Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Nottingham startup scene is in full swing

I've recently been to Nottingham and explored parts of the startup scene while I was there. As a city with great universities, centrally located in the UK, close to both the A1 and M1 motorways with an airport, there is a lot to be said about starting up a business in the city. There is the fact that city rent prices are always higher than the surrounding areas, and the slight hint of congestion in the city centre, but give me a vibrant city that doesn't have these. I don't think they exist.

Nottingham as a startup location is something that businesses in and around the area, as well as across the UK could well think about. It is a city that is primed for growth and is looking to increase its presence as the bid for European Capital of Culture takes shape. The more a city like Nottingham gets involved in these international projects, the more likely it is to attract startup businesses and provide a great environment for them to thrive and collaborate in.

The National Videogame Arcade

This is a recent venture in the city that attracts a lot of attention from anyone under the age of around fifty. The National Videogame Arcade is filled with arcade games, consoles and the latest technology. Although a not-for-profit, this still fits under the startup umbrella because it needs to attract visitors to stay afloat. A startup doesn't need to make money (or intend to make money) to face all the challenges the rest of us do.

The NVA is a great example of how the passions of people make the perfect vehicle for a startup. If you are doing something you really love then it is a pleasure to get up and go to work every day. the staff at the arcade are testament to this attitude. You can see they love what they are doing. The NVA has been around only since 2015, but I can see a bright future for it.

Impression Digital

Another business that has been a startup success in Nottingham is Impression Digital. They were attracted to the potential of the city rather than what was already in place. It is businesses like this that have made the Creative Quarter in Nottingham, a hub for tech. We know from Silicon Valley and others that tech businesses in the same place can inspire and drive each other forward.

The lesson for your business is one that might have been very different even a few years ago. Collaboration and openness of ideas is what modern business is all about. In the past we keot trade secrets and wanted to protect what we had. But now, the future is on where we can discuss our ideas and work together. I know which way I would rather operate.

Don't close the doors on other businesses in your area. Communication is important, so I suggest you go to networking events and talk to people. You will gain far more than you think you could lose.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Swedish, safe and smart – the story of Vandra the PA in a backpack

In my blog I love to bring you some of the most innovate and exciting products from across the globe.

Sweden. The home of smart and functional design. But forget your Ikea, there is a new kid on the block. Vandra is here to make your life better!

Vandra is a backpack that acts like a personal assistant. It looks amazing and has a plethora of design features that will amaze, including –

·         Lost and found tracking

·         Theft-proof lock

·         Anti-fall protection

·         USB charging port

·         Balanced weight

This means that you look great, it is a pleasure to wear and you are protected too. Who would have thought that all of this was possible from a backpack? Don’t just take my word for it – check out the video –

How did Vandra come into existence?

Great question. It is the brainchild of Gustaf Casten Bergendal who saw the need for a backpack that was safe and secure, as well as providing all the functions we need in the modern age.

Kickstarter was the next step and this amazing design was overfunded hugely. The world can see the vast potential for a backpack that acts as a personal assistant and is much safer from theft than what we currently use. The rest is history, as they say.

Check out this stunning product on the website and get yours today!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Every startup needs a marketing team – Gripped are the go-to tech agency

The startup business owner feels like they have to fulfil every role in their business. From web designer to accountant, an entrepreneur tries to turn their hand to every aspect of their business. And this is where too many fail. The time it takes to research the latest tax laws or how to build a subscription email system could be far better spent developing meaningful relationships with your customers.

And this is no more evident in the marketing of your startup business. Marketing is far too important to leave to chance. It brings in new prospects and develops them into paying customers. It reaches new markets and sees your business grow from strength to strength. Regular readers will know that I advocate spending money in the key areas of your business.

Getting Gripped to deal with your tech B2B marketing is the ideal way to get the most for your money.

With marketing you want to deal with someone who has experience. Someone who has seen it all and done it all before. That’s what Gripped have in abundance.

