Start Up Tips
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. (more…)
Brainstorming was born in the 1950s and while all the other aspects of business have changed dramatically since then, the way we come up with new ideas hasn’t. Until now.
Intuitively, brainstorming seems to make sense as an approach to get new ideas on a tricky issue. Get some smart people in a room; tell them it’s time for some blue-sky, out-of-the-box thinking; and then wait for the money ideas to come rolling in.
But do you find that often the ideas of your brainstorming session don’t really meet the grade?
Do you feel that somehow you’ve not achieved the quality of outputs the people in the room had the potential to achieve? (more…)
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. (more…)
The fear of failure is one of the most common reasons why people decide not to start their own business. Hauling yourself out of your comfort zone and throwing yourself into the unknown takes a certain amount of courage and self-assurance.
Leaving a cosy, secure job to try and turn your business idea into reality is definitely a risk, but if you follow sound advice you’re more likely to succeed.
When it comes to good advice on starting your own business, successful entrepreneurs are always worth listening to, so we asked David Rusenko, founder and CEO of Weebly to share his 10 top tips on starting and growing your own business;
According to Billy Ocean “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” – a sentiment many people working in business would echo and applaud. Tough is a word people often use to mean resilient. It may not scan as well, but when the going gets tough, the resilient remain resourceful, creative and healthy.
Studies have found that more resilient people are higher performers and respond better to change. They are more motivated, build better working relationships and are less likely to take time off sick or suffer from low morale. (more…)
So you’re in charge: perhaps you started the company, maybe you’ve taken it over, or you were handed the top job and told to run the show. What next?
Every company is different. But while scale of the demands placed on the chief executive of a listed multinational may be different to those a small business owner faces, many of the major challenges business leaders face are similar.
After discussing such challenges with a wide range of entrepreneurs, investors, executives and analysts, I suggest they boil down to eight essential “acts” of leadership. (more…)
The difference between entrepreneurs who succeed, and those who spend time just thinking about it, is taking action. Specifically, it’s about taking the right action at just the right time.
You might not realise it but, if you’re starting a business, you can gain a lot from using some age-old Buddhist philosophies. One particular Buddhist concept, called the Noble Eightfold Path, gives a very practical and useful framework to take a startup idea from its genus and genesis through to successful delivery. It’s also a graceful way to move forward with in life.
But, there’s no need to become a practicing Buddhist, or ‘Anything-ist’, to benefit from the principles of mindfulness. Here, Tom Evans, author of ‘The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness’ explains how you can help turn your business dreams into reality with these 8 mindfulness hacks;
Experience tells me that one of the reasons why people start up their own business is to be their “own boss”, and that means they don’t want to be constrained by petty, bureaucratic, small mindedness being meted out every minute of their working lives.
The reality is that we all need rules. In the words of Al Murray (“The Pub Landlord”) “Where would we be without rules? France!”
I am not going to inflict upon you here a doctrine of rule-bound obedience leading to business success, but rather propose a Ten Commandments of Behaviour which are intended as a benchmark against which to measure yourself.
You can use them when you feel that perhaps you’ve ‘missed the mark’ or, better still, use them today, right now, and see how a change in behaviour might benefit your business. So here are the 10 Commandments of Behaviour tablets, delivered to your door; (more…)
If you can create a culture of learning, not blaming, in your business, you are more likely to see your business grow and flourish.
If you allow a blame culture to take hold in a business, staff will tend to hide, or even cover up, any mistakes. This attitude can often compound problems further. On the other hand, a learning culture encourages errors to be highlighted so everybody can learn lessons from them.
To help explain the benefits a learning culture brings to your business, and how you can instil such behaviour in your team, we asked Justin Hughes, author of The Business of Excellence: Building high-performance teams and organisations to share his experiences and to explore a few of the key issues around a learning culture; (more…)
If you were to survey a group of entrepreneurs about why they started their business, I’m sure you would get a huge variety of interesting answers. Of course many of them will have been motivated by money, but I would bet that one of the most popular reasons would be a desire to create something meaningful for themselves.
The prospect of taking control of your own destiny and being your own boss is a powerful motivator. I personally spent years as a Wall Street trader but found that the money I earned and lost just became numbers that had very little meaning to me.
Chasing money felt like an empty pursuit, and deep down I really wanted to start and run my own business, be the boss, and build stuff that I could actually point at. (more…)
A key skill for business owners is the ability to deliver a successful business pitch.
A pitch can take many different forms, it might be pitching for contracts with possible new customers, highlighting potential opportunities to new partners, persuading talented individuals to join your team, or trying to win investment to grow your company.
With the ability to pitch being such an important tool in a business owner’s armoury, here are some simple steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of succeeding with your pitch and getting that handshake.
An entrepreneur with a super power memory would be able to easily remember important business related facts & figures to demonstrate that they are the go-to “expert” in a particular field.
