One of the key things that everyone struggles with is Time Management, whether they are C-Suite (I actually hate that phrase) or a junior executive. It’s also even more prevalent if you are the owner of a Start-up where you can end up being responsible for everything from toilet rolls to long-term business strategy. Even if you are the owner of a thriving SME with a team, you’ll still end up with a long, long ‘To Do’ list that never seems to get shorter, but only seems to grow longer. So what is the answer for effective Time Management?
As many UK health tech and fitness brands are moving through to the new financial year, you can hear the buzz of excitement from marketing communication professionals as finally, we are going back to face-to-face events. Nevertheless, content marketing remains a significant part of the PR and digital marketing strategy, and by the looks of it, its importance is only increasing.
So far in this ‘Back to Basics’ series we have looked at nine fundamental areas that entrepreneurs and would-be founders either consider or should be considering, both before and during their startup journey. These have covered: Should I Find a Co-founder?; Working with Advisors; To Scale or Not to Scale?; Pitch Decks and Business Plans; Think Green!; Raising Finance; Basic Truths; Cash Flow is Everything; and Second Thoughts.
Internationally-recognised digital product leader Luke Wroblewski said in his 2011 guidebook, Mobile First: "Mobile devices are our true personal computer: always with us, connected to the network, and filled with new capabilities for getting things done”. But have you considered favouring mobile devices over all other forms of technology? Here, Kristian Torode, Director and Co-Founder of business communications services provider Crystaline, explores the business benefits of going mobile-first.
Uniforms and workwear may not seem the most exciting subject - until you talk to James Bolingbroke. James set up his company in October 2019 - just in time for the pandemic, but that didn’t dilute his passion and he’s taken his fledgling business from a part-time enterprise to his full-time passion. Let’s find out what inspired him - and his plans for the future.
Embracing the power of digital has been crucial for small businesses in weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis. This is according to new research, which found over half of firms have grown their income by at least five percent through using tech since 2020, and one in ten have raised their revenues by 50% this way.
When it comes to university, there is a lot to think about; often the onboarding and arrival processes for international students can be a nightmare. Enroly, founded by Jeff Williams and his Co-Founder Maynard Inkster, was created back in 2017 to address exactly this problem, as Enroly automates the CAS, visa and arrival process for universities, their international students, and agents.
The method used by employers to conduct the necessary ‘right to work’ checks will be altered once more, as was outlined within the latest guidelines recently unveiled by the Government. With the interim process that was introduced during the pandemic slated for imminent withdrawal, news regarding further revisions perhaps won’t come as much of a surprise for many employers. However, there remains an element of disquiet as to whether the new procedures could also have a costly impact on business owners at a time when soaring expenses are already hurting many industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation have caused us all to reconsider work, what we do and why, how we do it and where. It has put the onus on employers to deliver versatility on and offline, empowering employees with the technologies and working arrangements that will best produce efficiency, job retention, and satisfaction.
As a new startup business you have a number of things to consider in order to build and ensure success. One particularly crucial factor is selecting your tech stack. While on the surface it might seem like an easy decision, it can prove detrimental to a businesses’ success if not given careful consideration.
A lot has happened in the past two years that have dramatically altered the way we define the concept of ‘work’. It is clear that hybrid working isn’t going anywhere and there has been a mixed bag of feelings about this working style. We’ve gone from feeling isolated during lockdowns, to loving avoiding the commute, to thinking about how we can use this model to its full potential.
Anyone that has started their own business, and even those that have thought about it but not made the jump as yet, or indeed decided not to do so in the end, all recognise that it is a big decision. A very big decision. And as such, it is a decision that is often deliberated over for a long time before it is acted upon. Certainly, a lot of research and clear thinking needs to be done before committing.
Treeapp, the mobile app which enables anyone to plant a tree for free everyday, has officially partnered with fellow B Corp the Big Mamma group. To celebrate Earth Day on the 22nd of April, Big Mamma will be planting one tree for every veggie and vegan pizza sold at Ave Mario, Circolo Popolare and Gloria Trattoria.
A group of Teens, passionate about Martial Arts, want to go for an adventure. One evening, they explore some Karate classes in their local neighborhoods. But as they walk from one training centre to the other, they’re scared. Because they feel, they don’t have 'flexible bones' for a 180° stance. They won’t join these classes even though they’re very much interested in Martial Arts.
Recent statistics indicate that over one in three UK workers see burnout as an evitable part of their career. This, combined with the challenges imposed by remote working, the rising cost of living, and a new world of “living with COVID”, have made it more important than ever before when it comes to the strategies employers have in place to support the wellbeing of their staff.
While the ability to connect and speak with others is important in just about any part of business, the power of networking is especially essential when it comes to meeting with venture capitalists and new networks when you are trying to get your product or idea off the ground. There is a lot of competition, and you never know when someone will have a similar idea, so you need to make a great impression with potential investors right off the bat so you can get your business moving.
Creative technology agency Rehab today highlights research of over 2,000 Brits, conducted with YouGov, showcasing concerns of businesses respecting their personal data, and the general ineffectiveness of current advertising. Both have magnified importance as brands juggle the need to accelerate personalised offerings whilst also preparing for cookies ending in 2023.
Between their 10 to 14 years of medical education and then a lifetime of work in their chosen specialties, doctors develop a powerful set of skills that help them to be effective healers. Sometimes these unique abilities are innate, but in most cases, they’re learned and honed over a doctor’s career.
There’s no doubt about it: today’s economy and sociopolitical outlook are impacting the ability of start-ups to fundraise. Early data during the pandemic showed a 50% drop in funding compared to the same weeks in 2019, and while there was significant uptick in venture capital in 2020, early stage companies still suffered.
While individual multinational corporations may have a disproportionately negative impact on the environment, the cumulative effect of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also presents both a huge problem and an excellent opportunity for climate action. According to a recent study by the British Business Bank, SMEs are responsible for nearly 50% of all business-driven greenhouse gas emissions in the UK largely, in part, due to the use of inefficient internal and supply chain processes. Despite this, 76% of SMEs are yet to implement a decarbonisation strategy and according to another recent study by O2 and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), only one in ten are even measuring their carbon emissions.
Increased digitalisation and the changes to the labour market brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic mean that working from anywhere has not only become possible but also acceptable to an increasing number of people. This is therefore changing the way we work, as well as how we buy, sell and share goods and services.
With the constant stream of stories relating to the rise of living costs, from heating homes to commuting to work, it is evident that everyone is being affected. As companies face increasing transportation costs, higher employer national insurance contributions, and rapidly growing operating costs due to increased energy prices, there are also emotional and physical consequences for their workers.
Fumopay, known as ‘fumo’ is on a mission to demonstrate that technology innovation within the banking and financial services sector can have a direct impact on the lives of our young generation to help them become financially savvy, in a somewhat desperate attempt to help people avoid unnecessary personal debt.
As a business owner, you are the captain of your ship. But ensuring your company is consistently moving in the right direction, especially as you start to scale, means you simply cannot do it alone. Sustained success in business needs a talented team of people with the right skills and perspectives to maintain company value.
