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…)
Start Up Tips
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…)
“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…)
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…)
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.