This person would also be able to smoothly pitch for business and give presentations from memory without notes to be more persuasive. While the ability to effortlessly recall anecdotes would allow them to quickly build rapport with clients.
A business owner like this would also great at networking because of their ability to remember the names of everyone that they meet, and important things about these people. While valuable new qualifications could be quickly gained because exam material would be easy to master.
The great news is that you can become this business person with a super power memory! You actually already have an amazing memory and with the memory training tips in this article, I’m going to help you unlock your full memory potential. Believe it or not, this is also going to be easy and a lot of fun!
We’ve all been in business meetings where we’re clock watching and wondering how long it will go on for, worrying about our to-do lists which are not getting any shorter. This is especially true in start-ups, where time is especially precious for everybody in a small team..
When it comes to meetings, especially internal ones, it can be difficult to enforce the discipline needed to get the most out of them. This includes starting and finishing on time and sticking to the agenda. Meetings should have a purpose and a definite outcome, otherwise they can be an unproductive use of time for all involved.
What’s more, poor meetings aren’t only wasting our valuable time, they are also having an impact upon our bodies. Research has shown that spending long hours sitting down can play a significant role in the development of chronic diseases, so it’s imperative that you, as an employer, implement changes to protect the health, wellbeing and productivity of your employees.
It’s time to transform the standard routine and be more creative and active with work meetings, not only to breathe more life into them, but reinvigorate your colleagues too. Here’s how you can achieve more from meetings, eliminate wasted time, improve your health and potentially have some fun in the process: (more…)
Change is inevitable. And with change comes uncertainty. So, how can people in business, particularly those running a start-up or small business, which are often more sensitive to change, ensure they make the best decisions they can when so little is certain?
Here, John Reynard, author of ‘The Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success” highlights 5 things you can do to help you make good decisions, even when there is confusion all around;
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.
Have you ever heard the saying: “There is no such thing as an original idea?”
Like many things that live in the public imagination, it is there because there is some truth behind it. There are some ideas that come like a bolt of lightning out of the blue, or so they seem. But when you look closer at the facts, the ideas have been stimulated by other factors and inputs.
A great example of this is in watching the evolution of the earth and how totally separate cultures, closed off from each other, have developed similar inventions over time.
The best ideas have a bit of something else in them, but how can you capitalise on this and use it to develop a great business idea? (more…)
How do you describe yourself? Are you an entrepreneur, a technical expert, someone who is good at a specific task or a manager? Or are you a leader?
Whether you describe yourself as a leader or not, the chances are that your business needs you to show leadership at every stage of its development. So how do you successfully lead your business?
Here’s why great leaders do less, and the 6 key steps you need to take to transform yourself into a brilliant business leader; (more…)
Your business is growing and you’ve taken on one or more additional staff members – but are you really maximising their skills and getting the best out of them?
Or, if you’re honest, do you find yourself still doing some of the things you employed them to do?
Research shows that people with ‘emotional resilience’ will have the best chances of not only surviving critical business events but thriving in life.
With emotional resilience being such an important factor in whether you and your new business start-up will be able to survive and thrive, we asked Geetu Bharwaney, Author of, “Emotional Resilience” to explain how you can build your emotional resilience to help you and your business succeed (more…)
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;
If you want your business to grow, it will mean employing more people. And to give those new members of staff the best chance of helping you break through to a whole new level of sales and productivity, it’s important to set up systems.
These systems need to be scaleable, understandable, and effective. Don’t charge ahead and introduce systems blindly as you may find they are largely ineffectual, doing little, if anything to boost your company’s performance.
To construct clear, simple, effective systems. that will optimise your output, you need a foundational knowledge of the three basic layers of systems. Shweta Jhajharia, of The London Coaching Group explains;
There is so much that a small business owner, or potential entrepreneur, can do with just a shift in how we think, and what we focus on.
When you start to look back at what you have achieved and where you are in your life, work and business, you would begin to realise that success is heavily dependent on your attitude.
Most people who are successful started out just like you – and then they kept their strength and determination, they persevered through the tough times and now we look up to them as successful business people.
The good part is that you can make it too and even achieve much more than them. The magic is upgrading the software your mind has been running on with a new, better and bug-free version!
Here, serial entrepreneur, Taimur Khan, tells ByteStart how a positive mind-set can help you succeed with your start-up; (more…)
If you can develop a competitive advantage for your small business, you will be able to sell your product or service more easily and more profitably.
Ultimately a good competitive advantage will mean that your business is more likely to succeed and is able to grow.
With the ability to develop a competitive advantage being so important for small business owners, we asked Garry Smith, co-author of Creating Business Advantage: Setting Up and Running A Successful Business to explain more about it;
Whether you’re in the early start-up phase or you’ve been around a while – running a business will inevitably mean coping with change.
