The employee to entrepreneur transition: top 7 tips

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Making the shift from full-time employee to the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship requires a shift in mindset that many overlook.

Check out these seven tips for adjusting to life as an entrepreneur:

1. Learn to say no. Agreeing to do everything that comes along isn’t possible. Stick to your main priorities.

2. Forget about perfection. A startup doesn’t have the resources to get something to perfect.

3. Be prepared to work long hours. The typical entrepreneur often finds they need to work longer and more flexible hours than back at the office.

4. Get ready to take on different roles. You’ll be on your own, so doing your own accounting one hour and marketing the next.

5. Cope with the social isolation. Working alone can be a shock to the system, particularly if you’re working from home. To combat this, keep in touch with former colleagues, work from a coffee shop or find a shared office.

6. Stick to a schedule. Being your own boss does not mean lie-ins every day and long lunches. Create a schedule and get things done.

7. Create an entrepreneur fund. This will act as a safety net so you don’t have to worry about money for the first few months, whilst you’re starting out.

The article was from Enterprise East London.

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How to manage maternity leave in your small business

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“Managing maternity leave is a challenge for all employers, but the prospect of a key team member being away for up to a year can be a particular concern for small businesses,” says consultant Cecily Lalloo of Aylesbury-based Embrace HR, which provides HR advice and support to SMEs.

As Lalloo explains, roles within small firms are often more diverse, with one person having many responsibilities, special knowledge and established customer and supplier relationships, which can make finding a suitable temporary replacement problematic.

To read the rest of the article which covers

  • Employer Concerns
  • Proper Planning
  • Statutory Maternity Leave
  • Recruitment and Induction
  • Caution Advised
  • Common Mistakes

click here.

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Why British businesses should consider exporting to Poland

Warsaw's Arcadia shopping centre

Poland is a fast-developing country benefiting from post-communist economic liberalisation, with a growing appetite for western products. Political freedom led to the country becoming the 22nd largest globally by GDP. Before political liberalisation in 1989, Polish consumers had limited choice when it came to buying products. Nearly everything was developed by public sector organisations driven by politics. These organisations had 30-year business plans which were based on political ideals rather than market research or customer demand. Consumers ended up with homogenous products that didn’t really meet their tastes.

Western products were inaccessible unless Poles travelled abroad, and even then were unaffordable for most people. This is one of the reasons why Polish consumers now have such high demand for western brands. Not only do Polish consumers want the brands, they have the finance to back up the demand.

Research from KPMG shows wealthy Poles spend 18% of their income on luxury goods, and aspirational Poles spend 13% on luxury goods. The total spend in Poland in 2012 on luxury goods was 36.8bn zloty (around £7.2bn), up by over 10% since 2011. This figure is expected to keep rising, hitting 46.4bn zloty by 2015. The Poles’ budget for spending is going up.

As a second generation Pole, every time I visit Poland I’m struck by how quickly the country is developing both economically and culturally. Visiting 15 years ago, it was still difficult to find western products; now, it’s quite the reverse, with shelves stacked full of familiar western brands like Wilkinson Sword and Head and Shoulders.

To read the rest of the article click here.

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TLA Women’s Group Present Finance For Female Entrepreneurs: Challenges And Oppotunities

 

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Is there a social bias towards female entrepreneurs? What are the funding opportunities for young entrepreneurs in London? Tech London Advocates Women’s Group & Pivotal Innovations at Level39 would like to invite you to discuss these issues and learn about  some of the complexities women entrepreneurs face when raising capital. In the first of a series of events, we explore the big questions facing entrepreneurs, in particular how to  gain access to finance, avoid “pitch falls” and explore the social and cultural biases when  sourcing funding, if they still exist. The evening will include a panel discussion with Dale  Murray, award-winning British business angel investor, Bindi Karia from Silicon Valley Bank and Helene Panzarino from Growth Accelerator. Take part in a collaborative dialogue which aims to challenge and inform current practices by representing both sides of the process:
Investor <> Entrepreneur
Date: 18th June, 2014
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Level39 Technology Accelerator, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Register: please RSVP: http://bit.ly/1lMmd2f
For any questions please contact: Iris Margulis – iris@pivotalinnovations.com

Crowdsourcing for startup success

crown sourceIf banks aren’t an option, peer-to-peer investment could offer an attractive avenue for would-be entrepreneurs looking to bring a new idea to market

Widespread job cuts and stricter banking terms have driven aspiring entrepreneurs into the arms of online investment communities in recent months, to the point that crowdfunding has become a mainstream means of accessing money for anyone with a great idea.

Of course it’s not quite as easy as that, but compared to established channels for raising finance, it is repeatedly proving to be a more viable model – certainly for more left-field ventures.

Crowdfunding is a peer-to-peer investment model, typically orchestrated online, where people are invited to put up a very small amount of money (as little as £10 if they like) to help realise an inventor’s dream. The typical scenario, a bit like on Dragons’ Den, is that unless a candidate attracts 100% of the amount needed within the designated time period, they walk away with nothing. The phenomenon has become so popular that the FCA, the financial services industry regulator, has begun introducing controls to protect private investors.

There are no guarantees for those trying to raise the finance, but at least those testing an idea are able to get a foot through the door. And when the money comes, it can flow. Kickstarter, one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms internationally, has brokered investment pledges exceeding $1 billion since it was founded five years ago.

Edinburgh-based Ryan O’Rorke recently generated more than £150,000 in funding via the Angel’s Den crowdfunding platform. His business,Flavourly, delivers gourmet food (Flavour Boxes) and niche beer on a monthly subscription model. The business became one of the fastest ever to be equity crowdfunded in the UK, reaching its target within 24 hours of appealing to investors. The young startup business is now taking up a stretch-funding option to use surplus funds to drive sales.

Angel’s Den’s crowdfunding platform represents a pool of 6,000 business angels with funds to invest. It was a route O’Rorke only tried this year, having started up with £500 of his own money, winnings from a Scottish business competition, and some seed funding from two private investors.

Flavourly’s ambitions are far from modest. By the end of 2013, after only six months in business, the company had achieved sales of £170,000. With the crowdfunding, O’Rorke hopes to tip £1m in sales within the next few months, and have 10,000 active subscribers by the end of this year.

“2014 is supposed to be the year for crowdfunding, and it’s a good option,” O’Rorke says. “I can’t think of any reason not to go down this route. We chose Angel’s Den because of the Scottish connection and they’re very professional. By going down the crowd route we’ve gained access to a pool of 12 investors who together bring financial, marketing and customer acquisition skills to the table. For a young company like ours, that’s invaluable.”

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal