Journalists are often the first in line to meet people with the far-out ideas.

Every hack who has ever worked on a local rag will know what it is like when people come in off the street and tell reception they have got a great story and that they need to speak to a reporter immediately.

Generally, the most junior person in the office will be dispatched to have a chat and take down some details.

Occasionally, they will return with something half-decent for the paper, on others they will collect the date for a local fete or fundraiser, but more often than not they will be left scratching their heads in bewilderment after being bombarded with information from someone who in all seriousness needs support more than publicity.

In the harsh environment of a news room, these folk were unkindly referred to as 'the nutters'.

Random visits to reception are not so frequent in trade press, especially with pubs where it is notoriously difficult to prise business owners away from their premises.

However, there are characters with fanciful ideas who make commentators question if their subjects are totally all there.

These people are more commonly known as entrepreneurs.

I've had the pleasure of meeting a few over the years and, as someone who does not think in the same way, my initial view is normally that these people are either brilliant or a little bit crazy. Possibly both.

Some of the ones I have met have been working for large companies in corporate environments. In my experience this does not always end well because it is difficult to give these people the freedom they need to allow their creative ideas to fully come to fruition.

Thankfully, many of them quit and end up starting their own businesses where there are fewer blocks to following the ideas that make perfect sense to them but may not to the less visionary.

While many pubs have gone for good we have also seen some incredible success stories at businesses that every indicator would tell you should fail.

Entrepreneurs see things others do not. They are the ones who can look at a boarded up wet-led pub and picture it packed with people under 30 sipping cocktails and dining on vegan delights.

There are more entrepreneurs running pubs than ever before but we need more still.

So, if you are an entrepreneur reading this there are two things I would like to say. First of all, sorry. Sorry for any times when I have stopped listening halfway through a sentence and wondered what planet you were on.

Secondly, sorry for not being on that planet because you are the kind of person who can take pubs into the stratosphere.

For if ever there was a trade that needs ideas, characters and people with energy and the vision to make things work when others think you will fail, this is it.


Check out the April issue of Inapub, which features several licensees who fall into the entrepreneur category.