Starting a business is not always easy. But scaling a business, any business, often brings many more challenges than actually starting one. A typical small business is quite simple, bat as that business grows it becomes more complex and has more moving parts which become ever more complicated to coordinate.
We’ve all heard about the ‘Great Resignation’: a mass exodus of employees worldwide, caused by a rapidly changing working landscape and general pandemic fatigue. In the UK, almost a quarter of workers say that they are actively planning on quitting their jobs in the next few months, while job vacancies are at the highest level since records began.
It is no secret that the global pandemic has shifted consumer spending habits, with more and more people opting to shop online. What is different about this shift however, is where people are buying from. With the number of social media platforms available today, it should come as no surprise that there has been an increase in purchasing directly from these sites. According to research, social commerce sales will continue to rise by 35.8% by the end of 2021. Despite this, many businesses have failed to recognise how impactful price optimisation can be on social commerce, and if used correctly, how it can help retailers capitalise on the increasing popularity of social commerce.
As we marked National Work Life Week last month, it became clear that work-life balance is a value not everyone shares equally. According to a new poll carried out by the charity Working Families, 41% of working mothers say being a parent is holding them back from promotion at work – and 50% of people with caring responsibilities (such as looking after an ill or elderly relative) feel the same way.
Consumer technology products, such as laptops, are increasingly difficult to differentiate. Operating systems aside, most laptops are of similar size and shape and offer broadly the same functionality. Clamshell laptops typically combine a display, a keyboard, and a trackpad – with few aspects that really distinguish models from competitors.
The life of an entrepreneur, especially in the initial stages of founding and growing a new company, is often marked by long, gruelling hours spent working alone. Though being your own boss is one of the main attractions to starting your own business, it is an inherently risky endeavour that can leave you making critical decisions alone, and ultimately shouldering a lot of responsibility.
Whether your cyber security startup is new to social media marketing or it already has a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other such platforms, this guide is relevant for you. Read until the end to find out our 10 checklist points to tick off for a solid social media marketing execution for your cyber security business.
Starting and scaling a business requires founders to undertake many different roles; many of which they will do themselves initially but other tasks they will inevitably require some assistance with. But whatever the business, any founder looking to scale must ensure that they tell a good story, and they tell it well. But what does this actually mean?
In today’s world, we are leasing assets a lot more regularly. According to Dataforce, Europeans are leasing and renting cars more than ever before, including both short-term and operational leasing. Over the last five years, the leasing market skyrocketed from 2.6 million to four million due to the culture of ownership evolving.
With the launch of Build on AWS, AWS simplified the first steps of launching scalable, reliable, secure, and optimised infrastructure tailored to startups’ industry or use case. This enables startups to focus on building their core product knowing they’re using AWS best practices for their underlying cloud infrastructure. We spoke to Katie Drucker, Director and Global Leader, Business Development, on how AWS is continuing to help guide startups in their journeys to choose and implement the right infrastructure for their business needs.
With the ever-increasing focus on tech in our lives and the sheer volume of new, ground-breaking tech launches that one hears or reads about, you could miss one vital element of their story. The IP behind them. And, for any tech that has significant IP value, the IP creator/founder needs to be acutely aware of the lead times available in the patent process. If deadlines are missed, rights can vanish in an instant. Jim Gastle, IP enthusiast and Canadian patent agent, explains this in more detail.
So you want to start a business? As you’ve no doubt heard, that tends to go smoother when you start by formulating a business plan to set your goals and guide your actions. Doing so isn’t always the most intuitive process, however, If you’ve never put one together before, then how would you know where to start? That’s what this article intends to address, by providing you with some initial tips that should point you down the road to success. Here’s what you should know.
In many ways, we actually have to thank the pandemic for highlighting just how unprepared our economies were to tackle a crisis. It acted as a catalyst for change across industry sectors, including higher and further education, that had been slow to embrace digital transformation and stand up to disruption.
The majority of businesses that are looking to scale in any meaningful way will look to raise funding at some point. As well as the other steps already discussed in this series and in my new book, there are two very specific actions that need to be undertaken; valuing your business and embarking on a fundraising campaign.
A shift towards hybrid working, increased use of digital channels and the rise of new technologies means that businesses rely on the internet now more than ever. A reliable, high-quality connection is a non-negotiable for efficient operations across all industries, but it’s important to determine the right way to connect for your business. While many businesses opt for broadband, could an Ethernet leased line be a better choice?
If we aren’t currently talking about the upcoming COP26, that is taking place this Sunday (so article pending next week), or about Facebook rebranding as Meta, (who knows where that came from?) then everyone is talking about the Chancellor’s budget announcement and what that means four the startups and small businesses out there.
I would be lying if I said that raising capital as a female Founder is an easy process. Even those that make it look easy, have faced invisible barriers that aren’t present with their male counterparts. What I have learnt, however, is that having this knowledge - that I am a woman (and woman of colour) and that I am on the backfoot - simply doesn’t help me at all.
Before March 2020, catching ‘fresher’s flu’ was a right of passage for university students. Fast forward 18 months and students around the world stayed indoors to keep illness at bay. However, the pandemic has taught the education sector an important lesson - the value of selecting the right communication tools.
If you have ever advertised online, the chances are that you have been a victim of ad fraud. Ad fraud can be defined as any attempt to defraud digital advertising networks and campaigns for financial gain. It is typically carried out through the use of bots – software applications programmed to do certain tasks – though there are a number of other methods that scammers use to trick advertisers and waste their budgets.
It’s no secret that content is still king when optimising websites and pages for search engines. Every content marketer knows this all too well and that high-quality content is essential to drive visitors in today’s online world. However, relying on content alone is not enough. Using internal links is also necessary to support your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to drive traffic to your pages.
This article could have been entitled ‘data and financials’ but so many of you would not have got even this far. But the truth is that data and your financials are not just numbers, as without a clear understanding of both of these then nothing else stands much of a chance. Data needs to be properly collected and analysed, and any assumptions and financial forecasts are then driven from this data.
There is a lot that goes into running a successful business. From managing employees, to budgeting to meet financial obligations, to keeping customers happy — a company leader is always on their toes. Like it or not, sustainability and green marketing have quickly become another thing to balance on an already large plate.
Hybrid working is happening. At least, that’s what large organisations are telling everyone. We recently examined the publicly stated positions of 150 FTSE and Fortune companies and found that two-thirds were on record advocating some form of hybrid working for their employees, compared to just 6% that had publicly stated their opposition for non-office-based working.
When people think about mentorship in business, it’s usually along the lines of the following: a seasoned professional offering advice and support to younger and less experienced colleagues or associates. But mentorship can be so much more than this. In this challenging post-pandemic era, it is an essential ingredient, not only in building a successful company financially but also one that has a positive social impact. To understand just how important it can be, here are some ways mentorship can be considered and implemented:
As a result of the pandemic, working from home has become, by default, the new normal. As many organizations are weighing up a partial return to the workplace – at least in a hybrid capacity – now is a good time to reflect on the efforts made to encourage positive interaction amongst teams throughout the WFH experiment. For many, this will involve rethinking how the office, and the new digital tools adopted over the past 18 months, fit into their business.
There’s always been something rather bittersweet about the back-to-school season. On one hand, it marks when the mornings start to feel a little more crisp, the return to the grind after that last bank holiday until Christmas. On the other, there’s a sense of hopeful optimism – a chance for new beginnings and an opportunity to return to work feeling refreshed.
According to Creative Wellness Co, the global wellness market is valued at over $4.75 trillion. And if we think about the change in attitudes towards personal wellness over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that venture funding for retail health and wellness tech startups set a record in the first quarter of 2021, with $4.2bn invested across 153 deals.
How can you shop ethically, but within your means? Sustainable brands and products are on the rise, but they can often cost double what you’d pay for single-use items which are mass-produced or animal-tested. Maddie Booth, Founder of Scrubbee, told us all about her eco-friendly and affordable cosmetic brand.
You may have thought that the return to ‘normality’ would be a good thing for business. With most people now off furlough, some back in the office and others working permanently from home, there are mixed feelings from employees who are now having to adapt to the ‘new normal’. In fact, it has been estimated that over 40% of people globally plan to leave their jobs this year!
Chronic disease is rising rapidly in America and throughout the developed world. Today, according to the CDC a shocking 71.6% of adults are either overweight or obese. Moreover, over the last few decades, rates of hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s, major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, insomnia, and multiple other chronic diseases are rising over time. Likewise, medical costs are rising over time year after year and today costs the US a staggering $3.8 trillion (or about 18% of GDP) per year.
Working at home and struggling to maintain productivity? For the majority of Brits currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those looking to do more home working in the future, Workthere, has shared 10 tips on how you can create an office space that leads to maximum productivity.
Have you ever thought of setting up your own business? Have you already done so? What made you want to do this? In truth, the answers are very different for each of us but, looking at government statistics and Companies House records, more and more people are choosing this route; especially since the turmoil in the last few years caused by the pandemic.
Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Automotive, was instrumental in the creation of the 9-5 model in the early 1900’s. Following the passing of the eight-hour workday in Illinois in 1867, Ford was one of the first (or at least most well-known) business people to implement this change within his own company.
One of the most documented impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has been the acceleration of e-commerce, with many online businesses enjoying insatiable demand over the last 18 months. However, as pandemic restrictions are lifted, the sector is headed for much more volatile trading conditions.
By Thomas Makey, Investment Director at Gresham House Ventures
While some startups and tech firms were early adopters of remote work, it wasn’t until early 2020 that most of society fully understood the concept. Working from home might have entered the scene out of necessity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s no doubt that the trend, in one iteration or another, is here to stay.
Welcome to a new series of articles for Startups Magazine. Over the next few months I would like to invite you to accompany me on a journey; a journey that many readers will already have started and many others will be contemplating. For those that have already started the journey then I hope that they will still find some of my words useful, and for those yet to start then I trust that this series will make navigation so much easier.
At a time when many people around the UK are making career changes and starting new enterprises, aspiring business owners will be looking for the right business loan to get their companies off the ground. Choosing the right loan partner is an important decision, and it’s crucial that people know what to look for before they commit. The important thing to remember is, it’s about much more than just the money.
As a generation of digital natives, Tim Berners-Lee’s creation has become an intrinsic part of our lives today and as such, we tend to take most changes to the internet in our stride. That said, the internet as we know it is evolving at a rapid pace from its earlier inception, Web 2.0, with the latest developments making way for a whole new browsing experience.
The backlash against the recent decision by OnlyFans to ban content depicting 'sexually explicit conduct' from its platform - and its subsequent U-turn in the face of that backlash - can serve as an important lesson for startups in how (and how not) to communicate news around big business decisions that might impact their customer base.
The modern companies that are looking to get maximum returns on investment have to concentrate on developing human capital difference by using effective training and development programs for their staff to improve their productivity. The workforce of an organisation is a valuable asset for any company.
Starting a business is a huge commitment. As a brand-new startup founder, it can be difficult to prioritise your health and wellness when you’re trying to build your client base, create and submit invoices, manage team members, and ensure everything runs smoothly. It can feel like a lot of pressure on your shoulders.
Spearheading operations from home has been the norm for many business owners as of late. Initially, it might have seemed like an impossible challenge. Without your staff around you, communication is slowed down, productivity lessens and everything is altogether more difficult. Yes, we’ve all learned how to adapt our approach over the course of numerous lockdowns but that doesn’t mean it has been easy.
After rounds of interviews and many applicants, you’ve now found your star candidate and you’re ready to hit the ground running. Onboarding a new graduate should be handled a little bit differently to those who have years of experience. You want to make them feel comfortable and not overwhelm them on the very first day.
As control over the pandemic increases, businesses and their customers balance optimism with curiosity about just what 'normal' will look like going forward. If you’re a startup, taking critical next steps may involve reassessing your marketing strategy. After all, it is indeed a changed world. It only makes sense that your marketing plan could use some adjusting.
Digital transformation has been pushed into hyperspeed, moving from a buzzword, to being business critical virtually overnight. From financial services right through to retail and education, the sheer pace of change has created challenges for almost every sector in the hybrid world we find ourselves in.
Over the past year, the coronavirus outbreak left many workers confined to their homes. While this presented several challenges, it also allowed people to enjoy their creature comforts. From regular (perhaps too regular) trips to the fridge, to watching TV or playing video games on lunch breaks. The UK workforce has certainly become accustomed to a more convivial working environment. The question for many businesses, is how does this translate into work-place expectations when so many are now flocking back to offices? Love Energy Savings wanted to find out.
Managing your finances is the most important task to understand as a new business owner, but if you’ve never needed to keep accounts before it can seem like a daunting task. However, by following a few simple steps, you can ensure your accounts are precise and your finances are aligned with your operational goals.
The office is still a vital component of the world of work in 2021, especially for small and medium sized businesses which are leading the way in the return to the workplace. Latest figures from property agent Cushman & Wakefield shows that office lettings are at the highest level since lockdown started, and our own occupancy rates at WorkPad concur with this.
The way in which consumers are searching for products online has changed. In recent times, there has been a significant increase in question-based searches from consumers looking for quick solutions to their needs, overtaking direct searches for brand names. It’s clear the consumer environment is evolving, so what can be done to ensure existing and emerging businesses can keep up?
What a year for venture investing. Crunchbase recently released figures that show venture funding soared to a total of $288bn for the first half of 2021. This represents an all-time record high and four times the level of VC spending four years ago! With all this money raised, it seems natural that venture funding would be the first port of call for startup founders. However, that view is based on several myths. Sometimes venture capital is simply not the right fit for many businesses. And I say that as a venture investor myself.
According to the NHS, a carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they provide is unpaid. Staggeringly, 13.6 million people in the UK have unpaid caring responsibilities, most of whom also work.
The economic landscape of the past eighteen months has been interesting to observe, to say the least. While many organisations have been able to carve out a new niche under pandemic conditions; indeed, some have even flourished, a vast swathe of enterprises have been unable to translate their operations to a radically altered business landscape, and have fallen by the wayside.
COVID-19 introduced new changes and accelerated already existing ones in the ways we work and interact with one another within our organisations. As we adjust to the new ways of working and work at breakneck speed to return back to normality, Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, Chief Strategy Officer at FinTech company Blend Network, argues that it is more important than ever for businesses and their leaders to champion inclusive growth.
When it comes to holistic living, doctors, psychologists, and life coaches have a lot to say. It’s not really the place of business founders to be handing out lessons, after all, they’re known for being work-obsessed and putting in long hours. But, they do know a thing or two about what it's like starting and growing a business,
Since Google rolled out its core web vitals update in June 2021, there have been visible ranking changes for many websites. Numerous reputable websites that had previously had top rankings for their targeted keywords saw a decrease in ranking, on the other hand, smaller websites experienced an increase in how Google ranked them in June and July 2021.
As a provider of data cleaning services to businesses large and small, REaD Group is always keen to find out what the needs of our clients are. As such we conducted a survey into SMEs to look at what they knew about GDPR, how they hold and manage their customer data and what they do to keep it clean and up to date.
The last 18 months have been tough for everyone. We have witnessed limitations on all aspects of our everyday lives and experienced things that we never imagined could be possible. But for entrepreneurs, the unprecedented challenges that unfolded following the start of the pandemic have resulted in the unfortunate failure of many businesses and irreversible damage to industries worldwide.
You’ve got the idea, the business plan, the tech and - some of - the funding. You’re working on your product, iterating features, fine tuning the customer service, revolutionising a sector’s status quo. And you’re moving fast, because of your ecosystem’s need for speed. For most tech startups, those are the pillars they build a business on. But what’s the value of these if no one is paying attention? And if what your offer is so complex and new that people don’t understand it?
Chances are, you have probably had some sort of engagement with a chatbot in the past. These technologies are used by an array of organisations, usually in an attempt to create a much more efficient customer experience, and in many circumstances, cut costs along the way. However, these solutions are not always up to the task.
Environmental policies and working towards sustainable practices has been a hot topic among businesses across sectors and, crucially, across scales. While larger established enterprises are naturally responsible for a larger share of the productive overhauls required to attain Britain’s environmental targets, startups and SMEs are also increasingly outlining their commitment to sustainability.
Remote work has transformed all aspects of our professional lives, and this includes interviewing and recruitment. Video conferencing has enabled businesses and applicants to carry out an interview process in a fairly similar way to in-person interviews, but there is much that businesses need to consider and look out for when recruiting and interviewing for remote positions - the typical interview questions no longer cut it.
As society reopens and businesses adapt to post-pandemic life, now is the ideal time for growing businesses to consider not only how their audiences may have changed but also the best ways to engage with them. Some of the most exciting changes have occurred in the way events are delivered, and we believe there are four key steps that businesses should take to establish and host impactful post-pandemic event programmes. By following these steps, your events will deliver and exceed their objectives, and help achieve wider business objectives too.
With less than three months to go till COP26, the UK, in particular, has a unique opportunity to establish itself as a global hub for sustainability, a world leader in green technology and investment, and a place where all tech businesses join forces to tackle one of the greatest issues of our time.
When restrictions on travel and working together took hold on the world, it forced events and campaigns (which are essential to marketing) to frantically be reshuffled and moved online where possible. Sales strategies and marketing plans had to be reorganised to adapt to the new normal of the marketing world.
The pandemic triggered a serious economic shock, giving rise to great uncertainty. CEOs, CFOs, investors and shareholders have had to restructure their financial plan to get to the next stage of growth and recover sales. Moreover, in every company there comes a time when a change is required. This is where we welcome the interim CFO, or in other terms, the prototype of a modern day CFO.
On 11th March, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) to provide much-needed economic relief to the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the bill focuses on the revitalisation of businesses as a whole, as the health crisis had many negative impacts on the economy and typical operations.
Much of my work is focused around helping women to achieve their highest vision for themselves both personally and professionally. So many women, including those conceiving, founding and running their own businesses, have a strong sense of ambition and a vision but when it comes to actioning change or ‘up levelling’ they become overwhelmed and frozen in knowing where to start.
Data privacy is a major issue and that’s only going to increase in importance globally. Companies that take a well thought out approach to market expansion will most certainly want to consider the privacy regulation of each new country they enter. This is because the risk of noncompliance can have substantial consequences. The fine for a violation of GDPR can be up to 4% of annual revenue.
As a digital marketeer, data is king and the cost of ineffective data can be detrimental not only to the success of your campaigns. Still, it could also alienate or deter your audiences. Having incomplete, ineffective, or redundant data can lead you to making bad marketing decisions, causing business-altering mistakes.
The coronavirus pandemic has led companies to explore new options and working methods. In fact, many companies have adopted remote working on an absolutely massive scale. While senior management initially varied on this bold new way of doing things, but so far, the results have been pretty positive, to say the least. This is because a hybrid work model basically streamlines many, if not most working processes. It does this by the simple expedient of blending remote and semi-remote employees with their office-based counterparts.
The mental health of employees should be a concern for all companies, regardless of size. Creating a culture that supports mental health is not only a moral - and often legal - imperative, but also business savvy. The consequences of a workforce with poor mental health are expensive. Proactive, innovative strategies in relation to employee mental health should therefore be part of all company toolkits.
Hannah Holland, Managing Director and founder of HLD Management, HLD Models, HLD Studios, Levelled Up: The Podcast, a leading female lead management company, is a strong powerful female entrepreneur. Since its inception in 2019, HLD has quickly grown to become a leader in the female Talent Management industry. We caught up with Hannah to find out more about her, her journey and HLD Management.
Business owners are feeling the pressure to adapt in an ever-changing world. The accelerated pace of change required during the global pandemic has highlighted the need for organisations to place digital transformation at the forefront of their strategies. However, putting those plans into action is another story and the difficult truth is that 70% of digital transformation projects fail.
There’s no denying that high-profile influencer marketing, when executed well, can drive a mass of traffic and word of mouth hype. But now thanks to ASA laws, influencers now have to be transparent when working with brands on these campaigns, which can leave customers feeling unsure as to whether an influencer is being authentic. As a result, a brand's reputation can take a massive hit.
It’s safe to say we've all had more time on our hands during the last 16 months or so. A trio of lockdowns have given us the chance to pause and reflect on what really matters. And, while it’s been a difficult year, important conversations have been sparked leading to the beginnings of some positive change.
Four cutting-edge UK technology startups will now have the opportunity to develop minimum viable products (MVPs) to help industry titans digitise and improve their manufacturing processes, after being selected to go through to the final stage of Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Technology Accelerator Programme.
Angell was founded more than three years ago on the premise that Europe's major capitals would be free of individual combustion vehicles by 2025. Angell's mission is to improve day-to-day life in cities by designing, creating, and distributing future mobility objects for commuting, fitness, and leisure.
The MENA region has undergone major political social and economic changes and improvements over the last 20 years, but when it comes to business, entrepreneurship rates in the MENA region are still significantly lower than other global ecosystems. The number of early stage startups is relatively low.
Do you ever wonder how long you spend scrolling on social media platforms? Or, have you ever found yourself deep in a TikTok binge until the early hours of the morning? It’s a remarkably common occurrence, and it’s not your fault: social media apps are intentionally designed with addictive features. This comes at a big cost for both our physical and mental health.
During the pandemic, virtual events have given everyone a chance to socialise with loved ones during difficult times. It has also helped work events continue in a new dynamic, with many employees favouring the virtual experience over in-person events. But now, in a post Freedom Day world, there is a strong desire to return to physical events.
At this year’s Online Growth Summit hosted by Blooming Founders, Inga Driksne, operations advisor to early-stage founders, with a wealth of experience in supporting founders during the hiring process, shared her thoughts on recruitment best practice for startups and small businesses who are looking to embark on their first hires. Startups Magazine reports.
Apple announced big updates for iCloud and iOS 15 at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference this June, with a particular focus on privacy and data tracking. Newly unveiled features from the tech giant include the ability for users to load remote content privately without disclosing their IP, as well as using 'burner' email accounts to sign up for email offers.
The billions promised by the government for catch-up tuition sounds like a lot of money, but when you work it out on an individual basis it’s barely enough to cover a few hours of one-to-one tuition per student. I believe that edtech rather than tuition provides the answer to meet the catch-up challenge, and his micro-tuition experiment proves that this approach can work.
Since the 1990s media artist Chris Hales has taken a solo DIY approach to create interactive film installations and performances that have been shown worldwide. His current interest is in customised film, in which user data (a video grab, a voice recording, selfie photo, or text responses) is incorporated into a short film in humorous ways, giving a personal experience for each user.
2021 has seen more new businesses being registered by women than ever before. I believe that when you truly set your intention to build your own business, and when you determine that nothing is going to stand in your way, you are already one solid step on the road to success. However, for women hoping to become mothers, or who already have families, the challenge of running your own business and bringing up a family at the same time is a complex one. Unless you have a stay-at-home and supportive partner, there will always be additional challenges.
The education sector is often called out due to its difficulty to implement change - whether that is because institutions have legacy systems in place, do not have the time it takes to adopt new technologies, or the affordability aspect. To understand how the education industry as a whole can take the necessary steps forward and achieve its long-anticipated digital transformation, we must first look at the key barriers holding it back.
You might have, in fact you most likely have, been hearing a lot of stuff about Clubhouse over the last few months. Although this audio-first social media platform actually came into existence well over a year ago, it has featured in the marketing and branding world’s Zeitgeist most heavily since the beginning of 2021.
