WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Pre-planning Your Business Idea

You should do enough pre-planning, but not too much! The real key to pre-planning is to do enough to ensure that the idea is sound, what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and how quickly.  First convince yourself!

It is a great idea to have people to test that plan against, people who have succeeded in writing plans and operating against them.  An experienced eye will spot the over ambitious plan or any misconceptions in that all important cash flow plan.

The guidance of ‘do a plan’, ‘half the sales’, ‘double the time’, ‘treble the costs’ and then check if you can survive is a real sound adage and one that Yorkshire Powerhouse strongly recommend – too many new start businesses fail because they simply ignored warning signs or potential issues at this stage.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.


Your business idea
 

Many sources can be the basis for you to generate a good business idea.  It’s fair to say that most are influenced by existing skills, your previous experience or the knowledge that you already have … often coming from your existing work or from a hobby or pastime that you enjoy.

Exploring all your options is vital to turning an idea into a viable business.

In addition, it’s worth considering the points below which can help with the process of business ideas generation but always remember that thorough research is required to ensure the idea has the potential to be a successful enterprise.

  • Do what you are doing – the simplest and most straightforward approach.  Examples might be an accountant for a company who sets up their own practice … or a tradesman, (joiner, electrician, plumber, etc), who becomes self employed.  The key here is to ensure you plan and understand how you will make it pay as your own business.
  • Turning your hobby into a business – can be a very rewarding way to generate a business idea as it will be something that you enjoy and invariably already have the skills and knowledge needed.  Don’t just look at the core idea but ways you can expand or adapt it and make the offer more unique.  As ever, it is about making sure that it can work as a business.
  • Look for a problem that needs solving – it is often said that necessity is the mother of invention but really it’s inconvenience!  Although totally unique ideas are rare, and you ‘could’ have one of those, its always worth looking at things that cause inconvenience or irritation to people and seeing if you can generate a business idea that solves the problem.
  • Make a better one – there is nothing wrong with a “me too” approach and taking an existing business concept and improving it can provide an extremely viable basis for your own commercial venture.
  • Trends – many people have taken inspiration from the world around them to start a business that has become successful.  There are so many different sources from travel and culture to fashion and music which can generate ideas.  Seeing the opportunity is one thing but research and planning are what will turn it into a viable enterprise.
  • WWW – the web can offer countless opportunities to generate and explore business ideas and in many ways is similar to the point above.
  • Family and friends – talking to them can be a great starting point to generating business ideas but it also offers the opportunity to tap into a broader skill set and explore a possible joint venture.  It could well be that somebody you know has a complimentary skill set that, alongside yours, could be a winning combination as a business.  Think Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at Apple – one had the eye for a business and marketing opportunities and the other a computer genius!  The rest is history.

However you arrive at your business idea, the key is in the research to show the concept has potential as a business.  Initially all you will invest is time but it is time well spent and something which is a repeatable process until you arrive at “the one”.  Then its down to the business planning!

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

What makes an entrepreneur
 

BIG decision!!  Before you start planning a business venture you need to consider a number of things.  Not least is a critical analysis of your personal attributes, experience, knowledge and skills that will make your business successful.  Knowing yourself can help you develop a business plan for a successful and sustainable business.

Have I got what it takes to be an Entrepreneur?
Having drive, ambition and desire are all fantastic qualities to undertake a business idea or proposition and the ‘business idea‘ is only the starting point.  Success in business is built on a number of factors but making sure you aren’t a liability to own start-up goes without saying.

Experience, knowledge and skill in your area of business will be crucial when running your enterprise.  It’s vitally important you understand where any gaps might exist and take the necessary steps to mitigate the risks by filling them.  Detailed research and additional training and support might be needed to ensure any shortcomings are fully addressed.

This doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t entertain a commercial idea where you have no business experience … but the chances of being a successful entrepreneur are very slim unless you take time to gain insight and knowledge in the particular business area you are considering.  Wanting to be a chef and opening a restaurant isn’t a good idea if you can’t even boil an egg!

