Tag Archives: Beta Futures

Thinking of Starting a Business? Some Top Tips…

We’ve all had an idea at some point we’ve contemplated turning into a business. It can be a daunting thought to take the first step –  especially if it requires forsaking a secure and paid job.  However, with the right guidance and plenty of ambition it can turn into a great success.

Here are some top tips for starting up a business…

  1. Set goals

It may seem obvious, but first and foremost know your goals. You may have an idea, but a vision of where to take that idea is crucial. Can your idea be turned into a business? And what will the end goal be of that business? Jot down your thoughts as they come so you can start structuring your ideas into a coherent manner and turn them into a definitive concept.

  1. Research

Do your research!  Research as much as you possibly can.  Market research will give you information of how viable your idea is and tell you whether there is demand for your product or service.

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  1. Know your target audience

Analyse your market research.  Determine who your audience is and target your marketing to attract that audience, which may relate to age, interest, demographic etc. and will help give your business better direction.

  1. Take your time

Remember that nothing happens overnight. Some of the initial start-up process and research may seem tedious, however the benefits in the long-run will make the business a success. A thorough plan, and well timed start up structure will ensure great results!

What’s next?

If you’re ready to take the plunge, the next stage would be to make a business plan and arrange finances. That’s where we come in! Beta Futures specialises in writing business plans, matching your business objectives to funding criteria and bid writing.

An outstanding business plan will also make the process of allocating funding much easier as it will state start-up costs and highlight long term costs and revenue, this will give possible funders a clear indication of what they will be investing into. Furthermore, as your business grows we can help you with training and resourcing.

Beta Futures will take you through the step by step process from business planning to funding. Contact us and let’s accelerate your growth!

Beta Futures and Designing for the Future Launch Intergenerational Project

Beta Futures has recently teamed up with The Future Perfect Company to work on an exciting intergenerational project. Beta Futures aims to keep the lives of the 50+ in our society vibrant and worthwhile, making use of their skills and expertise they have gained over a lifetime. However, with the ageing population at its highest in record, there seems to be an ever-present generational gap.

The Future Perfect Company, a company which champions innovative thinking around the ageing demographic, has been engaging with design students at the College of Richard Collyer and the University of Brighton for the past 6 years with their Designing for the Future competition, working with A level students to create valuable products for the older population and deconstructing social barriers and stereotypes that exist between generations.

Beta Futures run the 50+ Skills Exchange Club and saw this as a perfect opportunity to engage some of its members directly these students at the beginning of their design careers; bringing together both young minds and those with years of experience under their belt to start a much needed conversation between the baby-boomers and the millennials. Members from the 50+ Skills Exchange Club visited the College of Richard Collyer to help launch Designing for the Future 2016/17. The members worked with the students, participating in discussions about the pros and challenges of ageing and the stereotypes surrounding older people.IMG_9298

Philippa Aldrich, Founder of The Future Perfect Company and Designing for the Future said: “We are absolutely delighted to be joined this year by members of the 50+ Skills Exchange Club who as expert older users can inform the students’ Designing for the Future projects with real life experiences and expertise”.

Margaret Williamson, 50+ Skills Exchange Club member, said: “I found it very interesting to hear the views of the younger generation. It was an enjoyable session and it was great to see that the students were very engaged in our discussions”.

Beta Futures hopes that this newly formed alliance with The Future Perfect Company will provide a platform upon which ages from either end of the spectrum can find common ground to discuss the challenges which face us all. In doing so Beta Futures fulfils one of its fundamental principles of social equality. Furthermore, the club members can use their valuable experiences to provide the younger generation with ideas and information that can be used to enrich their projects and some new and perhaps otherwise unlikely friendships can be established.

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Beta Futures is delighted to launch #menu4success : bitesize business briefings for start-ups, micro and small businesses… 

 

 

The initial taster sessions will include a session on each of the following topics and run from 9.15 – 12.30 am:

  • Business Planning & Finance Development for SMEs – Derek Parlour from DJA Solutions
  • Start Up Guide to Employment Law – Ruby Dinsmore from Workplace Ready Training
  • 8 Steps for Creating an Effective Marketing Plan – Emma Pearce from Pearce Marketing
  • How to do ”Sales’‘ – Mike Monk from Monk MarketingBeta Futures Logo

DATES & VENUES

  • BRIGHTON – Wednesday 22 June 2016 – Malmaison, Brighton Marina, Brighton BN2 5WA
  • HAILSHAM – Wednesday 29 June 2016 – Now Charity Hailsham, Unit13-15 Station Road Industrial estate, Station Road, Hailsham BN27 2EW
  • CRAWLEY – Thursday 7 July 2016 – Premier Inn, Manor Royal, CrawleyBusiness Quarter, Fleming Way, Crawley RH10 9DF
  • DITCHLING – Wednesday 20 July 2016 – Mid Sussex Gold Club, Spatham Lane, Ditchling BN6 8XJ

Reserve your place!

