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British Small Business Awards winners: Harriet Mears of Secret Linen Store

The 2018 British Small Business Awards (BSBAs), held on October 31st at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, will bring together the UK’s best small business with the advisers and financiers that helped them succeed. We speak to Harriet Mears, founder of Secret Linen Store, about how the company has got on since winning the Online Business The post British Small Business Awards winners: Harriet Mears of Secret Linen Store appeared first on Small Business.

Single and pregnant with no funding: how one woman made her online business a success

How did Centre of Excellence come about? What’s its USP? I started off doing classroom-based neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy training which I did for four years before starting my online business. I came out of a long-term relationship of six years and as we went our separate ways, I found out that I was The post Single and pregnant with no funding: how one woman made her online business a success appeared first on Small Business.

5 Tools That Will Make a Digital Nomad’s Life Easier

The laptop lifestyle has been the dream of many for the last 13-ish years, since the Internet first exploded during the acai berry craze in 2005. Nowadays, it’s a definite… Read more » The post 5 Tools That Will Make a Digital Nomad’s Life Easier appeared first on

British Small Business Awards winners: Harriet Mears, founder of Secret Linen Store

The 2018 British Small Business Awards (BSBAs) will bring together the UK’s best small business with the advisers and financiers that helped them succeed. You could still get yourself on one of the shortlists for this prestigious event. To be in with a chance, nominate your company free of charge here before the deadline of June 25 2018. The post British Small Business Awards winners: Harriet Mears, founder of Secret Linen Store appeared first on Small Business.

The essential guide to starting and growing an online business

If there was any doubt that the internet is the place to be for businesses today, recent figures from the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index have shown that some £133 billion was spent online with UK retailers in 2016, £18 billion more than the amount spent online in 2015. It is clear that in today’s The post The essential guide to starting and growing an online business appeared first on Small Business.

Innovators podcast @ Stanford

A fun interview at Stanford about some old things and new ones. Founders 2:15: Founders and dysfunctional families 3:55: Operating in chaos 7:18: Mentorship is a two-way street 11:50: Founders are artists 14:03: Failure=experience 17:27: Rules for raising a family if you’re a founder Startups 19:25: Startups are not smaller versions of large companies 22:03: How I-Corps and H4X were born 26:25: Your idea is not a company 31:19: Why the old way of building startups no longer works 32:53: Origin of the Lean Startup 34:24 Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything in the Harvard Business Review 35:28: How innovation happens Company/Government Innovation 41:37: Innovation is different in companies and gov’t agencies 42:35 The Innovation Pipeline 43:30  Deliverable products and services not activities 44:25  GE & Procter and Gamble and Lean 46:44: Startups disrupting things by breaking the law Government Innovation 51:12: Fighting continuous disruption with continuous innovation 52:08: How governments innovate 53:58: The U.S. government goes Lean 56:00: Customer Development versus Design Thinking 57:54: Innovation from the battlefield to the boardroom Powered by WPeMatico

UI Animation: Don’t let screen overloading succumb your customers!

Most of the companies have taken the online route to reach out a large number of customers and to increase the scope of their business. For this purpose, a website is the obvious place to start with. There are web designers who offer professional services to create the UI design of company websites. The latest trend in web designing is the use of animation to enhance the visual appeal of a website. Benefits of using UI Animation Animations and other interactive elements on a website have the following objectives: Drawing the attention of the users to particularly important sections. Add an element of fun to the user experience with the help of colorful and attractive popping designs. Give the impression to the user that the website is updated with the latest technology. Companies go for animations in order to attract more customers to their website. However, it is important to remember that overloading the UI design with too many motion elements can do more harm than good. Designers tend to go a little overboard with animations to show off their skills. When you ask a designer to create your website interface, you should make it a point to check out all the aspects yourself to see whether they are user-friendly or not. Delightful animations do not always imply that customers will be pleased by them. Here are some of the reasons why too much of animation can hurt your business and drive away customers. Slow website loading- Too many animations affect the speed of website loading. The longer it takes for the website to load, the more frustrated the users become. They immediately close your web page and look for other faster websites. This means a direct loss of potential customers. Page transition becomes tedious- UI animation can have a detrimental effect on the transition from one web page to another. When the user selects a page on the website, the motions of zooming in and out or the constant appearance of a rotating circle on the screen, can really annoy the user. There is no way out once the animation…

