Amanda Lieu, Director of Brand, Product Marketing, and Growth at SEON, a global fincrime and fraud prevention company, has tech flowing through her veins. A self-prescribed digital native, Amanda started her career in coding, launching websites, and apps through 360o digital marketing and customer engagement.
The rise of social media and permeance of today’s air-brushed, filtered perfection is often hard to escape. It’s easier than ever to keep up with not just trends, but microtrends. But when we’re surrounded by so many images of what we’re ‘supposed’ to look like, it can become overwhelming, and for some, even disheartening.
Timing and good fortune are certainly useful when starting a business, but they aren’t critical to its success. Whilst the current state of the economy is making raising funds difficult, if you possess an exceptional idea and a clear market opportunity, you will eventually find someone willing to support you financially. Once you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, it becomes crucial to utilise the funds wisely and swiftly bring your product or service to the market.
The rise of AI tools is a popular topic of conversation across the tech ecosystem. The possibility of AI to create productivity gains for small organisations has been particularly important for startup leaders who can rely on such tools to boost business growth. Agile founders will need to understand how best to leverage AI tools to gain a competitive advantage without running up costs. Thankfully, no-code technology provides the clearest comparison for the value these emerging technologies have for startups and how they change the way employees work.
Imagine a world where marketing isn't about pushing products or services onto unwilling consumers. But it is rather about captivating them with valuable and engaging content. In this realm, customers seek out brands, share their contact information, and become loyal advocates. This is the goal of content marketing in driving leads.
The cost-of-living crisis has left businesses in all sectors reeling, and with the economy in a state of flux, what can firms do to stay afloat in this environment? Is it even possible for businesses to thrive in such a climate, and prepare themselves for a time of greater prosperity when this turbulent period finally eases?
There is no question that in this digital age, purpose-led customers are taking a proactive role in their health and well-being. So it’s not surprising that we are seeing a spike in retail health and the purchase of personal digital health gadgets. In fact, post-COVID, there has also been a massive increase in technology adoption across the healthcare spectrum, with both consumers and ecosystem providers looking to adopt more tech for good in various configurations (Parks Associates Report).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dissociation are two complex conditions that can significantly impact an individual's daily life. While they have distinct origins and characteristics, there are remarkable similarities between the symptoms of these disorders, leading to frequent misdiagnoses and confusion.
Working for a startup can be a very exciting experience. There are so many rewards to being surrounded by motivated, innovative, and creative individuals, but working for a startup can also introduce a number of challenges … particularly for employees focused on building their professional portfolios and advancing in their careers.
With Universal Analytics being completely replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on the 1st of July 2023, time is running out to make the transition before being thrown in the deep end. Many, like us, have made the switch to GA4 already and are noticing the various mini updates happening ahead of the deadline.
In business, entrepreneurs are often presented with a common misconception, the notion that the key to success is simply a strong idea and a high-quality product. While these certainly remain highly important, consumer values and expectations are evolving. The market is shifting, and when faced with historic levels of competition, it is vital that businesses reassess their approach and focus on evolution to stay ahead of the competition.
The pandemic hit many industries in very different ways and insurance is among them. On one hand, COVID-19 brought excessive deaths among policyholders causing claims to reach a staggering $5.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021. On the other hand, insurers jumped in on the digitisation race: the 2020 KPMG CEO Outlook surveyed insurance executives and 85% stated that due to the pandemic, they invested more effort to create a seamless digital customer experience.
In its exponential rise, artificial intelligence has already proven it can streamline business processes, improve operational efficiencies, and help cut costs. In fact, 68% of large companies have already adopted at least one AI application, followed by 34% of medium sized companies and 15% of SMEs.
Having decided to scale your business and having concluded that the only way to make that happen in a meaningful way is to raise equity funding, there are then some very obvious next questions. This would include how much exactly do you need to raise and at what valuation, and where is the best place to raise the investment?
It’s very likely you’ll have ideas about new features that you want to add in the next-generation product. These will probably have started forming during the previous development cycle, but – being the self-disciplined entrepreneur you are – you will have resisted the temptation to make changes that could hold up your project and risk delaying market entry.
Revolutionising the landscape industry requires embracing cutting-edge technologies that optimise processes, enhance creativity, and foster seamless collaboration. Tech startups are doing just that, transforming the sector into an environmentally-aware one that understands and exceeds current client expectations.
A wave of credential stuffing, with no attempt to use the accounts. A pause. The accounts are accessed but not leveraged. A pause. Then, a flood of transaction fraud, using either the taken-over accounts or new ones set up with similar personal information.
The catch: The stages of this process may occur days or weeks apart. And they may not all take place on the same websites.
In today's digital age, the convergence of e-commerce and live-streaming technology has given birth to a new phenomenon: live e-commerce. This innovative approach to online shopping allows businesses to engage with customers in real-time, providing interactive experiences and seamless purchasing opportunities.