Tickets are £65 +VAT. Places are limited, so book now via info@betafutures.com or call 01293 817 227.

Come along for some great insights and business tips to takeaway. 

Main course Master Classes coming soon for more in depth knowledge (September 2016).

 

5 Reasons to Invest in Training for your Employees

Beta Futures has developed a programme of Master Classes that cover a variety of topics – the first of which will be taking place on 9th March 2016.  We are also  able to offer bespoke training designed for your business needs. We thought it would be useful to outline the business benefits of investing in training for your employees:

  1. Increase job satisfaction, productivity, and motivation among employees.

Training can reduce absenteeism, mistakes and stress levels for your employees. Productivity is also likely to increase if employees are confident in their own ability and feel they know what they’re doing.

  1. Reduce employee turnover

By investing in your employees, you are showing that you value their contribution in the company and that you are willing to allocate resources to developing their skills. Employees are then left feeling motivated, driven and a sense of loyalty to the company. Staff retention is a key factor not least of which because it reduces the high cost of recruitment.

  1. Competitive advantage

Keeping up to date with trends and changing technologies in your industry ensures that your business remains competitive in terms of performance, quality and customer service. Having well trained staff means that you can adapt methods of working to meet market demand.

  1. Decrease need for supervision

Untrained employees can drain your management resources and distract your managers from their own work and important tasks. By investing in staff training, employees feel confident within their own role and you can trust them to deliver high quality work.

  1. Enhance company profile & attract talented staff

Organisations that invest in training are seen as desirable to those looking for employment. This increases your company’s likelihood of attracting talented candidates for your vacancies.

We are offering a FREE 1-hour consultation! Get in touch to take advantage of our offer and learn more about what we do:  info@betafutures.com | 01293 817 227.

Exhibitions: Reasons why your business should sign up.

Trade shows have many benefits for businesses, whether large or small. They can give your company visibility and establish a presence in your industry. This can be particularly useful if you are a new business. It puts you face to face with potential clients and gives you the opportunity to build relationships.

Trade shows, like most forms of advertising, have a cost. However, when businesses invest in exhibitions and do them effectively they can result in a positive return on investment. In this blog we will be exploring the benefits of exhibitions and why you should sign up.

Direct Feedback & Market Research

Having a stand at an exhibition puts you in front of customers. This dynamic allows for you to ask for direct feedback on products, prices and what they’re looking for in their service provider- it is important that you bring a notebook and pen to take notes. Furthermore, you can check out the competition and your industry as a whole. You can assess your position within your market and may even get inspired! Market research is really important as it ensures you are keeping up with changes and allows for your business to be flexible and competitive.

Expand your Customer Base

Trade shows give you the opportunity to expand your customer base. This is through engaging with members of the public that you may not have originally considered as being your customers or target market. In essence, you break down a barrier that is present when you are trying to make sales from an office. Those who choose to attend the trade show have already decided that they want to make a purchase. They usually have an idea of what they are looking for but are open to the provider as long as they are competitive on price and customer service.

Even if you can’t make a sale on the day. You can obtain details of potential customers who can be added to your database; this means that you have a list of warm leads to use in the near future.

Branding

Branding is crucial. Businesses want to establish a reliable and trustworthy reputation both amongst customers and your competitors. Trade shows can aid in building this kind of reputation as businesses and potential clients can see that you have made time to set up a stand and talk to people. Yes, it is about sales and profit. But it also puts your company in an environment which accommodates building relationships.

Want to learn more? Beta Futures is developing a programme of Master Classes covering a range of topics, from exhibitions to using LinkedIn to gain business leads. Contact us to find out how to book your place: info@betafutures.com | 01293 817 227

How to Use Social Media to Gain Business Leads Masterclass: Client Feedback

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Last month Beta Futures hosted a very successful LinkedIn Masterclass with Dean Packham.

Here’s what our clients had to say about it:

  • “Excellent content and informative trainer. The pace of the session was just right and the number of attendees was perfect to create a team environment, conducive to learning.”
  • “I would be very interested in attending more events and hearing more about what you do. THANK YOU”
  • “Really great experience, thanks!”
  • “It made me understand what LinkedIn stood for and how it could benefit every business.”
  • “Thank you to Dean Packham & Beta Futures for yesterday’s LinkedIn course and providing my ‘lightbulb’ moment with this platform.”

Furthermore, 100% of attendees found that the information was presented Very Clearly or Extremely Clearly and 100% of attendees found that Dean was Very Knowledgeable or Extremely Knowledgeable.

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We are planning more LinkedIn Masterclasses with Dean Packham for 2016. Would you like to attend? Send us an email to marketing@betafutures.com.

