How to Be a Leader Rather Than a Manager

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…)

9 Ways You Can Use Props to Make Your Presentations More Impactful and Memorable

grab audience attention with prop

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…)

On to a Winner? How to Tell if Your Product Idea is Really a Good One

business idea - success or failure

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…)

4 Elements to Consider When Designing Product Packaging

Design product packaging

“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…)

5 Factors to Consider When Expanding Your Business Overseas

business expansion - factors to consider when growing overseas

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…)

7 Strategies for Building a Valuable and Enjoyable Business

create valuable business assets

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…)

How to Turn Around Your Presentation When Something Has Gone Wrong

turn around presentation going wrong

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…)

How to survive tough times in business

Surviving business difficulties

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.

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Daily Huddles: Meetings that empower your team

Business huddle

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…)

5 Challenges to growing an international business

Challenges to growing an international business

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…)

5 Steps to help you build your start-up for a trade sale

preparting your company for a trade sale

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…)

Use memorable language for memorable sales success

Use memorable words for sales success

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…)

9 Tips to help you impress when communicating on the small screen

Tips to run a successful virtual meeting or presentation

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…)

How to quickly build good rapport with anyone

How to build rapport with people

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…)

How reverse mentorship can drive fresh ideas, develop staff and help your business succeed

younger employees being a mentor for older staff

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…)

6 Common Challenges in managing small projects (and how to overcome them)

tips to overcome project managenebt problems

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…)

How to futureproof your business

FutureProof - How to get your business ready for the next disruption

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…)

How to set up a taxi business

female driver taxi company

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…)

The 10 Steps to successfully managing a project

10 teps to successfully managing projects

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.

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The single most important tool that enables your business to adapt to change

How to design your business for change

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.

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How to set up a loans company

cash converters store

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…)

The ABC of Growing a Business

steps to growing your business

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;

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5 Ways small business owners can benefit from having a mentor

how mentor can help small business owner

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…)

The power of ‘Thank You’ – Why acknowledging success breeds success

How saying Thank You can help you grow your business

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…)

How to create an inspiring speech or presentation to drive your business

creating an inspirational speech

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.

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

How to become a transpersonal leader

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, I have done both) – but leadership is not one of them. (more…)

How to create a company culture ready for change

getting your business ready for change

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 company culture that embraces change.

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

tips to successfully runnning a business with your partner

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 going into business with your spouse, there’s added pressure to succeed. So we asked Vicki Ashman, who co-founded Scrumpies of Mayfair with her husband, to share 10 valuable lessons she has learned about how to run a successful business venture with your partner.

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How to turn your experience into an awesome presentation

how to produce and deliver a great presentation

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.

When you have the opportunity to do a presentation or give a speech, will you seize it, or head for the hills? If you’ve got expertise to share, speaking to an audience can bring tremendous rewards.

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The 7 Principles of PRINCE2 Project Management

Prince2 - 7 Principles f project management

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 and protracted affairs that go on for months and take up a lot of precious resources. An understanding of project management will therefore help business leaders to keep things on track and avoid lengthy and costly delays. (more…)

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

finding the best market opportunity

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 miss out on blockbuster opportunities. On the other hand, if you spread the net too wide, you risk running yourself into the ground, with too many commitments and too few assets.

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8 Common mistakes new business owners make

Mistakes that new business owners commnly make

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 new business, only one thing is certain: everyone will make mistakes, but only those who learn from them will succeed.

So, to help you learn from these common errors, without making them yourself, here are 8 mistakes that startups frequently make;
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What businesses can learn from the US Marines

US Marines Practice High Standards

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 the world’s greatest high performance organisations – explain what your business can gain by studying the strategies and tactics of the US Marines. (more…)