If you feel sure that running your own business is the right thing for you, there are certain personal qualities which will significantly enhance the potential for a successful outcome.  You don’t need them all in abundance, as running a business will develop you personally by its very nature, but it would be desirable to have the following to some degree:

  • Realism – this is the most crucial quality.  This is not about curbing ambition or enthusiasm but ensuring you understand your abilities to run a business and, indeed, the potential for that business.  Being unrealistic in your expectations can nose dive your proposition before it gets off the ground and the consequences of not keeping your feet firmly planted can be fatal for your business.
  • Drive and determination – anybody who says starting a business is easy has probably never done it! You have to be prepared to push through any number of barriers, setbacks and disappointments … giving up at the first sign of a problem isn’t going to cut it.
  • Confidence and belief – having belief in yourself will transfer to suppliers, customers and stakeholders (funders for example) alike. If you exude confidence you have a far better chance of winning that order, getting that loan, opening supplier credit etc.  As the old saying goes “if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to?”  Never was it truer than when starting and running a business.
  • Passionate – you need to be a real evangelist for your business – your belief will pull others to you.
  • Resourcefulness – as previously stated, there is nothing easy about starting and running a business.  You will constantly have to adapt your thinking and get creative on a daily basis to overcome obstacles.
  • Energy and enthusiasm – unlike working for somebody else, running a business can often require long hours and a dedication to the cause.  You have to be prepared to put in the hours and drive your business forward.
  • Awareness and vision – a successful entrepreneur will often hold common traits and one of them is the ability of the owner/founder to understand their market environment.  They have a clear vision of what they want the business to be and become in the future.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you want to take over the world (or maybe you do) but does mean you have goals and a level of clarity around how you will achieve them.
  • Communication – This is about talking AND listening.  From telling people about your business to dealing with employees, amongst many other things, the ability to communicate effectively is vital for your business.  The thing here is people; and you need to get your message across clearly and understand the information coming the other way.  Added to this is also the ability to take on board advice, criticism and feedback; process it effectively and use it to your advantage.
  • Organisation and self discipline – this is an easy one to describe but often the hardest to practice.  Being an entrepreneur means you are often spinning numerous plates and to ensure you don’t drop and break any is a real art.  You will deal with customers, suppliers, banks, accountants and many more (possibly employees as well) who will all want a piece of you to varying degrees.  In and amongst this you also have the small matter of supplying your product or providing your service as well as numerous other tasks (not all of them particularly enjoyable) around administration of the business.  The list could go on but sure the point is obvious.
  • Humour and optimism – the ability to laugh and keep smiling through the trials and tribulations of running a business is a real asset.  Not only from a personal well-being point of view but it also works well (where appropriate of course) with anybody you deal with and helps build good relationships.  Often underestimated in the realms of the business world and, sadly, often lacking.
  • Personal support – not really a “quality” as such but something you certainly need to assess and take into consideration when thinking about a business start-up.  There are lots of people who can support you in a business sense – advisers, bank managers, accountants etc – but the support of family and friends is absolutely priceless.  Particularly if they are willing to tell you honestly what you need to hear, rather than what they think you want to hear.

So, if you’re still up for starting a business there are a few more things to look at pre-planning and then the real work of bringing your business dream to a reality can begin.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Sounding things out
 

Small business support
When starting a business it is unwise to be totally self reliant.  Sure, the idea, the execution and the rewards will be down to you but there is a vast amount of support available to make the easy decisions easier and the hard ones manageable to mitigate risk.

Utilise resources as much as possible to maximise your own knowledge and skills in making your business a success.  There will be times when expert and specialist advice is needed and being able to access support from trusted sources will be invaluable.  Some resources are free and some will require payment but the value lies in the quality of their help.