The Chestnut Tree House’s China Trekkers raise over £90k

Marie Harris, Managing Director of Beta Futures, and one of the Chestnut Tree House China Trekkers returned home safe and sound on 18th October. The trek, which was over 5 days,  brought together a vast range of individuals from different backgrounds and walks of life with one common goal  – to raise much needed funds for Chestnut Tree House, the only children’s hospice in Sussex.

The group were presented with the physical challenge of taking on 50km of The Great Wall of China. What really surprised Marie and a number of her fellow trekkers was the incredible emotional journey that accompanied the physical challenge. china trekkers 3

Over the week the bond that the group formed and the support that they gave each other was simply amazing and lifelong friendships have been formed.  Group members faced varying degrees of personal challenge but everyone was rewarded with knowing that they had raised money for an amazing cause and gained a true sense of achievement.

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The China Trekkers got the opportunity to help with rebuilding part of the Wall. Members of the group brought special and sentimental objects to place under their brick. The group also placed foil hearts and stars in the wall, to symbolise children that are being cared for by the hospice and those who are sadly no longer with us. Group members described this as a very emotional and important moment for the team.

To date, the group collectively raised £93k. To put that figure into context, it costs £6,850 for Chestnut Tree House to provide its services for one day. The amount of money the China Trekkers raised is enough to run the house for almost 2 weeks.

A huge well done to all the China Trekkers from the Beta Futures team thank you to everyone who donated without whom it would not have been possible.

China trekkers group by Tom Cotterill
China Trekkers group by Tom Cotterill

 

 

 

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Meet our Apprentice, Jason

This week Beta Futures welcomed their brand new Marketing & PR Apprentice, Jason.

Jason will be involved in various aspects of Beta Futures’,  including running their social media platforms, writing press releases and representing the company at networking events.

Jason Shackel on his first day at Beta Futures
Jason Shackel on his first day at Beta Futures

 

“Since joining Beta futures I have been made to feel welcome amongst their team based in Crawley. Within the first week of working here I have been introduced to the team, attended the 50+ Skills Exchange Club and the Beta Futures’ vision. Before joining I had an idea of what Beta futures did within the community and now I have been able to see this in practise – which is great. Seeing my own ideas materialise and potentially make a difference to the company and the groups Beta Futures are associated with is something I gain a lot of satisfaction from and motivates me to work harder.

I believe Beta futures will be a great opportunity for me to gain an understanding of business along with building my skills from their already established and experienced team. I have been very impressed with the friendliness of everyone here so far and wish to be as useful as possible to them in the future.”

 

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Update: 25th September Macmillan Coffee Morning

Beta Futures’ Macmillan Coffee Morning with Randall Schofield Court, on 25th September,  was deemed a success!

There was a buzzy atmosphere with cake, brick-a-brack and raffle prizes on offer. It was a brilliant way to raise money for such a good cause.

Beta Futures’ stall raised £67.20 in total.

It was also great to see photos from other Macmillan Coffee Mornings! You can check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/macmillancoffee.

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Did you hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning? We’d love to see your photos! Tweet them to @betafutures.

The Redhill Club Relaunch

The 50+ Skills Exchange Club brings people together to socialise and learn new skills. It also supports individuals who are wishing to get back into work or pursue volunteering opportunities in the local community.

Following the success of The 50+ Skills Exchange Club Redhill Pilot, we are thrilled to announce that we will be relaunching The Club at the Harlequin on 1st October, as part of Older Peoples Day.  The 50+ Skills Exchange Club already runs successfully in Crawley. There are also plans to launch The Club in Reigate and Horsham in 2016.

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Redhill’s Photography Skills Session

The Club meets every Thursday,10.30-12.30 at the West Central Café and St John Ambulance (alternating each week). 

So, what has The Club been up to? The Redhill Club has enjoyed a variety of speakers including a First Aid session, Photography Skills and Ping Tsim who talked to members about alternative therapies.

Beta Futures’ Managing Director, Marie Harris, will be embarking upon a 50km trek of the Great Wall of China over 5 days in October 2015. So far Marie has raised over £2800 in aid of this amazing charity and The Club members are hoping to arrange a trip to the hospice in the near future. There are also plans for a Christmas lunch with all of The 50+ Skills Exchange Club members.

Beta Futures is relaunching The Redhill Club to encourage new people to join which will help The Club to grow and develop. This will include a committee, made up of members, being set up to drive and shape The Club.

 

Find out more on our website: www.betafutures.com

“Beta Futures is a not-for-profit organisation that supports employers to break down the barriers to growth. Beta Futures specialises in identifying funding opportunities, writing bids and supporting businesses’ growth and resourcing.

 The money Beta Futures generates from delivering these services allow them to run The Club. The 50+ Skills Exchange Club is a community initiative that is a meeting of like-minded people who have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience which they share with one another. The Club aims to reduce the exclusion and isolation of older people in local communities”.

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