– Amcor, who develop and produce responsible packaging solutions, announced the launch of Amcor Lift-Off, an open-call initiative aimed at supporting seed stage startups that are focused on innovative packaging solutions and related technologies. Amcor Lift-Off offers these startups a chance to secure an investment of $250,000, as well as operational guidance, to take their ideas to the next level.
Startup owners need to juggle multiple responsibilities when launching and scaling a venture. They manage everything from product development and finance to HR and marketing. However, as you work on your firm’s growth trajectory, it’s only by having a solid team of trusted, specialised professionals that you can achieve your goals.
Sometimes in business, and indeed in life itself, it is very easy to miss the obvious or, put another way, not to realise that some very basic truths or something that should be expected is not always immediately realised. These points are easy to see with more experience or with the benefit of hindsight, but for those starting out in business that is not always easy.
A surprisingly large number of people live convinced that their desktop is secure. They have an antivirus program, they don't visit sketchy websites, and they keep their software up to date- so what could go wrong? As it turns out, a lot. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of software penetration testing and show you how easy it is for a hacker to gain access to your computer. We'll also give you advice on ways to defend yourself from such attacks. So please read on and learn how to keep your desktop safe.
The last two years have seen the face of global mobility change forever. Growing acceptance of remote working has seen more and more businesses integrate relocation and/or flexible working plans into their growth strategies. However, doing so requires a holistic solution, particularly when demand for such flexible working opportunities skyrockets like it has across many knowledge-based industries. The only way to cope with increasing need and interest in global mobility from current and prospective employees is to create solutions with seamless integrations that enable effective remote workforce hiring and management.
One of the most common pieces of advice you get when you start a business is to find a niche. The narrower the better. And while that works for some, it’s not the only way forward. Over the course of my career, both as an independent designer and the co-founder of a design studio, I’ve learned that my expertise has nothing to do with sticking to a narrow kind of work. That’s how I’ve ended up designing for clients ranging from Pfizer to the Bronx Museum of the Arts to Tribeca-based rooftop bar Happy Be.
When creating a digital experience centred on health and fitness, it’s vital to provide the best user experience possible – one that fits into our day-to-day lives. Work, families and social lives must all be factored in, along with the ways people choose to exercise, whether that be in the gym, at home, or outdoors on a run.
Of all the areas of starting and scaling a business that most founders are unsure of it is raising finance. For some, the questions are more basic, whilst for others the questions can be more detailed. Perhaps two of the reasons why there are always so many questions about raising finance is that it is so important for the future growth of the business and indeed that it is such a complex area.
Research and development (R&D) tax relief was introduced by the government in the year 2000 to encourage UK company investment into innovative projects. Serving as a lucrative tax incentive, the scheme is open to any UK company that’s registered for Corporation Tax, regardless of size or sector. However, there’s still a widely held and outdated assumption that R&D only happens in science labs or ‘techie companies’ which simply isn’t the case.
Due to the changing nature of the way we work, advances in technology and the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, hybrid and remote working are on the rise. A recent survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that over 80% of managers said their firms have now adopted hybrid working models, including a mix of in-office and remote working.
Starting a business is a rewarding experience when done the right way. Financial, strategic, and legal planning is crucial if you want to run a successful business. There are a plethora of ways you can do business, but before you adopt one, it is essential to consider how much time, money, and effort you are willing to put in. In this article, we discuss the steps you can follow to launch and manage a successful business.
We’ve worked from home, we’ve worked hybrid — but could we work less? A four-day working week is the “next, logical and overdue step” in the transformation of the workplace, according to director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, Joe Ryle. The standard working week has not changed in almost a century - are business ready to make the leap? Here, Douglas Mulvihill, marketing manager, UK and Ireland of call centre software provider Ringover, explores the feasibility of the four-day week
Pitch decks and business plans. Every early-stage business with any thought of expansion, even if only modest expansion, should have them. And every founder of a start-up should prepare them. A very common mistake made by many entrepreneurs is that these two documents are seen as only being necessary if you are intending to raise finance; but that is simply not true.
With the creative industry retaining its reputation as a vibrant sector and demonstrating fortitude against the ever-evolving challenges of the pandemic, print and design experts Solopress have investigated the best place to work in the UK within the creative industry for those ready to take their next professional steps.
Shipment tracking is more than just a bullet point on your business to-do list. In an increasingly vibrant market, keeping your customers informed about the whereabouts of their products is what will make a difference in their customer experience and provide your company with a competitive advantage.
What are the signs of HR burnout? Burnout can look different for everyone. For many, it will present in ways that make you feel exhausted and overworked. This could be increased irritability, anxiety, mood swings, a decrease in the quality of work produced, retracting from social events and encounters, fatigue, sensitivity and overall disengagement in work.
Lifesaver Power, the cleantech startup on a mission to provide fairer and cleaner products to individuals and businesses, has relaunched its Lifeline to the Frontline campaign to supply power banks to Ukrainian refugees. This comes as the situation in Ukraine continues to worsen, with two million people now reported to have fled the country and no end to their plight in sight.
Admitting we have biases is not easy. It makes you question how much control we have over our minds and behaviours. This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme encourages us to ‘Break the Bias’ to achieve gender equality, but it is difficult to know which biases are the most important ones to ‘break’ first.
In any aspect of life, each of us will have different dreams and aspirations, and what we wish to achieve. This is no different for entrepreneurs and business founders. And why should it be? It can often be wrongly assumed that all founders are looking to scale their business as quickly as possible and to grow it to be as large as possible.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th March) is International Women’s Day. While more employers do now offer health and wellbeing support that is specific to women, this is often limited to a particular life stage, such as maternity. Towergate Health and Protection is encouraging businesses to provide for women across the entire lifecycle, from early adulthood to menopause, and beyond.
One of the hardest challenges all leaders face is knowing when to move on from their existing strategy. This is not only because of the attachment we feel towards a plan we have created, or because of the humility required to accept that what we are doing is not working, but also because the clear thinking required to create a winning strategy is hard work.
History has taught us that marketing efforts don’t always go to plan. Desired results are not always achieved - largely due to generic campaigns directed at unsuited audiences. In the past this has been accepted as a part of the process, and rightly so - we have not had the appropriate resources to facilitate the best outcome possible. However, times have changed, and there is now little excuse for marketing campaigns to miss their mark.
Having decided whether to start your entrepreneurial journey as a sole founder or as a co-founder you will then be able to properly develop your idea and your business. Whatever your business plans and structure, and whatever your ultimate aims are with regard to scaling your business, there will always be many different tasks to be attended to and the smaller the business and the fewer the resources the harder this can be.
The BBC recently reported that, as of the end of November 2021, more than six million people were waiting for routine operations in the UK. This was the first time this figure had been hit in the history of the NHS and demonstrated the scale of the backlog in routine operations caused by the COVID-19 health crisis and its knock-on effect on the wellbeing of the nation.
A constant challenge for IT leaders is ensuring they see an appropriate return on investment from their Software Asset Management (SAM) programme. So, what can businesses do to ensure their SAM spend is providing adequate value as a result of improved decision making, cost savings and software licence compliance? Furthermore, when is it best to outsource SAM and licensing tasks, and what tasks should be maintained by automated SAM technology or an in-house team?
GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland will be represented by a host of innovative mobile companies at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and Four Years From Now (4YFN) 2022 next week in Barcelona. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Connectivity Unleashed’ and centres on advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the implementation of 5G.
Talent is a vital resource for the success of any business. Today, in any successful growth strategy, technology must be at the forefront. However, the reality is, attracting, developing and retaining talent that can support this growth is one the biggest issues facing any business due to the simple fact that technology is always evolving and there will always be a gap between demand for the latest technology and the skills to fulfill it.
All across Britain, the self-starter movement is gathering momentum with people starting side hustles, their own small business or turning their passion project into an income. Research done by OnePoll in collaboration with Mettle last year found that passion (35%), ambition (34%) and hobbies (33%) are the most popular reasons for starting a side hustle. In fact, almost two thirds (64%) say they regret not starting their side hustle sooner.
Welcome to a new series of articles aimed at helping entrepreneurs and founders to start and scale a business. In this series we will be going back to basics and examining some of the questions and areas of concern that many founders or would be founders have. Whilst ‘basic’, nevertheless these topics can be fundamental to setting an early-stage business on the right track for success.
The last couple of years have been tough for businesses. But those that have been able to demonstrate resilience have been best placed to survive, and in many cases even grow, despite the challenging circumstances. Here Alison Watson, Head of the School of Leadership and Management at Arden University, explores how SMEs can ensure resilience drives them towards success throughout 2022.
The environment and sustainability are hot topics; after last year’s COP26, these issues have been supercharged to the front of government and almost every business agenda. Employees, customers and the supply chain now expect companies they work for and with to consider their impact on the environment. So, can the way we use IT and technology in general help businesses become more environmentally friendly? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
In the words of Bill Gates, 'Content is king' and this applies for startups. Quality content not only helps to boost awareness and improve SEO, but is also a marketing tool that will start conversations and showcase brand value. It is perhaps one of the most vital tools a business can have, but it’s amazing how many startups still don’t utilise it to its full potential.
The global pandemic in 2020 has caused a global shift to remote and hybrid work as well as a transition to online or cloud-based solutions, forcing companies to quickly pivot the way they operate without the luxury of careful preparation. Where most companies saw crises, cybercriminals saw opportunities and cybersecurity startups saw growth potentials.
Operating a competitive business in today’s world is seemingly more complicated than ever. New processes are constantly being developed and integrated, hourly insights and analytics are available for analysis, and even your current method of keeping track of stock is becoming obsolete. But how effective are all these new methods and processes?
The remote working lifestyle has become second nature for people worldwide in the last few years. Prior to the widespread working from home mandates in March 2020, only around 1.5% of jobs in the United States offered remote work as an option – by the end of 2021, this had risen to 17%. How we work has evolved dramatically, with more and more people opting to liberate themselves from the traditional nine to five routine.
When your business is in its early days, it’s natural to be thinking about what you need to do to gain investment and profit as soon as possible. But you’ve got to be careful about taking shortcuts, or about relying too much on emulating other successfully funded businesses in order to get ahead. While it’s smart to study up on how your competitors have achieved success, you’ll never get your own business right through a copy-paste approach.
Recent reports have shown that women in business in the UK is on the rise. Almost a third of businesses are owned by women which highlights a remarkable shift from figures in 2016 when just 17% of founders were female. There is still some way to go before the playing field is even but undoubtedly female entrepreneurs have some of the most inspiring stories out there.
As Amazon’s CTO since 2005, Werner Vogels has observed macro trends around the technology industry, giving him a unique perspective to distinguish substantive progress from mere fads. He recently published his views on what he sees in store in 2022 for cloud technology and the technology world in general.
Gone are the days when good marketing involved only a recognisable logo, a catchy slogan and a TV, radio or print campaign. There’s no doubt the digital world has created huge marketing opportunities - it has never been easier for brands to engage directly with their customer base, and target ads to the people who want to see them.
Until a few years ago, it was quite common for us to treat ourselves to brand-new equipment and tick it off our wish list without thinking twice. However, times have changed, and we’ve all had to deal with some hardships along the way. Whether it is job instability or other personal difficulties, we’ve truly started to keep an eye on how purchases affect our finances.
I always say that numbers speak for themselves. So it’s doubtful that these numbers will surprise female founders anywhere. Pitchbook data from earlier this year showed that, despite record levels of capital invested in Europe, female founders received just 0.7% of the total funding - €400m (about $473m). The picture isn’t much more encouraging in the US; last year, female-only founded companies garnered 2.2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups.
Businesses look to constantly tweak their hiring strategies and recruitment processes to have prolific talents on board. Needless to say, an organisation is as good as the overall competence of its employees. Hence, businesses also go about spending exorbitant amounts of money to market their job vacancies among a larger talent pool. However, be it job seekers or potential customers, they always view businesses in terms of brand value.
With the Omicron variant appearing to have peaked in the UK according to the ONS, research from Infogrid, the smart building platform, has revealed that nearly a third of working Brits (32%) want to return to their offices in January because they feel it would improve their mental health, which has been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With so much change in the workplace over the last couple of years, many employees may have found themselves falling into negative working patterns. These toxic traits - such as working too many hours or skipping a lunch break - could have a huge impact on wellbeing, job satisfaction and productivity.
It’s been a tricky year for business management. From pandemic fatigue to workplace burnout, startups of various sizes are faced with a similar challenge – to rethink and reignite employee engagement. Some might approach this as a one-off event – like a holiday bonus. But leaders in their fields know that it demands a long-term approach. It’s an opportunity to start listening to the needs of your team members and committing to ongoing adjustments.
There’s more of an onus than ever for businesses to adopt greener practices and help to preserve the planet for future generations. The COP26 summit, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, has elevated consumer awareness of wider environmental issues and amplified the pressure on businesses to make conspicuous and meaningful changes.
As our world becomes more interconnected, so too does the need for banking systems to follow suit. In the past, businesses and individuals were often restricted to banking in a single country, but the rise of borderless banking is enabling both to benefit from greater financial freedoms. In this article, we will examine why this trend is so important and explain how Fintech companies are helping to make it possible.
Automotive technology at CES has grown so much over the years that for 2022, the show devoted the entirety of its new Las Vegas Convention Centre West Hall to what is now widely recognised – if it were a stand-alone event – as one of the largest auto shows in the world. At the recently concluded celebration of technological innovation, show attendees witnessed the launch – or the visionary introductions – of such features as the color-changing BMW iX Flow, Cadillac’s InnerSpace automotive theatre (for when self-driving cars become a reality), LG’s Omnipod 'office in a car' and more.
Nothing could have prepared businesses for the global pandemic and my business, Grind - like many others - was hit hard as a result of multiple UK lockdowns. The pandemic shuttered or restricted trade in our central London cafes and restaurants for most of 2020 and 2021, forcing us initially to furlough the vast majority of our 300 strong team, and axe plans for future openings.
CES 2022 came to a close at the end of last week, following three days filled with thousands of product debuts unveiling innovation that will better the world and solve global challenges. More than 2300 exhibiting companies from around the world, including more than 800 startups, launched products featuring innovation across artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, smart home and more.
