It’s a topic close to my heart – as I have a wife with an overdue baby in her belly as I type, and we both have small businesses to keep ticking over once our son arrives – every little bit helps when you want to take some time with a new member of the family (without letting all of the hard work put into building a business waste away by inattention at the same time).
Today Cupcake Central founder Sheryl Thai talks about turning dreams into reality. 3 years ago she had a dream to open a cupcake shop and now she has three stores, a successful training and workshop arm of her business and has just finished shooting her first cook book. Today this simple and straight to the point post by Thai gives us some practical advice on just making it happen.
When starting a new idea, the hardest thing apart from getting it off the ground is working out a way to fund it. And if we have some funds to get us going, and keep us going, how long will they last? Or even if we are out of the early start-up days, and have received funding from angel investors or venture capital, how do we make the most of this funding? Well, it comes down to the numbers.
Over the last couple of months, I have been involved in a few discussions, some private, some in a group environment, some in a government capacity – all revolving around the term “startup” and who in fact it actually belongs to. I must admit, I have been fence sitting when it comes to this particular topic, and part of me get’s really annoyed about the conversation, as I don’t feel comfortable excluding a group from using a term because it doesn’t fit the definition another is giving it.
Nine months ago we launched Tweaky.com as the marketplace to anyone improve their website. It’s hard for small businesses to get small changes made to their website. Agencies and freelancers typically don’t want to touch jobs less than $500-$1000. The overheads are too high. I know because I ran an agency for a couple of years.
While Australia’s House of Representatives continues its unrelenting descent into an embarrassing soap opera, the country’s digital economy, while showing signs of growth and immense potential, continues to be plagued by challenges that result in many start-ups packing their bags and heading off-shore.
… This has wide-ranging implications for people in business – especially start-ups who may be thinking “I only have a small handful of employees / contractors / interns, bullying just wont happen in my business”.
When talking to start-ups, the first thing you generally see is the passion the founders have for their concept, idea or product. From discussing the benefits about how it’s a market game changer to the finer points where incremental steps can have a significant impact, we understand that something is driving them to succeed. But this drive to success can often fall apart somewhere along the way.
Just to preface this post, Julia Gillard came out swinging yesterday against the IT industry and the Tech sector is not happy about it. Mike Cannon Brookes didn’t hold back at all taking to twitter and later additional media to vent his frustration. A hashtag from a Startup event #StartupAus is also being used to continue the conversation.
I don’t want to be fatalistic or a scaremonger, BUT you know that you are doing at least something wrong in your business, don’t you? Sure, you are the “ideas person”, the driver of your enterprise and proud of the fact that out of nothing, you have made something pretty special. You are even providing others with opportunities to make money along-side or as a consequence of what you are doing, and have an employee or three hovering in the wings, starting as a “casual” or a “contractor” for now, being paid in sweat equity or when the next big invoice comes in, or on a “trial” basis until you decide that they are worthy of a paid position.
Yes, I know. You are a start-up. You have limited resources and a difficult cash flow forecast – but could really use some help. We spoke about interns a while back, now we are going to look a bit deeper into other ways you might think about to supplement the limited funds you have to hand to get the right person helping you out.
Those who can’t do…start.
Thick rimmed glasses, fixed rim bicycles, skinny jeans rolled up to just below the knee, boat shoes, vegan diets. Okay, you got me, I’m talking about hipsters. Or am I? You’ve probably noticed the convergence between hipster culture and local start-up culture so let’s explore why.
I was on a panel last night at Lean Startup Melbourne talking about different ways you can raise capital for your business. The panel featured a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur who had raised VC capital, a government grants consultant and myself talking about my experience raising capital for Tweaky.com from local angel investors.
Often we get so caught up working in our business, that we don’t stop to take a look at how our business is actually performing. You win a big project, and you spend all your time working on it that the actual running of the business goes out the window. Basically, what’s happening is that you have stopped working on your business, and you’re now working in it.
Advance is an Australian non-profit public-private partnership with communities spanning 90 countries and outposts in New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and London. Founded by Ken Allen, Advance fosters a worldwide community of Australians, taps into knowledge far and wide and facilitates global career opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurship.