Secret ambitions, early exits and bootstrapped lessons

* This is the first post by James Devonport Wood, MD of accredited Facebook developer PageHub

There is a significant gap in Europe for early stage funding for startups seeking less than £500,000. While new funds and incubators are starting to emerge, the lack of finance available is leaving European tech businesses at a disadvantage to their North American counterparts.

For many startups, bootstrapping a business is the only method of starting a company although this does have its advantages. Bootstrapped startups are more likely to have a more realistic business model and to be profitable early on. Continue reading

Businesses need a five-year plan… and a three-month plan

* This contribution is by Pete Shuttleworth, Executive Director of cool London film company Pretzel Films

Time is an increasingly important factor in every aspect of our lives these days. Time, or the lack of it, leads to the constant need to update our priorities. This in turn leads to the inevitable realisation that if you put buying your wife flowers that far down the priority list then you will never get to it.

In business, timing is crucial. For me this simple understanding came a little late. I started a business almost exactly seven years ago, in March 2005, six months before my first child was born and five months after I was married. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Five

This is the fifth episode in the six-step guide to setting up your own business and, as a Cat Stevens song once explained, we’ve come a long way.

We have already spoken about how easy it is to get started and how these straitened and austere times mean that becoming an entrepreneur is not only a good option, it can sometimes be the only option. Employment really isn’t what it used to be and probably never will be again. We are no longer a country of shopkeepers; we are a nation of businessmen. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Three

So, you’ve incorporated your company, you can tell everybody you’re a CEO and the gigs are starting to come in, what do you do next?

The first and most important thing is don’t expect to be paid on time. It is galling that for much of the time you’ll be waiting for money, you’ll be expecting money on a certain date and it won’t be forthcoming. That’s why people stay in jobs, the money is regular and the bills can be scheduled. When you run your own business there will be uncertainty as well as glorious freedom and entrepreneurship. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Two

There’s nothing like setting up a company for making you feel good. Instead of describing yourself as a consultant or between jobs or even freelancing, knowing that you are a founder and CEO does wonders for self-esteem and those awkward dinner parties.

Moreover, as the Bard once said, necessity is the mother of invention and running your own business does mean that you have to take everything seriously and take every opportunity to bring in business. Continue reading