Errol Damelin, founder of wonga.com a short term money lender, discusses his business model and some of the obstacles faced in the process of starting-up. He speaks about how the company developed a system that is based on trust into a hugely successful business. He also describes the main tools of customer acquisition used by Wonga, and the role of the internet in so doing.
Prior to founding Wonga, Errol also founded several other multi-million-pound businesses. In 2008 he was named Credit Suisse Entrepreneur of the Year at the South East finals of the UK National Business Awards.
Feel Good Drinks was created in 2001 by Dave Wallwork and his fellow co-founders Steve Cooper and Christ Wright. The team was formed when they met at Coca-Cola, for whom they were developing new products at the time. During their time there they identified a gap in the market for healthy juice drinks which provided good value for the consumer. Since starting up the company has expanded quickly and is by all accounts a resounding success, with drinks being sold in more than 6,500 outlets nationwide.
This video covers Dave Wallwork’s experiences of taking on a business idea and developing it into a profitable company. According to Smarta this video is “particularly relevant for those start ups entering the market with a small budget.”
Simon Nixon worked as a mortgage adviser before he started price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com in 1999. The company made headlines when it floated on the stock market for a reported £1bn in July 2007, prompting the Telegraph to name him the richest young entrepreneur in Britain. Although Nixon continues to play an active part in running the company, he has recently launched a new venture, SimonSeeks.com, a travel community website.
Nixon outlines what was required on launching his new business- from PR to portal partnerships to search engine optimisation. He also talks of the marketing strategy used by Moneysupermarket.com, last years TV advertising costs for the company came to somewhere between £18 to £19 million, and why printing advertising isn’t an affordable option. Nixon relates to his experience with Google and the importance of avoiding the “black hat” tactic. The fact that the fate of Moneysupermarket.com is tied to the banks due to the nature of its work makes this company an interesting case study.
[Article via Smarta]
Will King founded male grooming brand King of Shaves in 1993. Since then, the brand’s holding company, KMI, has acquired personal grooming brands including Ted Baker and Fish, and is expected to have a turnover topping £200m by 2012. The disruptive shaving brand founder talks about the challenges of undercutting Gillette and convincing Harrods to be his first stockist.
Business Startup is the UK’s biggest business event for anyone starting a business or expanding one. It has hundreds of seminars and a huge exhibition with plenty of exhibitors to check out. The occasion provides opportunities for everything from one-to-one advice and networking, to a business competition which might get you funding. According to the organisers “it’s the perfect opportunity to find all the recession-defying tools and information to help your business thrive.”
The event runs from the 30th November to 1st December, all between 10:00 – 17:00. Guest speakers range from Richard Farleigh, the ex-Dragons’ Den Panellist to Richard Reed the co-founder of Innocent Drinks. Most importantly, the event is completely free. If you missed it this year don’t worry as the event runs every year.
For more information please visit http://www.bstartup.com/
eOffice is a new generation of flexible workplaces, offering the ultimate in serviced office development. The new offices are located in the trendy heart of London, Soho. The stimulating modern environment offers a sociable business setting which is geared towards vibrant, like-minded startups and entrepreneurs. eOffice offers fully serviced offices, trendy meeting and conference rooms (up to 140 ppl) and super-fast broadband coverage (1GB in the building). The building has copious amounts of natural light, something which compliments the open plan interior of this state-of-the-art coworking hub.
eOffice also organises a variety of networking, coaching and business mentoring events in collaboration with leading global institutions. This provides members with a valuable spectrum of resources, contacts and professional opportunities to drive their business venture forward.
Each November sees the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), an initiative started to connect young people around the world and foster the entrepreneurial spirit. This year it started on Monday the 15th of November, and events are running throughout the week. People from across 6 continents come to join this growing movement of entrepreneurial people, to innovate and develop new ideas. The initiative was initially started with the aim of “inspiring young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity”. Activities range from online to face to face, and from small intimate networking events to huge large scale competitions.
If you want more information please click here.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It is also the world’s largest library in terms of total number of items it houses, holding over 150 million items in all known languages The Library’s collections include around 14 million books and a substantial amount of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 300 BC. In 2005, the British Library received a grant of £1million to change two of its reading rooms into the Business & IP Centre. The Centre was opened in March 2006 and is probably the most extensive collection of business and intellectual property material in the UK.
The British Library also houses a state of the art conference centre, accommodating conferences, product launches, lectures. The conference room can accommodate up to 255 delegates, and has full onsite technical experts. In addition there are 5 other meeting rooms available, which can accommodate anything from 8-80 delegates. All the rooms have natural daylight, electronic blackout blinds, climate control and sound proofing.
Mark Scott, the franchise director for NatWest and RBS, talks about franchising and why it may be a safer start-up option in the current economic climate. He discusses everything from the type of person franchising is suitable for, to where you can find franchising opportunities to consider. From a banking perspective he claims that banks are more likely to be open if you are looking to be a franchisee. This is simply because a franchise usually has a proven track record, with numerous other locations replicating success. Therefore the investment is a lower risk.
The average franchise fee in the UK is around £15,000 according to him, a fee that should simply cover the cost of setting you up in business. There should be no element of profit in this fee. The profit comes in the form of ongoing fees agreed at the outset. This is usually a turnover fee, commonly at around 8%.
More information can also be found at the British Franchise Association website.