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There is no denying that starting a business is tough. It becomes even tougher too, when that business starts to develop and grow regardless of whether it is planned or not. It’s at these moments when business leaders will find their faith tested beyond anything they imagined. The pace in which things can unravel can be alarming – especially if time has not been taken to identify the right tools and build the correct infrastructure to support enhanced demand. Dr Tom Mason, (pictured) Founder and CEO of Bramble Energy

One business which has experienced considerable growth over the past 12 months is Bramble Energy – a hydrogen fuel cell company . The business is proving to be a real game-changer in solving key issues in the production and distribution of this promising clean technology. 

Earlier this year, the firm closed a £35m investment round which is being used to help the business grow its UK-based team to over 100 (currently at 60) and take it one step further to achieving its goal of becoming the largest fuel-cell supplier in the world.

Dr. Tom Mason, Co-Founder and CEO shares his experience and learnings since developing the unique piece of technology and launching the business in research labs at Imperial College London and University College of London in 2016.

Time to prioritise and strategise

Something I learnt at the very start of the business journey was how easy it was to get consumed by all the noise and opinions of everyone else, which on occasion meant I have run the risk of spreading myself too thin. 

I am confident our technology at Bramble Energy is limitless, in fact we have use cases across a number of sectors to prove concepts across many applications and stakeholders, but it’s incredibly important as a business leader who wants sustainable growth that you prioritise. Not only with the development of the product(s), but the sectors and geographical locations in which your brand becomes known. 

Proving concepts and building trust takes time so in order to do both well, prioritisation is key. The art of doing so allows business growth to become more manageable. It will present the capacity to ensure time, resource and budget is being allocated to the right projects, innovation and people in order for growth to be continuous.  

Depending on how your business model works, your strategy is a helpful resource to navigate the unknown and respond to the varying opinions of different stakeholders on how best to move

forward. No one understands your business and how it has got to where it is, better than you so use this knowledge to define your future path. 

Going backward to move forwards

Never forget what you set out to do with your company. The mission will be your team’s driving force- no matter the size. Growing your company only means that you are in a better place to actually achieve your mission, so it is important to go back and reaffirm your goals on a daily basis. 

There won’t be a day that goes by where there is not a challenge that presents itself from the highly technical to just the everyday of building a business from the ground up. Sometimes this can be overwhelming especially when people expect you to have all the answers. That said when you do overcome these challenges this will be one of the biggest highs you can experience. 

Every day is a school day, and it is what you choose to take away from each of these that will ultimately make your business a success. 

Building the right infrastructure to manage growth 

As your team grows, what may have worked when you were smaller may not be relevant anymore and the infrastructure that you start to build from within will be integral in protecting your mission, your business and your team. 

Listening will be your greatest tool here. Every single person who you choose to take on the journey with you – from those at the very beginning to those who join at a later date – can help shape the business by looking at it through a different lens. 

People are your greatest asset especially in terms of the daily processes and culture you are creating. Taking time to understand and listen in a period of growth to what is still working, what may need changing and what new processes are necessary will help to secure your business’s success but also success for every single member of your team. 

Perseverance is key

Never give up and this is advice I still give myself. Moving from concept to fully fledged business is not easy and there are challenges on every level but if you truly believe in it then you must keep going. This is certainly easier when you build the strongest support network around you.

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