Nick Jenkins: coping with business challenges

Exclusive: during the first lockdown in 2020, serial entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Nick Jenkins shared his thoughts on the challenges facing all sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A long-standing contributor to BCMS events and initiatives, Nick Jenkins has wide experience of what it takes to create and run a successful company. From his time building online greetings card giant Moonpig.com into a household name, to listening to countless business proposals on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, Nick is well accustomed to the ever-changing demands of business leadership.

“If you’ve got to take a decision – take it quickly” – Nick Jenkins

Despite selling Moonpig in 2011, Nick remains a key shareholder in a diverse portfolio of companies and has seen first-hand how the pandemic has changed how they operate. “Its so different for different types of businesses” he explains. For one of his businesses it has never been busier, while for another it has been impossible to continue for the time being. Both, however, have had to rapidly alter the way they are run.

“When all businesses are in trouble, one of the things you need to do is to be decisive about things; take decisions and act quickly. Faffing about doesn’t help anyone in the long-run.”

Whether businesses have seen an increase in activity, or have seen operations grind to halt, decisive and agile leadership are central to their survival. This ensures that the business can operate in the post-pandemic, ‘new normal’ world – whenever that may be.

For Nick, the worst thing business leaders can do is to simply do nothing. “Being a rabbit frozen in the headlights – doing nothing and just hoping it will all go away when you wake up in the morning.”

Nick’s interview is just one of many videos recorded exclusively for BCMS during the pandemic, designed to offer guidance and advice to business leaders. They are all available on our dedicated YouTube channel. Other interviewees include Lord BilimoriaLord Bird of The Big Issue, and Terry Waite.