Starting a business when still empoyed

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Tuesday, 6 November 2012 11:03

Starting a Business

With a perceived lack of available finance and business funding, there is a growing trend in people starting up a new business when they are still in employment. This strategy reduces the pressure to succeed quickly, engage in large marketing campaigns and raise enough finance to keep you going whilst the you gradually win customers. Unless a very big launch into the market is crucial, removing all of the pressures above will enable you to focus on doing every step well, and will make you appear far less anxious when dealing with customers.

Although you will lose some of your leisure time, the contrast between the day job and your own business often gives that extra injection of energy that you need.

Here are some quotes from the Guardian Small Business Network, which offer a live Q & A session from 1pm to 3pm on Tuesday 6 November.




Guardian Small Business Network logo

Recent research from Sage found that one in four people in the UK want to start their own business. But starting from scratch is never easy and to limit risk many people remain in employment to see them through the early days.

There are plenty of things to mull over if you want to take this approach. I’m sure you’ll agree that working full-time is tiring in itself, and you may well end up exhausted while trying to juggle everything. How are you going to organise your time to allow you to concentrate on developing your business idea?

You might also want to think about what you are going to do next. Will you build enough cash reserves from the income your startup creates to sustain you, when and if you decide to leave your job? Then there’s the question of how honest you should you be with your current employer about your extracurricular pursuits. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you could turn them into your first paying customer, or even bring them on board as a partner. However, be aware that working on your business during company time is unlikely to go down well.


Emily Wight

guardian.co.uk, Friday 5 October 2012 17.45 BST

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Making the most of LinkedIn (part 1)

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Wednesday, 28 March 2012 03:26

linked in logo

Linked in is a very popular site with loads of uses, but you can waste a lot of time and project a poor impression if you do not use it skilfully.

In 3 articles I will summarise what is on offer, how to make a plan and how to make sure that you get value for the time you spend on the site.

First steps

This first article will give you some familiarity with it and suggest a plan of action. My suggestion is that you print this out and explore the linked-in site. There is plenty of online help so I won’t waste space here giving click-by-click instructions.

  1. make a plan – although it is not complicated, a plan will get you more success for less effort overall. So read the steps, make some notes, look around the site a bit and then make your entries
  2. go into the settings and read through them. Initially turn notifications of changes off, otherwise people will be bombarded by every entry you make when you set up – this will make them insensitive to things that you post once you get going
  3. decide what you want your ‘headline’ to be. The headline is the text that appears immediately after your name.
  4. prepare a good photo that portrays the image you want
  5. enter your past job roles in reverse order, so the most relevant is first in the list
  6. company pages need bona fide email address @companyname and not @btconnect, @hotmail etc.
  7. bear in mind your ‘keyword’ information that you worked out for your company website
  8. enter the links to your website(s) and make sure that you amend the titles of web links, especially if you are listing several
  9. set profile display as public when you are ready
  10. think about who you want as connections
  11. import contacts but be selective who you invite, or systematically find and invite people
  12. always invite with a personal message – it shows you have thought about them
  13. hide your connections to avoid contact-snoopers. If you do not hide contacts, then sales and recruitment agencies effectively have a free view of your address book just by visiting your page
  14. put your contacts into groups to that you can post messages to easily. Avoid overloading people with ‘noise’ from your social media, they get so bored with bland updates from you that they miss the valuable items
  15. set up company page
  16. set up your products and services before getting recommendations
  17. when asking for a recommendation, indicate what you are proud of or want to stress. This will reinforce your message rather than simply be a list of nice comments
  18. use Q & A areas to be seen as being helpful and constructive
  19. make comments weekly but not daily, to demonstrate that your aim is to make a comment when it has value
  20. if you set up a group, do something useful with it
  21. look at a group to get to know the tone before posting to it
  22. really challenge yourself whether a posting you plan to make is of real worth to readers. If it is blatant self-promotion, you will be joining about 75% of the noise that is flying around and you are less likely to be respected

Summary

This has been a very general whirlwind tour of linked-in, and hopefully you can appreciate the difference between being noticed and being respected on it. In the following articles I will progress with company pages and your products and services, but will not be covering the use of Linked in for harvesting leads.

Useful resources

LinkedIn for Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
LinkedIn: A complete guide for Individuals, Self Employed and Businesses
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Grant for Creative People and Places

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Wednesday, 22 February 2012 03:31

14 February 2012 – New Creative People and Places Fund Launched

Arts Council England is accepting applications to its new Creative People and Places Fund. Arts Council England is offering funding to local consortiums to help get local people involved in the arts across parts of England where arts involvement is considerably below the national average.

Funding will be given to these areas to establish long-term partnerships between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities, called Creative People and Places. The programme aims to empower them to experiment with new and innovative approaches to develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in those communities.

A total of £37 million will be available to establish around 15 projects between autumn 2012 and autumn 2015.

It is anticipated that the majority of proposals will be for between £500,000 and £3 million over three years. It is expected that at least 10% of total project costs should come from other sources. This can also be in kind.

Consortiums of local communities, arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities are eligible to apply. If you are not familiar with applying for grant funding there is some guidance and support at www.ruralfunding.co.uk, and a course will also be available soon.

Intentions to apply should be registered by 23 March 2012. The deadline for first round applications is 13 April 2012.

A second round of applications will take place in autumn 2012. For more information, visit the Arts Council England website (opens new window).

Source: Arts Council England, 13/02/12

Useful resource

Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals: Hundreds of Ready-to-use Phrases to Present Your Organization, Explain Your Cause, and Get the Funding You Need (Perfect Phrases Series)

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