National support
Some key resources which are openly available:

  • Companies House – provides guidance and forms for businesses setting up a limited company or limited liability partnership.  It contains guidance on your obligations for submitting accounts and provides links to the documents you may need.  See: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house
  • The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) – essential for information on all aspects of tax for individuals, partnerships and companies.  From self-assessment to VAT and Corporation Tax to PAYE. You can also utilise HMRC’s online services through the website to file tax returns and pay your tax liabilities.  See: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
  • Enterprise Agencies – located around the country and a rich source of support and information.  For a national picture see: www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org
  • Chambers of Commerce – again, like Enterprise Agencies, Chambers are nationwide and they have many resources to help business start-ups including finance, networking, business events and help with more specific areas such as import/export.  See: www.britishchambers.org.uk but also see the links in our footer below where we link to Yorkshire Chambers
  • Local Councils – business / economic development units operate within all councils and they also provide a wide range of information from research to local legislation which may affect your business.
  • ACAS – provides information and advice to businesses on a wide range of employment issues with the aim of improving employment relations.  The ACAS website contains a wide range of tools and information as well as details of the nationwide ACAS training courses.  See: www.acas.org.uk
  • Princes Trust – If you’re aged 18-30, the Prince’s Trust might be able to help you (if you are eligible there is potential for a grant or loan).  See: www.princes-trust.org.uk
  • Enterprise Funds – provides access to potential finance where banks may not be able to help. There are numerous funds which operate in areas across the country and they often provide start up support as part of the funding package.  See: www.gov.uk/business-enterprise-fund
  • Banks – many have dedicated business managers for supporting new business owners and although their main area of interest is the finance, (and getting you to open a business account!).  Their individual websites often have sections dedicated to start-up business and a wealth of tools and resources that can be utilised.  See: RBS | Barclays | Lloyds Bank | Natwest | Santander | HSBC | TSB

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Initial market research analysis
 

Having a skill or being knowledgeable or experienced in an area that you feel can be turned into a business is no guarantee of success.  No matter which way you look at it, there has to be demand; it’s straight forward – without a customer you simply have no one to sell your goods or services to and that means NO business.

The first stage in assessing your business proposition is analysis and research, research and a bit more research. You need to establish demand and understand the market you are operating in.

There is a mass of free information out there about virtually every business sector and this can be very generalist (i.e. trends, market size and value) or quite focused (with regard to specific areas of business).  Knowing where to look is always useful and, apart from the plethora of online resources, it is extremely beneficial to utilise the business section of your local library, business support organisations (Chambers of Commerce for example) and individual trade bodies for additional sources of information on your specific area of interest.

Whether you are looking to exploit a niche market or offer something that exists but with a different twist, you still need to carry out a level of market research to establish a number of things with regard to your business proposition:

  • Who are your customers?
    Depending on what you are offering, this could be quite a broad profile with a mass market or something more specialised which could be aimed at a more specific target.  Either way, you need to identify what your customer looks like and the more you understand them the more successful you will become.
  • What do they think?
    You need to know what customers think about your offer.  You should gather opinions through speaking to potential customers about what you are bringing to the market.
  • What will they pay?
    You must understand the value people put on your products or services.  Clearly you can charge a premium if you have something a little more unique but if the answer to the question “would you buy at this price?” is “no”, you probably need to reconsider.
  • Who am I dealing with?
    Will you trade business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C)?  The research you do and the questions you ask will take a different approach.  The key thing is that you evaluate the answers fully, make an honest assessment and learn from what the information tells you.
    *A small footnote here in respect to the research on customers.  By all means ask family and friends BUT REMEMBER, there is a strong likelihood they will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than a completely frank assessment and it is highly unlikely they represent your target audience.
  • Who are my competitors?
    Never underestimate the power of having in-depth knowledge about the competitors in your market.  Never make the mistake of thinking you don’t have any – there will always be someone.  If nothing else, researching them can give you a good line of sight on the price or going rate for similar products or services in your market sector.  A crowded and highly competitive market could make your venture extremely risky and you may need to rethink to have a chance of being viable.
  • Are there any barriers to market entry?
    A consideration often overlooked.  It is crucial you identify anything which can stop or restrict you selling your goods or offering your services.  This includes anything covered by legislation or regulatory (such as CE marking on certain types of goods, or licences/certificates to undertake certain types of activity such as food hygiene licensing for businesses like restaurants, cafes etc).  Additionally, your customers may need you to be affiliated to (or a member of) a particular trade body so you can do business with them.

