New Luxury Watch Company Born in Japan

New Luxury Watch Company Born in Japan

Grand Seiko Finally Makes Its Debut

Grand Seiko has long lived in the shadow of its parent brand, but now it is finally getting its time to shine.

The luxury watch industry is constantly changing and evolving, and there are always new developments to look out for. One such announcement is that Grand Seiko is to operate separately from its parent company, Seiko. Grand Seiko watches have gained something of a cult following thanks to the fact that they used to be quite tricky to get your hands on. Now, with their very own company, they’re set to go global! Here’s everything that you need to know.

The grand unveiling

Seiko is a name that most of us are familiar with. Before 2010 Grand Seiko, the luxury branch of the brand, had only been available in Japan or when they popped up on second-hand sites every now and again. After 2010, they became available worldwide but under the umbrella of the larger Seiko brand. This year, that all changed. The Seiko head office announced that it had created a new company in the USA solely dedicated to the sales, marketing and distribution of Grand Seiko. Called Grand Seiko Corp. of America (GSA), it’s the very first Grand Seiko company in the world. So now getting hold of a watch will be even easier!

Making a global impact

GSA is set to usher in “a new era for Grand Seiko,” bosses at Seiko said at the time of launch. Grand Seiko currently enjoys a great deal of prominence and prestige in Japan, and the plan is that making it a wholly independent brand will see it gain global recognition. With big events such as the 2020 Olympics around the corner, there’s never been a better time to increase the visibility of Japanese brands. Top athletes such as Novak Djokovic already endorse Seiko, and taking Grand Seiko independent could lay the foundations for relationships with global household names.

Beautiful new models

Seiko is a brand that so many people trust, and Grand Seiko takes all of the characteristics of the core brand and elevates them. To celebrate the launch of GSA, a new range of models have been announced. In great news for those who have followed the brand for years, they are re-workings of classic Grand Seiko designs updated to reflect the bold new direction of the company. So if you haven’t invested in a beautiful Grand Seiko watch before, there’s never been a better time to start shopping than now!

Investing in a luxury timepiece

Luxe Watches are the dealers of choice for those who are serious about building up a collection of stunning luxury watches. With a huge range of timepieces to choose from and payment plans that suit all kinds of budgets, there’s no better place to find the watch of your dreams. Whether you have your eye on one of those new Grand Seiko designs or a watch from another luxury brand, Luxe Watches could help you find the perfect timepiece this autumn.

The perfect festive gift?

Second-hand watch sites have long been the place to find elusive luxury watches, and now that Grand Seiko are an independent, international brand you can expect to see the variety online to increase dramatically. With fledgling watch companies like Grand Seiko bringing striking new models to the market, it’s certainly worth keeping your eyes peeled in the run-up to Christmas!

Give the Perfect Piece of Jewellery This Christmas

Give The Perfect Piece Of Jewellery This Christmas

A Personal Gift Goes A Long Way

Whether you’re planning to propose or just surprise a loved one with a particularly thoughtful and unique gift – bespoke jewellery is the way to go.

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time to think about what to give to your partner or loved ones. Of course, you could leave it until Christmas Eve and join the throng of shoppers that descend on places such as Westfield or the Trafford Centre to pick up a last-minute desperation purchase. But if your loved one is worthy of a little more effort, then it’s time to start planning a beautiful gift – and what could be more thoughtful than to give jewellery to someone you love?

First Steps

Start by working out what piece of jewellery you might like to give. Is there a gap in their collection for a ring or a bracelet perhaps? What does your partner usually wear? And of course, the biggest question – are you planning to propose this Christmas?

Earrings

First of all, has the recipient got their ears pierced already? If not, then you’ll need to look at clip-ons, or consider another item. But for those with a piercing, work out if your partner prefers stud, drop earrings or bangles. It’s also important to note if it’s they have single or multiple piercings in each lobe – it’s important not to choose a pair of earrings that will outbalance the others, leading to an overcrowded look.

