Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Entrepreneur Revolution

Welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small business owners, freelancers and anyone looking to work for themselves.
We don't often feature book reviews on Write Away, but felt the need to make an exception with a book we've just finished, as it felt so relevant to our followers, those looking to work for themselves and create new businesses. The book is Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestley.

In his introduction Daniel Priestley describes an entrepreneur as "someone who spots an opportunity and acts to make it into a commercial success" and in this simple description he challenges the common preconception that entrepreneurs are a different breed to the rest of us - the only difference is often in the way they think and approach things.

This is the main concept of this riveting book - it aims to develop the entrepreneurial mindset in all of us and starts by predicting that we are living in a period of great change relating to the way the world does business - no longer does corporate life and the regular 9 to 5 have to be the way the majority earn their living but reveals the next ten to twenty years will be the age of the entrepreneur revolution, where those open to it, will harness the power of the internet,and the cloud, to start global small businesses and become masters of their own destiny.

Daniel Priestley is an entrepreneur himself, and the book doesn't seek to preach his views but enlighten the interested reader, and this makes it an easy read (if you're interested!)

Will it help you start a business? If you approach it with an open mind and accept the challenges it lays down to you the reader, then I think it could be an invaluable tool in helping you take that next step, but it requires you to be prepared to change your mindset and step out of your comfort zone - but then anyone looking to start their own business would need to be prepared to do this anyway!

This is certainly a recommended read for anyone wanting to swap corporate life for the freedom of being their own boss and are prepared to change their thinking and seek to join the entrepreneur revolution.

We hope you enjoy it and find it as inspiring as we did.

Until next time.

Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestley is published by Capstone

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Your Next Day Job?

Welcome back to Write Away, the business blog aimed at those working for themselves or anyone who'd love to but has yet to take that first step.

There is an increasing number of people who are deciding to become their own boss later on in their career.
There are many reasons for this, some people see it is a viable alternative to trying to get another job after redundancy, others are tired of working for someone else and some just have a big idea that is bursting to be launched in the form of a new business.
Becoming self employed can also be a fantastic way of gaining a better work / life balance when you have a young family and working hours need to fit around school hours.

Whatever the reason, there are a number of benefits to becoming your own boss later in your career. Not only do you have a lot more experience to draw on, you also have the benefit of having made some mistakes at someone else's expense!

Often, those over forty may also be fortunate to have built some savings which they could use to either launch their business or to draw on when cash flow is tight in the early phases of a new business.

However, taking the brave step to move away from the relative security of a weekly or monthly pay packet requires some courage and confidence in your idea and your ability to turn it into a commercial success.
There are growing numbers of organisations aimed at supporting entrepreneurs who are thinking of such a change later in their careers. One such example is Prime (Princes Initiative for Mature Enterprise) which supports business creation for those over 50. Another relatively new group is My Next Day Job, aiming to support the over 40's who want to make changes to their careers.
Theolderentrepreneur is a another website aimed very specifically at providing a network and support for people wanting to start their own business later in their career.

As usual, the links are at the end if the post, and remember, whatever stage of life you are at, its never too late to work for yourself, you are probably better equipped, in terms of experience and knowledge, than many younger people, and there are no shortage of other like minded individuals out there looking to help and support you - why not give it a go?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Pitch To Win

Welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small businesses, freelancers and anyone interested in working for themselves.

In this post we’re looking at an interesting new initiative, which has come about via the enterprise campaign, StartUp Britain, called PitchUp!
PitchUp! Is a competition that gives small businesses a unique opportunity to pitch their products to the high street retailer John Lewis.

The competition ran last year as well, and saw 400 small businesses compete to win one of 12 places given the opportunity to pitch directly to the retailers top buyers, and ultimately try and get their products onto the shelves of one of the country’s top retailers.
An added bonus is that it is John Lewis’ 150th birthday next year and winning a competition like this would add an enormous amount of prestige in such an important year.
If you have a product that is just waiting to be discovered, a design classic or innovative masterpiece, then this is the competition for you.

Opportunities like this are few and far between, and even if you don’t win, preparing for the process and making your pitch the very best it can be could be enormously beneficial to any small business. You might not get in front of John Lewis, but who knows who might spot your product along the way, and as the famous saying goes, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!”.

The link for the entry form is at the end of the post, if you decide to give it a shot, I wish you the best of luck.
Until next time.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pop Up Enterprise

Welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small businesses, freelancers, start-ups and budding entrepreneurs.