With more customers shopping online than ever before, retailers are being forced to either debut online or significantly increase their online presence. There are obvious and significant costs involved in moving online for retailers of all sizes. The opportunity to make up for lost sales by expanding or launching online has been a lifeline during COVID, but have retailers done enough to identify and tackle the hidden costs of eCommerce?
Amelia Sordell has a passion to brand people, not businesses. You may have recently heard her talk openly about her journey and her life on our podcast The Cereal Entrepreneur, we decided to catch up further with Amelia about her drive to brand people, the importance of this, and how she came to found Klowt, The Personal Branding Agency.
For the past eighteen months, economic uncertainty has frozen a vast proportion of the world’s workforce to the spot. It didn’t matter whether employees were content with their jobs at the onset of the crisis: the prospect of losing rights to redundancy pay, falling foul of the ‘last in, first out’ method, or joining a new company that could have a less certain outlook was enough to delay any major career decisions.
A marketing strategy is key to a successful company. Whether it’s an established multinational, or a fledgling start up, an effective marketing plan is an essential road map for the business. A strategic plan helps to define marketing aims, keeps an eye on the final objective and defines each step that needs to be taken to reach the desired outcome.
When investors make the decision to give funding to a startup they are effectively saying ‘I believe that the vision of this business will manifest itself in tangible value in the future.’ Data sometimes back up this belief, but often it isn’t. This means that an investor's decision to invest in a startup is more emotional than rational in the early stages. For this reason, investors must believe in the value that the startups create not just for themselves as ROI, but for everyone that is and will be using the product.
Hiring the best talent for your startup is an essential step towards building a sustainable organisation. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring. Just imagine the skills and competencies required across the industries, the business models, and the various functions within your company.
We are entering a new phase of climate-aligned investing. At COP26 last month, green investment was a cornerstone of conversation and debate, with innovation and technology highlighted as crucial mechanisms for tackling climate change. Now - more than ever - investment communities of all shapes and sizes are expected to back startups that are not only committed to sustainability and a zero-carbon economy, but are also using innovation to actively solve the climate crisis.
Suffice it to say, 2021 was a challenging year for UK businesses. Brexit and COVID-19 have continued to dominate the news agenda throughout the previous twelve months, presenting challenges for organisations of all sizes. That said, new challenges began to emerge throughout the year; supply chain problems, for example, caused major disruption and product shortages for businesses and customers alike.
Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, has chosen six technology startups as the ‘ones to watch’ for 2022 at this year’s Digital Catapult Awards. These innovative small businesses are leading the way in the development and application of advanced and emerging digital technologies across the UK economy, and were selected as trailblazing examples of the strength and innovation of the vibrant UK tech startup ecosystem.
As the world of fashion is growing at a rapid rate, but so is the footprint the industry is leaving on the planet, we spoke to Stefan Hauswiesner, CEO and co-founder of Reactive Reality, the augmented reality leader enhancing e-commerce for retailers, who explained more about the vital role that AR will play in reducing the carbon footprint of the fashion industry and some of the key consumer fashion trends of that we will see in 2022.
With COVID-19 rapidly altering the nature of the workplace to one that's more digital and flexible, the debate about the future - and the purpose - of the office continues. As society adapts to post-pandemic life, businesses need to figure out how to accommodate their employees’ desire for flexibility while navigating all the difficulties that come with the lack of regular in-person contact with their team. Hybrid working appears to be the solution, but comes with its own challenges.
It is true that many people do not like change and shy away from it. But it is equally true that periods of change bring much more opportunity for innovation and for businesses to adapt and pivot and supply products and services to fulfil needs that have opened up or changed in some way. In times of rapid change as we have seen over the last few years then the opportunities are both bigger and more abundant.
With extraordinary women from across different parts of the country, a variety of backgrounds and industries, the 19th annual NatWest everywoman Awards brought these entrepreneurs together having one thing in common - being some of the UK’s most inspiring females, recognising their outstanding achievements during one of the most challenging periods for businesses in living memory.
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.
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.
There have been some big changes for many companies this year, but one company that just announced a big change is OVHcloud, as Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud recently spoke at its annual international conference and explained the company will be going public and making promises to be more sustainable starting with the carbon capture programme.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from COP26, it’s that we’ve a long way to go before we hit our CO2 emissions targets of which the transport industry is one of the biggest contributors. The sector accounts for 23% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions, and so, if businesses neglect to place sustainability at the crux of their strategies, they’re likely to fall behind, fast.
This year, Black Friday is set to take place today November 26th, with Cyber Monday to follow soon afterwards on November 29th. If your company has been ignoring Black Friday up until this point, seeing it as just another American import or a passing e-commerce fad, then there’s a good chance that you’re missing out on the potentially lucrative sales opportunities the event has to offer
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for employees to return to the workplace, the United States Department of Labor is acting on an executive order from the Biden administration which requires all companies with more than 100 employees to issue vaccination passports or agree to frequent COVID testing, as a part of their day-to-day business activities.
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?
Prior to starting Hertility Health, my co-founders and I realised that even though our careers and personal lives were very different, we all had one thing in common: we wanted reassurance about our fertility health. We found ourselves asking the same questions you might also ask yourself: "Should our career come before a family?" or "Why do we have to make a choice between the two?" And when we searched for help with these big questions, we came up empty handed.
A diverse team can have a huge impact on a business’ success. Diverse management teams can increase revenue by 19%. Racially and ethnically diverse teams are 35 percent more likely to perform better, and they’re 87% better at making decisions. Inclusive companies are 1.7x more innovative when compared to companies that aren’t diverse or inclusive.
When it comes to considering how best to raise pre-seed or seed finance for your business, one of the most commonly asked questions is whether getting investment from business angels or crowdfunding would be better. It could be argued that business angels are just much wealthier versions of people that invest on crowdfunding platforms. As such, in reality it is more a case of a small number of angels can replace a much larger crowd.
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.
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.
There are many reason for people to require storage for their items. Whether you’re moving house, needing somewhere to store your shop’s extra stock, or just want somewhere to put valuable and sentimental items when you don’t have room at home, storage lots can be incredibly helpful. Finding somewhere safe to put your things isn’t always the easiest thing to do though and choosing the right place can feel like a struggle. We’ve put together a short list of the questions you should be asking before committing to a decision on your storage, and why these questions are so important.
Kazakhstan is still a relatively young country, sometimes referred to as '30 years young' as it is about to celebrate 30 years of independence, but it has already established a successful innovation ecosystem with the support of various government Ministries and often as a result of its First President’s initiatives.
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.
In the summer of 2020, I made the leap and set up my social listening agency. Realising there weren’t many agencies in this space, let alone agencies headed up by women of colour, I felt there was ample opportunity to bring my unique perspective and experience to the world of data and listening. (Disclaimer: setting up your own business is not for the faint of heart.)
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?
Large scale disaster events have increased during the last two decades, and this upsurge can be put down to climate change. As 70 per cent of the world population lives in cities, improving urban resilience against disasters is paramount, and to do this effectively you need to involve the communities most affected say Professor Jon Coaffee, Politics and International Studies and Academic lead for the Global Research Priority in Sustainable Cities, University of Warwick.
Welcoming today’s budget announcement, which commits additional funding to skills development, trade bodies and professional associations across the UK are calling on the government to support industry-led jobs and skills training programmes – to address the UK’s digital skills crisis and strengthen its economic recovery from coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has steered the banking industry worldwide towards digital transformation. Traditional financial services became redundant overnight leading to a historic rise in the adoption of fintech platforms across the world. Cashless payments became more popular due to the need to lead our daily lives in a contactless manner.
From the time of your initial idea, you will have been thinking of all the very many steps necessary of turning your vision into reality. One of the first steps when starting up is to consider how you will build your market, and as you scale this will remain at the forefront of all that you need to do.
Here’s an interesting fact, companies founded by women bring higher returns from investment. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the return from each dollar invested in a 'woman-led business' is nearly twice as high, and the total revenue over a five-year period exceeds the earnings of male-run businesses by around 10%.
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.
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.
Millions of Americans have left the workforce due to the ongoing public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women were particularly impacted since many of them had to sacrifice their job and become the primary caretakers of their children due to school and daycare closures. Many companies may be at risk of losing some of their best and brightest employees if they don’t figure out how to accommodate female workers with children.
It goes without saying that the past two years have been, for the most part, unpredictable. In both our professional and personal lives, we’ve all had to pivot and adapt to situations we never thought imaginable. In fact, according to the World Uncertainty Index (Ahir) we’re living in the most uncertain time in human history.
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.
I’m a marketing leader in the tech sector and passionate about diversifying our industry. I care about living my values and keeping women paid, well and thriving. Through Possible Ground I work with people looking to enter the tech industry whether that’s through a job or a business they are running.
We all know how important it is to get that right work and life balance, but as an entrepreneur it can be difficult. As this week is National Work Life Week, we wanted to highlight the many factors that can contribute to your high-stress levels, some such as lack of sleep and getting sick. But did you know that all three of these actually go hand-in-hand?
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:
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.
For anyone starting a business there is that delicious and intoxicating mixture of excitement tinged with fear. Both these are driven by stepping into the unknown and doing something new. Doing anything new or different will always present new challenges, and the further outside of your personal experience or comfort zone any new enterprise is, then potentially the larger those challenges will be.
Autumn is already upon us and the nights are drawing in - Christmas is only just round the corner. However, this isn’t always a reason for small businesses to celebrate. The calendar year-end can often coincide with tricky cashflow gaps for smaller companies which can lead to some less than silent nights for business owners. Here are some tips on why it may be worth thinking ahead now and looking at company finances in advance, to avoid getting some unsightly lumps of coal in the company stocking instead of a winter celebration.
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.
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.
LinkedIn has announced their annual 2021 Top UK Startups, a list of the best emerging startups to work for. Using a four pillar methodology, they have measured and ranked employment growth, engagement, job interest and talent attraction. The top companies are fast-growing and have successfully embraced flexible working, thus pioneering a new vision for the future of work in the UK.
London is the leading destination to grow a technology business outside of Silicon Valley, according to a comprehensive ranking of international startup hubs compiled by Startup Genome for its annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021. Despite Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, London maintained its second-place ranking tied with New York for the second year in a row.
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.
Whether these businesses will opt for working from home full time or hybrid working - where employees split their time between home and the office - remains somewhat unclear at this point. For some, a return to pre-pandemic office life is on the cards, but for others, there's simply no going back to the way things were.
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.
Imagine stepping into a health shop after a long day at work. You’re on the hunt for a multivitamin that will kick the fatigue that’s been following you for weeks. You want to be engaged and productive, but you wake up tired, and you have trouble focusing when you need to give it your all. Let me introduce you to Feel. We caught up with founder Boris Hodakel to find out more on the startup.
We don’t often address mental health in male-domintated sectors, despite well-being becoming a more accepted topic in mainstream media. There is a lingering macho stoicism surrounding the conversation about the toll that raising capital can take on business leaders, which is perhaps no wonder in a field where the pursuit of work-life balance is seen as a weakness.
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,
Rocket Academy, a startup providing online coding courses, has announced it has raised $1.1m in pre-seed funding. The investment comes from a consortium of 50 marquee tech investors and venture capitalists including entrepreneurs Darius Cheung from 99.co, Marcus Tan from Carousell and Stanley Tang from DoorDash, former Singapore Ambassador to the UN Kishore Mahbubani, SEA tech leaders’ investment network XA Network, and VC firms Taurus Ventures and Hustle Fund.
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.
With its recent launch across the Nordic and Baltic states, we caught up with Jonas Sellberg, Co-founder and COO of Staccs, a premium streaming on-demand service for concert video and music documentaries. The new home for concerts on demand, Staccs is set to offer music fans the opportunity to relive their favourite concert moments. Jonas explains to us what Staccs is all about, the journey so far and what lies ahead.
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.
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.
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.
Trade shows, trade fairs or exhibitions – whatever your preferred term – the format is not to every business owners’ taste and in many cases get a bad rap. However, some of the biggest entrepreneurs including Phil ‘Shoe Dog’ Knight, founder of Nike, and Patagonia’s owner Yvon Chouinard, relate pivotal points in their businesses having taken place at B2B trade shows.
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.
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.
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.
An effective SEO strategy doesn't always mean you have to work hard, but it always requires you to work smart. Whether you just launched a website or your website's SEO needs a different approach, there is always room to improve regardless of the business type, size, or industry. SEO expert at UENI, Matt Reevy, shares 7 handy online marketing tips to help you upgrade your website's SEO and help boost your business.
A major part in delivering a successful campaign is to ensure you have the right people behind your brand. By having the best individuals to represent your product or service, the better engagement you’ll have with consumers. When it comes to creating your ideal team, there are some important factors to consider. From personality, knowledge, skills, attitude to experience. If you can tick all of these, then the greater impact your campaign will have.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
With restrictions set to lift imminently, allowing workers a return to the office, workplaces will no doubt be quickly planning their summer office parties. At Just Eat for Business, we’ve already seen a spike in companies planning their get-togethers to increase the social interaction and employee wellbeing we’ve been lacking post- work from home.
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.
Innovate UK is releasing new data which reveals the proportion of women setting up businesses has not only remained stagnant at just over a quarter of the total number of new businesses for the last decade, but seen a slight dip since 2010/11 when it was at 28.7%, compared to 27.3% today. Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards looks to help balance the playing field in business by providing more support to female entrepreneurs from across the UK.
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.
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.
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.
Every three seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s. And although there are currently 44 million people worldwide living with the disease, there has been no new treatment approved in the last 14 years and over 400 clinical studies have failed. There has been €540bn spent on Alzheimer’s and Dementia globally. It has also been estimated that the number of Alzheimer’s patients are expected to triple by 2050.
Leading sports travel operator, Sportsbreaks.com, are the first platform to provide match breaks for Chelsea’s 2021/22 Premier League fixtures. With the announcement of their Official Ticket and Hotel Breaks for the upcoming Premier League campaign, Chelsea fans can purchase their tickets from £129pp. Thanks to Sportsbreaks.com, fans can beat the rush, and secure their Premier League match breaks before they go on general sale.
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.
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.
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.
UnderPinned has hit its funding target of over £500k within an hour of going live on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Having quadrupled their community and launched accelerator programme with day one profitability since their last round, they’re raising to amplify marketing and further enter US & European markets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental wellbeing have been important considerations for leaders over the past year and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked five experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.
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.
The famous Chinese proverb stating that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' is often wrongly accredited to Confucius, but whether it was him, Lao Tzu, or it is simply used in everyday life, does not alter the fact that it is, of course, true. And it is just as true that little steps normally lead to big steps.
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.
In anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry, one of the theories that is often discussed relates to whether certain actions and activities are the result of nature or nurture. In so many ways, this ‘nature Vs Nurture’ question is also the same in business, and how it affects the next steps taken by any business – especially early stage ones that are growing.
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.
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.
Winning any award is nice, but it means so much more when that award reflects a mission you’ve intentionally set out to accomplish. For our team at Plux X Brighton, that’s what it meant to pick up the prize for Best In-House Workplace Mental Health Awareness Initiative at the inaugural Company Culture Awards in April. The building is also on track to become the first in South East England to achieve WELL Platinum accreditation from Wellspace, global benchmark setters for wellbeing at work.
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.
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”.
Almost every business owner wants to scale their business in one way or another, at one time or another. But that is when the questions start: How do I grow my business? How do I maximise my limited financial resources? What should I do first – hire more staff, spend more on marketing and PR, get bigger premises? So many possible next steps, but which ones are best for you to take first?
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?
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.
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.
Business, and the economy as a whole, can be very much like the English weather – sunshine and showers. We all know that long range forecasts are less accurate than short range ones, simply because there are a greater number of unpredictable factors to try and consider, and a small variable in any one of them can change the final outcome quite considerably.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Remote is an international HR tech startup that enables companies to hire people all over the world, wherever they are located. Remote is the first self-serve platform for global employment, and the startup also supports payroll, taxes, benefits, and compliance for businesses of any size. Here, Startups Magazine speaks to Nadia Vatalidis, Director of People at Remote to find out more.
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.
A week after the next steps out of lockdown were taken the differences are palpable. A very large percentage of the population have been shopping in ‘non-essential’ shops, sat outside a coffee shop, eaten outside at a pub or restaurant, or had their hair cut. In fact, almost everyone that I have spoken to has already done more than one of these.
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.
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.
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.
As part of the last budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the limit for contactless payments is to be increased from £45 to £100. As a large portion of UK businesses have been closed for months, there’s an obvious reason to want to stimulate the economy by making larger purchases easier. While this increase in the contactless limit seems to be a good move on the surface, we must look at the impacts of this change and debate the case for alternative payment methods.
Ethos is the home of social discussion. A socially responsible alternative to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the channel provides a safe and connected online space that encourages conversations which discuss a variety of social issues. It aims to encourage others to learn from, engage, and interact with unique content that inspires and motivates a new generation. Here, Startups Magazine, speaks to Alejandra de Brunner, Founder and CEO to find out more.
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.
International challenge to innovate the football of tomorrow with inclusion, diversity and sustainability
Banco Santander and the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) present FootballCan 2041, a joint initiative to create the best innovation solutions to make football more inclusive, diverse and sustainable. This initiative aligns with Santander’s purpose to help people and businesses prosper, and with its strategy to have a positive impact on football and society.
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.
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.
Asides from having a great idea, one of the most important things you need to do as a startup, is consider your budget. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what you can spend, what you can expect to make, and how the two balance out. Without undertaking this process, you risk ending up in a situation where your finances are out of sync, causing significant issues for your business.
A recent study cited by a leading Fintech publication found that whilst 30% of the fintech workforce is female, only 17% of senior fintech roles are held by women and just over 5% of founders are women. These statistics are pretty shocking as Fintech is such a dynamic world of discovery and innovation.
One of the most common questions that entrepreneurs ask at the early stage of a company is - how do you secure funding? After all, it’s one the most crucial steps in developing a company and will give entrepreneurs the ability to hire employees, develop their product and take the company to new heights. And as the company matures, the process can be slightly different along the way – there are different objectives when raising seed funds, versus Round A, B, and C because at each stage the company itself is at a new level.
By now, many of us are aware of the benefits that coworking can bring; from collaborations to new inspirational ideas and the opportunity to work alongside others experiencing similar challenges. That’s why world-wide well over three million people opt for coworking spaces. And despite events of the past 12 months closing many coworking hubs, leading some to see a 50% decline in footfall, that figure is still set to double in 2022.
Matthew Singleton, Investment Director at Throgmorton Capital Management has spent most of his career advising his clients on how to manage their wealth and plan their financial futures. From time to time Matt advises clients on strategies that may involve investing in startups. He is also a passionate champion of startup businesses and has been involved in early-stage businesses himself. Here, he shares his financial and investment advice for any early-stage business looking to grow quickly without exposing themselves to unnecessary financial risks in his six top tips.
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.
Hello Genius is a revolutionary app-based learning system designed to foster closer relationship bonds and empower greater connectivity between parents and their children through intimate, personalised learning experiences that are explored together. Now available globally, the integrated system of dual parent-child apps identifies the individual uniqueness of each child through an adaptive learning journey, while providing parents with insights, opportunities and resources to engage with their children in ways which complement the child’s interests and gifts and optimise their learning and development.
If you’ve read any of my previous articles for Startups Magazine, you may have noticed that anything related to healthcare excites me beyond belief. Fun fact about me: I used to have a massive fear of doctors but I’ve since turned that into an unhealthy obsession with the healthcare sector and I’m now known as the ‘Queen of all things Medical’ by my colleagues. So of course, when I discovered digital training startup, Virti who are focusing initially on healthcare, my blood pressure shot up with excitement and you’ll see why as you read on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Digital transformation means many things to many people, so it’s important to segment and analyse startups developing foundational enabling technologies as well as key impacted applications, such as Industry 4.0 and digital health. Lux Research’s digital transformation experts are continuously monitoring industry megatrends and events to identify innovative startups in the space.
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.
TapTrip is an award-winning online travel management company, founded in 2018 by Thomas Young, Neil Ruth and Jack Timblin. It was the first ever travel tech (and Manchester-based) company to be accepted onto the Barclays powered by Techstars accelerator. Here, two of the founders, Neil and Thomas share some tips for FinTech startups on the hunt for finance.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge, so we’ve spoken to a host of female leaders doing just that. CEO of Clearbanc, Michele Romanow is using AI to challenge traditional VC investment. With decisions based on data and not ‘who you know’ Clearbanc has invested in 8x more women than men in the UK. CMO of Fiverr Gali Arnon, believes freelance marketplaces are helping to diminish the gender pay gap for women across the world and Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls is on a mission to get more women into coding.
