April 1, 2016, by The Ingenuity Lab
Ingenuity16 Mentor Profile: Miles Clark and Will Robinson
During Ingenuity16, a range of successful business men and women based in Nottingham and further afield have got stuck in mentoring the University of Nottingham’s budding entrepreneurs. Their guidance and advice has been incredibly useful for the students and alumni competing for the £100,000 prize fund.
Over the next few weeks, we will be uploading profiles of some of Ingenuity16’s mentors and coaches so you can find out a bit more about them and their top tips for success.
Here’s what we found out when we caught up with mentor Miles Clark and Will Robinson from I’m Not From London…
I’m Not from London (INFL)
Miles: Head of Publishing/ A&R
Will: Managing Director
What is your educational background?
Miles: I had a practical background in music, but went on to study Forensic Science to Masters level at the University of Lincoln and Staffordshire University. I chose to train to be a teacher, but realised my passion was music not science so enrolled on a PGCE in Secondary Music. I continued to teach for another 6 years.
Will: After completing my A levels in History, English and Film Studies I went straight into the world of full time employment in a variety of occupations before becoming a sole trader promoting events, developing bands and setting up a record label through which I would help finance their releases. This eventually led to the formation of I’m Not From London.
How did you originally get involved with the Ingenuity Lab?
Will: I’m Not From London’s mission is to educate, nurture and champion the talents of those involved in the business and art of music on either side of the microphone.
We see it as our duty to pass on what we have learned to the next generation and our knowledge of the music business can be applied to all other businesses as well. Through our various event management projects we knew the Ingenuity Lab team, and were naturally honoured to have the opportunity to mentor and inspire young business people of the future with their pitches and business plans.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone interested in setting up their own business?
Miles: Be prepared for A LOT of work. As well as having a sound business plan and high quality product(s)/services you must be resilient. Do your best to prepare financially for the quieter periods of the year and ensure that your love of what you’re doing carries you through. Find a team that you believe in and compliments your skill set – you can’t do everything.
Will: Don’t expect to become rich overnight or for it ever to be easy. There’s a reason most people work for other people! Be tenacious and learn from your mistakes. Enjoy what you do and who you work with. Listen to people who can advise and help you. Be entrepreneurial by always looking for good opportunities to grow your business and your team. Never get complacent. Don’t be afraid to take chances, don’t burn your bridges and respect and collaborate with your competition. Most of all, be positive.
What do you think are the key challenges that new entrepreneurs will face when setting up a business?
Miles: Understanding your market. This can take a while and not enough businesses spend time trying to understand their target audience. This data will help you make educated decisions about all aspects of your business.
Will: I think successfully marketing their brand is a big challenge. With so many established brands out there, new businesses have to work incredibly hard to advertise and market their product in a way that they can create a loyal consumer base.
What work are you currently involved in?
Miles: On a daily basis I oversee the label and publishing side of the business. This includes everything from distributing our music worldwide and managing record release campaigns to registering songs with royalty collection societies. I also am involved in pitching our music to some of the biggest advertising agencies and film/television production companies in the world.
Will: I’ve got quite a lot on at the moment! I’m involved in planning, promoting and scheduling events for the next 6 months. I’m also working to maintain and grow our existing businesses, client base and annual financial turnover. I put a lot of energy into staff management and ensuring our dynamic and hardworking team are suitably valued and motivated. Finally, I’m working out financial projections for the coming year and allotting budget and timelines for our record releases.
If you started your business today, what would you do differently?
Miles: We deal with so much data, so if we started our business today I would take more time in establishing administrative structures and time saving devices to automate and schedule tasks. A good client management system and cloud based business provider from day one would certainly have made things easier.
Will: I’d have hired an accountant earlier and would have spent less time on business projects with people less motivated or professional, than myself.
Thanks guys and a big thank you to Patrick Cannon, C0-Director of INFL, who also attended the Ingenuity16 Boot Camp. If you are interested in finding out more about I’m Not From London, please visit their website.
No comments yet, fill out a comment to be the first