Key Business Start-Up Guides
When it comes to business profitability, you’ll know that keeping overheads as low as you can is vital. But countless companies end up unwittingly paying more than they should for their business energy. And with energy prices on the rise, this can add up substantially, especially during winter months.
But how do you know if your business is on the best rates, or if you’re overpaying and need to switch to a better deal? (more…)
Starting a new business is exciting but can often be stressful too. Keeping costs at a minimum and budgeting effectively is a sure-fire way to get you through those difficult patches.
One of the quickest and easiest methods is to compare your energy tariff and switch to a better deal. A quick business energy price comparison can result in up to 30% savings per year. So, while business energy is not the most thrilling of money-savers, it’s certainly one of the most effective. (more…)
Setting up a new business is an exciting, thrilling and all encompassing challenge. It is the best and most stretching form of personal and professional development that a person can do.
Creating and selling your own products and services, building a network of happy customers and managing your own time are just three of the perks that come with running your own business. But all too often, I meet entrepreneurs who are burnt out, stressed and lacking in sufficient income. This is often because they did not trial their business ideas before they got stuck in. So today, I want to convince you that you should ‘pilot’ your business idea before you launch your new venture for real. (more…)
The transition from being a manager to becoming business leader, is one that many new business owners will need to make.
Often, the success or failure of your business depends on how well and how quickly you can adapt to this fundamental role change. (more…)
How much of what you say is actually remembered? As a business owner, communicating your vision and expectations is vital if your business is to succeed, so strong and effective communication skills are a pre-requisite for any business owner.
You need your presentations or speeches to be remembered and acted upon long after the staff or board meeting, but in reality, most presentations are forgotten after a few hours. Even less is remembered after a few days and many people will only remember about 5% of what you said after a month. So how can you make sure your presentations are memorable and impactful? (more…)
So, you have a great product idea, it’s exciting, you see the value and believe it could change your company’s future or launch your next new business. This idea may be a brand new product solving a problem, or a better way to address a market need than the competitors out there today.
Knowing that not all business ideas make it, jumping into your new idea can be a significant risk, requiring you to commit substantial resources. However, it doesn’t have to be, and there are a few questions to focus on early to test your idea’s potential. (more…)
Last year I took the massive step to leave the security of a six-figure salary, bonuses and pension to do something that I truly love.
Some might say this was a crazy move but at the age of forty I realised that we are not on this earth for a look around and being happy and doing something with purpose is more important than fancy titles and money. (more…)
Starting your own business from scratch can be a terrifying prospect filled with self-doubt and worries about failure and going broke.
To help you safely negotiate the path of entrepreneurship, we asked business mentor and author Brian Marcel to share his blueprint for business success. (more…)
“You should never judge a book by its cover”, or so runs the popular advice. But there’s a reason that these words are so often-repeated; we often need to remind ourselves that first impressions aren’t everything. Whether we’re meeting a new person for the first time, or picking up an unfamiliar product, our natural drive to form a snap judgement is often irresistible.
Of course, the fact that so many of us are innate cover-judgers makes proper presentation essential – not only for book publishers, but for anyone looking to sell physical products of any sort. (more…)
According to a study by Elements Global Services, 69 percent of UK businesses are planning to expand internationally in the next three years. At the same time, 58 percent of businesses described hiring and onboarding overseas staff as challenging.
Problems identified in the research include setting up global payroll, benefits programs and other HR essentials; costs and time involved in recruitment; and overcoming cultural barriers between overseas and domestic staff. How, then, can businesses face these challenges with confidence? (more…)
When I first discovered entrepreneurship, I was a blind optimist and believed that most entrepreneurs were succeeding, earning big money, enjoying freedom and making an impact.
I knew there was work involved, but I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t choose to be an entrepreneur – success was a sure thing if you were ambitious, tenacious and focused on adding value. (more…)
New scientific products are often innovative, forward-thinking and can even be life changing to many. But those seeking to bring them to market must prepare themselves for an uphill struggle. (more…)
As a small business owner, you may be giving a presentation to customers, at a networking event, to potential investors or for staff training.