March 8th 2021 marks International Women’s Day, and a Yoopies survey on equality has revealed that 70% our survey respondents believe there is gender inequality in the workplace in various ways. Pay gaps, missing out on promotions and lack of access to positions of responsibility were cited amongst the most pressing issues of professional gender inequality and furthermore, we revealed that women are far more likely to have trouble balancing their home or personal life with their professional one than men.
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.
A recent survey by Arctic Shores, which investigated the talent acquisition landscape for the year ahead, revealed that three in four companies plan to review their diversity hiring practices for 2021. These findings are surprising, considering 81% of companies already run unconscious bias training. This would suggest diminishing confidence amongst talent leaders that unconscious bias training alone is enough to ensure fair, consistent and effective processes.
A growing number of people are showing interest in investing. This has been evidenced by an increase in the number of trading and investment accounts opened over the last 18 months and the interest is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Additionally, more and more business and startup entrepreneurs are getting involved as well. This is due to an interest in becoming more financially literate as well as the desire to benefit from investment yield. But how to go about it?
The UK is heading towards a ‘burnout breakpoint’ with search data exposing alarming levels of people seeking help. As we quickly approach the anniversary of the first lockdown, Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent who discovered these findings is urging businesses to support employees and implement practical solutions to prevent similar levels throughout 2021 and hordes of workers reaching their breakpoint.
Research from Ezra, a global provider of digital coaching, has revealed to what extent the current pandemic could change the face of the professional workplace on a permanent basis. The trend of working remotely is one that has been largely forced on us due to lockdown restrictions and concerns over safety. However, for many it means more time at home and a positive increase in the work-life balance.
You’ve heard the maxim that 'failing to plan is planning to fail,' right? I’m not here to debate it. For any complicated initiative, a plan is needed – that’s true. But I do want to suggest that the long-held maxim only represents one side of the spectrum, and that the other side (overplanning) is equally dangerous to the success of a startup.
This Mum Runs is the largest mobile, on and offline running community for Mums in the world, aiming to empower millions of women to feel great about themselves just through moving more and doing it using the power of community. Here we chat to Mel Bound, Founder and CEO of This Mum Runs, as part of our International Women's Day celebrations.
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.
A new report by Claromentis has revealed that 73% of UK workers want to split their time between home and office working after the pandemic. Unilever, Twitter, Square and many more companies have announced their staff may never return to working a five-day week in the office. But what do workers want?
incspaces, a space as a service operator with locations across London and Manchester, is opening a brand new 24/7 flexible workspace in the heart of Leeds. The 19,000 square foot venue will play host to both young startups and established businesses embracing the ever growing flexibility of the future of work.
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.
Small changes consistently applied over a period of time WILL have a big impact on your business. For example, if you simply commit to spending 30 minutes every day engaging with your target audience on social media, this daily activity on your part will gradually compound into a significant impact on your business.
Ahead of the UK’s 2021 Budget and Economic Recovery Plan, new research from Sage has revealed the tough conditions that will be facing Small and Medium sized Businesses (SMEs) well into the second half of 2021. The research highlights how the latest lockdown has further divided the outlook of UK SMEs, with one-third worse off than November, one-third in a similar position and one-third better off.
Love for a tech brand has a massive impact on customer loyalty and recommendations according to a new study. People who love a brand are three times more likely to recommend it to others and will tolerate it making twice as many mistakes as any other, before taking their custom elsewhere. Indeed, according to the Brand Love report, such a brand can mess up almost five times and people will still stay loyal to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
International founders can now submit their applications for the Future Hamburg Award conferred by the City of Hamburg. With this startup award, Germany's economic hub aims to support innovative solutions for the city of tomorrow. Innovative startups from around the world are invited to submit their projects until 31st March 2021 here.
Email marketing is a fundamental part of business communications, but how many are customers actually reading? According to a recent survey by af2m (French Association for the Development of Multi-Operator Multimedia Services and Uses), only 20% – far fewer than most marketing teams would care to admit. Is there a better way to reach your customers? Research by af2m has found that SMS campaigns are blessed with a 90% open rate within three minutes of receipt!
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.
Embracing digital, diversifying products and services and accessing emergency finance – particularly Bounce Back Loans - were found to be the top ways small firms have survived the covid-19 crisis so far, according to a new report from Small Business Britain that offers firms advice on how to be resilient in a crisis.
As I write this, from my living room floor (don’t judge me, since lockdown started I’ve noticed it helps me get creative when I’m writing) we’re still in a global pandemic and I’m just about getting used to all that isolation life has to offer. But as I interview the two brains behind a luxury British accessories brand that specialises in creating stylish contactless payment accessories, Tovi Sorga and Agnes Davis, I can’t help but think about how timely this interview is.
Otta, a startup that helps job seekers find roles at fast-growing companies, has revealed the most innovative companies in London to work for in 2021. Fifty startups and scaleups appear on the Rocket List, including tech unicorns Cazoo, Hopin (now a ‘double unicorn’) and Gousto, along with fintech firms, Revolut and Checkout.com, which are hiring for the most roles right now (79 and 68 respectively).
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.
It’s official – London is Europe’s global tech city, with London based technology firms having raised more than $10.5bn in new investment from venture capital firms in 2020. As good as that is, the good news just keeps on coming, as 2021 looks to be even more promising given that London based VC firms have raised record amounts of fresh funds ready to deploy this year.
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.
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.
Ales Spetic, the now CEO and Co-founder of Klevio, a smart intercom and smartphone app that lets you open doors and share digital keys using your phone, from anywhere in the world, could be described as a serial entrepreneur. Prior to co-founding four different startups, he was a software engineer before switching to business, where he achieved an MBA from California State University and has also written a book on database programming.
London is at the centre of Europe’s burgeoning tech scene, with new research from Dealroom.co and London & Partners showing that London tech companies helped Europe to reach record levels of tech venture capital funding in 2020. International investors continue to look to London, with the findings revealing that the UK capital received more tech VC investment than any European city in 2020.
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.
British businesses have had a tough 2020, with almost all small businesses reporting they had been dramatically affected by the pandemic but with January being historically one of the hardest months in the working calendar, it is important we work together to beat those blues and be the best we can be.
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.
Staying on track financially can be one of the most challenging aspects of creating and managing a startup. If it wasn’t hard enough, the global pandemic has added another dimension of difficulty which even the most robust of businesses have struggled to navigate. However, there are a few key things that startups can do to stay on top of their finances. Below are five tips for startups aiming to become a thriving and profitable business.
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.
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.
“What will the new year bring us?” “365 opportunities!” This was the question and answer in a cartoon that was sent to me a few days ago, showing two people sitting on a hill looking into the distance. New Year’s eve this year was not so much a celebration in the normal sense so much as a “Great, 2020 is over so now let’s move on!” But the cartoon perfectly matches my own mood and that of many of my clients and other contacts.
As we approach the end of an unusual year it is safe to say what a year we have had! Although not as we expected, I am a positive person that likes to look on the bright side of life, and with everything going on this year it has been a silver lining seeing a lot of startups and small business, adapt, pivot and even excel.
This year has seen the biggest increase in reliance and need for connected education technology within the education sector in the past decade, and so we spoke to Rahim Hirji, UK Country Manager of leading online learning platform and app, Quizlet, who reflects on the past year in education and looks forward to 2021 to offer expert insight into the future of the education sector.
