We’re sorry that the previous blog was so packed full of startup advice that it broke in two, never a happy sensation. Here’s seven more snippets of first-rate business tips. Let us know if the advice on offer helps you to conquer overseas marketplaces! For more advice, take a look at @ClubWorkspace’s Tweets from the 15th and 17th of November.
- Who: Alison Grieve
- What: How an invention can achieve international notoriety
Alison Grieve came to GoGlobal’s workshop day to speak about her invention, Safetray, and how it achieved international success. She left after donating a wealth of priceless inventor-startup advice, and several beautifully wry observations of the Scottish national psyche. If you’re a startup who’s manufacturing a new product, Alison advised, don’t give up after your first heartbreak. If you do, that’s way too soon. Another tip of Alison’s: the UK brand has a lot of force, if you manufacture at home, tell people! Those moments when she layed her homeland on the shrink’s couch? ‘If you have a product that makes your life easier, in Scotland, that’s immoral’, and - wait for the turn of phrase to blow your face off
- ‘Being ambitious in Scotland is culturally tacky.’
- Who: Erik Childerhouse
- What: Want to Go Global? Listen to UKTI
Erik is the man on the inside. The United Kingdom’s Trade and Investment Department should be the first port-of-call for any startup who wants to thrive overseas. Erik advised startups to go to a market whose language they ‘speak like a native.’ If you attempt to sell to China straight-off-the-bat and your grasp of Mandarin is beginner-at-best, you may get lost in translation. Erik went on to say that if you were looking to trade in Brazil, get a local partner. Without one, it is difficult to get money out of the country. Erik sprayed out advice like a tommy-gun, so one last golden bullet: Make your website work for you whilst you sleep, as you can’t stay awake 24/7 to communicate with every global marketplace.
- Who: Emily Coltman
- What: Accountancy Tips for Startups and SMEs
Emily did wonderfully to talk about international accounting and make it easy to understand. Amongst other things, Emily explained ‘Zero Ratings’. If something is Zero Rated, you have to record VAT, but you record it as 0%. ‘Out of Scope’ means that no VAT is applicable, these include staff wages and automobile MOTs. Emily went on to mention that if you’re selling your services abroad, the transaction is legally taking place over there. Therefore, they have to take care of the VAT.
- Who: Jen Buchan from O2
- What: The Three Cs
The three Cs are coming. One is the consumerisation of IT: more workers are using personal devices in the workplace, therefore they are driving IT trends rather than corporations. Collaboration is the second C, ‘work is a thing you do, not a place you go.’ The third C is a rather new one: the Cloud. Cloud servers enable already versatile and lithe startups to be even more responsive and speedy. If you’ve dropped your documents in the cloud, you can resume work from anywhere that has a web connection, using any device.
- Who: Judy Mansfield
- What: The Ins and Outs of Currency Exchange
Judy of First Rate FX gave us the lowdown on currency exchange shortly after Lisa had told us the story of how FRFX had grown from a startup on the Isle of Dogs to a company that turned over three quarters of a billion last year. First Rate could be useful for startups as it monitors fluctuations in exchange rates so you don’t have to. In terms of trading pounds into any other currency, exchanging at the ‘wrong time’ could scythe profit margins. If you trade over £1k with FRFX, you can throw the Financial Times in the bin and let them worry about plugging your money into the conversion-matrix at just the right time.
- Who: John Hayes
- What: How to use iContact to optimise Email marketing
John Hayes opened his pitch for iContact with this Americanised statistic: for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get $43 back. I like those odds. John reminded the startup-heavy audience that people on your mailing list must have asked to be on there at some point, therefore they are your ‘freinds’, and they want you to find out about your latest offers. iContact allows you to get the most out of your email marketing strategy, which, if the 1:43 ratio is accurate, is well worth doing!
- Who: Chris Fieldhouse
- What: Online Commerce, boiled down to a Blog-sized portion.
Chris is the owner and writer-in-chief of Tamebay, which is a blog whose aim is to demystify the world of online commerce for small business and for personal users.
Thanks to Emma Jones for organising Go Global. Without the effort of Emma and the Enterprise Nation team, these pieces of diverse and priceless advice would