Necklaces

Make a decision about whether you’d like to give the gift of a necklace for your partner to wear every day, or if this is meant to be more of a statement piece for special occasions. Take note of what he or she normally wears to decide how bold you want to go. Some ladies for example with a petite frame and neckline would be drowned by a necklace that is too weighty or vibrant. But here, a daintier stone set on a thinner chain would spell elegance.

Bracelets

There are plenty of different styles of bracelet to choose from, which makes this a wonderful gift for a Christmas present. For example, you might select a charm bracelet and then you can continue to add special charms for every birthday, Christmas or anniversary going forward. Another popular option is to invest in a classic bangle which you could have engraved with a loving message.

Rings

Think long and hard about getting a ring for a Christmas present if you’re not intending to propose. But if you’re all set to pop the question, then there’s not a time of year that is more romantic. Ideally you would have a good idea of what type of ring your future spouse likes – do they love solitaire diamonds or prefer a more vintage setting? Don’t worry too much about getting the size right as this is always something you can have altered for a perfect fit.

The Individual Touch

With all jewellery, there’s something particularly special about receiving a one-of-a-kind piece. Creating bespoke jewellery for a loved one means designing the piece from scratch and considering their personal preferences, metal colour, skin tone, birth stone perhaps and most importantly what suits them as an individual. The recipient will be forever grateful for the amount of effort that has gone into receiving such a kind-hearted choice of gift, and it’s something that they can wear for the rest of their lives.

Moving to Canvey Island

Moving to Canvey Island

A Slice of Island Life a Short Commute from London

One of Essex’s forgotten corners is gradually finding its way onto the map. Grab a slice of island life before everyone finds out!

Essex is often seen as being a county that has a little of everything. The birthplace of the Essex Girl and Boy, celebrated in TV shows like The Only Way is Essex, the county is also home to the breath-taking beauty of Constable Country, and picture-postcard villages like Finchingfield to the north of the county.

Look a little harder, however, and there are even more choices. Those who favour a remote location more akin to the fens should venture out into the Dengie Peninsular. And if you fancy some island living? Simply get some independent mortgage advice in Canvey Island and you can even enjoy your very own island hideaway, while still being in easy commuting distance of the city.

A short history of Canvey

The seven square mile island has been inhabited since Roman times but was predominantly given over to agriculture till the early 20th century. In the post-war years, as London expanded at an ever-growing rate and the overspill towns of Basildon and Harlow emerged, Canvey also went into a golden period, and was the fastest-growing seaside resort in the country. Then, disaster struck in 1953 with the Great Flood. Back then, sea defences were practically non-existent, and the island was evacuated, but not before 58 people lost their lives.

Subsequently, the island was reborn. Modern sea defences measuring more than two miles in length have been installed, and most properties were built in the 1960s. Today, Canvey still has its beach and a smattering of seaside leisure facilities, but it is no longer the tourist destination that it was in the early 20th century. There are more than 30,000 residents, and the southern tip of the island is dominated by the petrochemical industry.

What to pay

There really is something for every budget on Canvey. One-bedroom apartments and park homes are available for as little as £150,000, while there is a great choice of three bedroom houses around the £250,000 mark.

Connections

It might be an island, but it is not a remote one. Benfleet Station stands conveniently just across the bridge, and from there, it is a 45 minute train ride into Fenchurch Street station, with trains running every 10 minutes. Road links have been significantly improved in recent years by the addition of a second bridge, and you can be on the M25 inside 30 minutes.

Schools

Canvey has a wealth of primary schools, six of which achieved a rating of “good” or “outstanding” in the latest Ofsted reports. There are also two secondary schools, Corneleus Vermuyden and Castle View, which achieved “good” ratings.

Shops and local facilities

Canvey has a bustling town centre that has more than enough to cater for day to day needs. The Knightswick Shopping Centre is home to a Sainsburys Superstore as well as a selection of clothes shops, banks, cafes and other facilities. There is also a good choice of pubs, bars and restaurants dotted around the town, including the Labworth Restaurant, where you can enjoy a range of contemporary dishes in a Grade Two listed building with panoramic views across the estuary.

Construction Starts on New Innovation Centre at the University of Essex

Construction Starts On New Innovation Centre at the University of Essex

‘High tech hot house’ on university campus set to house 50 new businesses

A £12 million building project at the University of Essex campus in Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, is set to house up to 50 high tech businesses at the University’s Knowledge Gateway as part of an ambitious masterplan to eventually see some 2000 people working there.

Part of high tech development

The Innovation Centre, with funding from both the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Essex County Council, is being built by Kier Construction Eastern who envisage the completion of the 38,000 square feet building by early 2019.

The Knowledge Gateway already has a business community of more than 20 small enterprises located at the Parkside Office Village, and this and the new Innovation Centre will help businesses benefit greatly from being based on a campus offering excellent resources and facilities.

The university describes the new Innovation Centre as a ‘high tech hot house’ with the accent being very much on providing a modern, well connected and resource-filled business start up environment where fledgling companies can flourish and grow easily through open access to top class support.

Linking businesses and facilities in a £50 million investment

The university has so far invested £50 million in its 43 acre Knowledge Gateway site since kicking off the project in 2010, and some of their graduates have already found positions with some of the businesses located there.

The Innovation Centre, along with the existing buildings, will be a modern styled, thoughtfully designed structure with space around it to provide an efficient and pleasant working environment. Much thought has gone into the general design of the Knowledge Gateway complex generally – it’s a fair bet much effort went into the architecture and a measured building survey may well have figured somewhere along the line.

University campus offers businesses excellent facilities

Along with excellent research facilities, not to mention a chance for businesses to attract top class talent from the pool of students and graduates, there are modern campus facilities within a five minute walk and the thriving, modern town of Colchester is right on the doorstep.

Businesses setting up shop in the new Innovation Centre can benefit from the following campus facilities:

  • Research facilities such as ESSEXLab
  • Interpretation facilities to UN standards
  • Conference facilities
  • Graphic design and print through in-house studio (actually will be located in the Innovation Centre)
  • Sports and gym including regular classes
  • Many cafes, bars and restaurants
  • Mini market and banking facilities
  • Recreational facilities including theatre, art gallery and 200 acres of parkland

The university’s £21 million Essex Business School – opened in 2015 – is very close to the new business buildings and offers education options including MBA courses and a large cafe ideal for more informal meet ups.

Choosing a work space

The university’s Knowledge Gateway generally and the Innovation Centre in particular provide space suitable for small, medium and large businesses who choose to design their own bespoke workspace.

The university’s design and build team can be consulted to help create the ideal space in the new facility based on the business’s specific requirements.

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Football

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Football

Fun Local Lessons to Get Them into The Beautiful Game

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it’s never too early to introduce your little one to it.

You don’t need us to tell you that the Premier League is well and truly back underway. From offices to school playgrounds, everyone is talking about football. If you’ve noticed that your child is interested in the sport and would love to see them enjoy playing it, then how about enrolling them in a football class? Your son or daughter will be able to pick up some new skills, make some friends and grow in confidence. Soccer Days run classes all over Essex and East London, and both children and parents love the fun lessons.

Learning in a safe setting

If your child is going to pursue a new hobby, then you’ll want to make sure that they are learning in a safe environment. At SoccerDays, you can enrol your child with complete peace of mind. The lessons take place in a variety of indoor locations, so they can be held safely no matter the weather. There are never more than 18 children to a class, and parents are asked to stay and watch too.

Skilled teachers

The teachers at SoccerDays bring some impressive skills to the table. Each coach has undergone training and assessment with the Football Association, so there is no better person to teach your little one all about the beautiful game. SoccerDays only employ coaches of the highest calibre, and the glowing reviews left by many parents are testament to those coaches’ dedicated approach.

Learning with kids their own age

Young children of varying ages are welcome to start football lessons at SoccerDays. There are options for different age groups, from football classes for toddlers all the way up to kids aged seven. The reason children are split into age groups is so that the coaches can put together lessons that are age-appropriate, and so that there’s a fair, level playing field for the kids. As your child grows older and progresses through the different classes, they’ll take part in more technical and challenging activities.

Find lessons near you

SoccerDays is the leading provider of children’s football lessons in Essex and East London. Classes are held all over the London Boroughs of Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. So wherever you are based, you’ll find a soccer class close to your home. Just use the website to find your nearest SoccerDays class, and you and your child will be all set! All you need to buy for their lessons are some trainers and comfy sportswear.

Sport is good for kids

It’s been proven time and time again that taking part in sport regularly is good for young children. The benefits of sport for kids obviously include an increase in physical fitness, but there are lots of other positives too. They’ll learn how to work as a team and to consider their actions before making decisions. Taking part in sport builds a child’s self-esteem too, and that confidence could continue to serve them well throughout their life.

Enquire today

If you think that your son or daughter could benefit from football lessons, then why not get in touch with SoccerDays today? Your little one can join at any point during the academic term, although with the school year just starting now couldn’t be a better time! You’ll be able to take advantage of a no-pressure, free trial, so you and your child really do have nothing to lose.

Custom Made Jewellery Is the Most Personal Gift

Custom Made Jewellery Is the Most Personal Gift

Bespoke jewellery is the ultimate in a personalised possession

Jewellery is one of the most personalised items people ever buy or have bought for them; rings, bracelets necklaces or pendants and specific stones are but a few ways of expressing individuality and of course marking special events in life such as engagement or marriage.

A way of personalising these possessions even more is custom made jewellery where an item is a one-off piece made especially for the wearer.

What does custom made jewellery offer?

In short, it’s the ultimate in personalisation. A ring, locket, bracelet, necklace, pair of cufflinks or other items can be designed to suit the wearer down to the last detail – and they’ll wear it in the knowledge that their piece of jewellery is a one-off; no-one else has one quite like it.

It’s possible in bespoke jewellery design to create something completely new and original using a winning combination of traditional craftsmanship along with modern techniques such as 3D modelling.

How wonderful for a newly married couple to know that their rings are specially designed to suit and fit them. It’s something that they’ll wear for a lifetime and maybe pass on to their children and grandchildren, so it’s a powerful gesture for a couple to present each other with their own, crafted bespoke piece of jewellery.

Copying an heirloom

Another way custom jewellery can benefit is in creating an item of jewellery in the image of a family heirloom or style of a ring, bracelet or similar that can’t be bought ‘off the shelf’ anywhere.

For example, a family heirloom may be too valuable or even fragile to be worn so why not have an exact copy of it made? Custom jewellery experts can create an exact replica from the original or, if this isn’t possible, from photos to enable an old family ring or necklace design to ‘appear in public’ rather than be permanently consigned to a safe or vault somewhere.

Another idea is in the case of old jewellery that is otherwise unwearable or doesn’t look right but has a particular stone the wearer would like to have incorporated into a new ring, necklace or similar. This could be possible in the hands of an experienced custom jewellery expert.

It’s almost like having vintage jewellery – often considered a sound investment – but with the added advantage that it’s wearable and can be enjoyed year round.

How custom made jewellery is created

It starts usually with a consultation with the customer and jeweller where designs are discussed. Modern 3D technology can show designs on a screen and if it’s a piece of jewellery based on an existing item – such as a family heirloom – the jeweller can take these and ‘copy’ the design or base an item of jewellery on design cues from the original if this is preferred.

Budgets and timescales are agreed on; sometimes items are needed at relatively short notice, so this is taken into account along with advice given on what is possible given a certain timescale and budget.

What jewellery items can be custom made?

Most ‘personal’ jewellery can be made to order including:

  • Earrings
  • Wedding, engagement and eternity rings
  • Other ‘special’ rings such as coming of age
  • Pendants
  • Necklaces
  • Lockets
  • Cufflinks

Limited by imagination

Creating your own bespoke jewellery with the help of experienced professionals opens up a super opportunity to present a loved one with something personal to them. The chance to wear a ring that fits them perfectly with the design of their choice, or wear a necklace based on a much-loved family heirloom affords a unique experience and one that will last a lifetime.

Marketing Advice for Delivery Services

Marketing Advice for Delivery Services

5 marketing tips to help boost your brand

From encouraging referrals to branding your delivery vans, effective marketing is critical if you wish to succeed in the crowded courier service market.

 

It can be difficult to stand out in the crowded delivery service market, particularly when it contains several big-name brands. In order to succeed you need to continually grow your customer base, and effective marketing is the key to achieving this.

 

Make a plan

Before you begin any marketing activities it’s important to first create a marketing plan. Sitting down and clarifying your objectives, key selling points, target audience, main competitors, strengths and weaknesses, and key performance indicators, will ensure that any marketing you do is strategically planned and targeted. This in turn will help you to achieve the biggest impact for your delivery business.

 

Use social media

Social media enables companies to engage directly with potential customers for little to no cost, making it a perfect marketing platform for small to medium-sized businesses. Create a business page on Facebook (and potentially LinkedIn if your customer base is made up of other businesses) and regularly post engaging content that your customers will find interesting. To boost your visibility further you might also want to consider investing in Facebook advertising.

 

Alongside your social media activity you should also consider writing a regular blog. It’s a great way to engage directly and informally with your target audience, and studies have shown that it’s a proven way of generating leads and winning new business. Try to create posts that directly address your customers’ needs in order to build trust.

 

Harness your fleet

One of your most effective marketing tools could be sitting outside in the car park as you read this. Commercial vehicle branding, whereby decals or graphics are applied to your company vehicles, has been proven to significantly increase visibility and boost brand recognition. As a delivery service, your vans are a core part of your business so make the most of them by covering them in your branding and turning them into moving adverts for your company.

 

Explore direct mail
Contrary to popular opinion, direct mail is far from dead. It may be somewhat of an old school marketing method, but it can still be really effective when done well, with one report revealing that 40% of consumers go on to do business with a new company after receiving direct mail. What’s more, in a world full of digital marketing, a printed flyer dropped through the door can really help your message to stand out from the crowd. Keep costs down and add a personal touch by getting your drivers to deliver the mail.

 

Encourage referrals

Research has shown that word of mouth is a key driving factor in up to half of all purchasing decisions. Referrals play a particularly vital role in the success (or otherwise) of small businesses and they should be an important tool in your marketing arsenal. In order to benefit from word of mouth marketing you need to provide an excellent service, so always make sure you put your customer at the heart of what you do. You can also encourage customer referrals by offering a referral bonus scheme whereby existing customers are rewarded for successful referrals, perhaps by giving them a free or discounted delivery for every friend who uses your services.

 

There are lots of marketing options out there to help you grow your delivery service company. Whichever methods you choose, don’t forget to measure and evaluate your activities on a regular basis to make sure they are having the desired effect. That way you can continue with the marketing methods that have the most impact, helping your delivery business to go from strength to strength.

Digital SLRs Will Never Be Replaced By iPhones

Digital SLRs Will Never Be Replaced By iPhones

Apple Has Yet to Produce A Decent Camera Phone Rival

Why you’d be crazy to give up on using a digital SLR if you want to capture some quality images.

The popularity of the iPhone continues to soar, with Apple earning approximately 80% of the global smartphone profit in 2016. The iPhone manages to combine a phone, a computer, a word processor and a camera all in one neat gadget that fits in your pocket, so there’s little surprise that so many consumers are loyal to the brand. In comparison, sales of Nikon and Minolta cameras have decreased, with some believing that the rise of the iPhone has caused the death of the camera industry.