Are you sitting on an idea for a brilliant new app or digital product? Perhaps you have already started the process into making that idea a reality but it is taking too long or just not coming out exactly as you had imagined? At Intrface, we specialise in helping start-ups develop and realise their vision with methods such as Rapid Validation and something we like to call: The Design Sprint 2.0.
Sanofi’s acquisition of Cambridge UK-based, Kymab in early 2021, in a deal worth up to $1.45bn, was the largest sale of a UK biotech company on record, but was soon dwarfed by the $6.9bn acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals by Jazz. These announcements drew global attention to the UK life science and healthtech sectors, and form part of a growing trend in these industries for increased funding, commercial and M&A activity.
There is no doubt that consumer demand for sustainable options is on the increase. It is now becoming a huge factor in the choices buyers make when shopping for goods. A recent survey conducted by Deloitte found that 32% of consumers are highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, with 61% of respondents saying they have limited their use of single use plastic, and 34% have chosen brands with environmentally sustainable practices and values.
Whether you are running a fledgling startup from a home office or heading up an international company employing tens of thousands of employees across the world, the challenge over the past 16 months has been the same. Those business owners who successfully navigated their business through the COVID-19 pandemic should take pride in coming through such an uncertain period in one piece.
It’s fair to say that over the past 16 months or so, we’ve become more digitally-connected than ever before. We can’t underestimate the roles that data and digital technologies continue to play in helping small businesses survive during the pandemic. Almost every interaction we all undertake every day produces data. This creates endless opportunities, but with opportunity comes responsibility - particularly when it comes to how data is used.
The past year has seen many industries navigate a multitude of challenges and shifts to remain operational. However, as we emerge from a post-pandemic landscape, it’s time for organisations to gather their bearings and analyse how their business has fared over the past year and what long-term implications the global lockdown could have had on them.
Education doesn’t finish after school. With further qualifications required to move up in fields as diverse as healthcare, beauty therapy and construction, there’s a huge opportunity for edtech to help employers manage training. But how do you introduce your product to industries with plenty of trainees, but low tech adoption?
Companies providing services like home workouts, high-end meal kits and even crochet tutorials all have boomed during the pandemic. Not everyone has had a smooth path through the pandemic though; businesses have had to become more agile and invest in technology. Many entrepreneurs and individuals have adjusted their attitudes, spending more time on worthy causes or making sure they are planning for their own futures.
The commute as we knew it may be gone for good, new research conducted by e-bike subscription service DASH Rides reveals. DASH and Sapio Research surveyed over 2,000 city-dwelling, full-time workers, who used to work primarily in the office and now work primarily at home, and discovered that three quarters of those returning to the office will be actively avoiding public transport or seeking new ways to travel.
As we approach the end of compulsory remote working, many businesses are retaining some element within their operations. Remote working technology enabled virtual connectivity when physical proximity wasn’t possible, but how has this affected business operations in the long-term? Here we explore the impact of remote working technology on business and society.
Are work ethics losing their relevance to the pursuit of profits and ambitious objectives of growth? In contemporary times, there is a paradigm shift in the hiring strategies of most organisations. The great focus of business owners is to hire employees with versatile skills and creative perspectives. Without a doubt, this is the way forward to create an agile and competent workforce. As a business owner, you need an accomplished workforce exhibiting inspiring skills. However, what about their work ethics? Are you underplaying the significance of work ethics?
Fraud has always affected business and it can be particularly devastating for those companies that are in the start-up phase. A recent report has found that fraud (particularly cyber fraud) has increased by 28% in the last year, largely driven by the Covid-19 situation. This article looks at the warning signs, what might be done to stop it and what to do if you expect that it might be happening.
New customer demands and fierce competition: the pressure on companies to innovate is high across all sectors – and established companies and young startups alike are struggling to meet these demands. Increasingly, this is leading to cooperation between corporates and startups. In this way, the speed and agility of young companies meet the professional structures and long-standing know-how of established companies. Both startups and corporates can benefit from each other's strengths in such a collaboration and ignite a firework of innovation together.
While many industries suffered in 2020 with the ongoing health crisis, cyber crime and in particular ransomware grew significantly. With more time spent online by individuals, and the switch to remote working for many businesses, bad actors recognised the opportunities for increased cyber attacks and grabbed them with both hands. The bad news - this trend is going nowhere in 2021.
The economy has shifted. More and more people are becoming business owners or self-employed, so why are so few entrepreneurial skills taught in schools? From a young age we should all be learning how to innovate, collaborate and communicate effectively so that we are better prepared for the world of work. Edtech is perfectly equipped do this effectively, as well as encourage lifelong learning so that as adults we can all upskill and reskill easily.
It’s a challenge, being a challenger brand today. The relative ease and speed with which you can bring a company or product to market means the volume of brands in any given space is huge, so conveying genuine differentiation is hard. And staying the course, building a challenger that lasts, is even harder.
Running a small business can be hugely rewarding but also hugely frustrating. You have the perfect product, website and sales process in front of you, but getting in front of the perfect customer, and then scaling this, is a battle that we have all have to face. Often, SMEs will be time poor and resource limited, with individuals covering a range of different roles, making it hard to scale effectively.
The future of the office remains uncertain, and the recent speculation around changes to the right to work away from the office only muddies the waters further. Regardless, many large businesses such as Amazon are already planning their return to an office-centric culture to enable collaboration. Google also revealed that 60% of its workforce would be in the office a few days a week, with only 20% of the workforce working remotely.
When you start your own business, it is your own idea and pretty much becomes your baby; the decisions, choices and growth are all within your own making. Most entrepreneurs will spend the first few months of business fully focused on their vision and what needs doing, but once you start growing a team you need to lead and be there for them.
Picture this: an employee sits down at their desk at 10am from their home office setup. They are welcomed by their personal digital assistant, which provides a quick brief about the day ahead. Upcoming meetings and projects are flagged, reminding them to make the necessary preparations, and seek out the information needed to ensure they can confidently put their questions, ideas and suggestions forward.
In today’s world where technology continues to innovate, and automation is a large key to success, the benefits of using multiple SaaS (Software as a Service) are phenomenal. From subscription focused ones, such as Profitwell, which works to reduce churn and shows Monthly Revenue Per User to team communication-based products such as Slack, which allow internal and external communication and automation to happen in synchronicity.
Regardless of what business you are in, a data security breach is an increasingly likely scenario that all businesses must mitigate. With escalating cybercrime, the widespread growth in Cloud computing, and the explosion in mobile devices and varying tech and app use amongst employees and partners; key aspects of enterprise security are now, and will forever be, beyond our control.
Sustainability in business practice is becoming more of a necessity than ever before. Customers are making moves to living a more sustainable lifestyle and therefore expect business leaders and their companies to follow suit. It can be a minefield knowing where to begin when it comes to acting sustainably, it’s an incredibly broad term and can be confusing to know what steps to take first.
More people than ever before are using their smartphones to browse the internet - 90% of the world’s internet population in fact! As such, it is essential that start-ups are equipped to deal with the demand by optimising their websites for mobile and developing apps to help reach and engage with customers more effectively.
When I hear that female founders have been the hardest hit due to the effects of COVID-19 and the UK’s numerous lockdowns, it pains me greatly, not least because, studies such as The Rose Review estimate that if women in the UK were founding businesses at similar rates as they are in other countries, about £200bn would be added to the UK economy!
Whilst many people enjoy watching the sparring between business angels on TV this type of investing may feel like something for others i.e., the millionaire business owners. Because of this, rather than exploring this exciting asset class, we put our investments into safer options we are more familiar with such as mutual funds and stocks. Gavin Heys, Envestors Private Investment Club explains.
Legal & Governance Hub, are a business law consultancy supporting startups, scaleups and SMEs. I am Gulnaz the Founder who trained at a startup boutique law firm, which was my first real exposure to learning about business. I worked in marketing, finance and even sales with my own client following! Starting my career in a startup was a great move, I had lots of responsibility and autonomy.
According to MoneySuperMarket, around 22% of the UK’s two million freelancers are busy delivering essential business support. As more companies embrace hybrid working models, recruiting external consultants can complement the skills of in-house staff. Here Ashmita Das, CEO of Kolabtree, the freelance platform for scientists, explains how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can integrate freelancers successfully.
When launching their business, entrepreneurs get very excited at the prospects of finding clients, but also anxious about how to do it. While there are many priorities for them in terms of business operations, building up the right teams, or maintaining their cash flow, organic marketing isn’t one that should be neglected or postponed.
Over the tumultuous year we've just faced, productivity has been challenged in ways most had never considered. The strain of financial, career and health uncertainty has been a formidable foe for employees and employers alike. As we celebrate World Productivity Day this year, we do so with the learnings of the past 12 months under our belt.
Starting over with a new business idea or career path is never easy, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary (this applies to other things in life as well). I have started over multiple times. I quit a stable job in HR to start my own business. People called me crazy, but I followed my dreams and persevered. It was anything but easy, but it brought me to where I am today and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
If office space providers are to survive the shift to greater flexible working, they need to keep up with the increasing demand from businesses for shorter, flexible contracts. Long term, restrictive office commitments no longer appeal to SMEs, who are increasingly looking for complete flexibility in their requirements, to scale up and down as required, and remain agile.
Do you believe the next generation of tech giants will be European? At Scale-Up Europe, we do. That’s why, a few days ago, our group of stakeholders from across the world of European technology innovation presented a shared ambition for the continent to house 10 technology companies valued more than €100bn by 2030.
Writing a compelling job ad to entice graduates can be challenging, especially if writing isn’t your strong suit. How can you create the best possible job ad to attract the best talent to your business? Based on many years of experience, I have put together the perfect formula to attract stellar talent.
Closing the skills gap in organisations and industries around the world has a key role to play in our pandemic recovery. Factors such as geography, poor infrastructure, financial hardship and a lack of public resources are preventing many from accessing training that could transform their futures. Yet recent research shows that if digitally lagging sectors—such as manufacturing, mining, healthcare and education—double their use of digital tools, Europe alone could add €2.5 trillion to its GDP by 2025.
Marketing spend has risen to record levels since the pandemic. PR and marketing have become business lifelines, boosting resilience and reputation throughout a challenging time. A large part of the focus has been on retaining customers and marketing efforts have become highly targeted with brand loyalty as a key driver. Approaches are increasingly personalised with customers treated as individuals and humanised to drive authenticity and credibility.
Having a strong reliable team is at the heart of building any successful sustainable business that is why investors say they invest in people not ideas. Many entrepreneurs overthink the ideas, the plans, the strategies, and underestimate the importance of building the team of people who will actually execute and turn these ideas into reality.
Following the ongoing discussion that youth unemployment is so high, Richard Evans, a professional careers mentor and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur 2019 shares his thoughts on why the issues run much deeper than the recent pandemic. Richard has conducted over 600 interviews throughout his career and mentored over 100 students into the UK’s most competitive universities and companies as a careers mentor at The Profs.
Businesses are often preoccupied with 'innovation'. Far from being merely a buzzword, the concept in fact reflects the necessary and consistent iteration that drives markets forwards and allows those who invest smartly a robust edge over their competitors. The trouble is, truly game-changing innovations are vanishingly rare.
The way in which businesses across the country work has transformed exponentially since March 2020, with entire workforces suddenly told to operate remotely. Some organisations thrived, with their cloud solutions and unified communication tools empowering them to adopt a remote working ethos with ease. On the other hand, those with more rigid and antiquated processes have found this sudden shift jarring.