They have the knowledge and expertise to turn your homemade marketing into something that looks and feels just like the biggest and best companies in your sector – or any sector for that matter. The tech sector thrives on slick marketing – get Gripped to do that for your startup.

Win B2B clients with engaging marketing that is proven to work.

How do Gripped operate?

They become your marketing team and CMO. This means that you have a top team on your side to deliver results, such as –

·         Building a compelling and engaging proposition for your target market

·         Unblocking the sales funnels that are just not delivering results for you

·         Developing your web presence into something that attracts clicks and converts them effectively

·         Enabling sales by owning the same space as your customers

Gripped ensure that you get ahead of the competition. We all know how important that is with a startup business. Hitting the ground running is vital to stay on track for success. Spending strategically on a part of the business designed to deliver high quality clients to your door is the best way to go about this. Look at the services Gripped offer to see how it can help your new business.

They know so much about inbound marketing that they’ve written the book on it! Don’t delay with your marketing – contact Gripped today to see how they can deliver results for your startup.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Supercharge the digital marketing for your startup business today

As a startup business, growth is the key element that will keep you going. There is a lot to fill your time when you first set out with a new small business, but being busy setting up doesn’t being in the cash. You need to get up and running as soon as possible.

And that’s where support comes in. I’ve spoken so many times on my blog about using specialist help in the key areas. One of these is with your marketing –

That’s where Ashley Ashbee Communications come in. She is a digital marketer for your small business that works by engaging your potential customers.

How does this work?

The big ad agencies don’t give you that personal touch. To them, you are another dollar sign. Where Ashley Ashbee Communications are different is that she gets to know you, builds a relationship and supports your growth.

She works one-on-one to supercharge your digital marketing and open the doors that will set your startup business out on the right foot. With years of experience in telling the story of businesses just like yours, don’t you think that you should be calling in the expert?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Get the scholarship you need to grow your business as far as you can

Starting up your own business can be tough. One of the obstacles many people come across along the way is raising the cash needed to get their dreams off the ground. This has been tapped into with venture capitalists and crowdfunding campaigns since the financial crash of 2008 left the banks with little appetite to lend.
That’s why the Phoenix Voyage Ignite Business Academy Scholarship giveaway is transforming the lives of people across the nation. These scholarships are worth a staggering $2,497 and can help you to –
·         Grow your business

·         Reach your prospects

·         Supercharge your conversion rates

·         Maximize your profits

This is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

How does this happen?

Like all the best scholarships, the Phoenix Voyage Ignite Business Academy Scholarship sets you on the right path by doing far more than just throwing money at a problem. It helps you to apply branding and content tools that will generate an audience on social media and more.

There are only 100 business scholarships available, so you will need to act as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment. Don’t be one of those people who knew they should have done something about growing their business but never got around to it.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Trademark your brand and grow your startup business

One of the biggest issues for a startup business is protecting your ideas. Every startup is built on the solid foundation of an idea and the passion of an individual. We can all see a niche in the market or something that has never been tried before. As an entrepreneur, you look to develop what you offer every day so customers can see your product or service and flock to you. This is how success is made.
But without the proper protections in place, you are vulnerable to other businesses and unscrupulous operators. Something needs to be done. Don’t worry – there is help at hand.
The ultimate protection for the small business is an Intellectual Property or IP service offered by the professionals at Lum Law Group. They have a professional team in this area, headed by A. Justin Lum who is experienced in helping small businesses to set up and grow.

Growing your startup business

For a startup to thrive and grow, it needs to have the right foundations in place. Unfortunately, in the business world there are some people who want to steal the success of others rather than make money from their own ideas. This means that IP protection is an absolute must for the savvy startup business owner.
Your business is built on certain ideas that should be protected at all costs. Without the right protection, you can end up working hard for someone else to benefit. This would leave you wishing you had acted sooner to protect principles like –
·         The brand that you have built
·         The ideas that your business is formed on
·         The invention that you are selling