What will you do if your presentation is turning out to be a nightmare: projector’s not working, presentation not displaying as you want or you have the audience from hell? How can we turn a challenging presentation into a winning one? (more…)
Running a small business can be a bit of a roller-coaster. Just when you think everything is going smoothly, an unexpected shock can hit your business and all of a sudden, your business is experiencing a very tough time.
So how do you turn your business around when times are bad, and all seems lost? Here, business owner, Anthony Main reveals how he saved his business from folding, and shares what he learned from his experience.
Many small businesses and startups are quite agile. The relatively simple structure of most small businesses means they are well placed to adapt to changing market conditions, the ever-increasing pace of working life and evolving customer needs.
If everyone in the business is empowered to act in the interests of your customers, you’ll find that the decisions they make and the work they do is likely to have a real impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To make sure that your people are empowered to act, you need to ensure they are up-to-date with key business activities. One of the best ways you can keep everyone updated is through a simple daily huddle. (more…)
Once you have conquered your home market, what should you do? Set your sights overseas! That’s an obvious answer, anyway. Indeed, by pursuing international growth, you can give existing products a new lease of sales life and spread your company’s risk exposure across a range of markets.
However, mining meaningful returns from overseas markets can require you to first overcome various challenges. Here are 5 of the most common obstacles to global corporate success; (more…)
We’ve all heard tales of bedroom entrepreneurs that end up selling their companies for billions.
It’s a dream that’s shared by many current and aspiring business owners. However, assembling your start-up with the ultimate goal of a trade sale takes a lot of preparation. What’s more, it’s hard to know where to begin.
When launching Gunna, an award-winning range of low-sugar craft soft drinks, I drew upon my previous experience of building my first company, a marketing strategy and innovation consultancy called Clear Ideas, and selling it to M&C Saatchi for £18.4m in 2007.
So here are my top five tips to help you build your start-up for a trade sale; (more…)
When you run a small business it may seem like an extra chore to carefully wordsmith every presentation you give or to think carefully about the words you use when talking about your product and service.
However, when you are trying to make a sale, every word counts. By making your words more memorable you’ll not only stick in the minds of your customers you’ll find yourself making more sales. (more…)
From bold new start-ups to established small companies branching out, meetings and interactions are increasingly virtual.
In some cases, due to distance and the global reach, you may never meet in the ‘real world’, only ever online. So to help create a good impression, now more than ever, is the time to invest in developing your small screen skills.
Whether you are hosting a virtual meeting, pitching to a potential client, running a webinar, conducting online training, or even interviewing a prospective new employee, how you present yourself on the small screen matters. So, here are 10 tips to ensure you put your best foot forward on the small screen. (more…)
Being able to get on with other people is important for anyone, but especially for small businesses and start-ups.
There is very little you do alone – for most things you need to work with other people, (staff, suppliers, customers, advisors, government agencies, and so on) – and you need to get them onside.
The first step in getting on with other people is to build rapport with them. If you don’t get this right, you won’t get much further so we asked author, Catherine Stothart to outline tips and techniques that will help you to quickly establish rapport with anyone. (more…)
With age comes wisdom, but all too often in the business world, hubris can come along for the ride too.
After finessing business decision making for decades, executives naturally begin to conclude that their specialised knowledge, expertise and business skills mean that they always know the best way to solve a client problem, to win a major account, or to drive a workplace innovation.
After all their past successes confirm this. Subconsciously survivorship and confirmation biases are at work; good decisions are reinforced, and poor ones are forgotten – which distorts their real importance.
So, can these experienced executives learn something from Millennials? Absolutely! (more…)
The common perception is that you need to be a bit of an extrovert to be a good public speaker.
However, that needn’t be the case. With a few simple tricks, as Kay Heald explains, introverted entrepreneurs can become excellent public speakers.
Organisations tend to be fairly poor at defining their projects in terms of criticality and risk. Yet these are key attributes when it comes to deciding how much management and governance a project needs.
Instead, the importance of a project is often seen as directly related to how large it is, how many people are involved, how long it will last and how much budget is assigned.
