BUSINESS ADVICE HERTFORDSHIRE - VIDEOS  FROM EXPERTS

Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Defining your Business Model
02:09
Innovate UK

Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Defining your Business Model

This is Innovate UK’s 9th installment of the essential business tips and advice series. This video covers tips on what you need to think about when defining your business model. Your business model will make or break your start-up. The better your model, the more likely you are to succeed. It defines the way you will generate revenue and make a profit, providing the foundations for success and longevity. Here are our essential tips for defining your business model. Tip 1 - Cover all areas of your business Your business idea will be based on providing a solution to a problem, an answer to a need. Your USP sets your product or service apart, but your business model describes how you will create, deliver and capture value from that USP, as well as clearly defining your market. You’ll need to cover all areas of the business – from premises to staffing, and from health and safety to IT infrastructure. Tip 2 - Use templates A great way to ensure you cover all the key elements of a business model is to use a tried and tested template or toolkit. There are several online, including the widely used Business Model Canvas. Templates offer a complete, structured work-through on all areas of your business, enabling you to refine your model and present it clearly. There’s also plenty of online advice for start-ups, covering the key elements you need to consider when shaping your business. For younger entrepreneurs, the Prince’s Trust offers a range of business planning tools and advice. Tip 3 - Validate early Don’t underestimate the importance of validating and testing your ideas. Before launching your business, contact some of your target market and ask them some questions. When you talk to real people (not just friends and family, who are always more likely to be complimentary about your ideas), you can test your idea in the real world. Do your potential customers find it valuable and would they be willing to pay for it. You need to see things from your customers’ perspective. Why would they buy your product or service? Ask them what their biggest issue, obstacle or need is – what you’re offering might be good but it might not solve their problem, or they might have a bigger need that you could help them with. Tip 4 - Continuously refine your model View your business model as a work in progress and refine it continuously, learning from day to day operations. Adapt it to meet changing marketing conditions, customer needs and competitor challenges. View the other videos in our Essentials series for startups here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVskQnAiqnc&list=PLrMOhOrmeR6nlRxAZQTqPXraZ7e7ZavFc Take a look at the Innovate UK success stories here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIOhloXRq2E&list=PLrMOhOrmeR6lMh1j4Qz_csh_3ljSrDZpj Subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest in UK innovation: https://www.youtube.com/user/Innovateuk?sub_confirmation=1 Keep up to date with Innovate UK and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/innovateuk
Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Recruiting the Right Team at your Startup & SME
02:32
Innovate UK

Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Recruiting the Right Team at your Startup & SME

Putting together the right team can be time consuming and costly, but having the right skills at your disposal could be the difference between success and failure. These tips will keep you on track when searching for talent for your SME. Tip 1 - Be honest about what you can afford Employing a full-time team member is a big commitment and may not be your best option. Many smaller businesses choose to outsource certain tasks to freelancers who have the specific skills they need. Working with freelancers means you can: Use someone with the ideal combination of experience and expertise Tap into their talents without having to put them on the payroll Scale the level of input up or down to meet demand Tip 2 - Hire the skills you really need During periods of rapid growth, it can be tempting to hire people quickly to fill posts. But it’s important to make sure they fit with your company’s culture and values, and that you can offer them the challenges, career path and job satisfaction they’re looking for. Tip 3 - Explore all recruitment channels Where will you go to find your new people? A recruitment agency is an obvious choice, but they may come with high fees. Most people search for jobs online these days, but large career sites often target major organisations and are not always cost effective for start-ups. Tip 4 - Scrutinise your applicants There’s no shortage of guides on how to shortlist candidates, interpret a CV and conduct an interview. But before you ask anyone in to see you, think about the type of person you want in your company. And, just as importantly, think about the type of company you have. Your ‘employer brand’ is a reflection of your culture and, as such, your employees should find it attractive, understand it and identify with it. Find out more about hiring the right team by reading our blog: https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2017/04/10/innovate-uks-essential-business-tips-for-recruiting-the-right-team/ View more videos in our essentials series for startups and SMEs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrMOhOrmeR6nlRxAZQTqPXraZ7e7ZavFc Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Innovateuk?sub_confirmation=1
Innovate UK's Essential Grant Funding Tips for Startups & SMEs
02:19
Innovate UK

