Growth

Strength is not being afraid to make mistakes - The Famous Business podcast series/ Class PR

TFB 045: Strength is not being afraid to make mistakes

With John Stapleton, co-founder of New Covent Garden Soup Company, Little Dish and serial entrepreneur.

It’s not often we have someone on the show who has completely invented a new category of product – but John Stapleton was part of a duo that did just that.

John is one of the co-founder’s of The New Covent Garden Soup Company, the guys who took soup out of the tin, made it fresh and put it in a carton.

In the late 1980s this was completely revolutionary and sparked a new way of manufacturing, selling and consuming soup. It’s fair to say John is a true pioneer – he even had to build his own factory to get his soup on the shelves!

On today’s show, John shares the story of his entrepreneurial journey from the early days of NCGS through to toddler food brand Little Dish and the work he does today mentoring young startups.

John has so much insight and wisdom to share and is a big proponent of moving beyond our fears to fulfill our business visions.

In this conversation you’ll learn about the need to clearly define the audience for your product, build a brand that speaks entirely to that person and why it’s better to start with a grassroots marketing strategy rather than trying to be ‘the next big thing’ overnight.

If you are a food startup, or in fact any kind of startup, you’ll learn so much from this conversation – so sit back and lap up this soup-er advice!

Building and Selling a Food Business – Good Foodies Podcast

Do you have grand plans to start, grow, scale and sell your food business? Would you prefer more of a lifestyle business? Regardless of your goals, John Stapleton has some great advice for you.

John started New Covent Garden Soup in 1987. He started Glencoe Foods in 1997 (pretty much the same business as New Covent Garden, but in the United States). He then started his third business, Little Dish, in 2006. Two out of the three were successfully built and sold – Little Dish sold for £17 million in 2017!

Over the last 30 years John has learned to embrace adversity, have the courage of his convictions, learn from failure and the power of authenticity. And that’s exactly what we talk about in this episode.

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • What “experts” thought about the idea of fresh soup in 1987

  • How to push forward with your idea no matter what people say

  • How to embrace and learn from failure

  • How to enjoy the journey of building your business rather than the end result

  • How to set your business up for sale from the beginning

  • What to consider when raising funds and giving away equity


Reasons Angel Investors say No – NatWest Content Live

Standing in front of an angel investor can be daunting, and things will quickly fall apart if they don’t believe in you. Three UK angels tell us what makes them say “I’m out”.

John Stapleton, serial entrepreneur and angel who co-founded the New Covent Garden Soup Co:

“Why business success depends on surrounding yourself with self starters – SmallBusiness.co.uk

Here, John Stapleton, founder of the New Covent Garden Soup Co, gives his four top tips on surrounding yourself with self-starters to drive growth and scale.

Building a culture where staff are self-starters can be key for a business

Being a new entrepreneur can feel both bewildering and exhilarating. In the early days of any business journey, as an entrepreneur you will need to be all things to all people. Because of this, you will need to be extremely tenacious and ride the rows of obstacles that will be thrown your way. In the beginning the entrepreneur does, and almost is, everything – simply because there is noone else and everything is down to you.

The setbacks you face will often feel both challenging and time consuming, and there will inevitably come a time when you can no longer wear all the hats you needed to wear when you were getting started. Eventually, you’ll need to find people out there who are better suited to managing some of the areas of your business than you are.

At this point, you’ll need to build a support network, improve your processes and structures for business scale and free up some of your own time so that you can focus on the areas you’re more passionate about (and probably are best at) – it’s very likely it’s these areas that drove you to start your business in the first place!