How to set up and run a small business

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Start Up Tips

preparting your company for a trade saleWe’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; Continue…

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Use memorable words for sales successWhen 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. Continue…

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Tips to run a successful virtual meeting or presentationFrom 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. Continue…

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how to quickly build rapport with peopleBeing 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. Continue…

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younger employees being a mentor for older staffWith 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! Continue…

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presentation advice for business ownersThe 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.

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tips to overcome project managenebt problemsOrganisations 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. Continue…

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how to recover from a failed business

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.

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how to futureproof your businessThere’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? Continue…

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how to set up a taxi companyIf 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. Continue…

10 teps to successfully managing projectsBusinesses 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.

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manage change in businessWhen 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.

Continue…

6 key steps to starting a successful technology businessAnyone 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.

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Increase innovation with this 6 Stage processManaging 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.

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set up a lending companyStricter 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. Continue…

how to create a great business card 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;

Continue…

steps to growing your businessAsk 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;

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how mentor can help small business ownerThe 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. Continue…

why saying thank you to staff boosts performanceStarting 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. Continue…

creating an inspirational speechIn 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.

Continue…

Transpersonal Leadership – Becoming the best leader you can be for the 21st Century

February 28, 2018

We call the best leaders for the 21st Century, Transpersonal Leaders. They lead beyond their ego, are radical, ethical and authentic whilst emotionally aware and caring, yet focused on performance enhancement and sustainability. There are many differences between being a senior corporate executive of a large company and running your own small business (I know, […]

How to create a company culture ready for change

February 23, 2018

Change is constant in business and rapid technological advances are forcing companies to make significant changes. And frequently these changes need to be implemented rapidly. Being able to swiftly adapt to new developments can be the difference between thriving and surviving, so we asked change implementation specialist, Philip Cox-Hynd, to outline how you can forge a […]

How to be a leader rather than a manager

February 23, 2018

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. Never more so than in times of challenge, are leadership skills […]

The power of the ‘pilot’ – 3 reasons why you should test your new business before launch

February 16, 2018

Setting up a new business is an exciting, thrilling and all encompassing challenge! Personally, I think 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 […]

Starting a business with your partner – 10 Tips to working and living together successfully

February 15, 2018

To some starting a business with their partner is a great idea. A chance to spend more time together and to share the experiences of running a business. To others it’s a nightmare. The thought of spending virtually every waking hour in each other’s pocket is simply too over bearing. If you are thinking of […]

How to turn your experience into an awesome presentation

February 14, 2018

The most powerful place in any room is at the front, on the platform. What you do when you get there will have a dramatic impact on your business – for good or for bad. Do a good job, and win respect, admiration, and new business. Do poorly, and you’ll wish you had stayed home. […]

The 7 Principles of PRINCE2 Project Management

January 26, 2018

All businesses go through change as they grow and develop and it will become likely that at some stage every business will take on a project of some sort, whether that’s the delivery of a new IT system, reducing wastage in the supply chain or developing a new website. Many business projects can be complex […]

Why start-ups need to balance focus and flexibility, & how to do this with an Agile Focus Strategy

January 25, 2018

Commercialising your innovative ideas requires constant, large leaps forward. This requires great speed, to make sure that your market isn’t filled by your competition. Yet speed is useless if you aren’t running in the right direction, that is – if you are not pursuing a promising enough market. If you are too blinkered, you might […]

8 Common mistakes new business owners make

January 2, 2018

Building a successful new business is a roller-coaster. There will be days you know you couldn’t do anything else, and days you wish you did. Sometimes you’ll be on top of the world, but at other times it will be a struggle to drag yourself out of bed. In the high-stakes world of starting a […]

What businesses can learn from the US Marines

December 18, 2017

The US Marines are world-famous for their exacting standards and ruthless efficiency. The conditions they operate under might be very different from those we see in the commercial world, but there are very valuable lessons that businesses can learn from the Marines. Here, James Bowen and Brian MacNeice, authors of Powerhouse – Insider accounts into […]

Why every leader needs behavioural flexibility and how to achieve it

December 15, 2017

Leadership is one of the most written about topics in business. You can be an ‘Authentic Leader’, a ‘Facilitative Leader’ or an ‘Agile Leader’, to select words from just three of the recently published leadership titles. These words fast risk becoming clichés. Some may have currency, others do not. What is true is that there […]

The 3 people every small business owner should be buying presents for this Christmas

December 13, 2017

While many festive traditions have successfully made the move from the home to the workplace – the annual party and ‘Secret Santa’ are both staples of nearly every small business’ Christmas celebrations – there is one that still hasn’t made the leap: proper gift giving. Crack Christmas gifting and the benefits will roll in: you’ll […]

Presenting with P.O.W.E.R.

December 11, 2017

As the owner of a startup or small business you will inevitably need to stand in front of an audience and speak to them. It is an essential part of modern business life. Speaking in public is something that turns many business owners cold with fear. But with some expert insight and a little practice […]

5 questions to ask yourself before you start your own business

November 13, 2017

The inspiration to start a business can come anywhere at any time: in the pub, in the shower, in the supermarket, walking the dog. How many times has someone you know announced they’ve had a great business idea? And how many of those eureka moments ended up getting no further than a few notes on […]

A guide to setting up your first business website

November 6, 2017

Having an online presence is crucial for any modern business so that potential customers are able to find you online. However, many small businesses are missing out on the opportunities that being online bring. So if you’re yet launch your business online, or are thinking of starting a new business and want to make the […]

5 Business leadership tips for new business owners

October 20, 2017

So you’ve decided to take the leap and start your own business. Does this mean that all the leadership stuff you learned about on your mini-MBA gets tossed out the window? Ah, the joys of throwing away the corporate policies manual, the bliss of not worrying about reporting lines and organizational structures. Well, yes and […]