After asking yourself these questions and pulling together the information you have researched, you will be much better placed to move forward with your business plan.  You will have a pretty good idea that the market exists for your idea to have commercial viability.

You may have to make adjustments and alterations to your approach and thinking but that is what research is supposed to do.  It might be the case that the research has exposed serious short comings in what you are planning to do.  But it’s better to find that out at this stage, when all you have spent is time, than later when the investment is much greater (both time and money).

In addition, it often happens that budding business owner’s work through several ideas before finding the right one to run with.  What has been outlined prior to this point gives you a solid template for assessing each one as they come along – so, don’t give up!

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

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News

5 results found 
ABL Business expands into North Yorkshire

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Yorkshire-based business support consultancy ABL Business Ltd are expanding their operations into North Yorkshire. The company, which offers commercial finance and marketing support to SMEs, has engaged Fraser Irvine as an Appointed Representative to cover the county. Based in Harrogate, Fraser will be operating across the area, offering a full mix of commercial finance services. He will assist SMEs in raising the funds they need to trade, grow or stabilise their business, using all the funding lines and capabilities of ABL Business. It marks the third recent growth for the Cleckheaton-based company, who recently set up a new office in Scotland with two representatives just over a year ago and expanded into the North East region in March this year. Fraser Irvine is an experienced Independent Commercial Finance Broker and joins the company with an extensive career in financing businesses under his belt. He has spent almost 30 years working with asset and cash flow funders, which gives him a deep understanding of the financial needs of an SME business. Fraser has worked with new start businesses, as well as more established companies, arranging funding facilities to suit individual needs. His interest in business finance has also enabled him to gain extensive experience in the Management Buy-out, Management Buy-in and transactional market as a whole. He said: “I have known ABL Business and its owners, Andy Redman and Alex Beardsley for many years and really like the independent and client-focussed approach they adopt, so I’m very excited that I’m now joining the team. “ABL Business has access to a vast range of funders, which means I will benefit from being able to offer clients financial solutions that are tailored to bespoke needs. I am keen to help clients from new starts to multi-million turnover businesses to grow and achieve their full potential.” ABL Business Ltd and their appointed representatives have access to over 70 funders, enabling them to find an appropriate solution, no matter what a client’s financial requirements may be. ABL Business Director Andy Redman said: “We’re delighted to welcome Fraser to the team. He has a wealth of experience, which he brings with him from the financial sector, and in business too. Fraser, with his connections and knowledge, will be a real asset to ABL Business and to companies across North Yorkshire. His appointment has enabled us to expand our reach into yet another area and help even more businesses find funding packages that suit their specific needs”.
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Social Progress MD selected for Digital Women Debate Panel

Saturday 03 June 2017

During the Digital Marketing Roadshow - Wigan on Wednesday 7th June at DW Stadium five leading industry experts will be coming together to discuss diversity in Digital and how gender balance is being addressed. The day has a very exciting list of digital related seminars throughout the day including a Google Digital Garage session on 'Reach New Customers Online & Know your Business with Google Analytics.' The Digital Women Debate is being hosted by Naomi Timperley who runs Coo Digital & is a Tech North Advocate. Social Progress, owner and MD Janet Bebb is one of the five panelists discussing gender balance in the digital along with Debbie Edwards, F Disrupters, Wendy Bowers at Role, Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director at Magma and Aaron Crewe from novi.digital. Big Screen Social our highly visual Twitter Wall will also be featuring at the event displaying the photos, branding and messages of delegates, exhibitors and speakers via hashtag #DMRoadshow helping to spread the word about the full day event and reach an online audience. This free to attend event is part of a series of Digital Marketing Roadshows taking place across the North West of England organised by Launch Events. https://www.socialprogress.co.uk/social-progress-selected-for-digital-women-debate-panel/
Posted by Social Progress
The benefits of being a member of Kirklees Business Hub

