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4 Posts You Should Be Reading This Week – Entrepreneur Edition

1. Embrace the desire to make money

It’s not wrong to want to change the world with a startup but at the end of the day you’re going to have to make money to become a sustainable company. This post from Daniel Tenner aka Swombat, real hits the nail on the head. Read more…

4 Articles You Should Have Read This Week – Startup Roundup

We love awesome content at Concept Cupboard so I thought I’d share some of the best articles that I’ve come across this week to bring a different perspective around all things startup.

There are some brilliant minds in the world and I look to learn something new from them everyday. Hopefully you’ll find some value in these articles too.

1. Do Things That Don’t Scale

Paul Graham outlines some of the obstacles that face a startup when looking to grow. The short of it is that it doesn’t just happen. You need to commit resource, time and effort and get the ball rolling small to start. Read more…

Tax Returns and Book-keeping made easy

One of the biggest hassles for small businesses is undoubtedly the paperwork that comes with running a company. It tends to be the last thing you want to do but its importance cannot be underestimated. Cashflow can be a killer for small businesses, so keeping on top of your books is vital.

So why do so many businesses give such a low priority to book-keeping and paperwork? Well, the answer is normally twofold. Firstly, there is a fear of the unknown. As sad as it is to say, we don’t like doing things we don’t understand, which means when faced with a complex P35 PAYE form to complete at the end of the year, a sense of paralysis often comes over us. Secondly, the lack of knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of tax means we know it’ll take us a long time to complete and as a result we can always find something better to do! Read more…

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…

How to conduct a job interview: A list of top tips

interview

Top tips for conducting job interviews

Being on the interviewer’s side of the table when it comes to hiring is almost as daunting as being the one getting interviewed. After all, picking somebody to fill a position in your business is a tough call and after seeing row after row of faces, all giving you similar sound answers, it can be tough to decide who to pick. Still, there are a few easy tips that will make the whole selection process a great deal easier. 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…

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…

New O2 store with dedicated workspace for business

o2store1

A new O2 Store has opened on Tottenham Court Road, complete with a walk-in workspace for 75 people. It’s an awesome idea & shows how committed O2 is to its business customers. We’ve posted in the past about innovative new work spaces like Central Working & Co-Work and it is great to see another option pop up for startups to take advantage of.

The new store, located at 229 Tottenham Court Road, is a split level store. The ground level has all of the latest devices on display comfy consultation areas and an express till. The Workshop – at basement level – offers drop-in and bookable work spaces for up to 75 people and three O2 Gurus on hand offering free help and advice.

Here’s the full list on what is on offer:

  • Open Work Stations for up to 10 people with access to power and wireless printers
  • Customer Lounge with soft seating, tablet devices for browsing and free hot and cold refreshments
  • 4 x Semi-Private Meeting Rooms each able to hold up to 4 people with access to LCD screens for presentations
  • Seminar Room for up to 30 people in lecture format, featuring interactive white boards for presentations and seminars
  • Private Conference Room with interactive white board facilities for up to 10 people
  • Concierge Bar for customer enquiries and booking workspaces
  • O2 Guru Bar for support and advice, complete with product showcase area
  • O2 Wifi which will be free and open for all customers

O2Store2

O2 Store

Meeting space

It is intended that the seminar room will play host to weekly events designed to support and encourage local entrepreneurs and small businesses, working in partnership with organisations such as Start-Up Britain and Enterprise Nation. Hopefully Concept Cupboard too at some point.

The space really does look incredible & it certainly makes choosing a telecoms provider for your business a whole lot easier. O2 have gone all out to add value to their business customers & even though this is just one store in London I am sure other stores are planned in the near future.

It is definitely worth a visit. Not only for the facilities, but the networking opportunities & events. To find out more go to O2 ‘s Business website.

Sources of inspiration for startups

Sprouter screen grab

It is very easy to get yourself bogged down in the day to day running of a business when you are a startup. There are always fires to put out, calls to make and people to see. That’s where tools like iGoogle, Netvibes & Google Alerts are so handy. You can set these tools up to show you feeds of your most popular sites.

Here are just some of the sites (in no particular order) we have feeds set-up for to make sure we aren’t missing out on anything:

Sprouter

This is a very inspiring site. You can ask entrepreneurs questions, get great answers back, browse loads of fantastic content and also see what other entrepreneurs are doing around the world. Make sure you sign up to the newsletter.

Sprouter screen grab

Business Zone

There is so much great content and if anything breaks in the UK business world you can be sure that Dan Martin (the editor) is all over it and will have a blog post up in a few hours. Excellent forums on this site too.

Business Zone screen grab

Marketing Donut

A site full of tools, advice and opinion. I am a big fan of the blog. The writers are very insightful and always give a balanced view, including hot topics such as Startup Britain.

Marketing Donut screen grab

Smarta

Awesome video content featuring established successful entrepreneurs all the way through to new startups who are breaking the mould. Lots of resource goodies too.

Smarta screen grab

Tech Crunch

If you want to find out what might be the next big thing online then keep an eye on this site. Lots of innovative ways to use the web for your own business too.

Tech Crunch

Bitsy

An awesome blog and newsletter so make sure you take advantage. Not only have they got great content but you can connect with lots of other businesses and also feature in their marketplace and promote yourself to Bitsy readers.

Bitsy screen grab

Springwise

According to them Springwise is “one of the world’s leading sources for new business ideas and innovation.” I am not going to disagree. Sign up to the newsletter. It is full of quality stuff.

Springwise screen grab

Why Moo business cards rock!

moo business cards

Put “business cards” into Google and you get a mind-numbingly long list of printers offering this and that. Lots of different print specs, volumes, paper stocks. It can all get a little bit daunting of who to choose.

Having gone through the process myself relatively recently I can get off the fence and say that Moo business cards are by far and away the best. Why you ask? Well the main reasons are that the print quality is superb & the stock is top notch too. Seriously I have 2 x business card books full of cards from all sorts of companies and the Moo cards always stand out and get oooohhhs & arrghhs. I think people think you are made of money initially, which is never a bad thing as a startup.

Not only that but it is all done online, and super easy to use. Plus you can print on both sides and in small quantities. Check out this blog post for a review of 5 of the best known business card printers.

Remember if you are looking for a new design for your business card then we have students and graduates ready to send in their designs. My cards were designed for £150. See below, but beware the snap from my phone doesn’t really do them justice.

Moo business cards

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