To celebrate Entrepreneurs’ Month, we’ve sat down with our founder and CEO Robert Lockyer to find out more about his journey from starting Delta Global in 2007 to expanding the business and taking it overseas.
What advice would you give to a prospecting entrepreneur in today’s market?
If I were to give just one piece of advice to somebody looking to become an entrepreneur today, it would be - always have a plan and go for it. It can be difficult, but it’s also critical to be able to always challenge and question the status quo. Be brave and be your own best critic.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Should have done it sooner!
Do you believe there are age restrictions to becoming an entrepreneur?
None whatsoever. I would say have faith in your own abilities, ideas and experience. You’ll never feel fully prepared and you’ll keep postponing it, always finding excuses. You’ll never have all the answers at the beginning of the journey, so go looking for them. Start the journey and you’ll find a way to get to your destination.
Is there a pivotal moment in your career which shaped you into who you are today?
When I sold my first pushbike when I was 12 years old…. It was all about presentation. And it still is!
What were the biggest challenges you faced in building your business and how did you overcome them?
I had to jump through a lot of hoops at the start, but the most challenging aspect of it all was gaining credibility with third parties such as supply partners and banks. It’s a big change having to deal with all functions of a business yourself when your past experience had entire departments that covered everything from IT, logistics, services, design and innovation. I found that the best way to overcome this hurdle is to get your head down and learn. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you’ll learn from them. Don’t hesitate to ask for help because that’s how you’ll progress. And more than anything never, never give up on your dream or passion!
What key traits do you believe a successful entrepreneur/business owner requires?
First of all, passion for what they do because this will keep them going. Second of all, enormous reverses of energy to counteract the masses of pressure they’ll be put under. Confidence and belief in their ideas. If you don’t believe in your own idea, then how will others? Being open-minded also helps enormously, especially when it comes to disrupting an industry and innovating. Last but not least, being prepared to learn is also a huge plus to be able to continuously improve and move closer to making your dream a reality.
What/who inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
This might be surprising (or not) but I was determined to start my own business after being told I wasn’t good enough to achieve anything at school.
Do you see yourself as a leader or a visionary? And do you believe there’s a difference?
I think they are both intrinsically linked. Leaders have to be visionary to be successful. Their vision will inspire people to follow them and will motivate them to join in their cause.
Is there anything an entrepreneur who is starting out should avoid or be wary of?
Fear. If something doesn’t scare you, you are not pushing yourself hard enough. Great things can be scary to accomplish, but they wouldn’t be great otherwise. In this case, I would say focus on your end goal and find some support to help you work your way through any impediments if needed. Build a reliable team that can have your back at all times.
Do you believe anyone can become an entrepreneur? And why?
Sure, it’s in everyone. You just got to find or realise it. Everybody has had an eureka moment at least once in their life. Imagine where you would be today if you followed the idea you got in that moment!
Are there any lessons through your career as an entrepreneur that have helped you in your personal life?
Sure. The biggest lesson for me is that success isn’t success unless you have your family there to share it with.
How did you handle adversity and doubt?
Head on. Adversity to innovation and disruption is normal, so I was prepared to take on any provocations. In truth, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Like I said - take advice, keep asking questions and most of all never give in or up!
Do you have any tricks for staying focused and productive whilst following a busy schedule?
Mental and physical fitness are both important for keeping on top of my game. Having a talented and dedicated team also helps because I know I can always rely on them to help out when the business encounters a challenge. So surround yourself with great people who you can trust.
What activities should entrepreneurs invest their time in?
I would say it’s important for entrepreneurs to make time for networking, fitness, and occasionally relaxing! A balanced schedule will ensure you’re in tip-top shape mentally and physically.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to trade outside the UK market?
I would recommend them to do their homework and research. If you thought starting a business in your own country was challenging, expanding abroad brings its own host of unexplored difficulties. Working with the British Chambers of Commerce overseas can be hugely helpful, they are a great resource and source of networking opportunities. But most importantly, think big and aim high!