Key Business Start-Up Guides
A failed business can have a devastating impact on a business owner. But, 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. (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. (more…)
Delegation should be easy to do, or so you might think, however it can be very challenging in certain situations particularly for owners of small businesses.
As a business owner with a very small team, I have found it can be even harder to let go. It’s my baby. (more…)
“Put that coffee down. Coffee’s for closers only”. Alec Baldwin delivered this iconic line in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. It may sound harsh but that is the reality.
Pitching an idea and closing a deal can be a nerve-wracking process. Even successful business greats like Richard Branson found the skill of pitching hard to come by. (more…)
If you run a business and you’ve never switched to a new energy contract, you could be paying as much as 40% more than you need to for gas and electricity.
A recent study carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that a staggering £7 billion is being wasted by small and medium-sized businesses overpaying on their gas and electricity bills. (more…)
We can all learn from studying successful business people. How do some individuals seem to have the knack of succeeding? Are they lucky, or do they have certain skills or traits that help them to achieve?
Paul Bassi CBE, a successful business owner himself, looks at what successful entrepreneurs have in common. (more…)
Small businesses have a tougher time than their larger and better-established competitors. Unlike the big brands, who enjoy plentiful resources and instant recognition in their industry, SMEs have plenty of hurdles to overcome, so we asked Craig Sams and William Fugard, co-founders of Gusto Organic drinks to share what they have learned from launching Gusto, Green & Black’s and Whole Earth Foods. (more…)
Entrepreneurship is on the rise in the UK, and one of the first decisions you will need to make when starting a business is where to locate your venture.
Even today, the era of the digital nomad, the place you choose to set up shop – figuratively or literally – can have an effect on the prospects of your business, both in terms of profitability and long term success. (more…)
We are living in an exciting time… a time where technological changes are booming. And with change comes the opportunity for new products and services, and for new businesses to fulfil new needs. (more…)
When it comes to selling your business, there are a number of routes you can take. To ensure your business sale goes smoothly and you get full value for your business, we look at the process of selling a small business and highlight some of the key considerations you will need to make. (more…)
Whether you’re an ardent protestor or you prefer the status quo, it’s hard to deny that society is rapidly shifting power to the people and away from traditional institutions.
Populist politicians are seizing on the mistrust of ‘the establishment’, #MeToo is cracking down on men misusing their power, while the recent plastic straw ban show the powerful effect of a coordinated social media campaign. (more…)
It’s no secret that most startups struggle to build a solid, scalable and remarkable business. Most remain stuck fighting for the attention of their audience, investing time and money trying to convince buyers and often engaging in price races to the bottom that leaves everyone exhausted and defeated.
The solution? Simple! Not easy, but simple indeed. (more…)
The most successful bands are now the ones that engage their fans. These fans don’t just bring recognition – they bring financial success too. They are what allows the band to make money and prosper.
Businesses want to do the same, so we asked Mark Jennings, founder of Subba Media, to reveal how musicians are engaging with fans, and the lessons business can learn. (more…)
Airbnb’s revolutionary business model — which ranked the home-sharing company third in 2018’s Disruptor 50 list — has now dominated a total of 191 countries.
And with its more than 5 million listings, 300 million customer reservations, and a value of $31 billion, it’s not surprising that a lot of would-be short term let landlords and amateur hoteliers are taking advantage of Airbnb’s rapid growth. (more…)
The UK is the third largest e-commerce market in the world and for good reason. The internet has allowed innovative small businesses to reach a much wider audience, while cutting down on overhead costs.
Plenty of UK entrepreneurs and startups have capitalised on this and built a lucrative business out of selling their products online. If you want to get into this space, you first need to do your research and make sure everything is in place, from your online checkout to your online marketing. (more…)
Devising new products and bringing them to market are vital parts of growing a business, but successful new product development rarely happens by accident.
Product design is a complicated area, so we asked Chris Flynn, founder of product design consultancy Flynn Product Design to take us through the key phases of product design. (more…)
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 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. (more…)
We are addicted to stories. A good story evokes emotion within us. Since the Stone Age, we have been telling stories to teach, to engage, to create laughter, to inspire and to influence behaviour.
So why when we go into business meetings do we often abandon stories and instead vomit facts on power point slides? (more…)
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…)