As my ribs twanged with pain, drawing hard, my lungs desperately search for just a tiny bit more of the oxygen that was so finely laced in the air. With the wind piercing at the smallest bit of my cheek exposed and my toes stinging with numbness I tried with all my might to take just one more step. Just one more. It is in these extreme moments that you learn everything you need to know about yourself.
A week earlier I had been sitting in a lovely warm English pub enjoying a long Friday work lunch, handing over responsibilities to my business partner. He looked at me like I was deranged. “I just don’t get it? How is this going to be a holiday? And why on earth would anyone want to put themselves through that to climb a mountain!?” Oddly, I had never asked myself that question. In fact, it was a really good question. Why on earth was I going to take my first week off for years, from being a busy mum building a business, to put myself...
On the 8th October 2018 Google announced they were shutting down their social media platform google+ after having to admit a data breach back in March of this year.
Putting the cyber security issues to one side, for many businesses this has been a stark wake-up call. It has exposed vulnerabilities we all share with technology shifts outside our control. Having a social media presence is an essential part of any business in today’s connected world, so what should we be doing to protect ourselves? Here are 4 essential actions for every business owner:
1) Stay in the game and don’t be scared
Social media often fills people with dread and is seen as a time waster. The closing of google+ could become a great excuse to just give up. But stay in the game. Having an online presence is an essential part of business in today’s world. We must accept and find ways to control the controllables.
Let’s not forget that these are the...
A few weeks ago, I was talking on BBC Radio about the acquisition of SodaStream by Pepsi. Most of us remember during our youth the envy of our friends who had a SodaStream. It was this funny kitchen gadget that empowered the owner to make their own sugary, fizzy drinks at home. Quite simply it injected a shot of syrup and carbonated bubbles into water. It is a company that most of us thought was long gone, yet Pepsi just won a bidding battle against Coca Cola for the firm, acquiring it for $3.2bn.
Soda stream is the perfect example of a company that is adapting to the new world that we live in and there are lessons we can all learn from this:
1) Know your customers and adapt to their needs
Firstly, they have shifted to understand their consumer and the market they operate in. The need for sugary drinks has dwindled. People want something healthy but also a little more exciting than the water they can freely extract from their kitchen tap! Purely by...
An exciting new social enterprise launched at Manchester United and West Ham Utd on the 17th September 2018
Goal 17 Founder, Fran Boorman, could be found roaming the streets of Manchester meeting with homeless people in the early hours of the morning on the 17th September. This was the beginning of a 36-hour launch event for an exciting new social enterprise that is predicted to generate £1m turnover in its first year. The trip also included meetings with senior management from Manchester United and West Ham United, homeless charities and ex-England Footballer, Paul Stewart.
Goal 17 is partnering with Premiership football clubs across the UK and aims to end youth homelessness by uniting vulnerable young people with corporate executive mentors. The enterprise will deliver an innovative corporate events package that empowers companies to get tangible value from their corporate social responsibility.
Through its partnership with the West Ham,...
The women of today are pioneering a whole new breed of motherhood. One where, out of both necessity and desire, we turn our backs on the ‘stay at home’ dreams of our own mothers. We find ourselves as the first generation really having no choice but to decode the juggle of being mums who earn.
According to the Office of National Statistics, last year a whopping 73.7% of women with dependent children were working*. This is a number that has surged in recent years. Due to inflexible working environments many employers appear unable to utilise the amazing resources of these women. This is creating a steady increase in the number of ladies starting their own enterprises. The Federation of Small Business reported a 40% rise in self-employed women since 2008**.
My story of business around babes:
I am one of those women. Whilst independently raising my two little whirlwinds I have built a multimillion pound business and served on large company boards....
“You have to learn how to do these sums in your head, when your older you are not going to have a calculator in your pocket all the time”. Well we showed them! The maths teachers of the 80’s had the best intentions when they drilled us on additions and multiplications but as it turns out the world changed. Not only do we carry calculators but so many tools and information it makes the whole set up of our school education look slightly pointless!
Its an incredibly exciting, and yet sometimes scary, time to be alive with so much dynamic change. However, as a mother I can’t help but wonder what world we are sending our children in to. Through the work I do with businesses I see so many organisations embracing change. Looking at my children’s school education I can’t help but feel how outdated the whole system is.
The reality is that, whilst I am still not brave enough to draw my beliefs away from the importance of reading and writing,...
I was very honored to be invited to represent the 4.7 million UK small businesses at a government round table discussion about the Civil
Society Strategy. Whilst it was an incredibly empowering day, it was also a stark reminder of attitudes towards small businesses and how we have a long road to travel together.
What was it all about?
Many organisation, the government included, are awakening to the importance of different stakeholders make a positive impact on society. In a world where technology has broadened but not deepened relationships the need to proactively engage in local communities has never been greater. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport want to facilitate a strategy to create an environment where businesses, charities, youth organisations, social enterprises and citizens come together for the greater good of our society. At the meeting there were a range of these different stakeholders. We discussed the responsibility of...
You will often read in the press how disruptive technologies are changing the market place. Airbnb come in and change the hotel market, Uber uses technology to change the taxi market, Trip adviser changes the tourism market. We look at these huge shifts in the way that the world is working and point a finger technology… but perhaps we are missing the point. Whilst it is important, it is not the technology that creates the actual disruption… its people’s desire to connect and relinquish power that is disruptive.
The technology is simply the tool that allows the average, normal person to have power. What is disrupting markets is the fact that any large organisation that was traditionally protected purely by its size, can now be topped by someone just like you or me with an internet connection. To topple them all we must do is find a way to give more power to the average person and show more people how to connect with each other. And, there has never been a...
Why our parents believe charity starts a home, whilst we want to save the world and sod having a pension!
Over the next few years our economy is going to become dominated with Generations Y and Z – those born from 1977 onwards. They will make up majority of the global workforce and be the largest generation of consumers. Whilst most people understand that these cohorts are very different from former generations, they are struggling to move their businesses forward to meet our fast-changing economy.
In this article I am going to shine a light on why there is such a shift in perspectives between the generations and how to begin to create a sustainable and successful business that meets the future demands of customers and attracts talent.
Why the perspectives changed between the generations
The baby boomers were raised in a post-war world, their parents were used to rationing, bomb shelters and literally fighting for their lives. They were a...
Getting your message heard in today's society has never been harder. It is a noisy market place and cutting through that noise can feel almost overwhelming. As small business owners we need a better strategy; rather than adding to the noise, we need to create what I like to call ‘Attraction Capital’.
Everywhere you look there are training courses to help you improve your social media impact. We are told, be on twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. Blog, tweet, post. Then retweet, share, like! I don’t know about you, but I have a business to run as well! There just don’t appear to be enough hours in the day to cut through the noise!
However, all this technology does present us with a great opportunity. There has never been a better time to be a small business owner. The tools that we all have at our fingertips enables us to compete in the same marketplaces as the big corporates. But most of us don’t have the...