Friday 26 May 2017

Earlier this year, we returned from the Objective Management Group (OMG) International Conference in Boston, having won two awards, best new partner or "rookie" of the year award and an outstanding performance award. We wrote an article about our achievement on Kirklees Business Hub and included information about how we support businesses with improving their sales. The news article was subsequently shared by the team at Kirklees Business Hub on LinkedIn and Twitter. As a result of the article being shared, we received two new enquiries. One of the new enquiries is a business based in Kirklees and the other prospect is based in South Wales. Our business is already experiencing the benefits of the hub and we would encourage people to share their news. More importantly, attend the excellent events that are organised. The one I attended on Wednesday at the 3M Innovation Centre was excellent. It is a great opportunity to learn and make contacts with like minded local businesses.
Posted by Momentum Sales Solutions Limited
Huddersfield Digital Marketing Trainer is only Facebook #SheMeansBusiness Accredited Trainer in the North of England

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Janet Bebb of Social Progress Ltd was recently invited to Facebook International, Ireland to be trained up on Facebook Fundamentals, Facebook Pages, Instagram and Advertising as part of the She Means Business initiative. Janet was flown out to Dublin, with seven other UK digital experts, to learn from the social media giant about their new initiative, She Means Business being delivered in partnership with Enterprise Nation. “Facebook offices were such an inspiring and fun place to be and we all learned a lot from both Facebook and each other” – Janet Bebb, Social Progress Ltd As well as being shown around the Dublin Facebook HQ, these digital experts were trained especially to deliver the She Means Business Programme across the UK, on behalf of Facebook and Enterprise Nation, at nationwide events throughout 2017. The programme is designed especially to encourage budding and existing businesswomen across the UK to develop their businesses and grow their digital skills in 2017. The aim is to provide digital skills training to more than 10,000 women. Not only does the programme involve various events to book onto, but they will also provide resources and support for the women who register onto the programme. “I wouldn’t have been able to set up Social Progress Ltd by myself without the support and advise I received from similar support programmes over 5 years ago. It’s awesome to be able to support more business women to achieve their business goals and realise their potential!” – Janet Bebb, Social Progress Ltd Janet was the only trainer selected from “up North” with the majority of the others being from the London area & Southern Counties. These eight individuals included social media consultants & digital marketers who will each deliver the She Means Business programme in their area, to cover the UK together. For more information and to book visit the Enterprise Nation website: www.enterprisenation.com/shemeansbusiness
Posted by Social Progress
Jumping For Business Imaging Joy!

Monday 06 February 2017

We all know that as a Business, you want to create the best impression you can - your business images are a proud statement about you and what your business offers. You need stock images for your Testimonials, 'Meet The Team' Portraits, Business Cards, Posters, Flyers, and other Website Content such as Logos and correctly sized images for your Social Media Pages, not to mention Google Maps and all of your other Business Listings too. Millions of people rely on Images like mine when they search for places, especially on Google - In the last week of January 2017 my image views were up by 4,836 on the previous week. My images have been viewed over 50,000 times in the past 6 months! As a local Photographer I support local enterprise and I consistently add new images to all of my social media pages as well as to my my web and blog and to businesses on Google Maps - all part of my Business Image Service for their Shops, Cafes etc. If local businesses choose to use my service they get an affordable package of great web and social media content, and at the same time, greater web exposure at no extra cost. If you want more information, and would like to see more examples of my work, please go to my Business Images page for more information. Harry Dwyer January 2017.
Posted by Harry Dwyer Photography
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Events Posted

6 results found 
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Facebook Advertising Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Facebook for Business Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Social Media Marketing and Branding
Wednesday 16 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Content Creation and Blogging for Business
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Creative Analysis Ltd And Social Progress Ltd, 2, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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LinkedIn for Business Workshop
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Twitter for Business Workshop
Thursday 14 September 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
6 results found 
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