Tag Archives: Business

Improve Your Chances of Business Success!


Running a business is undoubtedly tough work. Running a successful business, as you can imagine requires even more blood, sweat and tears. While how we measure success varies on a number of factors, below we give you some pointers to improve your chances of success, no matter what your business or circumstances.

  1. Be flexible

Running a business requires copious amounts of planning, and every entrepreneur envisions what their path to success will look like. However, no matter how much you plan, it is always best to expect the unexpected. Unfortunately, the universe isn’t so kind as to not bestow us with some unwarranted surprises from time to time. How well you adapt to and accept change will be an important part of your success story. Being flexible towards whatever obstacles come in your path, and simply taking them into your stride with a little positivity, rather than packing it all in because things didn’t quite turn out as expected will surely lead you to triumph.

  1. The customer is always right

An age-old cliché, we know. But it carries heavy truth with it. Going back to the first point, demands constantly change amongst consumers and it is crucial to be flexible towards them. Though you may have a vision of the kind of image and service your business is to provide, if it’s not capturing your audience, it’s time to listen to their wants and make changes.

Even if you think you know better – it is your business after all, without customers you will have no business at all. So, take the initiative to do whatever it is that satisfies your customers and you will most certainly maximise your success!

  1. Know your competitors

In order to stand out you have to know who you’re competing against. Without studying your competition you won’t know how you will compare in the market and that can be a major pitfall.

Network as much you can with like businesses. This is not only a great way to make yourself known, but also to gain insight and ideas, all the while getting a chance to mingle with your competition and see first-hand what you’re up against, and stay one step ahead of the emerging trends.

  1. Be visible

There’s no escaping the ever-present internet or social media. Use this to your advantage as much as you can. ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ to throw in another cliché. Don’t be afraid to make yourself known, get your opinions out there in blogs, tweet other businesses, and be present on other platform such as Facebook and LinkedIn! The more you are known, the more chances of success you have!

Following these few simple steps will make a huge impact in how far your business goes! If you want to know more ways on how to grow your business give us a call on 01293 817227

 

 

Business – The Tricky Side!

Tricky yet rewarding stuff, starting and running your own business can be. A quick google search will leave you with endless tips and how to’s on the matter, but we want to know the ugly side of running a business too – straight from the horse’s mouth! Marie Harris, managing director of Beta Futures, who help start-ups is going to answer the questions we’re all really itching to ask:

 

  1. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in starting and running your own business?

The biggest challenge was being able to articulate the mission and to develop a brand; we knew what we wanted to achieve but the challenge was how to get it out there.

 

  1. How did you overcome it?

We definitely made a few mistakes when we first went out to the marketplace, but having the right contacts is key I would say – we were fortunate to have a critical friend who was able to get to the nub of what we were about and help us to stop dressing it up and justifying ourselves.
Secondly, firm belief in what you are doing is crucial to overcoming any challenges. We provide a service which is not a tangible product and it is difficult to take the concept out there – people need to buy into you and trust you, so unless you believe in your cause they won’t either.

 

  1. What are your coping strategies on the ‘bad days’?

I suppose to go back to basics, and I have to remind myself from time to time why we actually started this business and reflect on how far we’ve moved from my kitchen table to where we are now. You just need to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then, because it really is a roller coaster ride.

 

  1. Have there been times when you’ve wanted to pack it all in and call it a day?

Yeah, absolutely

 

  1. What is it that keeps you going in the end?

Belief in the principle of what it is that we’re actually trying to achieve, and positive feedback from customers. And since we are a social enterprise we get feedback from the members of the community also, and knowing that they are benefiting from what we are doing – something as simple as that, makes what we are doing worthwhile!

 

So, there you have it! An honest insight into the ups and downs of running your own business. Following your dreams isn’t easy work – but as they say, nothing worth having ever is! Want to discuss the possibility of having your passions and ideas formed into reality? Give us a call on 01293 817227 and let’s talk business!

Enabling Your Business – Theory into Practice

Beta Futures is proud to announce that it has teamed up with NatWest to bring you a free event at the end of September which will focus on things to consider when starting or growing your business.

Small businesses account for over 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK[1]. After all, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and steer their career in the direction they choose, whilst managing their work-life balance as they please? However, we understand that running your own business isn’t as easy as it may seem. A good idea paired with a bit of talent, a pinch of shrewdness and a lot of passion will propel you in the right direction. However, whether you are starting or growing your business the nitty-gritty of it can be overlooked, which can make all the difference in making a good business into an excellent, lucrative and sustainable one.

Business planning, financing, budgeting, marketing, customer care – our experts Chris and Mike are here to give their tips and advice on it all whatever stage your business may be at. Enhance your knowledge and skills, network with like-minded people and give your business a much needed favour with ‘Enabling your Business – Theory into Practice’.

Your success is our aim and we are looking forward to seeing you all soon!