But the truth is that digital SLRs will always be superior to smartphones – here’s why.

Quality Is Key

If you’re looking to snap a funny picture of your dog, work colleague or mother-in-law, and share it with the world on social media, then of course the iPhone has its uses. And there’s no denying that the latest iPhone X model has a nifty camera built into it. But for those moments you want to capture where you’re looking for a high-quality image to be the end result, a digital SLR is the only way to go. Let’s face it – you wouldn’t expect your photographer to use their iPhone on your wedding day, would you? Nor would professional sports photographers rely on their smartphone to snap the winning World Cup goal or the final stage of the Tour de France. The bottom line is that pixels talk, and iPhone photos are largely much too pixelated in comparison to a quality digital camera.

Ability to Swap Lenses

The iPhone X model has shipped with vertical dual rear cameras, and companies such as Olloclip provide add-on lenses that clip onto the smartphone, but they’re just not as flexible as interchangeable lenses on a digital camera. When you’re shooting, you need the ability to select your kit based on the type of situation you’re photographing. If you’re taking action shots, then you’ll require a zoom lens to get up close and personal; whereas if you’re shooting a stunning panoramic view from the top of a mountain then a wide-angle lens is your best choice. Can you use your iPhone to take pictures of either of these examples? Sure, but the photo won’t be as crisp as if you’d used a quality SLR model. If you try to use your iPhone to zoom in closely, then the result is often too pixelated. It might be good enough to share on Facebook, but not to print off and frame on a canvas for your living room wall.

Proper Composition

One of the selling points of the iPhone – its portability – is also a disadvantage when it comes to taking photos. When you’re holding your smartphone out in front of you to try and frame the perfect shot, it’s quite clunky to hold using your thumbs and index fingers. But additionally, due to the fact that you’re holding it away from your body, it’s not easy to gain a good impression of how all the different elements of your shot will fit into the picture. A digital SLR allows you to use the viewfinder for extra precision so there won’t be any surprises once you start snapping.

If you’re not satisfied with the pictures that your iPhone is taking, then the answer isn’t to upgrade your smartphone. Instead, have a browse of Worldwide Camera Exchange to find a quality SLR that suits your budget.

Will Brexit Affect Temperature Controlled Transport Costs

Kuehl speed

Kuehl speedBrexit and Cold Chain Logistics

When Brexit comes into effect next year, companies using temperature controlled transport could find themselves facing increased costs and logistical headaches.

On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. This was a momentous decision which is expected to have many social, political and, crucially, economic ramifications both for members of the public and for UK businesses.

One industry which is expected to feel the impact of Brexit is the freight logistics sector and, in particular, those companies exporting goods which require temperature controlled transport.

Temperature controlled transport is a critical component of many supply chains. Perishable items such as frozen food, seafood, fresh produce and pharmaceuticals need to be transported at a low temperature in order to reach their end destination in peak condition – failure to do so results in spoiled goods, disappointed customers and lost revenue. Refrigerated freight enables companies to do this efficiently and effectively and it is an important part of the so-called ‘cold chain’.

Currently this area of business contributes £97 billion to the UK economy per year but there are fears that when Brexit comes into effect next year, the sector could find itself battling rising costs and reduced efficiencies.

Increasing costs

There are a number of ways in which Brexit could affect temperature controlled transport costs. One of the key outcomes of Brexit will be that the UK no longer has free trade with the rest of the EU. This means that movement across country borders is likely to be slower as additional paperwork will need to be processed and new rules followed, which will ultimately impact on logistics efficiency. Time is of the essence when it comes to transporting temperature sensitive goods and any significant customs delays, if not properly planned for, could result in spoiled goods, wastage and lost revenue. New trade duties and tariffs are also a strong possibility in the wake of Brexit.

