Scott Dylan is the founder and managing partner of Fresh Thinking Group, an independent capital investment agency that supports businesses throughout collaborative acquisition journeys. Fresh Thinking Group provides business-transformation strategies for healthy firms looking to grow, distressed companies looking for financial support, and start-ups looking for sales-boosting guidance.
Scott combines his expertise in business development, investment, software, and technologies to revitalise struggling companies and mentor small and large corporate teams. Scott’s entrepreneurial spirit and approach to business transformation enables effective collaboration that pushes firms to achieve – and surpass – their business goals.
Where did the idea for Fresh Thinking Group come from?
The idea came from a fresh approach to investing. My motivation is job retention rather than profits. Of course, profits are important but I believe by having job retention as the core incentive, you can achieve the best results.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I find it interesting when you read about successful people’s morning and daily routines. I don’t take much notice, and neither should you. We’re all different and our bodies and minds are unique. Just because Bill Gates gets up at 4 am to meditate, jogs at 6, then eats 3 eggs and spinach at 8:30 doesn’t mean you have to too. Do what you feel is right for you. Personally I start a bit later and then work late, sometimes till 1 am. I’m a night owl, but that’s what feels right to my body and when I’m most productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have the privilege to work with a talented and driven senior management team who look after over 140 people across our group. We work collaboratively, regardless of whose idea it is to see it go from idea to reality. Every person in the group is encouraged to share ideas, and we found this recently with a new hire who in the first few days of starting with us was already giving us feedback, before the week was out we were able to implement the feedback, creating a really tight feedback loop.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Delegation is critical for any entrepreneur to be productive. Knowing when to delegate and when not to will set you apart from other entrepreneurs and leaders. If you’re someone who isn’t an expert in marketing, hire someone who is. It can be very easy to try and do everything yourself, but you need to find what you’re really good at and hone in to make that your specialty.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask questions. Whether it’s asking a new hire why they left their last job, or a prospective client why they want to work with us, It’s one thing I do time and time again. As an entrepreneur you should never apologize for asking questions about your businesses, the people you work with or potential clients. Did a prospective client end their last supplier arrangement abruptly, and they want you to take over? Ask them why, you may find out they have unrealistic expectations, and it may save you a lot of time, and money. I also ask all my team members in the interview, what’s the one thing that will annoy or bug me? Noone is perfect, and if they’ve told me before I hire, then the expectation is set and I can’t really complain at the habit/issue as I still decided to hire them.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
It’s easy to look at things you’ve done in the past as failures, but I see them as learning. There are more positive connotations with something you’ve learned from, than failed.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A Covid-19 Stay Safe app that gives you a tailored plan to look after your own well-being. For example, by answering a few questions about how you are feeling about Covid-19 and going back to work for example you will get a tailored three-week program to help with things like, confidence, fact-checking, and how to stay safe at home and at work. You can sell the app on a license basis to company HR teams to help engage and support employees.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz as it gives you all the foundations you need to grow your business in a sustainable way and manage your company’s finances.
What is your favorite quote?
“Know your numbers” and “Fail fast, learn faster and adapt”
- Surround yourself with talented people & encourage a collaborative working environment.
- Know when to delegate and always ask questions – this will separate you apart from other entrepreneurs.
- There are lessons everywhere – see your failures as learning and growth opportunities.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.