Creating a start-up always involves plenty of challenges, comprehensive planning and risk taking, and this is never truer than in London. The UK capital may be renowned for being a financial hub and hotbed for businesses, but it is also associated with high costs and competition, which can be damaging for start-ups. However, research has found that London has better business survival rates than Berlin, Paris and Brussels. Ensure your start-up continues this trend, survives and thrives with the following advice.
“You need money to make money,” as the old saying goes. When starting a business, plenty of capital is required to cover various essential costs such as:
- Office space
- Equipment (computers, printers etc.)
- Staff salaries
- Insurance and legal fees
- Website design/hosting
In London, such costs can be higher than other areas of the country, especially when it comes to buying or renting office space. There are various grants, loans and funding opportunities available to start-ups which can cover or partially help with these vital costs. The UK government offers start-up grants and loans, often dependent on the sector in which the business is based. Grants are the best option, where possible, as they do not have to be repaid.
Setting up a start-up doesn’t mean you have to buy or rent overpriced office space. Many businesses use virtual offices, providing them with the professionalism of an esteemed London address but without all the extortionate costs. Then they either work from home or use office space on a pay as they use basis.
However, when it comes to meeting clients, investors and others, to maintain a professional image you need somewhere to hold your meetings. citizenM offer some high quality meeting rooms in the heart of London with excellent views, free Wi-Fi, food and drink, so you can really impress future staff, clients and investors.
In the early stages it is important to cut back on costs where possible, without damaging the quality of the products or services your business is creating. As well as avoiding expensive office space, other overheads can be acquired in a cost-effective manner.
For computers and electronic equipment, seek it out second hand rather than purchasing everything brand new. Alternatively, as everyone has a laptop nowadays, ask your staff to bring in their own (by offering an incentive). Only pay for overheads which you are going to use too, a start-up with five staff doesn’t need more than one printer, for example.
Build a Strong Team
London is home to over eight million inhabitants, and while they are definitely not all of working age, it provides a huge pool of talent to help build an excellent team. Advertising in the right places can ensure you discover the best staff who are passionate about your business.
Depending on the industry, you may also be able to make use of free or cheap interns, especially given the vast number of students, universities and colleges there are in the capital. This is by no means a long-term solution, but it can be cost-effective in the first few months.
Prepare for Volatility
Be prepared. Especially with the ongoing Brexit negotiations, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding London’s future. While every industry goes through ups and downs, so you need to be financially and mentally prepared for future challenges. Create a back-up plan in the event that you lose significant customers or clients, both to deal with such a blow financially and on a day-to-day basis.
If you follow these snippets of advice then creating a start-up that survives the competitive, unpredictable yet potentially rewarding London landscape is definitely achievable.
Operating With the Blinkers On? Why You Need To Reconsider Your Outsourcing Strategy
A lot of what makes a business effective is its ability to roll with the punches. If you find yourself constantly adapting to trends, you need to remember that it has to come from a place that will have a positive impact on the business, rather than keeping up with trends for the sake of it. One of the biggest trends in recent years has been outsourcing. And so many companies look towards outsourcing as a way to reduce the bottom line, but is this an effective approach? Is it actually time to stop outsourcing? Let’s show you some components that can help you to decide what would be best, and whether outsourcing will benefit your business or hinder it?
Where Is Your Business Falling Down?
Skills are pivotal to the success of any company, and when we are lacking the right skills, this is where we turn to outsourcing. However, when we utilise skills from an outsourced entity we end up in the position where we are relying on these people to help us get to the next stage of our business. There are times when we can outsource when it is not to do with the skill. For example, if we had to move our headquarters to a different location, rental truck companies like flexfleetrental.com can help with the practical components. But if you find that your business is falling down in a place as important as a lack of skills, you have got to think twice if outsourcing is the best approach. And this is because if you have someone on board to help you get to the next stage, and then you let them go, are you going to need them to come back further down the line? In which case, surely it is better to have a full-time member of staff fulfilling this position?
Is Outsourcing More Cost-Effective?
Everybody uses outsourcing as an approach to save money, but outsourcing costs can vary, but they can also be more expensive when you have gone into it with the right mindset. Knowing your costs is crucial, and calculating the maths is something you will need to do. This guide to outsourcing costs at classicinformatics.com can provide some insight here. Outsourcing can reduce costs, but if your overriding goal is to improve the business, you might want to think about investing in the company rather than cutting corners. Outsourcing can be cost-effective, but only when done over a short period of time. The difficulty of outsourcing over a short period of time is in finding the right person. If you are able to find a person with the right skills, it can be more cost-effective. However, the hunt for the right person can be as expensive.
What Does Outsourcing Do for the Business?
The goal is to improve the bottom line, but we’ve got to look beyond numbers and metrics. A business is not just successful in terms of its figures, but it’s the people within the business and the cultural components that will ensure its efficacy. Many businesses utilise outsourcing in such a manner that it says to the employees “they are not good enough.” Therefore, this is not going to help the company in the long run. Employees will become dissatisfied with the company and their roles and will go and find someone that will support them. Outsourcing is great for numbers, and if you are the type of entrepreneur that is looking to create an environment where you can rule with an iron fist, outsourcing can be very effective. There are still entrepreneurs who prefer to operate with an “it’s not personal, just business” approach. But if you use outsourcing as a crutch to prop up your business during tough times, you’ve got to think about the long-term impact on your employees.