Yet it’s often the small projects that get completely out of control, experiencing scope creep, or eating up resources before it gets onto the radar of the project’s sponsors. (more…)
A failed business can have a devastating impact on a business owner. However, the lessons learned can also make an entrepreneur stronger, wiser and more determined to succeed next time.
Author and international speaker, Jonathan MacDonald, was floored by a business failure, but after the initial despair, he picked himself up and used the experience to shape his future success. Here, he shares his story and explains how to bounce back from a start-up failure.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur, the amount of new options and opportunities can also feel overwhelming.
Moreover, your customer has become ever more fickle and mistrustful of how companies operate and what they promise.
So how do you futureproof your business in the face of so many choices and a changing landscape? (more…)
If you are thinking of starting up a taxi business, the most important and initial steps to take are to research the UK taxi industry as a whole, find a unique selling point, choose a brand name and obtain the relevant equipment, employees and licenses.
Nowadays, with emergence of taxi apps like Uber and Get Taxi, starting a taxi company in 2018 is certainly a different ball game than it would have been a decade ago. (more…)
Businesses operate by planning and executing a series of never-ending projects, though we may not always see it that way.
Everything from running a successful marketing campaign, to taking over a rival company, is essentially a project that requires the same rules to be followed.
So here are 10 steps that will help you to manage projects that run smoothly and deliver the goods.
When you are starting, or running a business you’re never quite sure what’s around the next corner. However, the one thing you can be certain of is change.
So for your business to succeed, you need to embrace change and adapt to what it brings. To help you do this, we’ve asked Jonathan MacDonald, author of Powered By Change to share his advice on how you can ensure your business thrives in a changing world.
Anyone who decides to launch their own company is bound to experience challenges along the way, and these challenges will all be different depending on what sector you decide to tap into.
For me, I knew launching a tech start-up in one of the most exciting and rapidly changing industries would be an exciting prospect. I knew I was bound to make mistakes but also understood the importance of learning and developing from them.
Managing cash flow, hiring new employees, delivering top quality customer service, these and many others, occupy the minds of small business owners.
Innovate? That is number 50 on the To Do list, when headspace allows.
Yet innovation, creating value out of ideas that are new to you – is the only way to ensure you are relevant for every stage of your company’s growth.
Stricter lending criteria and the boost of digital technology has led to a huge demand in the loans industry in the UK.
With more and more applications being taken out online and by mobile and the ability to make faster payments, consumers are ditching their traditional bank managers to apply for finance online. (more…)
Most business cards are about as much use as a scrap of paper with a name and number scribbled on it. That’s fine if you are looking for a date, but not so good for showcasing your business.
With a little thought, however, it’s easy to create a business card that packs a real promotional punch and helps you, and your small business, stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips and ideas that will help you design business cards that make a big impression;
Ask a group business leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs what their biggest business challenge is, and I’m confident you’d hear the same recurring thought: building their business in a sustainable, predictable, yet profitable way, quickly.
It’s a reality that most businesses never reach their full potential, always yearning for the thing that will catapult them into significance, but never really finding it.
So to help you in your business growth journey, we asked global growth authority, Royston Guest, to share his take on the ABC of business growth;
The Internet has opened up many avenues for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Ecommerce and online based services provide great opportunities for business start-ups, and, with this being the case, there are more small businesses now than ever.
The sad fact is many of these businesses don’t survive more than 5 years. However, there is hope. Research shows that having a mentor to guide you can be a game changer. (more…)
Starting a business often consists of putting out fires. Despite all the planning and contingency scenarios, you may have drawn up in preparation, you usually have to rectify things that have gone wrong before you can focus on what’s right.
As you move past the start-up phase, you’ll want to flip that equation. Then, as you begin to identify what’s working well, look at the people on your team who are getting that good work done – and thank them for it. (more…)
In a competitive business environment every business owners need to:
1) Keep raising their profile, and
2) Inspire others to make changes and take action.
To help you do this, we asked award-winning speaker, Simon Bucknall to reveal the practical steps you can take to raise your profile by public speaking and to share his Quick Start Guide for an Inspirational Speech which will help you to impress customers and inspire your team.