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.
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.
New start-ups and small businesses often fail to give much thought to their standard “Terms and Conditions of Business” (T&Cs). That is, until there is a dispute with a customer, by which time it may be too late.
To help make sure you protect your business, and only work on the basis of your Terms and Conditions of Business, we asked Sheren Thiara, of Wright Hassall Solicitors, to explain why T&Cs are so crucial for businesses and to give some practical advice on how you make sure the work you do is under your standard T&Cs. (more…)
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…)
One of the first things you will do when you set up a new business is to open a business bank account.
The easy thing to do is to use your personal bankers to act for your new business, but this isn’t necessarily the wisest move as there are significant differences between the services you will receive from the various high street banks.
Here’s some sound advice, together with some practical tips to help you get the most out of your bank, and choose the best business current account for your start-up, or small business. (more…)
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 idea will be popular, we jump through endless hoops with investors to secure funding, but for some reason we seem to forget that the single biggest variable that will determine whether we succeed, or not, is our own talents and how we apply them to our new business.
Writing a book can be an extremely useful tool to help you promote your business or new start-up. Being a book author, immediately gives you kudos and extra authority, but only if your book is produced properly.
In most areas of business, winging it is rarely (if ever) a good idea. Each aspect of your business – be it recruitment, or marketing, or cash flow – requires a strong strategy. You need to know what you want to achieve before you can plan how that goal will be attained.
Publishing a book to support the growth of your business is no different. It may seem a bit more showbizzy – and it does involve a large amount of creativity – but it must never be a vanity project; there needs to be a valid business case for it. (more…)
Data protection is now a more onerous regime for small businesses, and this will only increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is implemented.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which regulates the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), can impose penalties of up to £500,000. A glance at the ICO website will tell you how seriously they view failures to comply, so it’s crucial that small businesses understand their obligations under the DPA when dealing with any personal data, whether it relates to customers, clients or employees.
But for start-ups and small businesses, who can’t afford the luxury of a dedicated data protection officer it’s hard to know where to start. We therefore asked Clare Edwards, of Hill Dickinson, to distil some of the complexities of the Data Protection Act, and to offer some practical tips for start-ups and small businesses when dealing with personal data;
To create a successful new business you need four things;
- A good plan,
- A good product that people actually want,
- Good people who can make things happen, and
- A good supply of money.
Running a business is also a way of life, which invariably takes up a lot of your time, so when you are starting a business choose something that you enjoy doing, something you have a real passion for. Someone who waits to be successful in a business they don’t have a passion for will be waiting a very long time. (more…)
Starting a new business is fun. It’s a world of learning and discovery as you set out on your own and try to build a brand new business from scratch.
Many people are so caught up in building their business that they don’t really consider where they want it to go in the long-term. And very few people are forward thinking enough to plan the finish – their exit strategy – when they are starting up.
Yet it’s an essential part of your start-up planning. Not only will there have to be a day when you walk away from the business, but when you know where you ultimately want it to go, you are much more likely to make the right decisions along the way.
Here’s why you need to plan your exit before you launch your new venture;
Writing a business plan is an important step in the business start-up process. And, if you want to raise funding for your new business, you simply must produce an up-to-date business plan to show potential backers.
Even if you don’t place much importance on the business planning process, the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help focus your mind on aspects of the business which you may otherwise have neglected.
So to get you started on the right path, here are 10 business planning tips to help you produce an effective plan; (more…)
Many entrepreneurs are aware of the benefits of becoming a published author. But only a very small percentage of business owners ever get around to writing a book.
This is a big lost opportunity for those who don’t put pen to paper, according to Sue Richardson, who outlines five ways that writing and publishing a book can help your start-up to take off;
Business growth can be characterised in several ways – sales, profit, employees…. and looking to make the business scalable and capable of achieving sustainable profitable growth is a fully understandable objective.
However, whichever way you look at it, the underlying driver is likely to be that the founder wants to look beyond funding his or her lifestyle and start seeking value creation. (more…)
Being able to persuade people to come around to your point of view is a very valuable skill to have, and particularly so when you are starting and running your own business.