Tech Nation’s ‘The future UK tech built’ 2021 report, published earlier this year, revealed that the UK currently sits third in the world for venture capital (VC) investment in tech companies, behind only China and the US, with $15bn pledged last year. Great news for the UK’s emerging businesses, right? Well, Simon Philips, CEO of ScaleUp Capital, tells a different story.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all shape and size to adapt, adjust and pivot in response to the ‘new normal’. Whilst larger businesses - who suffer from being less nimble than their startup counterparts - have faced unique difficulties, startups – who lack the cash reserves and structure of larger businesses – have also faced their own challenges. Many startups have had to fundamentally reconsider their business models and how they operate as a result.
As businesses develop, so do their ideas and offerings. This often leads to an expansion in a business’ IP portfolio. Due to the public disclosure associated with Intellectual Property (IP) rights, monitoring your competitors’ application filings may provide insight into their future offerings and business direction.
Growing up, many people considered the games I played to be a distraction from the ‘important’ things in life, such as my education and career development. However, as a member of the ‘gamer generation’, I see how much we are overturning this view. Along with many others, I believe games offer a huge amount of business learnings that as startup leaders, we can capitalise upon.
Launched in 2017, Huboo is one of the UK’s fastest growing fulfilment providers, working with more than 800 eCommerce retailers worldwide. Renowned for its unique ‘micro hub’ technology, which enables online retailers of all sizes to access a complete end-to-end fulfilment operation within minutes, Huboo has grown dramatically over the past few years - expanding its total UK warehouse space to 11,000sqm, and growing its team to 250 people.
Molex Ventures was founded in 2013 as a strategic organisation designed to accelerate change and transformation through engagement with the innovation ecosystem. It leverages corporate venture capital to invest in startups and incubate organic ideas that have strategic alignment to the future growth opportunities of Molex.
Many people see processing a payroll as a monotonous task and one to leave to the pen-pushers. However, having a successful process leads to employees being paid the right amount, on time. Payroll is a large part of the day-to-day running of a business and has over recent years become burdensome on business with the introduction of regular electronic filings and auto-enrolment compliance for pensions. There are also many penalty provisions available to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to penalise for incorrect and late filings.
According to the Project Management Institute, project success depends on whether it’s delivered on time and the cost doesn’t exceed its budget. It’s even more important to consider if the delivered IT product works as it was intended, people within the company can use it and it ultimately meets that goal that drove the project initially.
Naturally, large and small businesses have innumerate differences in their motivations and capacity to operate. For instance, SMEs commonly benefit from the flexibility imparted by smaller and more focussed teams, with ownership often aligning with management. Conversely, they may have less financial freedom to invest in diversifying or building the kind of economies of scale enjoyed by more established enterprises.
New regulations for more sustainability in the European Union: on 10 February 2021, the EU adopted a tightened version of the Circular Economy Action Plan. Among other things, this plan deals particularly with the top of the sustainability chain, more specifically with specifications for a more sustainable product design. Bennet Barth, Program Director RESPOND at the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, explains what startup founders should look out for if they want to make their products more sustainable.
Virtual events have provided a lifeline for thousands of companies during the pandemic, allowing them to stay connected to their audiences and keep vital sales and marketing efforts going. But at the same time, most organisations have struggled to deliver a positive, consistent audience experience due to connectivity issues, problems with event formats, or difficulties encouraging participation, averting desk-based distractions and preventing Zoom fatigue.
Employees are at greater risk than ever of suffering burnout and employers should consider putting in place preventative and curative measures. For startups in particular it is important to look at tackling burnout in a sustainable way, eradicating the factors and issues before they take hold. Debra Clark, Head of Specialist at Towergate Health & Protection explains.
Fully embedding a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy within a business is more important now than ever, and this applies to startups just as much as to any blue chip. One may be forgiven for thinking that startups have more urgent priorities: securing investment, gaining customers, hiring talent or simply turning a profit, for instance.
Sometimes in life it can pay to watch, observe, and to take no immediate action. But there are also many times in life, and in business of course, where by far the best thing to do is to seize the moment. No action, can itself become an action, as events are taken out of your hands or the situation has moved on and left you behind.
It's been a challenging year for all businesses and the startup community has been particularly impacted by ‘unprecedented times’. Kindred opened in 2018 and we had just celebrated our first birthday when the pandemic struck. As an owner of a space centered around community and connectivity, and one that constitutes as a hospitality business, I’ve ridden both personal and professional waves of uncertainty that we’ve experienced throughout the pandemic.
As a startup, it’s easy to find yourself admiring a colossal corporation and begin mentally listing all the ways entering into a partnership with it could help you get where you want to be. There's no doubt that the economies of scale, the vast customer reach, and the global brand reputation of a blue-chip player can help elevate a startup company to another level.
We face a forever-altered landscape of communication and commerce. As a native of Ukraine, I have survived difficult times. As an entrepreneur, I have kept my company alive in the face of war and revolution. And, though the details and depth of our situations differ from day to day and person to person, these steps can offer a port in any storm.
Richard McCall, CEO of Armalytix, believes that despite the post COVID-19 road to recovery, Britain’s army of small businesses face an extremely uncertain six months as the implications of tax deferrals, loans and uncertain growth combine. Richard argues access to up-to-date financial information, made easier by Open Banking will help these businesses maximise the potential upside of the recovery.
Starting and growing a business also means getting a team of people together to grow and work with you and support you. But that’s not always easy. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get that perfect match (new business idea: a LinkedIn and Tinder hybrid!) and you have to make tough decisions on who you want on your team.
Many things in businesses are reliant upon achieving the right balance. Sometimes this balance can be easy to achieve and other times it can be much more difficult to obtain. Sometimes it is a statutory requirement and other times it is more of a yin and yang thing that improves the business in many different ways. But all are important.
Recruitment remains a significant challenge for scaling a business. Like any other business skill, recruitment takes understanding and experience to get right, but the hiring process can be lengthy - anything from about 19 hours for design/creative roles to 30 for IT posts. Get it wrong and it all adds up to a colossal waste of time.
Buying British has been a trend that seems to go in and out of vogue every 10-15 years. The label 'British Made' was once a mark of quality and respected the world over. Items made from British steel were the pinnacle of reliability while, until the BSE crisis, British meat was regarded as the highest quality.
In the traditional sense, a marketing approach is usually used to drive sales and a PR strategy is used to build and maintain a positive reputation for a company. The PRCA states that PR is “all about the way organisations communicate with the public, promote themselves, and build positive reputation and public image”.
The insurance industry is ripe for disruption. For consumers, shopping for fair insurance coverage is complicated, and plans are often expensive. For insurers, measuring risk in potential customers isn’t always straightforward, and determining fault or the extent of damage in an incident is often challenging.
The pandemic has forced businesses, CEOs, and humans in general, to reconsider what is important to them, how they want to spend their time, and what they want to do in the future. In fact, my firm’s 2021 CEO Purpose Report, conducted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic shows that 79% of CEOs surveyed said the pandemic has had an impact on the way they run their business.
Creating a great startup marketing strategy doesn’t have to be stressful. You can use solid frameworks and marketing principles to start successfully. It just helps to hear those recommendations from someone that’s had the experience before you stumble through trying to discover the best approach yourself. The ideas in this article will help you get started.
So, your business has been doing great locally - but you don’t want to stop there. You want your business to expand on a global scale and reach out to customers across the world. You’ve already taken care of the international process lines you’re going to use to provide global customers with your products or services. But… have you thought about translation?
The hospitality industry is a dynamic environment in a constant state of movement and evolution. Thanks to technology, the industry has changed at an unprecedented rate in recent years. With hotels open and working full time in the ongoing pandemic, technology is more important than ever and will play a key role in recreation.
Thanks to COVID-19, remote working has become the ‘new normal’ for many workers across the globe. While many profess to prefer this way of working, the impending re-opening of offices and a gradual return of many colleagues to the 9-5, is causing increasing anxiety to those who will remain almost, or entirely working from home.
As a start up business owner there is no doubt that you may have overcome challenges to get to where you are today. But one area that many business owners may struggle with is the relentless heightened momentum that is needed to steer a business to success without hitting burnout. Keeping up momentum when you have limited staff and are trying to jump from department to department throughout the day can leave business leaders not knowing what to prioritise.
Running a zero-waste business always starts with passion. Passion for the products, passion for ‘being better’ and passion for the planet. In order to ensure that you’re going to have the biggest impact, you need to consider all elements of your business from manufacturing and supply chain to the packaging that you use.
One presumption about tech-for-good startups is that they generate less profit than traditional tech companies. This is a myth - they need to take care to prevent the nobility of the cause from getting in the way of their financial ambition, but there is no fundamental conflict between good business and business for good.
Innovation, by its very nature, involves change and disruption. This is undisputed, but many businesses can, naturally, have some reservations about disrupting themselves too much. After all, change can often seem like a scary thing. But businesses have now been forced to change by something well beyond their control. The aptitude to risk has changed and ‘pandemic’ will be referenced in the PESTLE analysis of every university student's dissertation for years to come.
Over the last 30 years, there has been a steadfast campaign calling for remote working to be offered to employees. Calls for more flexible working options seemed to fall on deaf ears. Businesses were sceptical of change, unable to assess the differing productivity levels of those who worked remotely and those who worked in an office, so they consistently opted for the tried and tested. Us&Co - Professional Workspaces explores.
Today’s consumers are an evolved, diverse and versatile breed with ever-changing expectations. They make educated choices, are equipped with relevant information, and continuously challenge the enterprises they interact with. That said, enterprises that go the extra mile to understand their customers and their customers’ needs have an added advantage.
The majority of executives deem sustainability to be important, yet a mere 25% integrate sustainability into the core of their business (according to a BCG/MIT study). The issues stem from the fact that sustainability is considered a business side-branch, and not integrated into the business strategy and model.
These days, finding information is easy since you can always choose to access all of the world’s knowledge from the comfort of your office or house. But getting all that information alone is not sufficient for you to build a profitable venture, discover new investors, and develop an outstanding product.
When my business partner, Jack, and I started UnderPinned in August 2018, we had countless images of what running a startup would look like. Time has shown that many of them were poorly conceived. Some, downright fanciful. It’s only been two and half years, but it feels like aeons ago now, and I’ve often thought back to that time, wondering what I would tell myself if I could hop into a time-machine and talk to a younger, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Albert.
“Cautious optimism is hugely important,” the CIO of a large coffee shop chain told us at the end of 2020. The sentiment of caution is familiar: the lockdown life we have all come to know is characterised by endless cancelled plans, delayed returns to the office and an underlying sense of uncertainty. Any optimism that we entertain must be held up with the slightest suspicion that our well-laid plans may indeed fall apart.
As a 90s kid I wanted nothing more than a glittering career in the music industry. I soaked up the Spice Girls’ confidence and felt like I could summon the power within myself to become famous. When TV shows like X-Factor and Popstars gained popularity in my teen years, a career in music seemed within arm’s reach. I believed that if I worked hard and didn’t give up, success would be there for the taking.
As we emerge into this new, post-lockdown, post-brexit world, many businesses feel it's time to take the next big growth step - international expansion. Huge opportunities await across borders, but no doubt everyone's aware that new market entry is a time and labour-intensive process, and can be very costly if not successful.
One of the few silver linings to come from the pandemic has been the rapid adoption of innovation in healthcare. The race to develop vaccines in less than one year is a prime example - taking anywhere between 10 and 15 years in normal circumstances. Other technologies such as telemedicine for virtual appointments, and Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) that provides lifelike remote training for medical staff, have broken through with great pace.
A little over a one year ago, CES just made it under the wire. One of the last of the major trade shows to 'go live' prior to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the mammoth showcase for emergent technology attracted its normal lineup of 1,200 startups, 4,400 total exhibitors and 170,000 attendees while delivering more than a hundred panels, seminars and presentations.
Systems and procedures are crucial to the running of every successful business. Some company structures are inevitably simpler than others, and the complexity of the business does of course dictate the type of systems and procedures required, as well as the level of need. But whatever the size and complexity of the business, procedures are always needed.
Musicians reportedly lost out on two thirds of their income in 2020 with the doors to live music venues closed and festivals cancelled across the board. With live music taking a backseat, innovations in the sector came to the fore, with collaboration and creation taking on a truly digital-first approach.
This week Alphabet Inc, parent company to Google, saw record profit earnings during its first quarter, with its net profit jumping by 162% in three months. This success has been unsurprisingly attributed to the pandemic, with more people at home using online services to stay informed, connected, and entertained, as we continue to work remotely under lockdown.
According to the latest statistics, the average business spends between 5-12% of their annual turnover on marketing. While millions of organisations - particularly those operating in B2C sectors - perceive digital marketing as fundamental to driving sales and resulting business growth, other business owners still need convincing of its value, and often have preconceptions of the Return On Investment (ROI) required to make it worthwhile.
With research showing that up to 96% of customers would consider switching from a business after a single bad service experience, there can be no doubt that service is a key differentiator for today’s customers. Contact centres have always been challenged by employee productivity and surges in demand, but never more so than now as remote working has brought new and more complex management issues.
Agility and resilience are qualities we’ve all had to show in the face of unprecedented challenges since March 2020. It has been hard for all of us personally, and it has also been challenging for many professionally, with industries created and destroyed overnight; wild variations in customer demand; and general economic instability. In response, many businesses have had to pivot fast to survive and, in some cases, thrive.
It's a shame when brilliant ideas are left in limbo before they are able to come alive because of financial constraints. Did you know that most founders underestimate how much time their startup will need to achieve market validation by two to three times? What if one of these businesses runs out of money before anything viable can be completed, then this means that many great ideas are never given the chance they deserve. How many businesses could have succeeded if they had more time and money?
Intrapreneurs are known as ‘the dreamers that do’. One thing’s for sure: they do a lot more than just brainstorm ideas. From boosting revenue and driving growth, changing company culture, and improving retention and recruitment, intrapreneurship has the ability to enhance a business from top to bottom. And for startups transitioning from bootstrapping into a more established identity with an increasing number of employees, it’s critical to nurture an intrapreneurial outlook.
The number of public sector contracts being awarded to SMEs continues to rise and services are frequently being broken down into smaller contracts to facilitate SMEs. However, where SMEs may not have the funds to offer free value adds or perhaps offer the lowest price, it’s vital that they clearly articulate how they can deliver value.
As per a survey performed by a magazine, 70% of our youth wish to settle in different countries, primarily the US and UK. Working in a foreign land is their idea of 'success'. Now emigration isn't as much of a problem as long as employers manage to keep the spirits of the international employees high, thereby, leading to their long-term engagement with the company.
At White Camino we’re huge fans of challenger brand thinking, whatever market you’re in and even if you’re number one, keep behaving like a challenger. Leading with your ideas and having a distinctive voice are vital. After far too many years of working in the entertainment industry telling stories about erm... stories, has given us plenty of experience of dreaming up pipelines of great ideas. To get things started we spoke to a few of our compadres to gather some of their pearls.
Thursday 22nd April 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, a day that celebrates our planet and aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting it. Before the pandemic, events would take place all around the world on this day and in the lead-up for individuals and businesses to get involved in.
As CEO and Co-founder of the UK’s biggest free sharing app OLIO, it’s fair to say Tessa Clarke knows a thing or two about what it takes to start and grow a successful business. She has rounded up her biggest business do’s and don’ts for other ambitious entrepreneurs looking to build a successful new venture.
If you own an up-and-coming startup, you need to find reliable, skilled workers - and freelancers usually fit the bill, especially because they come with flexible payment schedules. These employees can help your business navigate the initial stages to achieve success. That said, you should note that freelance workforces can be tough to manage.
The year 2020 stands out as what you would call the banner year for remote work. While a good number of people worked remotely before that, the outbreak of the pandemic forced a major shift to remote work. People and companies that hadn’t embraced remote working had it rough trying to adjust to the circumstances.
Networking. Some people love it, some people hate it. But everyone knows it’s essential if you’re setting up a new business. Or is it? Tell anyone that you’re setting up a business without any industry contacts, and they’ll raise their eyebrows at you. Wouldn’t it be better to get to know the industry first, they’ll ask? Shouldn’t you build up your network before diving in?
The last year has shone a spotlight on the long-term future of the UK’s business sector, its reliance on people and the need for business resilience. It was crucial to protect the financial security of consumers so that they could continue to conduct business with each other, and that was understandably Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s priority, with the unprecedented introduction of Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and furlough schemes.
Oil major, BP recently announced that 25,000 members of staff must Work From Home (WFH) two days per week post pandemic. As more firms transition to long-term remote working, evaluating and improving home office set ups will be critical to success. Here Kristian Torode, Director and Co-founder of business unified communications provider, Crystaline, looks at what companies should provide for their workers.
When you are building a plane in the sky - startup speak for tricky innovation in a tough environment - things slip. In the case of fast-growing businesses, important people priorities and processes fall down the agenda. Diversity and inclusion is one of them. It can be deprioritised by default, in a race to stay afloat, pay your teams and spend time on what will get you where you need to go, quickly.
Founded by childhood friends, Lucy Cohen and Sophie Hughes, Mazuma is a UK-based provider of online accounting services for small and micro businesses. As qualified accountants, the pair spotted a gap in the market in 2006 for low cost and stress-free accountancy which specifically serviced SMEs and the self-employed. Fast forward to today and the company is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
As we enter the ‘roadmap’ to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are reassessing their people operations. Some have adopted a ‘hybrid’ working model, allowing employees to split their time between working from home and from the office, and others have even given up their office spaces entirely.
The PR industry continues to go from strength to strength with a steady 5% growth in 2020 and the five years previous to that. This demonstrates that organisations recognise the value that communications play in their overall business strategy. Consumer research has shown that 48% see journalism and earned media to be the most credible source of information.
Virtual reality is no longer a novelty, but VR events are an innovation in the event industry and marketing. A virtual event is a potent tool for promoting your brand or for organising conferences and concerts. This is an entirely new project that allows you to hold an event while staying at home, despite emergencies, such as the 2020 quarantine or other events.
With COVID-19 restrictions constantly changing and evolving worldwide, many employees taking business trips to other countries, or already working abroad, have found that they are suddenly either banned from returning to their home country or not allowed to leave the country they have visited. Employers must ensure they are able to support employees who are stranded away from home.
It’s now been over a year since the first COVID-19 lockdowns hit, sending myriad companies hurtling into the unfamiliar world of remote working — and that time has proven very informative. On the whole, people have discovered that working at a distance isn’t the drain on productivity that many skeptics had claimed for so long, and the lack of time or money spent on commuting has left plenty of professionals determined to keep working from home in the future.
Founding your first startup is no walk in the park. If it was, everyone would do it. There will be long nights of building your MVP and many times you’ll want to rip your hair out. But there will also be incredibly rewarding moments, and, chances are, you won’t regret taking the journey. If the thought of building your own business sparks a fire within you, it’s worth the hard work that goes into it.
There’s no denying that the ultimate goal of launching a startup is for that startup to be successful. However, a significant reason that many individuals never follow their Big Ideas to embark on the founder’s journey is fear of failure. Failure they won’t succeed, failure their product will never take off.
Living in a digital world, where everything could grow or destroy your business, marketing is a very important strategy to use. Now when the internet has reached almost the highest point, it is a very good thing to use it to work with you, not against you. Any industry that uses technology and relies on it, has major changes each year because the technology is advancing each year.
2020 acted as a catalyst for trends we have seen in our economy for some time, from the rapid digital transformation across every aspect of our lives, to the dramatic rise in demand for e-commerce. Now more than ever, customers are expecting the 'next day delivery' option to be the norm, and it’s vital that all business leaders, regardless of the size of their operations, recognise the impact this can have on their business.
Marketing in the 21st century has become one of the biggest priorities for companies in all industries. Every year, it becomes important to show the general public your company still deserves their dollar and their support. People no longer settle simply for what they have ‘always known’ or what fits best in their budget.
Technology today plays a major part in our daily routines, as well as our working lives. It has had a huge impact on the workplace and will only continue to do so at an incredible rate, due to the technological advancements of our time. What’s more, the events of the last 12 months have massively reshaped work culture across the globe. In particular, the need for technologies that can be used to virtually replicate an office environment, will continue to grow in importance as we move into 2021.
The world is not going digital anymore, it is already there. Many industries have now embraced technology in almost all their operations, and the Financial industry is no different. Bitcoin, Robinhood, Monzo, Fintech are just examples of how technology has enhanced services in the Financial industry.
The twin forces of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic have wreaked havoc on business confidence in the UK. It therefore comes as little surprise that almost two thirds (64%) reported the combination of the two made 2020 the hardest year they have faced, according to a recent survey of commissioned by One World Express.
Medical innovation has become a significant focus for venture capital investment in the last ten years. A growing, ageing population combined with the opportunity to develop global solutions is driving a spike in investment innovation that helps people better manage wellbeing or enables them to get well sooner.
Whilst the UK is home to a large number of innovative startups, and has even been proclaimed the ‘unicorn’ capital of Europe, it also has a disappointingly high gender funding gap. According to a report commissioned by the British Business Bank, for every £1 of VC investment, less than 1p went to all-female teams and only 10p to mixed-gender teams. The initial reaction may be to point fingers at the VC industry, however interestingly the report also noted that in fact only 5% of all pitchdecks received are from all-female teams.
Until the early 2000s, banks held almost a monopoly in credit. Around that time, enabled by the emergence of the internet a new type of digital lending started to emerge and with it a new way to invest in private debt: peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. This innovation allowed retail investors to put their money in small loans so that consumers could achieve their financial goals. We spoke to Kimmo Rytkönen, CEO and Founder of Income Marketplace about the rewards of P2P investing.
Property managers are tasked with tracking multiple assets and actions over several properties through all stages of development - from planning to building and maintaining. These days, the role of the property manager is becoming increasingly streamlined and data-driven through the adoption of smart technology.
For all businesses, especially startups, to prosper systematically, sharing feedback effectively is essential. When functional feedback sharing is made a part of the company culture, it turns out to be beneficial for everyone. Even the most talented and passionate employees need a sense of direction from their superiors.
The ranks of the self-employed have swelled over the past two decades, rising from 3.4 million (12.9% of the workforce) in 1998 to 4.8 million (15.1%) in 2017. Yet over the same period, the proportion of self-employed workers paying into a private pension has fallen from 48% to just 16%, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Businesses reeling from the effects of the pandemic feel like they have been given an ultimatum: transform or die. And while we have seen unfortunate consequences for the companies that were unable to adapt fast enough, it is important to remember that more often than not, digital innovation isn’t all or nothing.
Recent research has revealed how companies are facing the omnipresent ‘innovate or perish’ mantra that has professionals across industries scrambling for the next best thing. Training professionals have identified Learning and Development Training (L&D) as a key strategy to build a culture of innovation and carry your organisation into the future.
Are you thinking of starting a business in 2021? If yes, you need to think of businesses that can thrive in the post-COVID-19 economy. The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour across the world, rendering many traditional businesses obsolete. For example, consumers now want to buy from businesses that meet them at their homes; that deliver products to their doorsteps.
Corporate culture embodies of all the written and unwritten rules, values and attitudes that characterise an organisation. It offers an insight into how business decisions are reached, and how they will be implemented. By extension, then, internal culture is the also the foundation upon which all successful innovation must be built.