The UK continues to undergo a prolonged period of economic instability and uncertainty, primarily due to high inflation and interest rates. This has put even greater pressure on cash-strapped startups and small businesses looking to secure funding to test and launch their new products in the current market.
The cost of living crisis - in addition to the uncertainty of the last few years - has had a significant impact on employees’ financial, mental and emotional wellbeing that’s affecting both their professional and personal lives. 57% of UK employees say that the cost of living crisis is negatively impacting their work and over two in five frequently experience burnout.
More companies than ever expect – and even demand – that employees adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. A close look at current job descriptions reflects this trend: About half of all ads for jobs emphasise that applicants demonstrate an entrepreneurial mindset. The pandemic likely intensified this trend. Samantha Dewalt, Managing Director of the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, and Anh Dinh, Research Fellow at Lehigh@NasdaqCenter and Head of Accreditation at the University of Hohenheim, discuss what an entrepreneurial mindset is, and how to put it into action.
The cost of an office can feel hard to justify for startups. Commercial rents remain sky-high, and with hybrid work the new norm, vast sums of money are wasted on empty desks. But spending time in the office is invaluable for building company culture and lifting productivity. And with research showing startups with an office presence scale 3.5 times faster than those that operate fully remotely, having a physical space seems like a no-brainer.
As an entrepreneur in today's fast-paced business world, adopting a holistic approach to business planning may be better for one’s mind, body and soul. By embracing a holistic approach, you align your purpose, passion, and profit, creating a business which resonates with your deepest values and aspirations. It is never only about chasing financial success; it is about building a business reflecting who you truly are and what you believe in.
The road to startup success can be a long and uphill one, and it doesn’t have many pitstops to rest your weary legs along the way. You want to be a winner, not a quitter, and the 24/7 grind ethos has long since been a part of founding a company. But the way we build businesses needs to change for the sake of our entrepreneurs’ mental health.
In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of interest towards influencer marketing, social media and short-form video content in the marketing sphere – with email marketing looking rather tired and outdated by comparison. So, just like the fax before it, is it time to consign email to the scrapheap and open a TikTok account? Well, not quite.
Corporate greenwashing is not always deliberate but can be the result of extremely poor measurement practices in the field of sustainability and ESG, a sustainability expert has said. Chris Bennett, founder of sustainability services company Evora Global, has highlighted the issue of poor ESG measurement leading to a lack of clarity for many on sustainability issues.
Pitch decks and business plans are a very common area for discussion amongst founders and early-stage business owners, especially if those businesses are seeking to raise external funding in any way. And this is as it should be, as these two documents are essential foundation stones for both understanding and running your business, and for raising finance.
Greenwashing poses a huge risk to brand reputation, investment prospects and the planet, yet often we think of it as a crime only committed by large, faceless corporations. But the broad definition of the term and increasingly tighter regulations means businesses of all sizes may find themselves subject to greenwashing allegations. There are, however, several steps businesses can take to feel confident in their green claims. Hugo Kimber, CEO of carbon accounting firm Carbon Responsible offers his advice.
It’s 2023 and we are truly living in the digital age and all well aware of the rapid rise of social media. In fact there are over 2.5 billion monthly active Instagram users and TikTok, 30.8 million. With this, entrepreneurs and influencers have become much more aware of personal branding and its importance in building a cohesive online presence. Having a powerful personal brand is critical for both personal and professional growth.
The best analogy I ever read about starting your own company is there’s no detailed map to guide you — you have to create your own. That’s why core values become extremely important navigators for any company big or small. Considering the uncharted nature of starting a business, core values serve as the compass that guides your entrepreneurial journey.
The fashion e-commerce industry, valued at $765 billion in 2022 according to a report by Grand View Research, has grown tremendously over the last years, fuelled by an increase on digital connectivity, widespread smartphone use, and a generational shift towards online shopping. However, e-commerce fashion seems to be at risk of losing the growth it has achieved in the past decade by overlooking the transformative power of artificial intelligence.
The dawn of the AI age has only just begun, and we can only guess at the developments which will come to fruition over the next few decades. Some have said that the recent AI breakthroughs are comparable to the invention of the steam engine – and just as the steam engine ushered in the industrial revolution, the AI era will change the way we work forever. Chris Griffiths and Caragh Medlicott, authors of The Creative Thinking Handbook share their insight. Chris is also the founder of Ayoa.
A successful business needs a well-built and well-designed website in this modern digital era. Nowadays even a small family business has its own website. Having a unique and memorable website is important if you want to build brand recognition, differentiate yourself from your others and stay in the memories of your visitors.
