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The entrepreneur’s guide to success, with Coutts

Gentleman’s Journal asks one of the world’s oldest wealth managers for its best advice for business people…

How do you measure success? In profits? Public perception? Self-satisfaction? Environmental impact? The truth is, there’s no right answer. In fact, success is subjective — especially for entrepreneurs. Whether building a business from the ground up, disrupting an established sector or embarking on an exciting new creative project, our aims and aspirations are all different; and so are the means and methods we use to reach these targets.

Few banks know this better than Coutts. As the eighth oldest private bank in the world and a certified B Corporation, the bank has been supporting trailblazers, pioneers and challengers for over 300 years, from Queen Anne in the 18th century to some of the most successful entrepreneurs of today.

From astute financial planning to creative lending, the experts at Coutts are on hand to help. Greg Kyle-Langley, Head of Entrepreneurs Proposition at Coutts, says:

“In their early days, we work with entrepreneurs to help build an invaluable support network. As their companies evolve, we help them and their families benefit from and help preserve any value they’re creating and understand the journey ahead. And when the time comes to exit the business, or pass it on to someone else, we work with them to ensure that process goes as smoothly as possible and that they’re ready for what’s next”.

So if you believe true success takes real character, Coutts may be the guiding hand you and your business needs. Challenging the traditional tropes of business, the bank could help you achieve your goals — as unconventional as they may be. We asked the institution for its top tips for budding business people.

Work in a way that suits your character

Let’s start with something simple. To succeed in any endeavour, you must commit fully and diligently to your cause. After all, you can’t get a passion project off the ground without dedication, devotion and due sacrifice. And that means working hard, but also working in a way that works for you. Choose a motivational, nurturing support system, and your workload could be made more bearable.

That’s where Coutts comes in. Offering bespoke personalised banking, Coutts could adapt and tailor its myriad services wholly to your needs — whether you happen to be a hedge fund manager or a successful musician. There’s a vast range of resources available to clients, and generations of invaluable insight and experience with new and established businesses.

Because, whilst hard work is an exceedingly important part of entrepreneurship, pushing full steam ahead won’t help if you’re going in the wrong direction. Thankfully, Coutts could help you navigate the murky waters of the business world — and get you on the right course for success.

It pays to dress for success

Another given; another much-misunderstood step towards success. The way you dress can influence everything from first impressions to self-confidence — and that makes it imperative that you feel comfortable with the visual identity you have established for yourself. Most people presume that the uniform of business success is a trimly-tailored, buttoned-up, slick and sophisticated suit.

Instead, dressing for success hinges entirely on how your clothes make you feel. As with your business or brand itself, if you dress it up with the wrong logo, colours or style, you’ll end up hindering — or even halting — progress before you’ve begun. So, rather than questioning the pattern of your tie, or the width of your lapels, perhaps you should be asking whether or not a suit is suitable for you at all.

Ensure you’re mixing in the right circles

Success often begets success. And the more steps you take — and headway you make — the more momentum you’ll pick up. And, with momentum, the quicker your entrepreneurial endeavour will travel. So what’s the best way to get things moving? While the trope may be surrounding yourself with like-minded people, Coutts believes it is all about those who can nudge, guide, challenge and occasionally give you a stiff shove towards your goals.

By creating a community to support your ideas, many entrepreneurs find that their personal network will expand in the right way into the right areas — and you’ll begin to attract attention from the right people. Of course, all of this mixing, meeting and contact-making may seem like an unenviable task.

Currently the only major UK private bank and wealth manager to become a certified B Corporation, Coutts is one of a community of over 500 companies helping to lead the way towards a sustainable and inclusive economy; one that works to help eager entrepreneurs contribute meaningfully and effectively to wider society. And a key part of that mission? Connecting these businesses to drive forward action and collectively be a force for good.

Remember that your investments could make a difference

A strong vision is nothing without the right values backing it up. Unfortunately, for many entrepreneurs starting out, it can be all too easy for the wrong influences and motivations to steer things off course. And, whilst surrounding yourself with the right people can help to some extent, nothing beats sticking with your own strong moral compass to succeed in the world of business.

And that means underpinning every one of your endeavours with ethics, principles and high moral standards. Choose the right brands and businesses to support your enterprise, and that’ll be even easier. Fortunately, as both a private bank and an investment house, Coutts champions sustainable practices and, having recently joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, is advocating for realistic and attainable goals. Environmental, social, and governance criteria lie at the heart of their investment decisions, which in turn helps companies pursue higher standards and helps their clients manage their investments in a principled, upright way.

The value of investments can go down as well as up, and you might not get back the full amount you invest.

Coutts works with private clients over 18 with £1m+ borrowing or investing needs. Fees and charges may apply. Find out more at

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