For any startup, time to market, knowledge, confidence, and expertise are all vital to the success of the entrepreneurial journey. With extensive experience in all these key elements, we speak to John Bowman, Marketing Director, and David Pearson, Technical Director at Anglia, the UK-based authorised distributor of semiconductors, optoelectronics, interconnect, passive and electromechanical components, about what the company can offer to new businesses.
Founder of the multinational coaching company Shamila M, Shamila Mhearban specalises in creating and implementing bespoke strategies and solutions to help clients realise their vision of success. Launching the business back in 2017, Shamila has built up an expertise, and here she shares tips on how businesses can rebound after the economic uncertainty of the global pandemic.
Forget remote working, it’s all about asynchronous working thanks to an increase in global teams becoming the norm and changing the traditional workplace. Departing from the classic in-office, same-country model, global teams are creating a robust new workforce, global teams create asynchronous working styles that go against conventional practices.
COVID-19 has changed many businesses forever. The rapid transition to e-commerce and limited in-person shopping created an impossible situation for some businesses, 60% of which have closed permanently. However, some entrepreneurs have successfully worked through the challenges, getting help from anywhere they can.
The UK is more environmentally conscious than ever, with 89% of adults prioritising being more environmentally friendly this year. Ahead of World Recycling Day on 18th March, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared top tips on how UK workers can be more conscious of recycling in the office.
When the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent UK lockdowns are discussed, much of the focus is on the negative impact on the economy, our physical health, and our mental health. But, while the damaging effects are unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Since AWS Lambda first launched in 2014, serverless computing has exploded. Adoption is high, and Amazon, Microsoft and Google all now offer serverless capabilities. As is so often the case, entrepreneurs have reacted fast, and created an ecosystem of startups that support the continuing growth of the serverless industry.
Some very interesting statistics were released this week relating to trade over the past twelve months. What was so interesting about these two particular sets of statistics is that both of them were unique to looking backwards from spring 2021, and this period will be studied in schools and universities for many years to come.
Do you want to create a new business venture? Do you have a business idea but don’t know where to start? Have you started your business without a plan? It is time to create a business plan! A business plan is like a travel itinerary, you need to plan your trip before travelling: Where you will go? How to reach there? How much will you spend? Where will you stay? What will you do (activities)? Which places will you visit?
2020 flipped everyone’s plans for the year upside down, with no corner of the world left untouched. In this state of complete disarray, the primary business challenge for many was to keep customers happy while rapidly shifting staff to remote working. With this now mastered for most businesses and homeworking being the new norm, the next hurdle for leaders will be getting the balance right between the many conflicting desires of those in their workforce.
Through all the advancements seen over the past century, international trade has been slow to change. For example, Letters of Credit (LCs) continue to be an important trade finance product for global traders, but they rely on paper-based processes, which are fundamentally slow and prone to error. Now, with the need to change how organisations work in a post-COVID world, there is a greater need to improve how trade and trade finance operate
Rosa von Krogh is Head of Insights and Innovation at the North Alliance, one of the largest companies in Scandinavia marrying design, media and e-commerce. She is speaking at the global SHE Conference, alongside guests like Hillary Clinton, Norwegian PM, Erna Solberg and Icelandic PM Katrin Jakobsdottir, from 5-19th March 2021.
Nearly a year on since the onset of COVID-19, many companies have realised their staff are able to (almost) work as effectively remotely, as they did in an office. For tech companies and their investors, the transition to remote working was relatively seamless, as the culture and infrastructure needed to succeed was already in place. It has, however, prompted many startups to reconsider whether they need an office at all, and whether high rents in cities like New York, London, and San Francisco can be justified.
Today, the sales funnel is more buyer-focused. It’s no longer about sales professionals and their understanding of products and services, but rather a concentration on buyers and how a business can fulfill their needs. And if you are a business wanting to get more prospects and clients, you need to put enough information about your brand where your targets spend the most time.
The success of your endeavors depends on your approach and perspectives towards things. Ultimately, it is all about how you train your mind to be at the helm of your pursuit. Yes, passion is a lot synonymous with following the heart, but you also need to develop a positive mindset. It is all about the mindsets after all! Positivity, confidence, persistence, and possibilities are all attributes of your mindset. Besides, it is a well-established fact that the prowess of our minds shapes our lives. Being in the right frame of mind is paramount.
Despite the global growth of women-led businesses, funding continues to be a significant challenge. Having gathered multiple data and research, Instant Offices revealed 35% of female business founders still face gender bias when raising their business capital. Female entrepreneurs also receive an average of 5% less funding than their male counterparts.
A few years ago I was sitting in a meeting, working while I waited for it to be my turn to present. The engineer sitting next to me asked me what I was doing - I said that in order to make it home in time before my children’s bath time, I had to work through every single free moment. He replied saying he preferred to not get home until after bath time.
Working at Startups Magazine, we come across some extremely inspiring, empowering and all-round incredible women, but it would be impossible to name them all. As we celebrate International Women's Day 2021, we wanted to highlight our 20 most influential women of 2020 from our last Women in Tech edition.
Women throughout history continue to make their mark creating innovations and discoveries that impact our lives today. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Miranda Kent, Managing Associate at intellectual property firm, Mathys & Squire, reflects on inspiring female inventors in each decade since 1910 - when the firm was first founded - to demonstrate the significant value that realising new ideas and inventions can bring.
The Digital Women’s Day, JFD in French, was started up by Delphine Remy-Boutang back in 2013, (back then just an annual meeting), but has since evolved into so much more. It is now a platform for the promotion of digital entrepreneurship for women, and JFD has brought together and celebrated a large number of women who all share the same goal - to revolutionise the world digitally both in Europe and Africa.
Employees are at greater risk than ever of suffering burnout and employers should consider putting in place preventative and curative measures. For startup employers in particular it is important to look at tackling burnout in a sustainable way, eradicating the factors and issues before they take hold.
The Government is exercising extreme caution when it comes to easing lockdown restrictions. This is a sensible approach. After all, the UK is in its third national lockdown, and the Prime Minister will be keen to avoid another. That said, the slow road out of lockdown will likely frustrate many UK businesses. Many non-essential, retail and leisure businesses must now remain closed until 12th April, and even then, many will be unable to operate at full, pre-pandemic capacity.
Last year businesses were quickly forced into new ways of working, kickstarting one of the largest unplanned changes in operations the modern workplace has ever seen. It’s become clear that many of those changes are here to stay — for a long time to come, business as usual will not be an option. When we eventually return to the office, we can expect the workplace to be very different to how we left it. Typical office practices like hotdesking and crowded meeting rooms will no longer be viable as workplaces reduce onsite headcount and adhere to social distancing practices.
Right now it might feel harder than ever to cut through the noise and get your brand featured in the press. You might also feel that you'd like to secure media coverage but you don't have the budget to employ a PR agency, or perhaps the time yourself to knock up a press release or work out which journalists you should be targeting.
Last year was an incredibly challenging one for entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to a survey from Alignable, 45% of small businesses reported earning less than half of their pre-pandemic revenue. Statistics like these can scare you away from starting a company in 2021, but they shouldn’t.
Businesses in a wide range of industries rely on stock procurement to thrive, and issues with supply lines will always have a hugely detrimental impact on profits. Ultimately, companies cannot consistently sell their own goods if they’re struggling to procure the products and materials needed to manufacture them.
Website design accounts for up to 95% of a user’s first impression of your company. A good design can keep visitors on your site, which goes a long way in converting leads into purchases. For this reason, it’s increasingly important to make great website designs part of your marketing strategy. Here are eight of the best website designs to inspire you in 2021.
The world is undergoing huge changes at the moment. Between coronavirus pushing the economy to the limit and a group of Redditors challenging the financial market hegemony, people are questioning the role of established institutions. If finance doesn’t work to enable the economy, businesses or individuals, then who is it for?
As a social impact entrepreneur and investor, I like to think I know a business opportunity when I see one. The 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars provides us with a massive opportunity. Entrepreneurs and investors should be incredibly excited about this new technology and the potential to innovate. As far as I’m concerned, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the new smartphones.
In today’s fast-paced, technological environment, people are constantly retaining information through the internet and social media. There are many opportunities for individuals to access expert advice from all sorts of industries through the likes of online interviews, podcasts and Twitter feeds. Still, does this mean that all the advice that we have access to is useful?
Launching a new startup is always a huge risk, but with effective user research and testing, product leaders can gain valuable insights from end users to reduce risk from the outset and build a culture of learning from their customers. We recently held a virtual event titled ‘From Idea to Launch: How startups succeed with UserTesting’ and we were joined by product and startup experts, including Arielle Kilroy and Justin Berkovi, to get their top tips for ensuring success.
In this article, Andrew White, Partner and UK & European patent attorney at intellectual property firm, Mathys & Squire discusses how building a strong Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio puts you in a better position to secure business investment when you need it and why linking your IP strategy to your business goals - including investment plans - is crucial for making it all come together effortlessly.
For many of us, 2021 could not come fast enough. I will not expound on the world’s collective gratitude in 2020 being finished, you can watch Netflix’s Death to 2020 for a much more humorous take on this! As we continue in yet another lockdown, I’d like to frame some of the work that Allia will be working on this year to support the impact start-ups and local businesses that are getting ready to step up and make a difference.
In the time of COVID-19, the unheard victims are those entering the jobs market or hoping to build a career. The loss of life is tragic and deserves to dominate the headlines. Yet, we should not ignore the longer-term consequences to the confidence of our young people. 16 to 24-year-olds are the most likely to lose their job or be made redundant. It is also impossible for those fresh out of university to find a position. It is hard to win that first step on the ladder in the best of times, and these are not those times.
With the transition into the new era of digital marketing precipitated by the COVID-19 related shopping disruptions, the SEO landscape in 2021 looks like nothing before. With eCommerce sales expected to jump from 14.1% in 2019 to 22% by 2023, mobile shopping dominating the online retail and UX becoming a ranking factor.
For many, the New Year is a time to focus on personal resolutions such as getting fit, organising the house, or saving money. This year, what if we focused on putting our work life in order too - effectively gaining more space to cope with the demands of super-busy modern business life, make working in start-ups a bit easier or even get that next promotion?
The amount of waste we produce has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, with global annual waste generation expected to jump to 3.4 billion tonnes over the next 30 years, up from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016, according to report published by World Bank. Businesses and consumers alike are now faced with the challenge of reducing how much landfill our actions generate. With conflicting interests making for slow progress, the circular economy model could change our fortunes. Here we explore why the circular economy is here to stay and why it is set to play a vital role in a low-carbon future.
After being diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (a rare genetic disorder) at the age of 22, former investment banker Angus Drummond, was told his mobility would decline over the next few years until one day he would require a wheelchair. Determined to experience the best of what the world had to offer, Angus quit his job in London, and set off with his wife to explore 35 new countries.
The UK edtech market was predicted to increase to £3.4bn by 2021. With £90.9m invested into edtech companies in 2018, up from just £9.9m in 2013, this market is clearly growing. However, when schools first closed due to COVID-19, and again at the start of this year, it became clear that many were understandably underprepared for the enforced radical shift to tech-led remote learning. Teachers struggled with the transition to online work, and many students lacked the necessary devices and connectivity to engage effectively online.
Music has proved to have a special place in all our lives given how we play it when we are happy or sad. This is because it is a universal language that speaks to people on various levels. If you want to prove this, think of the memorable times when music made you feel special such as during your graduation, wedding, or after heartbreak. It is also said that music impacts your mental performance and productivity at work.
Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) has become significant force in the venture capital market. In Europe, CVCs participated in 1,325 deals worth €19.4bn in 2020 and are active in virtually every sector, and across all stages from Seed to growth equity. In the UK, CVCs participated in some of the biggest deals of 2020 - Hopin, Carzoo, Arrival - and despite significant headwinds due to COVID-19 deal activity remained strong, defying critics who had anticipated a slowdown as corporate balance sheets came under pressure.