Lum Law Group know how it feels to be at the cutting edge of your business. That’s why they are here to help you look after your business from day one. Their flat rate startup packages allow you to protect all that is important about your business without breaking the bank.
Don’t be one of the stories that business leaders tell at conferences of the startup owner who had it all but failed to protect any of it. You have already worked too hard for that. Get in touch with Lum Law Group and take your business to the next level without the fear that it is vulnerable. You deserve the best protection to make your startup a success – get it today!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Setting up Mystery Shopping Tips - my new website

I have been working over the last week in setting up a new website. Those of you that have been with mew from the start of this journey will know that I set up my startup blog as a journal of my own business. As it has grown into something very different to the beginning (an estate agency) I have started to look for more outlets for my work and other income streams. One thing I have a lot of now is content. I found Blogger fantastic to begin with, but it is now starting to fade away as a tool and I need to find other ways of making the most of my content.

Mystery Shopping Tips is the first step in this direction, where I take my content and transfer it to a new format. The idea is to find a new and more relevant audience for my content and engage people in a better way than I have been able to with Google's Blogger. Mystery Shopping Tips takes already-existing content (of mine) tweaks it for SEO and then delivers it to the website. It allows me to build a subscriber list, connect to new people and get the word out there.

What changes?

Well, to begin with, there are several changes on the site. The old URL has gone and been replaced with something that looks and feels more like what I want. We used to be at blogspot.mysteryshopping and now the address is - a much better URL.

The website has been designed for me online and looks a lot more professional. I wanted something light and easy to navigate and my seller has really done this for me. I can't recommend him highly enough. Check him out if you need a good website built quickly.

The content has been assessed from its old space to the new in terms of readability and how it performs with SEO in mind. The old website has been around for a few years, so the content might not be as up to date as I would like. The new website has taken all of this into account and feels better. There are different sections so it is easy to work around -
  • Why mystery shopping?
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Become a mystery shopper
  • Make money
  • Contact Details
  • Projects
All in all I am incredibly pleased with the result and look forward to moving the rest of my content across one by one.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Is Seth Godin a genius - or does he tell you nothing?

I like reading the books of Seth Godin and I am currently working my way through The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? which is interesting for anyone who works for themselves. As a creative person who writes for myself ad others for a living, I always find books like this inspiring. Seth Godin does really well at capturing an inspiration and running with it. His blogs are short and to the point, which makes them pretty much essential reading in a day and age where volume of content appears to be king.

But I always walk away from a Seth Godin book with confusion in my mind. I can't make my mind up whether Seth Godin a genius - or does he tell you nothing?

The problem at hand

Words convey a feeling. As a content writer I know this more than most. The way that people think and feel as they walk away from your content is in many ways just as important as the actions that you carry out as a result of the book. But with Seth Godin, as far as I ma concerned there are no actions. I don't walk away with a checklist of things that I can immediately apply to my business as I do with other books. As a startup owner you want to be able to read something that you can use. Time is precious.

I am quite a pragmatic learner and this carries through to what I read. I want to be able to pick up at least two or three things from every book I read (and this includes fiction) that I can use in my life and work. From fiction books it might be -
  • A literary device that I haven't used before
  • Some characterisation that makes me think about what I am writing
  • An idea for a subplot in my next book
But whatever it is, I walk away happy with the knowledge that reading has given me. In many ways that's what reading is - an exchange of time for knowledge.

Why is Seth Godin different?

For the first few days I am happy after reading a Seth Godin book. I think about the world differently and feel like there are things I can do to make a difference. This is the processing stage. But once I have processed, then I am stuck for real, actionable ways to make a difference. My worldview has altered slightly but my business is no better or worse off for it.

In The Icarus Deception there is a great deal of rhetoric about how you should make a difference to the world. And this is where he is clever. The book deals with doing something that nobody else has done before and being true to your artistic self. But as nobody has done these things before, he can hardly give you any idea about how you might get there. It all feels a little emperor's new clothes. I can tell you how you should feel but not what you should do.

So, is Seth Godin a genius - or does he tell you nothing? Do you know what, I'm not really sure either way. There is something in what he says but it isn't always going to help.