Entrepreneur William Durrant is the founder and director at Herringbone Kitchen (www.herringbonekitchens.com) – bespoke furniture and design manufacturer – who at just 28 set up his own design company and five years later started to become one of the bigger employees in Kent County.
Being an entrepreneur can be terrifying and sometimes you don’t know where to start. Will wants to offer his advice and experience to those starting out.
Here are Williams main tips:
- Invest in yourself – money and time, there are free resources and others cost money but if you want to upscale your business know-how or your marketing strategy invest in this to benefit your business in the long run.
- Trust yourself – if we could have gone back in time, I would have trusted myself and not tried to appeal to everyone. Be yourself, you have to be a bit different to make people look away from much more known brands and chose you.
- Invest in your team – a strong leadership team in invaluable and with the right team around you, you will be successful. We offer benefits such as parental policy and flexible working conditions, a first in the manufacturing.
- Read and listen – we listen to business podcasts quite a lot, especially on long journeys. How I build This, Secret Leaders and This Week in Startups are all good. We especially like to hear the stories about large businesses who were on the brink of failure, but then turned it around.
How did you work out your why?
I was tired of working for another much larger company and bored by what I was designing. Because of the large initial investment needed, most kitchen companies are businesses that are passed down family generations. I knew there was a gap in the market for something a bit fresher and younger. When I started Herringbone I was 28, for the first few years it was me on my own. That’s when I learned and established the foundations for the business, and developed the vision for the business. My favourite quote is by Henry Ford ‘A business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business.’
I wanted my business to also help the world a little, by using sustainable materials, supporting local craftspeople and give back to a local homeless charity. Even though we are now a team of 25, those early years and my first vision still guide me every day and is what drives the business and our employees too.
How do you build a mindset for success?
Elly gave me the encouragement I needed to start the business. The hardest thing is seeing yourself as the boss, and the person responsible for every decision. I often think my mood will set the tone of everyone else’s, so I try to always be positive and excited, because if I’m not why should anyone else be?!.
If you could only pass on one life lesson what would it be?
Wear sunscreen. And hire a good accountant.
What practical steps can people take daily to sculpt their success? i.e morning routines? Learning? Networking?
The local council has plenty of resources you can draw from, like mentorship schemes, grants, and learning. I’ve never been very good at networking, and normally only go for the free booze, but the mentoring schemes are really helpful. Every business needs that 3rd pair of eyes to critically examine and challenge you
Our why as a teenager may be very different to that when we are 50, what are the fundamental foundations for a great life?
A happy family, strong friendships and enjoying what you do.
William really has built a great business and is easily a great role model for a lot of young entrepreneurs. If you would like to check out Herringbone Kitchens you can either visit them on their website here: www.herringbonekitchens.com. Or you can check out their social media channels here: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.