The inspiration to start a business can come at any time: in the pub, in the shower, in the supermarket, walking the dog.
How many times has someone you know announced they’ve had a great business idea? And how many of those eureka moments ended up as no more than a few notes on a napkin? (more…)
A number of the world’s largest companies were founded by ambitious and determined university students who weren’t afraid to dream.
Most people know that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, but were you aware that FedEx, the global courier service, was first imagined by Frederick W. Smith in an undergraduate paper while he was studying at Yale? (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…)
Everybody understands that starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on. Regardless of how lofty your ambitions are or whether you’re aiming to establish yourself as a sole trader or as a the boss of a burgeoning new enterprise, finding access to initial and early-stage sources of finance is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success.
Here’s a look at some of the most commonplace and most viable routes to finance currently available to startup businesses. (more…)
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;
Pop-up shops are an excellent way to test new ideas and products, engage with your target market and get feedback from potential customers, without making a big, long-term investment.
In addition to their value as a testing ground for new concepts and new businesses, pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular as a way for existing business to take their offering to new locations.
There are lots of different factors that can determine the success or failure of a pop-up shop and it’s vital you consider these before starting your pop-up venture. Here are 6 key considerations to help you get your first pop-up shop running smoothly and generating income for your business. (more…)
Starting a business with friends can seem like a good idea, but before you jump in and set up a company with people you are close to, you need to be honest with yourself and each other.
If you get it wrong your new business could fail and lifelong friendships ruined. So what steps should you take before going into business with friends, or any business partner for that matter?
We asked entrepreneur, Mike France, who has experienced both sides of this coin, to share his advice on how to successfully start and run a business with friends; (more…)
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…)
When staff appraisal or review time rolls around, many small business owners view this as a waste of their valuable time. This is not the case, however, and employers who spend the time and effort to make these meetings are a success will often get much more out of staff appraisals than they put into them.
In this guide, we look at staff appraisals and outline how smaller employers can reap the benefits of an effective employee appraisal scheme;
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 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…)
If your new business needs staff straight away, then you may find choosing the right office space difficult.
In this guide, we look at the benefits a serviced office could provide and give some tips on things to watch out for when you’re trying to find a serviced office.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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;
Is there a better way of doing business? Is there a more ethical and sustainable business model that is less focused on the short-term chase for shareholder profit? The answer could well lie with the co-operative business model.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who once famously said, “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.”
And his observation applies to business as much as it applies to life. Businesses that have the most success are the ones willing to take the time to slow down and think about what they are doing.
This is borne out by an Economist Intelligence Unit study that found companies who slowed down made, on average, 40% more sales and 52% higher profits than companies who had set getting faster and faster their main priority.
So what aspect of your start-up will benefit from you slowing down?
Hundreds of thousands of new businesses are formed each year. Some will be a great success, but the vast majority will no longer exist in five years time.
So if you are thinking of starting a business, what can you do to increase your chances of success? (more…)
Once you’ve made the decision to start your own business, the natural instinct for many is to charge headlong into getting it off the ground right away.
Starting your own business might have been something that’s been at the back of your mind for years, and now that you’ve finally decided to take the plunge, you don’t want to waste any more time.
In association with Lloyds TSB Commercial, here are 10 handy hints and tips to consider when setting up your business.
Starting up a business on your own must be one of life’s steepest learning curves – and certainly one of the most challenging.
The start-up process will not only test your knowledge of your industry and your key skills, it will also teach you about yourself. By the end of year one, you will be considerably more self-aware.