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5 top tips for SMEs from Virtuzone Founder and Chairman Neil Petch

Date Posted: Wed, 16 Oct, 2019

5 top tips for SMEs from Virtuzone Founder and Chairman Neil Petch

At a recent SME business breakfast hosted by Richard Dean of Dubai Eye and Etisalat, Founder and Chairman of Virtuzone Neil Petch shared his top 5 business tips and advice to SMEs and entrepreneurs starting their businesses in Dubai.


As Founder and Chairman of Virtuzone, Neil Petch helps entrepreneurs and start-ups conceive, plan and build their businesses. Since its formation in July 2009, Virtuzone has assisted over 15,000 entrepreneurs, making it the most dynamic and fastest growing company set-up operator in the UAE.

In addition to starting up businesses, Neil has held senior roles in several companies. He helped establish ITP in Dubai and spearheaded the launch of over 60 digital and print titles, including Time Out, Harper’s Bazaar, Arabian Business, Ahlan and Grazia, and in the process saw the company grow from 2 to over 600 employees. Neil also served as Managing Director of ENG Media, part of the Emirates Neon conglomerate.

 This vast experience more than qualifies the following business tips:

1. Prepare to make mistakes 

Preparing to make mistakes is crucial to an entrepreneur’s success - how they respond to each mistake can make or break their business longer term. Neil quoted “Out of adversity rises opportunity” and promoted this outlook to the audience! 

2. Believe in yourself

 Neil urged the audience, “Believe in yourself, find the gap….. and go for it” A strategy that will pull business owners through even the toughest of times.

3. Cash is King

 With experience of setting up his own companies, Neil is best placed to advise on how critical it is plan and prepare. That the market is “unforgivable” if you are cash poor and how one of the best lessons he could share was having an accountant in place immediately so that when banks asked for audited accounts, he had easy access to his company’s financial history, putting him in a very strong position for further investment.

4. Recruitment

“Hiring great staff should be a priority spend” urged Neil. “Then you have to make them feel valued”, he continued “Make sure they have a good working environment, a good laptop and room to innovate”. Neil described employees as having their “hands on the pottery” of your business, putting a good team in place is imperative to the smooth running and growth of a company.

 5. Make it as easy as possible

“Don’t run a race with hurdles, when you can run on the flat” meaning: ask for help, speak to someone that has been through the same process, use a network, join a business group, acquire a mentor, partner with people and develop your own “eco-system