I recently found myself, unwittingly, at the centre of a debate about what companies should be regarded as a startup. The term startup is used a lot as an overarching description for a whole number of organisations. It seems that for some, a ping pong table, a bit of soft furnishing and a beer fridge are the defining factors. But what actually makes a startup, and can a 13 year old company be one?
Looking back over the last five years, as the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor Lord Young remarked, we are witnessing a ‘golden’ age for start-ups and small firms.
Posted on 23rd April 2015 in Start-ups.
To get going in the morning, the modern office needs more than coffee. It lives on online accounts and the login credentials that come with them. Perhaps you already have unique secure passwords on each of those accounts, in which case you know how much of a pain it is to log in to each one.
Entrepreneurs have been, for centuries, one of the engines behind wealth and job creation. This major contribution originated a common idea that entrepreneurship is good in its own right and in any form. The reality, however, can be rather different. There is good and bad entrepreneurship.
Posted on 14th April 2015 in Start-ups.
Lots of people have ideas for businesses or new products but this is many steps away from actually setting up a company. The process of launching a viable business from that ‘eureka’ moment can be a long and arduous one. Perhaps you doubt whether or not you should actually take the plunge – ‘is it too much of a risk?’ you ask yourself.
Building a more entrepreneurial economy is a widely shared policy goal. Most governments have developed a plethora of support schemes to help individuals set up new businesses. Many have also simplified their business registration regimes, making it possible to create a new company in less than 24 hours. And the digital revolution has provided both tools and opportunities for setting up new businesses. As a result, entrepreneurship is thriving.
Economically I think this is a good time to start a business. I don’t know if there’s a ‘secret’ to making it work other than hard work and perseverance – but what I can pass on are things I have learned along the way.
Posted on 1st April 2015 in Start-ups.
As it stands, there are 4.5 million people living in rented accommodation in the UK, with an additional 1.5 million expected next year. These figures should ring alarm bells for the current government not to mention the elected or indeed re-elected party following May 7th, because unfortunately, this figure is only going to increase.
Posted on 24th March 2015 in Start-ups.
Getting the timing right is absolutely crucial when it comes to running a successful start-up. While most business plans will include forecasts for product milestones, market penetration, and expenditure, based on the overarching questions of “What resources do we have?” and “How do we use them?” it’s still necessary for this plan to also include a marker for external funding.
Austerity has always presented a rich breeding ground for innovation, and this is particularly salient in the technology sector, especially as utilising technology can offer improved efficiencies through productivity gains and cost reductions.
I was recently having a conversation with a friend who is about to embark on the journey of obtaining an MBA with a top business school. Curious about the motivation behind this decision I asked my friend why they were pursuing this route and her responses were enlightening and sent me on my own journey of enquiry about what the benefits of doing an MBA actually are. Most people who do an MBA will tell you straight away, as she did, that the institution you select is as important as the course itself.
Posted on 20th March 2015 in Start-ups.
Here are the key pitfalls to avoid in the crucial first year of starting out:
Go with what you know
This point is vital for establishing industry credibility and leadership in the start-up space. Having a unique value proposition is just not enough in a competitive sector. You need to have a product that stands out and an independent marketing approach; you need to identify channels that you can capture and scale. If you can tick all those boxes then you have a good chance.
Posted on 9th March 2015 in Start-ups.