This could be the need to deal with new regulations, an ageing customer base, a new competitor, or even your company growing and expanding faster than you planned. Whatever it is – you’ll need to be able to keep your head and deal with new developments.
Our minds have a preference for the predictable – our primitive ancestors had a much better chance of staying alive if things stayed stable. We might want excitement (our ancestors did love the thrill of the chase), but we naturally want it on our terms, not someone else’s.
So how do we support change that will help us and our business evolve and grow while dealing with the feeling of being threatened by it? (more…)
As a business owner, you may occasionally need to speak in front of an audience. It might be for a business pitch where you are trying to persuade investors to back your business, or a sales meeting where you are trying to secure a key deal.
If you do need to do any public speaking, you won’t want to fall flat and fail. So to help you impress we asked professional speaker and author of ‘Insider Secrets of Public Speaking’, Ian Hawkins, to reveal his 3 golden principles to follow when you’re making a speech;
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.
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 and spend more time managing. You will need to work ON your business.
Some business owners find this shift difficult because it means giving up work that they enjoy. You, along with thousands of others, may have started your own business so you could follow a passion. But growing a business means that you can become detached from the work that fulfils you, and the very reason you started your business in the first place.
So how do you decide whether you really want to run your business?
Whether you have just launched your new start-up, or are the owner of an existing business, to be successful you need to make the best use of your valuable time.
With so many different aspects of the business to think about, and a host of demands on their time, it’s easy for small business owners to become too busy to get the really important things done.
To make sure you don’t get sucked into this trap, author Martin Gladdish, reveals some simple tips and tricks to show how you can build your business in 90 minutes a day.
Everyone has to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Challenges and changes are constant, and this is especially true if you are starting up your own business.
Adverse situations may be familiar or unfamiliar to you depending upon whether you have experienced them before, or whether you have experienced circumstances that may be similar. You will have developed coping mechanisms and these will help you in dealing with familiar adverse situations and, if you’re launching a new business, many unfamiliar ones.
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 back and stop your business from fulfilling its potential.
Knowing what these mistakes are will help you spot them before they ensnare you – saving you precious time, effort and money. Here, Shweta Jhajharia reveals the 6 leadership traps you need to avoid if you want your business to flourish.
Parents, politicians, pundits, pub philosophers. They all have something in common – an arsenal of adages, aphorisms, proverbs, mottos and maxims. But of all the oft-used phrases you’ve heard in your life, which do you think sticks with people most?
- Give a hundred and ten percent
- Never say never
- Game of two halves
- Winter is coming
You may think that giving presentations is something that happens in a big corporate, but not in your start-up or small business. Not true!
We’re all giving mini-presentations and pitches several times a day, and getting your message across in a digital world where everyone is mildly ADHD is more vital for business success than ever.
Whether you’re speaking with a potential customer over the phone or pitching your start up idea to investors, you have a choice between doing it in a forgettable way – like elevator music – or making it rock!
If you want your message to be remembered, then just recall how a well-crafted three-minute song stays in your mind forever. So to let’s pick apart the techniques that songwriters use to achieve this effect and look at how we can apply them to make our presentations rock!
You’ve got to be a bit of an optimist to start a new business. This positive outlook undoubtedly helps you to get through the ups and downs of starting your own business, but it’s worth investing in a bit of negative thinking too.
When astronaut Chris Hadfield described his preparation to go into space, his focus was not on how fantastic it was going to be when he got there but on being ready to deal with the things that could kill him, so he could get to come back again.
This approach has parallels for how we start up too – we can dream of the big fabulous destination, but we have to expect that we will need to overcome challenges to be a success.
Running a startup is about stepping up to run a messy marathon, not hunkering down to run a perfect sprint. We have to make sure we can go the distance and this means we need to talk about embracing failure, affordable risk and filling the weak spots.
Human history provides countless examples of leadership be it in the political, economic or military sphere. But no two leaders are alike and some leaders have left a far more distinctive mark on history than others.
To lead other people you need to be able to communicate clearly. Indeed, many successful leaders such as Winston Churchill have been able to inspire others through the power of the spoken word.
But inspiration also requires another ingredient besides communication. It requires a vision.
Your brand is your identity and in a tough market place it can be the thing that separates you from the competition and grabs the attention of potential new customers.
Remember you’ve only got a very short space of time to capture the attention of new customers, so whether it’s the design of your business cards and marketing collateral, your website or even the name of your company, these things really make a difference when it comes to winning business. (more…)
Most new businesses will fail within the first five years. If you are starting a business you have probably read this before. Do some research and you’ll find that poor management, inadequate funding, or failure to understand your customers tend to top the lists of why this is the case.
Continue researching and you’ll get much on how to make your business a success, with advice like write a business plan, conduct market research, and ensure you have enough capital before you begin, all good suggestions.
However, even the most innovative idea, followed by the most robust market research, accompanied by more than adequate funding can still fail. That’s because success is rarely the product of any single task or decision. (more…)