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Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few.

The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small businesses need to reach customers in a digital world.

Digital marketing can be a bit of a mystery to many small business owners, so to help you explore how you make the most of the opportunities it offers, we’ve asked Tink Taylor, founder of dotmailer, to share some simple tips to get you started on your digital journey.
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Startups need to get their message across — and fast. It’s therefore vital for every new business to create a great pitch presentation. To help you prepare a compelling case, we asked, Emma Ledden, author of The Presentation Book to share the secrets of how to produce memorable presentations that help put you on the map. Continue…

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Starting up and growing your own business can be extremely exciting and exhilarating, but it can also at times be quite lonely and overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have a business partner to share the experience with. When you are sitting alone at your desk it can be hard to know where to turn for advice and support.

The good news is there is fantastic solution to this. That is to create your own support team that you can call on whenever you need to for help and advice, and even sometimes simply for encouragement and motivation and a friendly chat.

Here’s how to do it: Continue…

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It might be strange to think that storytelling can be a powerful tool for startups. But stories provide a fantastic way to explore the purpose of your new business, what it stands for, what it will be like and how you will achieve your vision.

The great thing about stories is that we are all designed to be storytellers. Every time we talk about why we are starting a business, every time we share our idea of what the business will be achieving in the future we are sharing stories.

When we do this, we are influencing others – sometimes these stories change our thinking, sometimes they help us and those around us to understand and accept new ideas. So with stories, being such a powerful tool for new business owners, here are 4 simple strory-telling techniques you can use to get results; Continue…

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If you’re starting a new business you’ll, no doubt, want to establish and build a strong brand. Doing so will bring huge benefits over the long-term, helping you to stand out from the crowd, generate more customers and ultimately build a more valuable business.

But how do you build a brand, and where do you start? We asked branding expert, and author of ‘Winning in Your Own Way; the Nine and a Half Golden Rules of Branding‘, Robert Bean to explain;
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…continued from Part 1 of Build a Brand, Build a Business Continue…

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When you are launching a new business, it’s fair to say that planning your finances isn’t the most exciting aspect of of being a startup. However, it is a crucial part of understanding whether your business has a chance of succeeding

And the good news is that there are now dedicated software, tools and apps that can quickly and easily produce financial forecasts for you.

So to help you understand more about how planning your finances can help your startup succeed, we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to share her experience with us;

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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 best of your website, here are a few handy tips and tricks from Li-at Karpel Gurwicz of Wix, to help you do it successfully: Continue…

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When you are starting a business, you will need to answer many questions. However, one of the most fundamental questions any business owner will be asked is, what is the purpose of your business?

So what would your answer be?

How you answer the question, has a significant bearing on whether your business is likely to succeed, so we asked Jim McGrath, author of The Little Book of Big Management Wisdom to reveal what your answer should be; Continue…

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Small businesses often begin when an entrepreneur brings an idea to life on a laptop at the kitchen table. At this point, the entire IT infrastructure of the business is likely to be the computer and the software it’s running. But things can grow very quickly.

As your startup grows, the size and complexity of your business increases. An integrated and functional IT system can help you manage this transition, improving productivity, security and also saving money. And best of all, because of developments in hardware and software, it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated to manage.

Using cloud services, a functioning virtual network can be created simply and quickly for your business in a matter of moments online. In fact, creating the network is the simple bit – to make it function properly and securely, you’ll need to gain some insight, do some planning and potentially get some external support.

Here, we share some practical hints and tips to help you manage your business’s IT as you grow and develop. Continue…

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One of the biggest challenges you face as a start-up is getting your name out there. However, even if people hear your name, unless they know what makes your business unique, they are unlikely to choose you over a competitor. Help someone understand how you can solve their problem, however, and you’re in with a chance of becoming their preferred supplier.

One of the best ways to grow awareness is to share your industry-specific knowledge. Information you take for granted can be very valuable to people in other industries . . . but only if they are made aware of it.

By sharing what you know, you not only help others to improve their business, you can simultaneously position yourself as the ‘go-to’ person in your industry, and turbo-charge your start-up. Continue…

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When staff appraisal or review time rolls around, many small business owners view this as a waste of their valuable time. This is not the case, however, and employers who spend the time and effort to make these meetings are a success will often get much more out of staff appraisals than they put into them.

In this guide, we look at staff appraisals and outline how smaller employers can reap the benefits of an effective employee appraisal scheme;

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Launching a startup is weird. You have a big idea driving you, with lots of small things to do to get going.

You don’t necessarily have lots of business coming in or staff on board yet, but still you have to run this fledgling business the way you are going to run your future super-successful business.

The way you behave, now, at the start, will set the scene for what your business will be like in the future. This is where being a good customer comes in. Continue…

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If your new business needs staff straight away, then you may find choosing the right office space difficult. In this guide, we look at the benefits a serviced office could provide and give some tips on things to watch out for when you’re trying to find an office.
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It’s safe to say that writing a health & safety plan isn’t one of the most exciting parts of starting a business. In fact, it’s something that many new business owners neglect to do.