 

Date and Time: 27th September 2016 5.00pm to 7pm

Address: Basepoint, Metcalf Way, Crawley, RH11 7XX

RSVP by 23rd September 2016
Christine.lyle@natwest.com 07788347095
mike@betafutures.com 01293 817229

Book by Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enabling-your-business-theory-into-practice-tickets-26699368530

 

[1] Figures are for 2015 from fsb.org.uk

Will The Apprenticeship Reform and Levy Bring You Beta Business? Our Initial Thoughts…

Apprentices have the potential to develop skills specific to the employers needs and bring with them fresh ideas, and we at Beta Futures have always advocated the advantages of hiring an apprentice and the myriad of benefits they bring with them! We believe the Levy can provide an opportunity to bring together both the theoretical and practical application of skills that businesses require, whilst creating career pathways for talented individuals.

With the Apprenticeship Levy coming into effect as of April 2017, we hope more employers will be able to see ours (and the governments) vision that an apprentice is a valuable asset to an organisation (rather than a liability which can often be the perception amongst some employers). The programme doesn’t trade quality for quantity but instead helps an organisation to develop their workforce in a simple and bureaucracy free manner!

All employers across all sectors will have access to The Levy, allowing improvement in training quality. Because hiring an apprentice is a positive step for businesses, the government has acknowledged that businesses should have control in finding and hiring a candidate, what kind of training they would like and choosing a training provider. Businesses can then pay for the apprentice training through the government funds available. Employers will get out more than they put in by having their levy payments topped up if they chose to invest more in apprenticeships and training.

A lot to take in? Not sure where to begin planning? We’re here to help! Beta Futures Consultancy can help employers create apprenticeship programmes. We tailor our services to exactly what employers want! That being internal training and development programmes specifically mapped against the national apprenticeship standards. Furthermore, we will ensure your business is taking the correct steps to be eligible for government funding.

For those employers in scope for payment of The Levy we can help maximise your return on the investment. For smaller organisations (on less than £3million payroll per year), we will consult with you on developing the skills your organisation needs -because after all, great performance doesn’t depend on size, right? It’s not just about finding you the right apprentice, but we believe in developing your business, training existing staff and breaking down barriers to growth. Recruit, retain, retrain is our mantra for Beta business!

It’s never too soon to start planning ahead. Call us and let’s start discussions today on how we can improve your workforce!

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.

startup-593327

  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!

Apprenticeship Vacancies!

2 fantastic opportunities to start your career with a growing SME based in Nutfield:

Business & Administration Apprentice
Desired Skills –

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate
  • Effectively be able to manage own workload and prioritise
  • Ability to switch between projects when required
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Personal Qualities –

  • Enthusiastic, ambitious, self-motivated and inquisitive
  • Ability to follow detailed instructions and work accurately
  • Conscientious and diligent
  • Effective team member
  • Ability to work on own initiative.

 

Apprentice Fabricator
Desired Skills –

  • Good dexterity
  • Attention to detail and tidy worker
  • Ability to follow instructions/manuals/procedures
  • Ability to see projects through to completion

Personal Qualities

  • Enthusiastic accurate team player
  • Show initiative and be interested in how things work
  • Self-motivated with a methodical and disciplined approach to work Good communication skills

Contact Beta Futures on 01293 817227/ marketing@betafutures.com or Sigtahttp://www.sigta.co.uk/ if you are interested!

Please share.

 

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

Dean Packham MC NOV 15.JPG (2)

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.

Dean Packham MC NOV 15

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

Our MD is taking on the Great Wall of China for Chestnut Tree House

Marie Chestnut Tree House 1Beta Futures’ Managing Director, Marie Harris, will be embarking upon a 50km trek of the Great Wall of China over 5 days in October 2015; raising money for Chestnut Tree House.

Chestnut Tree House is the only children’s hospice in East and West Sussex and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-limiting conditions from Sussex and South East Hampshire.

There are potentially 1,000 families with life-limited children in Sussex. Chestnut Tree House offers support for the whole family including psychological and bereavement support, end of life and short break care and sibling support.

 It currently costs well over £3m each year to provide all the care services provided by Chestnut Tree House. Families are never charged for their care and less than 8p in every pound is funded by the government, so we rely heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex.” (Chestnut Tree House, 2015)

So far Marie has raised over £2,800  in aid of this amazing charity and is currently training hard to get ready for the challenge.

Marie walk

 

Photo of the view from Marie’s Training at the Sussex Downs

We recently had a talk given by a representative from Chestnut Tree House at our 50+ Skills Exchange Club Crawley. The Club members were very touched and inspired by the hospice. We have arranged a trip to the House for Club members in October.Marie says I am raising money for Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice because it is vital that the amazing work of the hospice continues. I have never done anything like this before so it certainly will be a challenge.”

Marie’s JustGiving Page https://www.justgiving.com/Marie-Harris6/

Chestnut Tree House Website http://www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/

“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.”

logo strip 1