10 Investor Approaches To Avoid When You Need Funding

Many new entrepreneurs are so excited by their latest idea that they can’t resist contacting every investor they know, assuming the investor will be equally excited and want to contribute immediately. Others will work hard on a business plan, and then mail it indiscriminately to every potential investor they can find on the Internet. Both of these approaches are a waste of your time and theirs. The best professional investors receive dozens of proposals a day, so they are conditioned to look for quantitative data, rather than passion, for credibility and potential. They also look for entrepreneurs they know from past experience and warm introductions, or for evidence that you have previously built a successful startup, and sold your last one for maybe $800 million. If you are not in that rare category of known and proven entrepreneurs, you should avoid the following list of my top ten turnoffs that I have personally experienced as an angel investor. These will put your proposal in the circular file, and even future good opportunities from you may go to the bottom of my list: “Give me a call to hear about an opportunity that can’t fail.” Teasing or spamming an investor is not the way to his pocketbook. Also suggesting that they check out your website or video and tell you what they think will not likely peak their curiosity. Every pitch should start with a concise statement of the problem and your innovative solution. “Attached is a copy of my full business plan for your review.” Too much detail at first contact is just as much of a turnoff as no information. The first page of the business plan better be an executive summary which gives the investor a taste of the financials, as well as opportunity, competition, and key executives. “I don’t have a business plan, but the technology is disruptive.” Investors are buying part of the business, not the product or service. They only want a quick overview of the product, not detailed features and patent secrets. If you haven’t yet finalized the business model, cost projections, and customer…

Utilizing Big Data: 7 Tips for Small Businesses

The term “big data” can seem intimidating and even misleading to small business owners, but the reality is that it can hold significant promise and value if you keep your mind open to the incredible possibilities that it offers. Simply put, big data refers to the use of analytical data to make important business decisions. If you understand the scope of the possibilities available to you through the analysis of big data, you can better use it to the advantage of your own business. A closer look will tell you how big data can be used by small business owners in highly effective ways. 1. Diagnose the Issue That Needs Addressing Big data can be used for a wide range of purposes in a small business setting, but before you can effectively use it, you need to determine exactly what you need it for. To accomplish your goal, you need to come up with a single question or hypothesis that you want to answer using big data. After that, determine how you plan to use short-term and long-term data to address the issue at hand. It’s all about careful planning! 2. Use Available Tools to Collect Info Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be an expert programmer to create code that will generate the results you need from big data- You can easily create simple Google search to use big data for your needs. You can also use Google Analytics or any number of social networks for your purposes. Remember that there are also online state and regional databases that may meet your needs in a fast and cost-effective way. 3. Leverage the Right Business Intelligence Tool While there are multiple complex intelligence tools that larger companies can use with big data, remember that there are simplified tools that are ideal for smaller companies to use. For example, smaller companies can easily use cloud-based services, such as Google for Work apps or Office 365, to save time and effort with big data analysis. 4. Measure Important Parameters Some small business owners get bogged down on analytics with…

6 Mindset Elements Required For Disruptive Startups

One of the business ironies that many entrepreneurs have learned the hard way in the past is that ideas which are truly disruptive carry the highest risk of failure, take the longest to gain traction, and thus are the least likely to get external funding. So some entrepreneurs stick with incremental solutions, avoiding more transformational or adaptive solutions implying disruptive change. In the past, only a few entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, maintained the passion, patience, and determination to accomplish disruptive change in the marketplace. Today with the growing number of disruptive technologies available, like cloud computing, wireless sensors, Big Data, and mobile devices, an incremental solutions mindset is no longer enough to win. John Sculley, in his classic book “Moonshot!: Game-Changing Strategies to Build Billion-Dollar Businesses” argues that every entrepreneur now needs to think and act like one of those elite entrepreneurs who could go the extra mile and cause disruptive change. He coins the term “adaptive innovator” for the required mindset to characterize the required focus. I strongly support the key principles he outlines as required to drive the mindset to make business leaders successful in this new world, both in established companies as well as startups. I have summarized or paraphrased the points here, to add my own focus and experience with new entrepreneurs and startups: Be forever curious and an optimist. Adaptive innovator entrepreneurs are inspired by what’s possible, but focus on what’s probable. Great entrepreneurs aren’t just dreamers, they are doers. They wake up each day re-energized and optimistic, curious about the world around them, but always committed to getting real things done. Unpack your best ideas. Unpacking an idea is about taking deep dives into it; twisting and turning it to see the concept in different ways. The deeper your dive into an idea, the more creative will be your insights. Ideas without context are just a commodity. Context comes from experience. Trying and failing is an experience building-block to get context. Learn more every day in layers. Let every new bit of learning spark your curiosity to build a new layer…

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