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Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Congress Summit 2012

GEC2012

Held at Liverpool’s Echo Arena the Global Entrepreneurship Congress Summit featured Sir Richard Branson, Sir Terry Leahy, Lord Michael Heseltine, Martha Lane-Fox & even comedian John Bishop.

Here are just some of the pieces of advice handed out during the summit’s keynote talks:

Sir Richard Branson – Screw it, let’s do it

richard_branson

Here are just a few of the tips shared by Sir Richard Branson during a Q&A session with Mike Southon:

- The art of delegation is key. By mastering the ability to delegate effectively Branson was able to step aside from the nitty gritty of running the business (or businesses in his case). It not only gave him the opportunity to continue other entrepreneurial endeavours, but also focus on the bigger picture. Read more…

One year on. What we’ve learnt over the last 12 months

onetoday

Concept Cupboard is now officially one year old. We did celebrate with a bit of Cava and Cake (see our celebration post for more on this).

Over the last 12 months we’ve won 10 x awards, been invited to Downing Street and helped our young creatives earn more than £75,000. The stunning infographic below tells you more about the journey.

Concept Cupboard infographic

That’s all great and we’re very proud of what we we’ve accomplished but I’d still only give us a 7/10 for the last 12 months.

Here’s what I’d do differently if I could… Read more…

Cava & Cake. Our 1st birthday celebrations

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Here are few of the snaps from the Concept Cupboard office on our 1st birthday.

Read more…

Why hiring an intern was one of the best decisions we made last year

It’s the dilemma all startups face. Do you take the risk and hire someone or do you just keep doing what you are doing and struggle on through? The latter is the safe option, but it will ultimately stifle growth and wear you and your existing team out.

Read more…

How to write a great web design brief

website design

The difference between a “good” and a “great” brief will not only save you time, but money too.

Even though you may be keen to get started and hand everything over to a designer, spending time getting the brief right upfront, will reap rewards further down the design process. You’ll not only get a better end product, but the whole process will be smoother & the people you are working with will be able to spend their time designing and not trying to second guess what you actually want.

Read more…

December’s winner: Sam B

December’s induction onto the Winner’s Wall is Sam B from Bristol. Sam blew us away with his submission for the recent Future Ink project. Here’s our take on the work:


Stunning designs all presented extremely professionally. Sam has obviously spent a great deal of time on this project and has provided the client with an abundance of choice – Concept Cupboard


Read more…

Launching the Creative Winner’s Wall

Each month we will be showcasing our favourite submissions on Concept Cupboard. It could be a logo design, a storyboard, a website design or a piece of copy. Regardless of what form the creative takes we’ll be looking out for the following:

» Excellent presentation making it easy for the client

» Clear understanding of the brief

» Outstanding creative treatment

» Going the extra mile

Remember, you don’t need to win the project to get on the winner’s wall!

Creative Winners Wall

Each winner will be featured on the blog along with their work in all its glory. We’ll even send something nice out in the post as a bit of a well done.

Want to be next month’s winner? Then make sure you submit great work on Concept Cupboard.

Check out the winners

Become a Concept Cupboard Student Brand Manager

If you are still at University and you are looking to get involved in something that will not only look great on your CV, but will also help your career in the creative industry then please read on.

We are currently searching for Student Brand Managers in Universities across the UK to help us engage more creatives, raise awareness of Concept Cupboard as well as help us improve the site and the service we provide.

Student Brand Manager

What will you be expected to do?
A little bit of everything! From giving a presentations about Concept Cupboard to your peers, through to helping us set up meetings & events at your University. It won’t take up lots of time, but we’ll need your help in concentrated bursts over the next 12 months.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for someone who is as passionate about Concept Cupboard as we are. You’ll need to be confident, committed & trustworthy as we’ll be trusting you to spread the word about Concept Cupboard within your University.

What will you get in return?
Sadly we can’t pay you for your help, but we can do a few other things to make sure we stay even:

  • Agency tours: we’ll arrange special guided tours around some of the UK’s best agencies.
  • Pint with a Creative Director: get an invite to the pub with an award-winning CD
  • Book Crits: get feedback on your portfolio from award-winning creatives

In addition you’ll be first to hear about job opportunities, new Concept Cupboard developments and other good stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.

Next steps
Click the button below to go to our snappy application form. You’ll need to tell us why YOU are the right person for the job. Be creative!

Brand Manager button

Why every startup should own a MiFi device

MiFi device

Spending money on shiny new gadgets isn’t normally something I’d recommend that small businesses do, but this handy little device is worth the investment. That and it is only about £65 so it won’t break the bank. In fact it should save you money in the long run.


What is a MiFi?
Basically it turns a 3G signal into a WiFi network allowing you to connect up to 5 x devices. That means you could even let a colleague (or four) get on your network.

MiFi device



How is it different to a dongle?
With an internet dongle you have to plug it into your USB device (laptop), but with a MiFi you don’t have to plug it in. Best of all you can connect multiple devices or let colleagues access the network at the same time.


Why is it so handy?
Free WiFi hotspots are growing in number, but they aren’t everywhere & you can’t always find one when you need one. So when you do have downtime in between meetings or are travelling it is incredibly useful to be able to jump online and work as if you are at your desk.

If you spend time in hotels you may be aware that some hotels charge crazy prices for data. Why get ripped off when you can create your own WiFi network for around £2 per day?


Running costs?
The great thing is you can actually pay & go. I only top up when I need it and if i know I am going to be needing data on the move over a few weeks I’ll just buy a month’s access as opposed to a days worth.


Issues
Only once have I not been able to get a signal with my MiFi device. It was in a hotel that could have doubled as a nuclear fall out shelter as I couldn’t get a phone signal on my iPhone either. So it really does get my vote of confidence. You may also experience a few dropouts on certain train journeys, but it is better than relying on the train’s own WiFi networks. I say that from experience.


Where can you get one?
You can buy unlocked MiFi devices from Amazon, but I bought mine from Three. To find out more about getting one visit Three’s site. You can also get them in white now. Wonder where they got that idea from?

If you’ve got any thoughts or opinions on MiFis or technology for small business in general then get please leave a comment.

Competition – Give your business wiiings

RedBull competition

win a free month of RedBull

WHY WE ARE DOING THIS?
As Concept Cupboard is now one of Real Business/RedBull Future 50 we’ve been given the chance to offer a month’s free supply of RedBull to 3 x lucky businesses. Being the good neighbours we are, we have already given our neighbours at Method their own stash.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO?
All you need to do is share your top business tip with us on Twitter using the hashtag #bizwings.

It could be about finding new business, keeping on top of finances or even a great networking tip. Check out the example below:





WHO CAN ENTER?
Any business willing to share a great business tip can enter the competition. Sadly the competition isn’t open to our creatives. Sorry.

WHEN WE’LL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER
We’ll be announcing the 1st winner on November 16th while we are at the RedBull racing headquarters. We’ll do the second by the end of November.

WHAT YOU’LL WIN?
You’ll get 1 x month’s worth of FREE RedBull as well as this very funky looking fridge below. It will be delivered and collected by RedBull so you’ll just need to advise on the best date for delivery if you win.


RedBull fridge

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