This episode marks the return of the “Entrepreneur In Focus” series with an exclusive interview between Nick and Tom Mercer, the founder of Moma Foods, a brand currently making waves internationally, and which began by selling their products from a converted filing cabinet, to hungry London commuters at train stations.
If anyone can tell you what it’s truly like to go through the journey, to face down each challenge and take advantage of each opportunity, while also scaling up your business from humble beginnings, it’s Tom.
- Creating Moma Foods was the result of Tom identifying a gap in his own life; healthy breakfast on the go for people who have little time in the mornings. The first years of the business were spent with Tom working in every aspect of the business, including rising early and preparing the food, then taking it to the streets and selling it.
- Optimism and belief, coupled with youth, determination and energy, is what Tom credits with keeping him going in the early days. It seems as though these qualities are vital to many entrepreneurs when starting out.
- You need objectivity and realism when setting up a business. You need to be able to identify things that aren’t working, or pivot when things need to change.
- Knowing when to pivot comes from a blend of natural insight and constant evaluation from metrics that each business should have built in from the start.
- Passion is vital, and is hugely attractive when pitching. In terms of sales, Tom enjoys this side of the business because he’s passionate about the product, but equally he is keen to constantly innovate and disrupt.
- The operations are the backbone of any business. Making sure you have effective processes in place are essential. Passion and innovation and creation are the kickstarters, but remember to implement processes as you go.
- Physical health is becoming increasingly important to Tom. Suffering from MS, he now finds it important to take better care of his health, which allows him to work harder and keep him going.
- Getting the right team around you is so important to effective scale-up. Without the right team it’s impossible to grow. Find the right people and free yourself up to do other things
- ‘It doesn’t really matter what happens to you in life. It’s what you do around it’
- ‘You only fail if you give up’
- ‘It’s important to look after yourself, so I try to eat healthily, exercise regularly and sleep more’
- ‘I’m a glass half full person, so I never thought we’d fail’
- ‘You have to change’
- ‘Having a decent breakfast in the mornings can really impact your day'
ABOUT THE HOST
My name is Nick Bradley. I’m an entrepreneur, author, speaker and investor. My background is in growing and scaling VC and Private Equity backed businesses.
Having successfully built, bought and sold a number of companies, and removed myself from day-to-day operations, my focus now is on helping entrepreneurs get to where they want to be, in business and in life. As well as investing in growth businesses and backing turnarounds - with the ultimate aim of creating value from significant capital events.
I’m passionate about personal and professional development - showing up and being the best version of myself ... every day.
My bigger vision is to help bring entrepreneurial skills, experience and mindset to people in developing nations - so they can follow their dreams, live life more on their terms - utilising entrepreneurship as a global force for good.