It proves harder to keep a business going when you are forever outsourcing. It is a common trend that will continue for years to come but we have to remember that outsourcing is not always the most effective solution. We are forever blinkered in our approach to doing business, and this is driven by the desire to make money. But a business is so much more than that. It is an entity that should provide a need within society or provide for a certain demographic. So if you are thinking about either utilising outsourcing or giving it up, it is important to make sure that all of your lightbulbs are on.
How To Make Business Life So Much More Favourable
If you have a business or you’re heavily considering starting a business, then you’ll know all about the perils and the difficulties that will come with it all. While it seems like such a wonderful idea from the outside looking in, it’s actually something that can really take its toll on you if you’re not prepared enough both mentally and physically.
You’ll always be looking for ways to make business life an awful lot more convenient. The idea in this game is obviously to work hard as you never get anywhere without a serious commitment. You’ll really want to focus on working smart, however. Hard work for no reason is foolish when you have much better ideas and techniques staring you in the face. Business life can be a real hassle if you get things wrong and have to go through laborious days. Here are just a few ways to make your days, weeks, and months a lot more favorable for you:
Get The Right People Around You
Who you share your time with in business matters so much. If you have all of the wrong people, then you could be on a downward slant over the next few years. If you have good people with the right attitude and intentions, then you’ll likely become a lot more successful. In terms of using the right people, we’re talking about networking, hiring staff, bringing in specialists, soliciting advice, and so many other areas. Business is an interpersonal game, so make sure the right groups and individuals work with what you’re trying to achieve.
Embrace Technology A Lot More Than Perhaps You Are Right Now
If you’re already someone who wants to milk every platform they have, then this idea won’t worry you too much. There are so many pieces of ai powered software around that will help you with what you’re trying to achieve. Analytics, ads, management, and so many other areas can be bolstered with good programs.
Set Up Genuine Plans With Achievable Goals
This sort of goes without saying because you’ll likely have plans for the tasks ahead. This is more the idea of creating more structured plans for areas that are perhaps freer and less structured. Setting goals for everything you do can lead you to understand more about what needs to be done. It also gets everyone even more motivated.
Take Care Of The People Working With You
In terms of those you’re with, you’re going to need to treat them properly. It’s amazing what can happen if you neglect how they feel and the work they put in. The best leaders will always hone in on each individual and check in with them.
Outsource Certain Jobs That Are Tedious
Sometimes, there are particular tasks that – although they need to be done – take up lots of unnecessary time and stress. If you are outsourcing admin, for instance, it makes life a lot easier for you as you all can focus on the productive and progressive side.
Current Trends in Business That Every Entrepreneur Should Work Towards Achieving
The world of business is changing and with it the trends that entrepreneurs should be working towards. Entrepreneurship has become a lifestyle as opposed to just a paycheck. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you can do anything. Check out these current trends in business that every entrepreneur should work on achieving:
E-commerce has been a significant trend for the past few years, and you can expect it to continue being so. E-commerce has multiple benefits, including increased revenue, high availability of products, and a more significant customer base.
E-commerce allows businesses to be present on all digital platforms, which helps them reach out to more customers quickly. In addition, it makes it easier for companies to reduce overhead expenses as there are no physical stores that have rent costs associated with them or inventory levels that need maintenance constantly. Statistically, e-commerce has grown rapidly in the past few years from 25% – 30% year on year.
Financial Apps and Software
The software aspect comes into play when considering how businesses manage their finances moving forward. Companies must adapt to technology. Otherwise, they will find themselves left behind by competitors who embrace emerging technologies such as cloud computing and mobile apps. It is also easier to make purchases using these apps and communicate with the sellers. Incorporating such software with equipment and partnerships with a payment processing company will diversify the business activities and set you up for expansion.
These apps allow them to move away from traditional forms of financial management such as spreadsheets and accounting software to financial management apps such as Xero. With these new apps comes the ability to monitor business finances from anywhere, which can help businesses grow faster than what they would ordinarily be able to manage with slower conventional processes.
Blockchain tech is the current trend in business that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving. You can apply this technology to many different industries, and entrepreneurs need to find their niche within this growing market. It’s also critically important not to overlook blockchain tech when deciding which cryptocurrency or token you want your company associated with.
Both positive and negative factors are involved in choosing one solution over another, but it all comes down to finding what works best for each situation. For example, today’s most valuable aspect of blockchain tech is its promotion of secure transactions between parties while eliminating third-party transaction fees (or at least significantly reducing them).
It means that businesses operating on a global scale could potentially enjoy significant savings in maintaining financial records. Transparency is also an important selling point for blockchain tech. The decentralized nature of its design makes all transactions public and easily accessible by anyone who has access.
Fraud and Cyber Crime
Another current trend that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving is fraud and cybercrime. In today’s modern world, the internet has brought the business community closer together as it allows you to reach a global market from almost anywhere with an Internet connection. Unfortunately, this means those who want to take advantage of this have access to millions of more potential customers, making it easier for fraudsters to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
Businesses that are not careful can fall victim to several types of cybercrime, including phishing, spoofing, pharming, and identity theft. These crimes are increasing at an alarming rate as more people use the internet for business purposes which means scammers often target them.
Today, business is becoming increasingly challenging. The traditional ways of doing things don’t work anymore, and it’s time for entrepreneurs to adapt to stay relevant within the industry. However, the industry itself is evolving rapidly, and it’s challenging to keep up with the changes that are happening every day. Fortunately for you, this post is here to help you understand the current trends that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving.
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