You wouldn’t necessarily think that technology and fashion go hand in hand, but virtual clothing is growing in popularity, and new digital marketplaces are cropping up as a result. As the younger generation addresses a concern about sustainability, whilst maintaining a love of fashion it seems like such a logical way forward - satisfying the fast-fashion urges without any (or extremely minimal) damage to the planet.
If we learnt anything from the past year it’s that having control over cash flow is the cornerstone of business health. The impact of COVID and other external factors like Brexit mean that things are constantly changing for small businesses, meaning they have to continuously adapt. This means that you will need to consistently map your cash flow and review your forecast as things change. For example, things like furlough coming to an end in April will need to be factored into forecasting.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that change and disruption on this colossal scale, really has the potential to highlight the pros and cons of big business vs startups. While the startup cons no doubt include a vulnerability to externalities, through factors such as short cash flows and unreliable customer books, the flip side is the flexibility with which to grasp the new opportunities.
The first lockdown had a profound impact on education as students were told to study at home - a location that doubled as the new office of their parents, ultimately creating a co-working cocktail with a sharp aftertaste. Children were unable to learn in classrooms or see friends while parents were acting as teachers during working hours.
Parenting in 2021 is not easy. Even before the arrival of the pandemic, juggling work and childcare was a challenge and as we spend more time in lockdown, many parents are taking the time to re-evaluate their lives – or come up with ingenious services or inventions aimed specifically at people just like them. According to a 2019 article, Forbes refers to the ‘new mom economy’ as an estimated $46 Billion millennial parenting market, clearly showing it’s benefits and popularity.
As we enter a second year of the COVID crisis, many founders are struggling to manage their finances amidst falling revenues and enforced redundancies. Whilst government support is being made available to businesses, there is plenty of uncertainty about the future and how to navigate through serious economic volatility.
The great idea has started to come to fruition. You are excited about the future for your business and yourself. You have a team in place, and you have got the startup started. The investment market has predetermined that you should go and look for investment to drive your business forward. A good majority of startups follow this route without question.
This is arguably one of the toughest times to run a small business. The FSB this month published figures that suggest that nearly 5% of UK small companies expect to be forced to close within 12 months, the largest proportion in the history of the Small Business Index. If accurate it would mean that 295,000 companies will shut down this year. How can you be sure that you’re not part of this statistic?
TDK Ventures, the investment arm of TDK, invests in early stage hard-tech entrepreneurs from all around the world to help accelerate their dreams and find solutions for the world’s difficult problems. For this issue’s Startups Launchpad feature, we caught up with TDK Ventures, Managing Director, Nicolas Sauvage to find out more.
If you’re an avid watcher of sport, like I am, you’ll know that there has been great strides made over the last few years regarding the integration of data and technology – whether it be the ongoing debate of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in football, to the humble sports watch that tracks your steps and distance whilst running.
As someone who has sustained their fair share of sporting injuries over the years, I certainly could have done with the Running Pod Pro (RPP) wearable device from PhysiGo, which has the ability to analyse my run and provide actionable insights to improve running form, and crucially, prevent injury. We caught up with CEO and Co-founder, Luke Stephen-Perrett to find out more.
Evidence has shown that consumers trust their energy supplier about as much as they do city bankers or politicians – a damning indictment for the industry. However, in this issue’s Founder Focus feature, we speak to Simon Oscroft, Founder of energy supplier So Energy, who has dared to challenge the status-quo and whose company uses the latest technology to operate as efficiently as possible, keep costs to a minimum and pass those savings onto customers.
For small business owners, 2020 was all about adaptability. You adapted the way you do business, the way your team operates, the way you offer support to clients and employees. A lot was asked of you, but the old answers no longer applied. We learned a lot in 2020, but what’s next? And how can we get ready for the twists and turns that lie ahead? Great HR and remote working practices will be key to being a successful employer in 2021 and beyond.
Office relocations are necessary in many situations. You might be outgrowing the current office, or you may need to downsize your office after laying off staff so that you can afford to remain in business. Moving from one location to another may be necessary to better serve your customers or your top clients.
It’s a complicated time to be a business owner, whether it’s a multinational company or a small enterprise. But while larger companies are having to make systematic changes to accommodate lockdowns, social distancing, and the other realities of COVID-19, many small businesses have been left adrift without clear guidance on how to proceed.
You can’t be what you can’t see. This is a phrase that crops up time and time again. We often see organisations pledge to take action to boost the number of opportunities for LGBT+ professionals to take up leadership positions; however there is still a lack of visible LGBT+ role models across business.
Even the biggest companies started with just an idea. While their founders all dreamed for their business to grow, we’re guessing most of them didn’t really imagine that their small spark will stand strong and eventually reach a global scale. But we didn’t come here to talk about their ideas, we’re here to talk about yours and how to turn it into a reality.
As everyone is gradually settling into the newer methods of working at the time of lockdowns such as collaboration and remote working, it is a good time to consider the professional skills you possess for increasing your worth as an employee. You must find out what skills have to be updated for meeting the changing demands. Most of the conventional professional development activities such as conventions, workshops, and conferences have been either postponed or cancelled.
Since the year began, entrepreneurs have observed a serious global economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses have been impacted greatly by this crisis because they have limited resources to adapt to the changing context. If you own such a business, you must have experienced sales go down as well as an increased difficulty in accessing business inputs. While it might look like the end of your business, you should not despair.
In 2020 we experienced a lot of change to our working lives, with many of us turning to Google for tips and advice on working from home. Influenced by what we’ve all been searching over the past few months, Lauren Gordon, Behavioural Insights Adviser at Bupa UK shares the top workplace trends to follow for 2021 and tips on how to make these trends work for your physical and mental health.
Although we have bid a grateful farewell to 2020, the disruption and uncertainty we experienced are spilling over into 2021. If there is one thing that we learnt last year, however, it’s that we need to accelerate the pace of transformative change. Connected technology is of critical importance in this process, and is likely to be one of the key economic drivers going forward.
With most of the country on strict lockdown and no prospect of returning to the office any time soon, 2021 is playing out like much of last year so far, and people all over the country are understandably frustrated and tired. With uncertainty around the future and remote working continuing for most, staying motivated at work is crucial for us to maintain positive momentum and mindset this year.
AI has been identified by Deloitte analysts as the technology that is critical to ‘elevate the human experience’ and power successful next-generation customer service. This article will discuss how this advanced tech can help contact centres deliver a consistently high level of customer experience (CX) and ease internal contact centre pain points in a post-COVID world.
Call it a New Year’s resolution or call it a business plan, it’s all the same in the world of startups. Setting goals and reaching for the stars is all part of the startup journey as you have to show vision, commitment, and determination in all that you do. The only difference is that it’s not about you, it’s about your business.
COVID-19 has put unimaginable pressure on small and medium sized businesses across the UK. For these businesses, now more than ever, cash flow is everything. Expenses play a major part in a business’ cash flow, and if handled correctly, can leave companies with a substantial pot of money at the end of each financial year.
‘I’ve had this idea…’ It’s apparently ideas that drive entrepreneurs. Spotting a gap in the market, formulating an amazing product or service that will answer it. Why hasn’t anyone thought of it before? Good ideas are everything when it comes to starting a business… That is, until you find yourself blindsided by an idea that doesn’t take you anywhere because it has no data to back it up. Because while ideas are the entrepreneur’s bread and butter, it’s data that powers their production. At least, that’s been my experience.
Before we can begin to understand AI, we need to learn about the edge. A lot of people have never heard of the edge, but in truth it's a bit like the chicken and the egg - you can’t have one without the other. For clarity, the ‘edge’ we are talking about involves the device on which you’re reading this article.
Innovative companies around the world are realising their dreams and going to market with new and creative products and services. As they’re starting out, they often assemble teams of creative minds and experts in areas of product development, research, human resources, marketing, and more. More often than not, one key member of the team often omitted is the expert focused on intellectual property (IP) and patent strategy. This area is typically the last thing on an entrepreneur’s mind as they’re launching their business.
From product launches to investor pitches, in the current climate, virtual events have become essential to businesses wanting to connect with their clients. But if you haven’t planned a virtual event before, it can seem daunting. With so many hosting options, plug-ins and technicalities to think about, where’s the best place to start? We’ve compiled some top tips to help simplify the planning and make your virtual event a success.
Small businesses have files that must be kept safe and secure. They include internal documents, corporation paperwork, financial statements, insurance documentation, and any documents with personal information. Although the attention is often on cyber attacks at large companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, and Equifax, smaller companies also experience their own share of data breaches.
As the UK is now in its third national lockdown, consumers and businesses are turning once more to remotely delivered services and digital experiences to survive in the coming month. As the world adapted to the impact of COVID-19, 2020 saw a rapid increase in digitisation, including from age groups that traditionally had been slower to adapt.
2020 was a major challenge for small business owners and leaders, but despite the tough environment, the UK’s largest CEO peer network organisation Vistage’s CEO Confidence Index has revealed that there is resilience in the UK SME sector. As we enter the new year, the UK SME landscape is expected to pick up steam as the economy improves post COVID-19.
Few business leaders at the start of the pandemic would have thought that video conferencing would be anything more than a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Now, nine months down the line, we are still Zooming in order to hold business meetings. What was at first a safe and novel alternative, is now an exhausting chore.
The Global Talent visa is an immigration route to the UK launched in February 2020 to replace the Exceptional Talent visa. It is one of many immigration routes that businesses looking to employ foreign nationals could use but it often appeals to startups and SMEs because Global Talent visa holders do not require sponsorship from their prospective employers.
Advances in technology have transformed the nature of consumption in almost every sector: it isn’t just the products we buy that are different, it is the way we buy them. But there is one sector which remains relatively untouched by the tech revolution, a sector responsible for over a billion trees falling every year, alongside 670 thousand tonnes of landfill in the UK and 10 million tonnes in the US: furniture.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many already-present trends in almost every aspect of our lives. For businesses, this has meant an accelerated reliance on technology. Of course, companies of all kinds have had to rely on technology for decades. But 2020 has forced organisations to entirely shift processes from the physical world to the digital one.
The recruitment landscape has changed dramatically. Just before the nation’s lockdown at the end of March, the industry was already feeling a slowdown which was driven by several things, including the looming uncertainty of Brexit. However, when COVID-19 hit, recruitment froze, and the industry became a ghost town; it was an anxiety-fuelled time for firms, their clients and their candidates.
Preparing a new office environment is often an exciting time for everyone involved. In every room, you see opportunities, productivity, and progress. And yet, some leaders tend to get too carried away in the aesthetics and other meaningless factors, and don’t put enough effort into setting things up in a way that’s actually conductive to all that productivity they envision. If you want to keep things running smoothly, there are some modern approaches to certain aspects of office environment setup that you should pay close attention to.
The past year has been make-or-break, not just for individual businesses but entire sectors. Digitisation and market disruption are hardly new trends, but amidst a global pandemic, they have transformed the way we work, shop and live. Many of the businesses that stepped into the gap of legacy businesses have been scale-ups: fast-growth businesses on an upwards trajectory. Think of the likes of Deliveroo, Monzo and Cazoo. The question remains: will these businesses continue to grow once the pandemic has passed?
Business statistics show that 1.3 million business trips are taken in the United States every day. Amidst globalisation, more persons are embarking on business trips and this is because businesses extend beyond the border of their country. Before going on such a trip, adequate preparations must be made for it, as this will guarantee the success of the trip.
Asif Sadiq is an award-winning diversity and inclusion expert, now working as Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Adidas. Committed to creating inclusive corporate environments, Asif has also worked as Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness for EY Financial Services, and as Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Unit for the City of London Police.
