he helped his family pay healthcare bills. He had tales of arriving in London and looking up Lebanese sounding names in the telephone directory to find refuge (the recipient of the ‘knock on the door’ thought it was a prank). Jack also recalled the discomfort of sleeping on a park bench by night after working all hours by day.
As for their lessons for business leaders, Jack said “I used to carry my business plan with me every day, like a photographer with their camera”. He also urged attendees to “find your true passion and use a lot of common sense.”
According to Wayne Hemingway, success is about three things. “Questioning, bravery and generosity” he stated, adding that success also means “embracing things going wrong”.
The 30 attendees at the Mazars day may not be facing the same stark ‘make or break’ scenarios as the keynote speakers but they came away with top tips for business survival and long-term planning such as: how best to devise a relevant business plan; how to incentivise staff for long term profitability and how to navigate optimal tax positioning and succession planning.
Attendee Frazer Callingham, assistant operations manager at Starboard Hotels said of the event:
“The quality of the speakers was fantastic and it was a very informative day, covering every stage of the business cycle.”
The Mazars entrepreneurial business team was around throughout the day to both meet attendees and provide one to one consultations.
Gareth Jones, Partner and UK Head of Entrepreneurial Business Services at Mazars said:
“There was an excellent turn out this year, reaffirming our view that this is a valuable event for businesses. Attendees had the chance to network with others as well as receive tailored advice around their bespoke business needs.
“Participants told us they found the event inspiring so I hope they feel more empowered and motivated for future challenges – wherever they are in the business cycle. The Election resulted in a new potential partnership. Entrepreneurs’ Day was a reminder of Mazars’ existing partnership with business leaders as we all strive for a fitter, more agile business future.”