Stuart Balmer

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Jemima Heard
October 29, 2020

Stuart Balmer is Freelance Business Advisor for :

  • London Small Business Centre
  • Creative United
  • Grant Thornton Growth Accelerator.

He has been delivering business advice for our ERDF programmes since 2014. Read on to find out more about Stuart, his work and life outside of it.

I live with my wife and two boys in a vibrant part of East London just off of Brick Lane. It's a stark contrast to the Kent estuary town I grew up in, where they stopped burying the dead. I have been my own boss for over 30 years, which has given me freedom to meander my working life in exciting and challenging ways.

At core I am a creative person but like to ground this with some technical logic. This is why I enjoy what I do in helping businesses unravel their own choices. My experience of managing my own fashion business, yet being trained in 3D design, has helped form a methodology that I now share with others in my role as a consultant and business adviser.

My typical day has been uprooted by the pandemic. I have structured my working week around our decision, after having children, to share their upbringing 50% and work 50%. As they have grown older I now have more time in work but still do the school run 3 times a week, which involves a walk to the city.  Then I would walk to my office and typically have a series of 1-2-1 advice sessions booked with a variety of. business types and sizes. This may be interspersed with delivery of workshops. Currently it’s much the same routine but delivered remotely due to COVID 19.

I built a fashion brand over 25 years and have always had an entrepreneurial outlook since childhood. In the last 5 years I have worked with over 500 businesses and individuals in helping them move their vision forward and seen an enormous variety of problems to resolve. My passion lies though in the creative and tech sectors where the magic happens.

My specialist subject on Mastermind would be ... British Youth & Pop Culture 1960 to 1990.

"Immersive tech is the conduit that will make the impossible, possible."

I enjoy working with Tech SMEs because the future excites me and technology is a natural part of human evolution. Immersive tech is the conduit that will make the impossible, possible.

If I did not work in the Tech & Creative Sector (and If I had a magic wand), I'd be a musician. But in reality this is hampered by a lack of talent and being tone deaf.

I think it's important for academic institutions and commercial organisation to work together because commerce often does not allow the freedom to dream whilst academia must realise that ideas without purpose are futile.

My top tip for a start-up or SME developing a new product is: Forever remind yourself that there will be an end user, so delve deep into the psyche of that individual. It will only be successful if it satisfies a want, need or desire within that person, so understand those triggers.