2020 has certainly been a challenging year for millions of businesses both UK and worldwide. From developing mass remote working policies at speed to ‘pivoting’ product and/or service offerings to appeal to a COVID-19 dominated target audience, it’s no secret that business leaders have had to remain flexible and agile in order to survive this turbulent time. Oliver Rowe, Co-Founder of events management solution, VenuIQ explains.
The current business scene is extremely dynamic and competitive. To survive and thrive in such an environment, you must continuously develop new products to address customers’ ever-changing needs. And to do that you must understand how to bring a product idea to life. This guide will highlight the steps for developing a new product from concept generation to the introduction of the end product into the market.
The biggest marketing trend that we’ve seen throughout 2020 is the drive to build a strong personal brand. Customers are becoming savvy to the ethics and ethos of the businesses that they are buying from. They are being more discerning in their choices driven by the desire to do good and to avoid untrustworthy brands during an unpredictable time.
The current epidemic has created a world of isolation we are rapidly becoming rather familiar with. The use of words like quarantine, face masks and social distancing are part of our daily vocabulary and with that both business and consumer behaviour has seen a dramatic change in activity. With all that said, none of us want to sit back and let our businesses idle. In this very moment we are seeing new startups launch the world over (The Guardian, 19 Nov) as many take advantage of government advice to stay at home as an opportunity to pick up dormant inventions, push for new patents and contribute back to society in these tough and trying times.
After a difficult year, there is no surprise that most people are looking for ways to save some money and scrape those pennies together. No matter which part of your life you are looking to tighten the belt in, it can often be difficult to know where to start; particularly if you are a business owner, who has felt the brunt of this year. We don’t blame you; we have all been there! Try not to stress, however, for we have a helpful and effective list detailed here, of ways you can cut costs to your business, without causing any damage to profits.
How could we have prepared for 2020? It was the question on the minds of many throughout the early months of the pandemic that affected every aspect of daily life. But now, we know the answer: preparation was impossible. However, our collective experiences in this most challenging year have taught us some valuable lessons. Among the most important is that they way individuals, leaders, and companies respond to new and unexpected situations is the true indication of success.
Sometimes even after long pep talks and different ways to motivate your employees, you are not able to create high employee engagement. Despite consistent efforts, you are sometimes not able to attract the best productivity in your workers. In such a scenario, do you ever question your understanding of employee engagement?
Without beating about the hypothetical bush, the future of the labour market in the UK is looking rather bleak. Reports suggest that we are on course for the worst recession in more than 300 years. The Institute for Policy Research meanwhile has warned that more than one million young people could be unemployed by 2021.
Startups are all about growth and achieving their potential almost from day one. For any business to succeed, though, it needs to have dedicated employees who put the time and effort into making things happen. Of course, you can’t expect to have that if you don’t do everything you can to make your workers feel valued.
Inevitably, the world will change once we have emerged from lockdown. With a heightened sense of hygiene and further concerns about workplace safety, employers will need to look closely at ways to reduce contact and move towards what is being touted as the Low Touch Economy. But how can this happen with as little disruption to business as possible?
As we continue to work towards the government’s net zero emissions by 2050 commitment, businesses are naturally becoming increasingly aware of the need to be more eco-friendly. Other strategies, such as the Clean Growth Strategy, which aims to promote economic growth at the same time as decreasing emissions, mean that the focus on having a positive effect on the environment is now higher than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way the world works, and with UK workers working at home for the foreseeable future, it can be difficult to connect the workforce together. To support workers, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared five tips on how you can stay connected to your colleagues, both in and out of the office.
Relationship marketing is significant for all businesses. It is the customers who keep your business running. SEO for big brands can get them the necessary clients. But that is one aspect and keeping them is quite another story. Customer loyalty for your business can go a long way in maintaining a strong relationship with the customers.
In the space of just two months, the UK’s data watchdog, the ICO has dished out nearly £40m in personal data breach fines to some of the country’s best-known companies - British Airways, Marriott International and Ticketmaster. Whisper it quietly but the ICO’s burst of penalty decisions, coming after significant delays, goes some way to countering mutterings that the regulator lacked the will to take on large and well-resourced opponents.
Businesses, and indeed stock markets, hate uncertainty. Sadly, there is no doubt that 2020 has been full of uncertainty at every stage. And whilst the main focus, for very obvious reasons, has been on Covid-19 and all the trading and other ramifications that that has brought with it, it has not been the only source of major disruption this year.
It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many jobseekers when choosing where to apply for work. However, a recent report has detailed just how important sustainability aligned with social responsibility really is in terms of recruitment.
A staggering £4bn of investment went to UK tech companies in the first half of 2020. The British Business Bank’s recent Government report, together with recent surveys by leading investment platforms like Stakeholderz, show that despite the challenges posed this year, investors are continuing to back the UK’s high growth tech companies, with many indicating they will invest the same or more over the next year. Tech has long proved to be a lucrative and attractive sector for investors and entrepreneurs.
If you have just started a business, you would probably want to know how to get more customers from the get-go. It can be from knowing the way to success or even just having the welcoming body language that can either make or break a deal. You need to be careful as a salesperson - being nervous is easily visible.
Kanban has been around as a methodology since the '40s but is now getting more attention partly due to the increase in remote working and the popularity of agile and lean in every sector. While Kanban was originally applied to manufacturing, it can work in virtually any setting. It can be used as a stand-alone tool, or in conjunction with other agile management methods. Implementing it, however, can be easier said than done. Let's take a look at the steps you need to take to implement a Kanban system in your organisation.
The fourth in our six part series of articles harnesses our Associate and Partner network and focusses on Founders and the complexities of relationship between Founders and Co-Founders - for better or for worse. "It's not you, it's me," how do you stop things going pear shaped at the top and what do you do if it does?
Growing your business without killing the planet: how to stay true to your sustainability goals as you scale
In the world of startups, scaling and sustainability are made to feel like opposites. You may have started with the best intentions, but as businesses grow it gets harder to ensure high ethical standards are met, particularly when faced with outdated industry practices and the pressure to keep down costs. The company values you wrote at your kitchen table start looking more like suggestions than rules to live by, and growth and greenness feel diametrically opposed. Sustainability just seems like a sacrifice you’ll have to make on the altar of profit and progress.
It seems that we’ve had so many turning points over the past few years, we’re running in circles. Landmark moments from Brexit to COVID-19 have completely shifted our personal lives, politics and the economy. Crises and moments of great change put us into reactive mode, and short-term fixes appear to be the only option. Looking for solutions which reap benefits and pay for themselves further down the line is a much bolder endeavour.
While the economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are still very much a selection of rather worrying predicted lines and correlations on graphs, there is no doubt the world of commerce and industry is set to be deeply impacted in the long term, and likely changed for good, by the crisis.
Our physical and mental health has been at the forefront of many of our minds during Coronavirus. So should we really also be worrying about financial health? The year of 2020 saw many employees furloughed and even made redundant, causing financial stress. However, there are also many people who have been lucky to be able to continue working during COVID-19.
Running an organisation free of issues is what everyone wants. No business wants to fall victim to cyber attacks. However, that's not always the case. Day in day out, cyber criminals are devising means of compromising businesses. According to Purplesec, Cyber crime is up by 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some other factors, such as software issues, make enterprises insecure.
In this article we will discuss no code, the no code startup and the no-code revolution and how it will impact businesses and the world around us. So, what is no code? No idea? Well, essentially it allows programmers, and perhaps more importantly, non-programmers, to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of using traditional computer programming (or coding).
If you run a business that relies on vehicles for operations, it can become more and more difficult to manage the fleet as it grows. Keeping the fleet in good working order, making sure that driver safety is a top priority, and saving money on maintenance and repairs can all become much harder to manage as your vehicle numbers rise. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many growing fleet-based companies are turning to fleet management companies. But is this the right solution for your company? Here are some reasons why it might be the best idea.
Two decades ago, London was the place to be. The bustling environment of city life was a haven of opportunity, both personal and professional. Students, graduates, young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs had their sights set on the cool bars of Soho and classy ‘lunch and learns’ in the hotspots of the capital while enthusiastically scribing their first business plans on whatever napkin or beer mat happened to be available; it was the only place to be.
Bored of the adage 'If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail'? You're not alone. Sadly, truisms - much like a parent's advice - tend to be worth heeding. When it comes to funding, it's best to do it well in advance. Too many companies leave it until there's a cashflow crunch before acting. As trusted advisers, accountants need to play the role of parent, use their wisdom to identify future funding opportunities, model a couple of scenarios, and help clients find a source of finance that doesn't leave them with unfavourable terms.
As December approaches, firms of all sizes will be planning their strategy for 2021. The second lockdown in England has brought yet another blow to the business world, and proves that industries will continue to be impacted by COVID restrictions and a new way of working. Planning for 2021 may be challenging this year, especially for small firms who have found their usual service heavily disrupted.
Of all the industries in the world, the jewellery business is one of the most traditional and old-fashioned. It is also the most reliant on direct interaction between master craftsmen and merchants. The most precious metals and stones in the world pass from hand to hand in a supply chain that has barely changed in hundreds of years.
On 25th November 2020, the EU Commission published a new intellectual property action plan. The action plan, touted as “an intellectual property action plan to support the EU’s recovery and resilience” outlines possible future moves, noting that intangible assets are “the cornerstone of today’s economy”, with IPR-intensive industries generating 29.2% (63 million) of all jobs in the EU during the period 2014-2016, and contributing 45% of the total economic activity (GDP) in the EU worth €6 trillion.
For many, December will soon mark almost eight months of continuously working from home, a complete shift from normality when it comes to working and riding the balance between work and home life. Google trends data also reveals searches for ‘burnout’ peaking as the UK entered a second national lockdown earlier in November.
If you own or run a small or medium sized business (SMB), chances are you’ve heard a lot about data: how it can give you new customer insights, tell you more about your staff, or help you make better business decisions. All of that may be true, but you’re also likely thinking about one key question: how does data help me boost my revenue?
As we near the end of a year unlike any other, many business owners will be hoping for a more optimistic 2021 and preparing to turn a new leaf. The crisis is not over yet, but it has already shown us the importance of resilience, resourcefulness, and vigilance for businesses and there are many key lessons for us to carry into the New Year.
A leading business insurance broker has urged firms and SMEs to get new insurance quotes in 2021. Get Indemnity, the digital insurance broker polled 650 SMEs and found that 68% of participants had not sought alternative insurance quotes in the past three years - and a further 32% had not applied for new quotes in the past five years.
Starting a business is hard. You only need to look at the failure rate to confirm it. And that’s in a normal, non-pandemic year. For anyone starting out now or looking to do so soon the challenges are astronomical. This is because as well as all the normal startup hurdles involving financing, staffing, cash-flow and the like, businesses are beset with a legacy of COVID-19 and the wider economic ramifications it will leave.
Xilinx Ventures, the corporate venture programme of US technology company Xilinx, has invested over $125m in more than 30 global startup businesses over the last three years, covering technologies in data center, communications, machine learning, automotive, edge computing, and innovative silicon design. It therefore seemed an ideal port of call for this issue’s Startups Launchpad feature. We caught up with Sagi Paz, Head of Xilinx Ventures, and Patrick Rundell, Manager at Xilinx Ventures, to find out more.
From full national lockdown and the gradual easing of constraints, to a three-tiered regional system of restrictions and then back into another national lockdown. It’s been a long and arduous time for everyone since COVID-19 first reached our shores earlier this year, and even more so for the many hardworking business owners up and down the country trying to keep disconnected workforces operating smoothly.
Podcasts are a great way to build your brand and tell the story of your business. Over the past five years, there has been an explosion in the number of corporate and business podcasts available and with it a growth in engaged podcast audiences. According to a September 2019 Ofcom report over seven million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week, a 24% growth over the previous 12 months.