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Lessons Learned

Kickstart Scheme

How much do you know about the Kickstart Scheme that was introduced by the Government in September 2020? If you are a startup or early stage business, my guess would probably be...

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Lessons Learned

Speed is of the Essence

In business, it is always important to react to changing circumstances and this has never been more true than in 2020. Regular readers will know that I have written a lot...

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Adapting & Pivoting

Every business needs to constantly assess what it sells, to whom, and how it sells it. It also needs to constantly assess the market and its competitors, as well as attempting...

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Pitching

One thing that every early stage business should produce is a pitch deck, whether they are looking to raise external funding or not. A pith deck is typically a 15 to 20 page...

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Valuing your Business

Founders typically establish a business with one of two game plans in mind. They either want a lifestyle business and one that fits their work life balance, or they want to build..

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Managing Cash Flow

It is often said that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. But, even more importantly, do not forget that cash is king. Put simply, businesses fail because they do not have...

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Scaling

As with everything about starting a business, different people do it for different reasons, and they have different levels of ambition. Some people want it to remain a side hustle.

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Communication

We all communicate every day in both our social and our business lives but, let’s be honest, some do it so much better and more effectively than others. The very word...

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Top Tips

Top Tips to Getting the Right Partners

Some founders come up with their business ideas alone, whilst others do so with friends or associates. Some founders wish to stay as sole founders, whilst others prefer to work...

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Top Tips

Top Tips for Starting a Business

Welcome to a new series of articles where I will provide practical top tips on a wide range of decisions and challenges that early stage businesses have to make every day. Here...

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Periodical

Taking a Deeper Look Into AI and Blockchain

Technology, especially new technology, has always had something of a divisive effect; that is it can be seen as black or white, working in good ways or bad. If we look back...

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Overheard in a Startup...

Where Do I Go From Here?

We live in changing times. Rapidly changing times. Times always change and move forward but what has been remarkable recently has been the fact that the speed of change...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Do I Promote My Business?

It goes without saying that for any business, in any sector, in order for it to survive, grow and prosper, sales are imperative, because sales generate profit and cash flow and...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Do I Scale My Business?

According to UK Government statistics some 660,000 new companies are established each year and many of these will have plans to scale rather than to remain a micro business...

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Overheard in a Startup...

Should I be a Sole Founder or a Co-Founder?

For those founders at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey, whether for the first time or as a serial founder, there is a question that I overhear time and time again...

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Periodical

Choose Your Investors Wisely

Taking the plunge and deciding to start your own business can be one of the biggest and most important decisions that many of us will make. Having set out on that course...

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Periodical

Why Many Founders are Fantasists

Founders and entrepreneurs need to be many things. They need to be enthusiastic and energetic, intelligent and inventive, resourceful and resilient, tenacious and talented. But...

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Periodical

Why Is Understanding Customer Needs Important?

When your business was founded you would have done a lot of market research into all the areas necessary in order to validate your idea and to write a full and comprehensive...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Will My Business Trade Six Months from Now?

Any business at any time has to constantly be considering how best to trade in the present, and how best to trade in the future. This is equally true in the good times as it is...

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Overheard in a Startup...

Can My Business Survive Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is on everyone’s lips, not literally but figuratively. And for very good reason. It seems so long ago already that the only thing in the news was all things Brexit...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Quickly Should My Business Adapt?

Any business at any stage of its life must be able to adapt and change to changing circumstances. One of the very real benefits that early stage businesses have is that they are...

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Overheard in a Startup...

Tell Me More About Funding Options?

Whatever any of us care to call it - funding, finance, getting investors, or any other variation on the theme – obtaining finance remains one of the biggest areas of both concern..

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Overheard in a Startup...

What Exactly is SEIS and EIS Tax Relief?

Some questions in life are more fundamental than others and some are more specific or technical, and so it is in the world of early stage businesses. But for the person asking...

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Overheard in a Startup...

Why Do Most Businesses Fail?

For anyone starting a business there is that delicious and intoxicating mixture of excitement tinged with fear. That is partly the fear of the unknown but it is also very much...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Big Should I Aim To Grow My Business?

When anyone is considering doing anything important and potentially life changing in their lives it always pays to think hard, do as much research and gather as much information...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Long Will It Take?

Of all the questions that I overhear or am asked, the one with the most variants is without doubt ‘how long will it take? The simple reason that it has the most variants is...

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Overheard in a Startup...

How Much Should I Research the Market?

One of the very common themes that I come across with entrepreneurs and founders is that they are generally over confident. About everything! That goes from the valuation...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 17 - Et Deinceps Sursum

Last week was of course the last real working week of the year, but whilst many will have found opportunities to celebrate most will still have been working hard...

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Periodical

Crowdfunding or Angel Network - How to find your way in the world of financing options

At some stage in the development of a business that wishes to really grow and prosper, the founders or senior management will decide that they need to raise funding...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 16 – Planning for the Year Ahead

The middle of December is a strange time of year for all. Some are already starting to slow down and getting into the full swing of the season’s festivities, whilst others...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 15 – Entrepreneurial Inspiration

Different things drive different people in different ways. That is because each of us wants something different from our lives and we are prepared to make different levels of ...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 14 – Help Required!

I am sure that each and every one of us would accept that we cannot be good at everything that we do, or that we do not have time to do everything ourselves.

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Mentor's Journal

Week 11 – Is Your Business Fit For Purpose

Most of us would associate the phrase ‘fit for purpose’ with a product or service that we have seen or used, but that we do not think actually does what it is meant to do.

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Mentor's Journal

Week 10 – Taking Centre Stage

This was one of those weeks that saw me meeting with business from every possible stage of growth from ‘enter stage left’ to being a massive player that is looking for...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 9 – From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow

The old saying that ‘from little acorns mighty oaks grow’ came about to show that sometimes something very large can grow from something very small.

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Mentor's Journal

Week 6 – On Fast Forward

This was one of those weeks where everything seemed to be on fast forward. Not just the number of meetings but the speed of progress in the companies that I met was truly...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 2 – Never Too Soon To 'Go International'

This week, almost to underline my comments in the first of this series about not knowing what each week will bring, was almost entirely different to last week. Last week was...

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Mentor's Journal

Week 1 – A Sounding Board

Welcome to the first in the new series of ‘The Mentor’s Journal’ which will look at some of my activities from the preceding week, with a view to turning the theory outlined in...

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Mentor's Perspective

Growing From A Startup To Scale-Up

In this article - the last in this series - I am going to look at scaling your business and the fact that growth is often the hardest part of the startup journey.

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Mentor's Perspective

What To Consider With International Sales & Exporting

Having written your business plan, identified your existing and potential market and your target clients, and decided how best to market and sell your product, you should now...

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Mentor's Perspective

Understanding Your Market

Last week’s article focussed on Business Plans; what should be in them and why you should write one. One of the key pieces of information required is of course sales figures...

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boom

in British English

VERB

to prosper or cause to prosper vigorously and rapidly