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.