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.
In today’s world, stress has become an inevitable part of professional life. According to a survey conducted by the Regus group, across 15 different countries, the levels of workplace stress have risen over the past two years. Employees all over the world are getting exposed to excruciating levels of work stress. The sad state of employees calls upon employers like you, to take actionable measures for employee stress management. It is essential, both for the well-being of your employees and your organisation.
The 2020 festive period is now in full swing. However, with the UK coming out of lockdown to tighter tier restrictions, it’s fair to say Christmas will look different this year. A work Christmas party is often a great excuse to let your hair down and celebrate the festive season with your colleagues. After a year filled with lots of change, ups and downs and staying at home, now more than ever it is important to celebrate all we have achieved.
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?
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.
Founded in 2011, by two Finnish entrepreneurs who were looking for a way to manage their finances, Holvi is digital banking service for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Combining money management tools with an easy-to-use business account, Holvi offers an innovative banking experience that helps you run your business.
The R&D tax relief schemes and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) have driven greater innovation in the UK, according to analysis by HMRC. A review of these schemes, as well as the Patent Box, highlighted that there were both positive direct and indirect impacts on business for those that utilised the schemes whilst also spurring on innovation.
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.
There's no doubt about it: leadership has been put to the test this year. Over the course of 2020, leaders of businesses everywhere have had to step up to a monumental challenge. Not only have many businesses had to fight to stay afloat, but company leaders have been required to find new, creative ways to work remotely, motivate their team in the face of extreme adversity, and achieve their goals.
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.
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.
A new survey by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has found that brands have become more compassionate in 2020. The majority of senior marketers (74%) surveyed said their brands or clients have shown more compassion and thoughtfulness amid the pandemic - this included 14% who said this increased, with just 6% reported this happening less.
Accenture & Ponemon’s 2019 Cost of Cybercrime Study indicates that the right approach to cyber threats might save companies up to $5.2tn of future revenues in the next few years. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are among the most vulnerable as they only recently became more conscious of clear and present cyber threats.
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.
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?
“I’m starting to think my profile could be an asset for the business,” a brilliant female founder confided over a virtual Zoom coffee a couple of weeks back (I miss real life, barista made flat whites and hugging clients hello but that’s a sidebar). “I always want to make it about the business but I think I could be a bit of an asset.”
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.
As the UK emerges from lockdown for a second time, it’s crucial we keep up the conversations we’ve been having about the importance of a healthy work life balance. The majority of people who I’ve spoken to have enjoyed the freedom of remote working and are keen to retain some of this newly-discovered flexibility in the future. With this new mindset and the ongoing restrictions, I certainly don’t anticipate an immediate rush back to offices.
Winter alone can have a negative impact on anyone’s mental health. Couple this with spending the best part of the year dealing with a pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and it's no surprise that according to ONS statistics, the weeks after the clocks went back saw record levels of loneliness in the UK.
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.
Brits are being called upon to offer vital support to small businesses as high streets reopen in time for Christmas. It also hopes to tap into soaring public affection for small businesses, as research from the campaign and its principal supporter American Express shows 59% of Brits support small businesses more than previously, following the major role firms played in communities during coronavirus lockdowns.
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.
Considering introducing an employee wellbeing programme in 2021, but concerned about the financial outlay and where to begin? Fear not, as it does not take a huge chunk of cash to create a successful wellbeing programme for your staff. However, you do need to invest some time to plan an initiative that will best suit your team. Here are four cost effective suggestions to get such schemes up and running, and to maintain momentum.
Small businesses in the UK still aren’t offering their people enough flexibility, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment. While the pandemic has required many to work more flexibly from home, more than a quarter of employees questioned say they still aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them, and men are just as dissatisfied as women.
Thursday 3rd December marks International Day of People with Disability (IDPD), originally created by the United Nations and designed to bring awareness and celebrate the diversity of the global community. This years’ theme is ‘not all disabilities are visible’, something Leeds-based behavioural research and UX consultancy, SimpleUsability, is keen to encourage businesses to consider when interacting with their customers.
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.
Co-op CEO Steve Murrells opened a round-table on 26th November with representatives from the Department for Education, National Apprenticeship Service, National Society of Apprentices and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The conversation focused on a brand new report, commissioned by the Co-op group, into the national apprenticeships programme with recommendations on change to government policy.
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.
As Britain’s high streets prepare to return to life in time for Christmas, small business owners have been given tips for coping with a still uncertain winter. This year’s Small Business Saturday - an annual celebration that encourages consumers to 'shop local' - couldn’t be better timed, with 5th December falling three days after the English national lockdown lifts.
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?
One of the rules of a startup is that there’s always more to do than there are people to do it! Even when you are hiring, you have to remain lean and startups are usually moving from one round of funding to another. That means you cannot always deliver what you want, and usually, marketing is at the bottom of the list.
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.
Mobile phones have become a basic necessity for everyone. With more than 3 Billion smartphone users in the world, equating to 4 out of every 10 people being equipped with smart technology, apps have become one of the fastest-growing markets in the IT industry. This creates infinite opportunities for businesses looking to break into or expand into the mobile realm.
Thousands of new businesses are setting up during the pandemic, a new report has revealed. 'How Startsups Can Kickstart The Economy', published by law-firm, Harper James Solicitors, details how 41,620 more incorporations happened in the first quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2012. This represents an increase of almost a third (32.5%).
With CES 'going virtual' for 2021, one might think that opportunities for startups to launch their public and media presence in conjunction with the world’s largest showcase of consumer technology might fall by the wayside, but according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), just the opposite is true.
Customer service organisations need to prioritise business continuity plans to ensure their customer service efforts remain unaffected by any future disruption. That means investing in digital contact centre technology to emerge from the disruption with both customers and employee satisfaction intact.
Subscriptions seem to be everywhere around us these days; they are here, and they’re growing more than ever. The benefits of shifting to a subscription model is motivating many of today’s disruptive tech companies. Take a look at Apple, for instance; this is a company that used to be known for their premium consumer devices, and now they have expanded their business to offer additional services and subscriptions.
During lockdown, the UK Government awarded over £130m of grant funding for Research and Development (R&D) activity to innovative businesses and their collaborators in the United Kingdom. The awardees were from multiple sectors including creative, engineering, digital health, education and sustainable energy.
OVHcloud have announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to accelerate French and European organisations’ ability to digitally transform and reimagine their business. The partnership aims to bring cutting-edge technologies, built on trusted infrastructure, to European organisations to help them meet their growing needs for strict data controls, security, transparency and privacy while deploying cloud native applications. OVHcloud will introduce a new Hosted Private Cloud offering by bringing Google's open source-compatible Anthos technology to its own highly scalable dedicated infrastructure, fully operated and managed in Europe by OVHcloud teams.
Simply put, working in a team means collaborating with other people to achieve a common goal. This, of course, presents several benefits. For starters, working together in a project ensures that work is completed on time, hitting deadlines much easily. What’s more, a team pulls together people with different talents and skills, making problem-solving easier and enhancing creativity and innovation.