If you believe in your idea, then don’t let others distract you

Doug Sparkes, Ecopac (UK) Ltd (Packaging Design and Logistics)

Poor packaging results in damaged goods, wasted time and lost goodwill. At the same time, too much packaging wastes valuable resources, increases costs and upsets consumers.   At Ecopac, we work closely with our customers to develop packaging solutions to ensure the right packaging so that they get the best solution.

Doug Sparkes of Ecopac

We asked Doug Sparkes, Ecopacs Managing Director, what he has learned during his journey.

What’s the one thing that you would say to someone at an earlier stage of their business journey to inspire them? If you believe in your idea then don’t let others distract you. You’ll have plenty of people telling you why something won’t work or what could happen if it all goes wrong. If you believe in it, test it to prove it and then stay focused to make it happen. Imagine the future and follow your plan to get there. The pubs of England are full of old men who have great stories of what they could have achieved if only they had got on with it.

Based on your experience, what’s the single most important tip that you could offer someone at an earlier stage of their business journey? When you’ve decided what you want your business to achieve, and as soon as you are confident you can achieve it, get the infrastructure in place to support it as soon as you can afford it.  In the long run, it’s much more cost effective to grow into an infrastructure than it is to be playing catch up. If the growth comes, and you’re not geared up for it, the costs will run away with themselves, overtime, panic deliveries, inefficient fulfillment and in the worst case unhappy, let down customers. Good prospective customers will want you to demonstrate that you can cope with their additional business, be prepared.

If you had your time again, what’s the one thing that you’d do differently to grow and develop your business? Make difficult decisions quickly and act on them. I knew very early on in my time at Ecopac that there were three employees who were not going to come on the journey with me. I wasted two years with one of them before I made a necessary change. As a result, the logistics side of the business is still catching up. If I was back at the start, then I’d get the best people I could in place as quickly as possible. You can do it fairly and the cost of change should be seen as an investment in the future of the business.