Our latest post is about a new revolution for start-up businesses that already have an online presence, but would also like to try out a bricks and mortar, high street presence, without having to commit to long leases and thousands of pounds in rent and refitting.
The concept has enabled a number of businesses, in Richmond in Surrey, where the flagship store opened, to co-work with other small retailers for two weeks at a time.

Further stores are planned in Victoria and Shropshire, and the beauty of the concept is that it enables unused retail premises to be bought back to life showcasing new British brands.

Popup Britain is backed by Start Up Britain, a national campaign started by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, to inspire enterprise throughout the UK.
The campaign is also looking to go nationwide in a bid to present small businesses across the country with the opportunity to benefit from this concept.

So if your business is looking at raising its retail presence, this could be just the ticket.

As usual, the link to the Popup Britain website is below, we hope you find it useful.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Dragon as Your Mentor?

Hello again, welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small businesses, freelancers or anyone interested in working for themselves.

Mentoring has long being heralded as a great way for small businesses to tap into the vast knowledge and experience of successful business people or entrepreneurs, without having to pay for the privilege.
I’ve read many comments, from small business owners, on the value a mentor has added to their business, as well as the personal benefit they have drawn from the experience.

If mentoring is something you’ve considered for your business, fear not, here is your chance to have Deborah Meaden, star of the BBC show “Dragons Den”, as your business mentor for 12 months.

A competition, run by an initiative called Local Business Accelerators (LBA), is giving UK businesses who are between one and five years old, the chance to win this prize, plus £10,000 cash and an IPad.

The link to where you can enter is at the end of this post, and this gives eligible businesses the opportunity to explain where they are currently, and pitch their vision for growth and where they want to be in future.

Remember, someone has to win, and why shouldn’t it be your business – just think what benefits you would gain from having a Dragon as a mentor – without having to stand in front of them and pitch your idea!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Need Inspiration?

Hello again, welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small business owners, freelancers and those looking to start their own business.

Today I want to talk about ideas and inspiration for starting a business, and where you might find it.

Whilst many people who want to work for themselves, have a business idea that is an extension of their hobby or very specific to their employment, a large number of would-be entrepreneurs love the idea of working for themselves but are not sure what they would do if they took the plunge.

As a writer, I carry a notebook with me everywhere, as I never know when inspiration might strike. If you’re looking for a business idea, this could be a useful tool for you too – when you visit other businesses, keep asking yourself if some aspect of the service or product could be improved and make a note of your thoughts.
Additionally, when you are looking for a specific product, and can’t find it, think about if there is a gap in the market, many a successful business have been started in this way in the past.
Don’t worry about what goes into your notebook – nobody’s going to read it but you, and two completely separate or random thoughts or notes could combine to provide real inspiration.

However, enough of my suggestions, if you would like to look at something a bit more tangible then the website has a whole section dedicated to business ideas, even having a top 10 businesses to start up in 2012.
There are a range of resources on offer here, all free, and it might only take one suggestion to crystallise an idea that you can work on and develop.

As usual, the link is below, if you’re looking for some inspiration I hope it delivers, but don’t forget, your great idea might be waiting to be discovered when you’re out and about tomorrow.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Small Business Advice on a Beermat

Hello again.

Today's post is about the co-author of a well known business start up guide called “The Beermat Entrepreneur”.
Mike Southon is both an entrepreneur and business mentor and also writes regularly for the Mail on Sunday  and the Financial Times about small businesses and entrepreneurship.
The Beermat Entrepreneur is a business self-help book aimed at people who have an idea for a business and need to know how to take it to the next stage and turn the idea into a viable business.
Whilst the book is a recommended read for aspiring entrepreneurs, this post seeks to guide you to some useful resources on Mike Southon’s own website.

If you so desire (and can afford to!) you can book Mike for a personal appearance from here, but there are a number of other free resources that may be of more interest.

There are a number of free guides to download, some linked to the “Beermat” series but others, such as the useful “Sales pipeline simple spreadsheet”, that are good tools.
The site also contains a business E-zine  and blogs, that answer a range of small business related questions in a concise format. The blogs cover areas such as investment, finance, internet marketing, sales and creativity and are written by a number of guest “experts” as well as by Mike himself.
You can register to receive some further freebies and weekly business articles should you wish to.

The fact that Mike is a business mentor shows through on the site, which gathers some interesting information together and delivers them in easy to read, bite-size chunks.

In an age of information overload, particularly for small business wannabees, that makes a refreshing change!

The link is below, I hope it provides some inspiration!

Until next time.