A health and safety plan is a plan which outlines how health and safety protocol will work in your business. In an ideal world, it would be seen as something that goes alongside a business plan but, far too often, this is not the case and businesses end up neglecting it.

Planning for health and safety means more than just checking the law as you go to make sure you are following it. Rather, a health and safety plan is something that should be done in the early stages of business planning.
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Everybody understands that starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on.

Regardless of how lofty your ambitions are or whether you’re aiming to establish yourself as a sole trader or as a the boss of a burgeoning new enterprise, finding access to initial and early-stage sources of finance is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success.

Here’s a look at some of the most commonplace and most viable routes to finance currently available to startup businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.

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If you’re in the midst of starting a new business, then the bookkeeping requirements are unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind. At this stage there can be far more pressing things for you to think about.

However, once your business is taking shape, you will need to start thinking about keeping up-to-date and accurate accounting records of your income and expenses. More than just a legal requirement, basic bookkeeping is an essential part of your ability to manage your business effectively.

But what kind of details are you going to need? Continue…

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs make the huge leap from working for somebody else to running their own business.

Launching your own venture is a leap into the unknown, and many new business owners discover that much of what they thought was true about starting their own business, turns out to be completely false.

There are many common misconceptions about running your own business, and being caught out by some of these can prove very costly indeed. To help you separate truth from fiction, here are 8 common myths about starting and running your own business;

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“Will you give us a discount on that figure?”

“Can you match the lower price I can get down the street?”

“Can’t you do it cheaper?”

These are the kind of questions people running start-ups and small businesses get asked an awful lot.

But what are the best answers to give? Here, we look at how small business owners can respond to these kind of questions, without losing business and without cutting prices and profit margins.
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Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

What he is talking about is that with the right tools, you can achieve a lot more with much less effort. And this ‘leverage’ is a critical step in taking businesses to the next level.

The point of it is that you do the work once and achieve the result over and over again using this leveraged system. Shweta Jhajharia, founder of The London Coaching Group outlines 4 ways that you can use the power of leverage to help your start-up succeed.

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How to decide if you really want to run your business

June 9, 2016

When you start a new business you will need to do almost everything. This means you will need to roll up your sleeves and take a very hands-on approach. You will be working IN your business. However, if you want to grow your business, you will need to pass on the day-to-day work to others […]

PR Tips for start-ups

June 8, 2016

As a start-up the chances are your marketing budget is smaller than you’d like, so it’s important to get as much out of it as possible. Although not right for every business startup, PR is a marketing tool that is well worth considering as it builds both awareness and credibility. It can showcase your expertise […]

6 common leadership traps to avoid in your new business

May 27, 2016

As business owners we all make mistakes. It’s part and parcel of being an entrepreneur and taking risks. Sometimes going wrong it’s part of the learning curve we all need to experience. However, there are some common pitfalls that catch many new business owners time and time again. They trip up the unwary, hold you […]

5 killer phrases that all negotiators should know

May 18, 2016

Negotiations can often be a mysterious process. Maybe the conversation has reached a sticky point, no one is budging and tempers are beginning to rise. Then one person says something and the whole situation transforms. You strike a great deal and everyone is best friends. How did that happen? How did they know just what […]

How to find the perfect business premises

April 29, 2016

Of all the things you need to deal with when you start your business, two areas are particularly scary and will give you most hassle: recruitment and finding premises. Get either of these wrong and you are facing big bills and a load of work to overcome early in the life of your new venture. […]

How to recover from a business failure, fast

March 24, 2016

Nobody enjoys failure, but everyone experiences it at least a few times in their life and especially as a small business owner. While it’s one of those things that most people like to gloss over, failing is actually a hugely valuable experience, as long as you know how to make the most of it. Leigh […]

When should you outsource your payroll and what are the benefits of doing so?

March 23, 2016

One of the first things new business owners often say to me is how bewildering it can be getting their heads around all the different aspects of running a business. From marketing and IT to tax and finance, it’s a case of having to quickly get up to speed on a huge range of things. For […]

Developing your startup’s greatest asset – YOU

March 9, 2016

Launching a new business is a huge undertaking and, like most entrepreneurs, I am sure that you will give huge amounts of time to considering your product/service, funding and business plan, but there is one crucial component to business success that is often neglected – YOU! We gather endless feedback on whether our new product […]

5 common branding mistakes to avoid making with your small business

January 12, 2016

Every business – even yours – has a brand. One common misconception is that your brand is your logo. Your logo is a single visual representation of your brand, but it is not your brand.

How a collaborative mindset can help your startup succeed

November 4, 2015

Companies often look to improve collaboration in order to help streamline their processes and encourage strategic pace in their organisation. Collaboration is seen as an important element in helping organisations approach their customers and industry from a more judicious standpoint, rather than striving to get ahead by mere speed. Effective collaboration is much more than […]