When you’re launching a new venture you might need to convince potential investors to fund your fledgling business, persuade suppliers to give you favourable terms, encourage great people to join you and entice new clients on board. To do all of these successfully, you will need to be able to influence others and their views.
So with this ability being so crucial in helping you to grow your business, how do you get people around to your point of view?
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 just ‘working together’ – it’s a strategic choice too. But what does this mean for start-up businesses? We asked William Buist, founder of xTEN to answer some common questions business start-ups ask about collaboration; (more…)
UK graduates interested in freelancing or self-employment feel their university should have done more to support them, according to a new study by business insurance broker PolicyBee.
The study, which surveyed just over 1,000 recent graduates, found that 62% of graduates said freelancing or self-employment was not discussed at all by their university’s career department. (more…)
Ever heard the saying: jack of all trades, master of none? That saying has never been more true than when it comes to marketing your small business.
Starting a new business is an exciting time but getting the administrative side of things set up can be quite a time-consuming process. However, if these initial tasks are completed in a thorough and efficient manner, things are more likely to run smoothly and you can focus on the more exciting aspects of running your own business.
There are a number of different legal matters which need to be addressed before setting up a new business. Seeking good advice to help you through the planning and setup process ensures your business is built on solid foundations andcan provide protection when things do not go to plan.
Being prepared for any legal issues that could occur and having a good understanding of business law is essential when setting up a new company; lacking both could lead to a make or break situation. This guide is here to help you get your business off to a flying start and make sure you are both prepared and protected for what the future holds. (more…)
While many business start-ups focus on trying to come up with a single ‘killer’ business idea and attempting to raise funding for their grand vision, this is the wrong approach according to the author of ‘The Millionaire Dropout’, Vince Stanzione.
Here’s why Vince thinks you should forget about the big business idea and just get on with starting your small business;
According to research, around 7% of working age adults in the UK expect to start a business in the next three years.
Many of these aspiring new business owners will be envisaging a multi-million pound business, or even a multi-billion pound business. But, statistically, only 4% of business owners ever reach the £1million turnover mark.
So, what’s holding back more than 2.5 million UK businesses from breaking that £1million barrier?
As a start-up, you often don’t know the best ways to market your new business, or what works and what doesn’t.
The good news is; whether you’re selling to a market of ten or ten million, one of the most effective ways to learn how to improve your marketing is to talk with a single person and sell something to them.
Here’s how you can develop stronger sales messages, build your customer base and grow your new business by harnessing the power of one-to-one marketing.
While “entrepreneur” may occasionally be a euphemism for “out of work”, there are more and more individuals working in earnest to start a business of their own. Indeed, statistics show no fewer than 400 million such individuals globally, with over 2 million in the UK and 20 million in the US.
Sadly, many of these ventures will never get off the ground at all. Of those that do, the majority will fail. Of those who submit business plans to venture capital investors, less than one percent will get the funding they seek.
Those elite few who do raise finance have to give away large portions of their company and control in return. Worse still, many business founders who do receive venture capital money get fired within a year of the investment.
Despite the challenge of raising money, and the serious potential downsides, there is a widespread notion that if you are an entrepreneur looking to build a successful, growing business, you need to write a business plan and raise a few million pounds. But this vision is essentially wrong.
Popular media would have us believe that the legendary entrepreneurs are born that way, concocting profitable deals with their schoolmates from a young age, and that you either have those elusive qualities or you don’t. I disagree.
From what I have experienced over the years, you can acquire the qualities of those successful business owners, if you want to. (more…)
With the enduring popularity of entrepreneurial TV shows, a lot of attention is paid to finding a great business idea by the media.
To work out if your idea is brilliant or will bankrupt you, there are four key questions to ask before you get started.
Starting your own business can be very exciting, but the reality is that it can be very tough to get a new business off the ground.
Statistics indicate that out of every 5 businesses started, 4 will close within their first 3 years, so the chances of success are slim. However, if you are passionate about starting and running your own business, you won’t let mere statistics or long-odds get in your way!
If you are thinking about starting up this year, there are things you can do to increase your chances of succeeding. Here are 10 practical tips from the ByteStart team for anyone considering taking the plunge;