Innovate UK's Essential Grant Funding Tips for Startups & SMEs

Essential video on UK business & start-up grants. Learn why there are over 200 grants available to businesses across the country, and what you can do to qualify. Grants can be an attractive option as they don't always require repayments or equity stakes in return for funding. The eighth in our series of ‘Essential business tips’ looks at how to find the right grant for your business. Tip 1 - Research your grant options Start by looking at the different types of grant available. Gov.uk has a comprehensive list of government grants in the UK, whether you’re a start-up or an established business, and you can view options by industry type. Tip 2 - Make sure you are eligible Once you’ve found the grant you want, it’s important to check that you are eligible. Grant applications usually have conditions to attract specific projects, so make sure you fit the scope before spending time and resources on applying. Tip 3 - Prepare fully before applying Before you seek any start-up funding, it’s vital to have a solid business plan, with realistic sales projections, cash flow and profit and loss forecasts. Tailor your business plan for the specific grant you’re applying for, just as you would tailor your CV for a job application. If you are already trading, you will also be asked for evidence of your financial situation, including business bank account statements. Tip 4 - Explore possible alternatives to grants If a grant isn’t the right option for you, don’t worry – there are lots of alternatives. ‘Soft’ loans, which are similar to grants, are loans with lower interest rates and more generous terms than other lending options. Usually government-backed, they offer loans of up to £25,000 with a low interest rate and access to free business support and mentoring and often only need paying back once you start to make a profit. With the right combination of research, planning and determination, there’s every chance you’ll find a grant or suitable alternative to help you develop your business idea or grow your company. Make sure you check out our essential guide to grants and then view our blog: https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2017/06/27/essential-business-tips-to-grant-funding/ Check out our other essential tips for startups and SMEs here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrMOhOrmeR6nlRxAZQTqPXraZ7e7ZavFc Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Innovateuk?sub_confirmation=1 Keep up to date with the latest from Innovate UK and follow our Twitter account: http://twitter.com/innovateuk
Innovate UK’s Essential Tips on Pitching for Investment for Start-Ups and Small Businesses
02:19
Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s Essential Tips on Pitching for Investment for Start-Ups and Small Businesses

This is Innovate UK’s 2nd installment of the essential selection business tips and advice series. This video covers tips on pitching for investment. Whether a start-up, small business or SME make sure you watch the video and subscribe to our channel for more funding advice. The video outlines and explains the most important factors for a business when trying to pitch to investors and includes actionable advice supported by comments from industry experts and investors. The tips are as follows: 1) Target the right investor for you Starting and running a business takes time and resources. It’s vital you are organised and prioritise what needs to be done. In the case of funding, approaching every potential investor you connect with wastes time. Most start-ups have to pitch to many investors before securing the funds they need. You don’t want to be wasting time on someone whose investment isn’t relevant. 2) Prepare an engaging deck You should have a high quality presentation, based on a good business plan and detailed financial projections. We recommend no more than 8-10 slides and it’s a good idea to accompany it with a 2-3 page summary. Your proposal should be visually stimulating; use charts and images to bring your presentation to life and make sure it’s not too wordy. 3) Sell the upside…And yourself Your presentation will tell the story, but you still have work to do. Focus on selling the quick exit or potential returns and getting people excited about your ability to make it happen. Investors are looking for business opportunities that are disruptive, scalable, have huge benefits and potential. It’s your job to make them believe you can deliver. 4) Follow up after your pitch Immediately follow-up on promised actions after the pitch – including sending any relevant documents. Update potential investors on your progress and let them know about any events or big wins. You can also keep in touch using social media such as posting updates on LinkedIn Check out the Essential guide to securing funding here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS3An... Head over to our blog for even more in-depth analysis on securing funding: https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/0... Find out if you are eligible to apply for innovation funding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cExDp... Our latest funding competitions are available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovation-grants-for-business-apply-for-funding
Innovate UK’s 5 Tips to Secure Funding for Start-Ups and Small Businesses
02:05
Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s 5 Tips to Secure Funding for Start-Ups and Small Businesses