In addition to this, a weakened pound could increase the cost of fuel, while restrictions on EU migrants could potentially lead to a driver shortage, which in turn will help to push up wages, and therefore operating costs, across the sector.

Opportunities and innovation

However, while Brexit could pose economical and logistical challenges for the cold chain, some experts predict that Britain leaving the EU could also result in new opportunities for the sector. For example, a rise in the price of fuel could encourage the manufacture and use of commercial vehicles that use alternative fuels. With the cold chain being increasingly criticised for its carbon emissions, this could be a welcome development.

Furthermore, by reviewing their operations and introducing efficiencies and back-up measures, such as new fleets, more effective tracking systems and additional storage facilities, transport companies can mitigate any potential problems caused by Brexit, helping them to keep costs down and remain competitive.

Another possible boost could come from businesses that currently make-do with standard freight, but will need to use cold transport if prolonged delays become a common occurrence.

With so much of the Brexit details yet to be finalised, it’s difficult to predict with any certainty how it will affect the temperature controlled transport sector. There are sure to be changes, but how much impact these will have on costs and performance remain to be seen. What is certain is that those companies who are willing to embrace change and innovate will be best placed to weather any Brexit-related storms and thrive in the new trade environment – however that may look!

The 5 Elements Needed For A Winning Business

business team meeting

business team meetingHow To Ensure Your Startup Will Survive The First Year

Follow these business startup tips which will mean the difference between surviving and failing that first year of operation.

With the number of British startups at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to achieve business success in your new venture. 660,000 companies launched in 2016, marking an increase of more than 50,000 from the previous year. But with ongoing concerns that 8 out of 10 startups will fail within the first twelve months, how do you make sure your organisation falls within the successful 20%? Incorporate these five essential elements into your strategy to make sure you’re still going strong beyond the first-year anniversary.

A Clear Business Focus

It’s important to identify the focus of your business from the outset. Whilst some entrepreneurs will have created a brand-new product or piece of tech to solve a typical consumer problem, many successful ventures take an existing business model and simply improve it. You’ll need to conduct thorough research of your competitors, learn what they’re offering and then go one step further to make sure your service or product stands out from the crowd.

Building Your Team

Your business is only as successful as the people that work for it. Putting together a great team is a key area of focus when you’re starting out. Your business plan and the vision for what you want to achieve, should include the roles that you’ll need to recruit for and the skillsets that you’ll require from your employees.

But a successful team isn’t about individuals. No matter how impressive a person’s career history is, you’ll also need to invest time in team building, to make sure that your employees work together towards your business goals.

Networking

Even if you’re going it alone, contacts are still important in the business world. The difference between success and failure can sometimes come down to who you know. This doesn’t mean that you need to break bread with your rivals, but it will likely be advantageous to build up a network of fellow entrepreneurs, perhaps on social media or by attending industry events. Such contacts can be useful to share ideas with or perhaps turn to for professional assistance in areas where you lack the required skills.

Mucking In

Delegation is an important part of running a business. It allows you to entrust various tasks to your employees which will free up time for you to focus on other areas of the business. However, when you’re a startup, it simply may not be possible to delegate the menial jobs when the company is in its infancy. Therefore, it’s important that the senior staff in your organisation are willing to muck in and get their hands dirty. By doing so, not only will you save money, but by getting involved in the basic operations of your venture, you’ll have a great understanding of your internal processes and know where improvements could be made.

Perfecting Your Pitch

One thing that all businesses have in common, is that they all need to sell something to make money. Whether you’re promoting a service, a product or even a web page, you’ll need to get the attention of your target audience. Sales is an area that requires a concentrated effort right from the birth of your business. You need to know what you’re selling inside out; learn how to perfect your pitch and put your best sales team together to do so. They need to be confident at presenting, whether it’s one-on-one or to a board of directors.

Now that you know which areas to concentrate on, it’s time to readdress your startup strategy. Make sure everything is in place before you launch, or if you’re already up and running, then take immediate steps to course correct and ensure a successful business in 2018.