Having climbed the corporate ladder for 18 years within organisations such as; Adobe and Virgin Media O2… Tara Rule, celebrates stepping away from her corporate career, to embrace full time self employment, driven by her love of positive psychology and human behaviour as she now shares her knowledge, and own personal experiences as part of her mission to show other startups, business leaders and professionals… how she reached Senior Director of Global Business Operations at Adobe, whilst bringing up a family, pursuing her own hobbies and interests, training in positive psychology and setting up her business - all with a smile on her face.
When it comes to raising capital for your company, an experienced founder will tell you that getting your foot in the door to pitch for investment is only just the start of the journey. One of the biggest obstacles founders face in their efforts to get funding is the dreaded first round of persuading a group of strangers to put money into your business.
Seth Godin, a writer, speaker, marketing expert, and influencer, describes audiences as tribes, which are groups of people with shared beliefs. As a startup or founder, it's important to determine who your product or service is for and how to connect with them. This is what Seth Godin refers to as finding your tribe.
The world of work is unrecognisable compared to five years ago. The pandemic propelled workplace trends forward and many businesses faced economic headwinds. The unprecedented circumstances prompted people to re-evaluate what they really wanted from their careers, provoked ‘The Great Resignation’, and a battle for talent.
Social media has created a new profession known as 'influencer', where individuals with a significant following on social media collaborate with brands to promote products or services in exchange for payment or other compensation. These influencers can be found on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms, where they can create and share content related to the products or services they are promoting.
Perhaps the biggest question in creativity is, ‘What do you do when you’re stuck?’ In interviewing Andrew Reich, one of the head writers and executive producers of hit TV sitcom Friends, I discovered that there are a number of techniques in leading the creative process that can be generalised and applied to any function or industry. One of the techniques that emerged repeatedly was to embrace taking breaks and changing one’s environment.
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, startups are increasingly turning towards the transformative power of flexible work solutions as a fundamental driver for growth and success. As the founder of a virtual assistance agency that values flexibility as core to our model, I've personally experienced the benefits of embracing flexibility in the workplace.
Having made the decision to raise equity funding, and assuming that you know how much you are looking to raise, you must then decide the best place to raise that funding. This will depend on the stage of your business, the amount you are looking to raise, the type of business, and various other factors. This will be explored in more detail in future articles.
In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, influencer marketing has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors. The allure of having someone with a massive following sing praises about your brand is so compelling that it often makes founders forget a simple truth: the most inspirational influencer is, in fact, the founder themselves.
As leaders in business, we constantly strive to accelerate innovation, efficiency and productivity within our teams. With over two decades of experience behind me I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on what’s made me the leader I am today, what I saw in others that impacted the way I work, and why I have ultimately come to understand that creating a culture of coaching is the primary driver of success.
Due to the current global economic downturn, startups are finding it harder than ever to access the capital needed to grow their business. Funding has dried up almost overnight with investors shying away from taking risks as they come under greater pressure to make a return in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has been the corporate craze of recent years: the route for global giants to flex their eco and workforce credentials, and an excuse for business consultancies to generate endless new reports and frameworks. But the biggest corporate secret is that, when it comes to ESG credentials, startups consistently steal a march on their rivals.
Despite the ups and downs of startup funding over the past year, several areas continue to draw interest from investors – and medtech is one of them. That’s especially true of startups looking to apply AI to healthcare, a sector where angels and VCs believe smarter diagnostic tools and better drug development pipelines can result in major cost savings.
Working hard and overcoming failure are two essential elements for achieving success. Often, people who are successful in their fields are admired for their talent, skill, and intelligence. However, what many people don't realise is that success is not just about talent or skill. It's about putting in the hard work and overcoming failures that come along the way.
Startups are as likely to fall victim to cyber-attacks as large organisations. A survey by Identity Theft Resource Centre shows that 58% of cyber attacks in 2022 targeted small businesses. 75% of these victims were attacked more than once in the same year. A constant threat lurks over the IT infrastructure of startup companies and they need cybersecurity to safeguard their digital assets, data, employees, and stakeholders.
You've had a bright idea, given what feels like endless hours of thought to your business and worked on your company mission statement, which will shape culture and guide commercial activities. You've pulled the business plan together, developed a marketing strategy for the year ahead and set the company's revenue targets to deliver incremental growth. You can pitch your product or service; you know who your customer is but who are you? And what matters to you and your team? Where's the plan that guides your activities as a business owner, as an industry thought leader, or as a diverse collective of human beings?
Mental Health Awareness Week only started two decades ago in 2001. Luckily, since then mental health in the workplace has grown in importance. However, there is still so much real change needed in workplaces to provide better mental health support for employees. Many companies now have mental health policies and guidelines, but in reality, aren’t supporting their employees. Mental Health Awareness Week should be a significant date in the calendar for startups.
I run a recruitment business for startups, typically helping companies 10-50 employees to help them make key hires and scale their team. Our team gets to talk to founders and leaders about their hiring challenges and plans, as well as people that are thinking about their careers and what they would want if they were to take a new role.