Age is a benefit rather than a barrier for entrepreneurs

Age is an age-old argument when it comes to entrepreneurs, but late starters have the skills and knowledge that only come with experience. Our image of entrepreneurs in recent years is often twenty-something year-old men who strike it hot in the tech world. Think Mark Zuckerburg with Facebook, Evan Speigel for Snapchat and Drew Houston’s Dropbox. But that stereotype is only a small slice of the pie as many entrepreneurs don’t launch their own start-ups until their 30s, 40s and beyond having learnt a thing or two about business and life. Despite the focus on young start-up stories, there

How to turn those buzzwords into a start-up success

What’s the difference between design thinking, lean start-up and agile? Here’s a quick guide to the entrepreneurial buzzwords and how to use them for greater success. As markets are more dynamic and rapidly evolving in the digital age, start-ups need to respond and operate in the same way. Gone are the days when products and services were perfected before ever being presented to the prospective market. Today, successful start-ups take an iterative approach by testing ideas and measuring progress with real users. Three key terms underpin this approach: design thinking, lean start-up and agile. In essence, design thinking drives

Richard Branson’s ballsy advice: Screw it, let’s do it

Richard Branson is the serial entrepreneur who dropped out of school at age sixteen to start a magazine and the rest, as they say, is history. His business philosophy? Screw it, let’s do it. Branson has a legendary legacy for being a serial entrepreneur from a young age. He started his first business, Student magazine, at age sixteen and worked out of a school phone box to sell advertising to raise money. While he admits he wasn’t interested in being a businessman, the experience taught him about sales, advertising, printing, paper, distribution and all the other components of running

Boosting the Sustainability of a Small Business

The core idea of a lean businessis to maximise customer value and minimise waste; or in other words, create value for customers with fewer resources. In this way, operating a lean business is not only good for you but also for your customers, because by eliminating wasteful practices, you can focus on areas worth investment. Here are five ways to apply lean business principles to your start-up or small business for that magic elixir of growth and sustainability. #1. Identify value-add, value-waste and value-enable work The first step is to identity the work that adds customer value and the

Live Long and Prosper: 5 Ways to Survive Seasonality

Seasons come, seasons go – and with it come the highs and lows of revenue, staffing, inventory, you name it. Seasonality is yet another pressure that can make it difficult for a small business to survive. But with some clever thinking and smart planning you can prepare for those frustrating fluctuations in trade. Here are five ways to think for your business to survive seasonality and live long and prosper. #1. Think laterally: diversify your products or services Diversifying your business with products or services that appeal to a broader market or cater to more of your customers’ needs can

How to Improve Cash Flow by Reassessing Profit Margins

Cash flow is a big issue that can plague small businesses. It may be due to late-paying customers, cash tied up in inventory, or reinvesting profits back into your business. It can also be due to your profit margins being too low. And it’s this last reason we’re exploring here with advice on how to reassess your profit margins. #1. Calculate your breakeven point A breakeven analysis can help you determine the point at which your business begins to make a profit. This important exercise weighs your total business costs and overheads (fixed and variable) against your revenue to

How to Deliver on Your Content Headline Promises

Did that headline get your attention? You clicked on it, so we guess it did. But now we have to make sure we deliver what you are expecting. Otherwise, it would just be what’s called “clickbait” – a quick grab for your attention, but not your engagement. And when it comes to content, it’s all about engagement. So here’s how to get realengagement: by making actionable and impactful content that delivers on your headline. #1. Deliver what you say you will Headlines or titles should clearly define the content that follows after the click. That doesn’t mean it can’t

4 Ways to Convert Blog Readers into Customers

Blogs have become a very important part of brand marketing in the last decade. But a blog should never be just for the sake of it. Rather a blog – and more specifically, blog posts – should always be purposeful and relevant to your audience because your content is a potential opportunity to convert readers into customers. Think of it is as mutual relationship. If you show an interest in your readers – understand them, address their needs, provide value and engage with them – they’ll show an interest in you. Here’s how to do that: #1. Create high-quality

Seven Tips to Help You Get on Top of Your Finances

If you’re planning for greater success – and aren’t we all – or forecasting for increased cash flow, then getting on top of your finances is one of your first important steps. Here are our seven tips for getting, and staying, on top of your finances this year. #1. Establish a smooth invoicing system By following these simple invoicing rules your chances of getting paid on time – and when you need it – are much more likely. Send invoices as soon as you deliver a product or complete a service Format your invoices so they’re easy to read

5 Ways to Keep Your Customers and Clients Coming Back

Love thy neighbour? How about love thy customer? Repeat customers are an essential ingredient of most successful businesses and taking the time and effort to cultivate customer relationships will invariably keep them coming back. However, valued customer relationships are about more than just generating satisfaction; they’re about evoking a (positive) feeling, fulfilling a need and creating reasons for attachment. Here’s how to keep your customers and clients coming back. #1. Know their value How much do your customers spend on average with your business? How much do you invoice your clients per month? Which ones are generating the most