This is Innovate UK’s essential advice and tips on securing funding. Whether a startup, small business or SME make sure you watch the video and subscribe to our channel for more funding advice. The video outlines and explains the most important factors for a business when trying to secure investment. The tips contains actionable advice and are supported by comments from industry experts from all sides of the funding / investment spectrum. The 5 tips are as follows: 1) Explore all your start-up and SME funding options Most startups start looking for investment without considering all available funding options. There are plenty of different ways to fund your business. Give consideration to all. 2) Ask for the RIGHT amount of money This can be a tough one. Asking for the right amount of money is vital to the success of failure of your funding application. A lot of startups seek the highest amount they possibly can, this is not a wise approach. Tailor your approach to funding around your goals. Where will the investment get you? What is your desired end result? 3) Research – know your numbers and present credible figures It’s hugely important to do your research and know your numbers. If you don’t, you’ll never achieve investment. It’s also crucial to present an accurate and feasible projection. This is all about instilling trust. Can an investor trust you with their money? 4) Present an awesome business plan When it comes to pitching your business, you must make a strong first impression. Stumbling over your figures or presenting out-of-date research will discredit you. You must make your business plan awesome. 5) Plan enough time for fundraising Funding is not an overnight fix. You could have the best proposition and plan but the process will still hit delays. Make sure your business has enough to survive before funding is achieved. Head over to our blog for even more in-depth analysis on securing funding: https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/02/02/essential-business-tips-5-tips-to-secure-funding-for-start-ups-and-small-businesses/ Check out more essential tips on how to pitch for investment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS3An... Find out if you are eligible to apply for innovation funding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cExDp... Our latest funding competitions are available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovation-grants-for-business-apply-for-funding
Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Start-Ups
02:12
Innovate UK

Innovate UK's Essential Tips for Start-Ups

This is Innovate UK’s 3rd installment of the essential selection business tips and advice series. This video covers tips for start-ups who are just starting out. Whether a start-up, small business or SME there may be useful advice that you haven't considered. Make sure you watch the video and subscribe to our channel for more startup and SME advice. The video outlines and explains the most important factors for a business when just starting up, and includes actionable advice supported by comments from industry experts and investors. The tips are as follows: 1) Evaluate your idea objectively If you can’t identify at least one true USP then it might be time to re-think your product or service idea. Don’t just rely on family, friends and your immediate network. Also, listen more than you talk during customer interviews and don’t try to sell your idea. People are generally nice so there’s always a risk they’ll just say what they think you want to hear. The goal is always to find the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable. 2) Research your opportunity Fully research your opportunity before you start. Your may have validation that your idea is great. You need to research your market size, audience, competitors, development & execution cost and realistic price points. You don’t always need to get into big data research to do this. There are plenty of free resources and platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter offering free insights that will all help you assess your opportunities. 3) Plan for execution Action always beats thinking. A start-up begins with a great idea, but all too often, that’s where it ends. Ideas have to be implemented well to turn them into a successful business. Good execution requires a plan and good operational decisions come from good people. You need to assemble a team to execute on your idea. That’s why investors invest in entrepreneurs, rather than ideas. 4) Map your finances Cash is often the root of all failure. In fact, 42% of start-ups fail because they run out of money, so make sure you map out a long term financial plan. By Creating a long-term financial plan this will help you to avoid surprises in the future. Check out the Essential guide to securing funding here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS3An... Head over to our blog for even more in-depth analysis on securing funding: https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/0... Find out if you are eligible to apply for innovation funding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cExDp... Our latest funding competitions are available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovation-grants-for-business-apply-for-funding

There's a huge number of advice related videos for SMEs and start-ups on the Internet which would take you ages to sort through. We have therefore selected some of the best and hope they are of interest. We'll be adding more over time and if you have suggestions of good ones to add, please let us know.