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Plain sailing to business success

An interview with Guy Rigby, author of From Vision To Exit

In normal circumstances you wouldn't think that yacht racing and building a successful business have much in common. Yet it was Guy Rigby's passion for boats and racing that led him to write what James Caan has described as 'a must read book for any aspiring entrepreneur'. 

'How do you win a yacht race?' Rigby asked Nigel Irens, the designer of Ellen MacArthur's record-breaking round-the-world trimaran, B&Q/Castorama. 'You must do a hundred things better than anybody else' came the answer.

This chimed clearly with Rigby’s own experience in the business world, first as an entrepreneur himself and now in his work with Smith & Williamson supporting and advising entrepreneurs on growing their businesses to achieve their ambitions. And so it was with that answer in mind that Guy set about writing From Vision to Exit, a book which he intended would be vastly different from the usual business fare on offer. 

"Effectively there’s a system," explains Guy, "and what this book says is that in order to build a great business you have to do a load of things better than anybody else. This book tells you what they are. 

"Most entrepreneurs don’t understand that they don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As long as they follow the process, and are prepared to learn from peers and people with experience, they can do it. They can build and sell a successful business."

Unlike in years gone by, the focus on starting a business in today's environment leans heavily towards making it successful enough to sell. With that in mind Guy has ensured his book is a practical, hands-on, guide that arms entrepreneurs and business owners with the knowledge required to profit and stand out from the crowd.

"The traditional family business has given way to the 'build to sell mentality'," Guy explains. "The media has celebrated successful entrepreneurs, meaning people now have the attitude of 'if I can build something worth money, I should sell it'. It has become financially more attractive. People now have the dream to build it up, sell it for millions and then start again.

"I hope this book will help prevent failure and facilitate success. I believe it takes entrepreneurs beyond the basics, giving them a deeper understanding of every phase in the process from starting to selling their own business."

Nobody is saying that building a business is easy, far from it, but armed with Guy's book the process will be a lot clearer, and will give you a greater chance of success in one day selling your own business and living the life of your dreams.

From Vision To Exit, published by Harriman House, is available now. For more information, videos and advice for SMEs, visit www.freshbusinessthinking.com