Monday 29 February 2016

You can learn from other great startup businesses like Sudzy

At '245 days…' I think it is really important for entrepreneurs and startup business owners to learn from each other. There are so many great businesses out there that I think taking a look at how others operate gives you lessons that can be applied to your own business.

Today I take a look at a business that you can learn from and if you have a need for this then you can also earn from it as well.

It is a great company called Sudzy and they have spotted a real niche in the market when it comes to dry cleaning. They operate an on-demand service for dry-cleaners and laundromats. At the moment, the on-demand sector of dry-cleaning is booming. Corporations are popping up, promising customers a great deal, collecting the garments and then outsourcing the cleaning to a factory before re-delivering the garments.

Where Sudzy has stepped in is to create a service for local laundromats. The laundromat can mix their own personal service to customers with the device that Sudzy provides to compete with the on-demand services currently being offered by competitors.

One lesson for budding entrepreneurs is that you sometimes have to think outside of the box. Sudzy could have followed the crowd and become another on-demand laundry corporation. Instead they have seen a niche in the market and provided a service for it. As a small business owner you don't just have to concentrate on marketing to customers - there is a thriving business to business (B2B) market out there.

There is a great opportunity here if you own your own laundry services, particularly if you operate a cleaners. You can get together with Sudzy and fight the onset of on-demand services in your area. By using your established customer base and the great customer service that sets you ahead of the competition you can provide a service in partnership with Sudzy. Customers just click a button and have their clothing picked up in less than 40 minutes.

The platform is really easy to join so you can be up and running in no time at all.  I saw the quote related to Sudzy that they are the "Grubhub of laundry" and I think that this sums up what a great business model they have here.

All startups need a great idea and need to execute that idea well to be in with a chance of being successful. Sudzy has found their niche, and also has positioned itself to execute its strategy and look in great shape for the future. How do you scrub up?

A handcrafted website will really set you apart from the crowd

At ‘245 days...’ I want to bring you the best solutions for your new startup business. It can be difficult to prioritise which things to get done when you are starting out but one area that any modern business needs is a quality website. I speak to startup owners all the time. In my experience, there are too many occasions when the entrepreneur has a wonderful vision for their website and then gets talked out of it by a cheap web designer that wants to produce a website that is easy for them to replicate. The less work for the designer, the happier they are.

Not so with where they specialize in producing a handcrafted website. The difference between this and the run of the mill, out of the box websites is stunning. You want your website to sing about all the things you do well, and a website from will help you to do that. As you start your new company you will have ideas about the values that you hold and the type of company that you want to be viewed as. Your website is a natural extension of that. It is the presence that a large proportion of your customers and potential customers will first see. You want it to sing your values. You don’t want it to look like another corporate website that has been churned out by an un-inventive designer.

The guys at understand all of this so they work with you to create a website that you will be proud of. It should give the visitor a reason to look further, to return in the future and to buy from your company. This is not achieved by repeating what you can find everywhere else on the web. It is done by offering something unique and special. can make that special website by talking to you, listening to your needs and acting upon your requests.

At ‘245 days...’ I like to let you guys know about services that can really make a difference to your new business. I think that a high quality website that is handcrafted to your exact specifications is an investment really worth making. It can help to set you apart from your competition.

You can contact them via their website, social media or get them to call you. Talk to them today and you will learn what their handcrafted website can do for your business.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

The lattice bracket is a great way to measure your atartup and where you need to be

At ‘245 days...’ I always like to take a look at the many sides of a startup business. Sometimes it is how you can save money; sometimes it is about how you can improve your business. I also like to take a look at other startup entrepreneurs and see how their inventiveness can mean something to your business. I took a look at the business at Rusty Frets a little while ago and today I will give you some ideas about your business (and probably the idea to go out and buy some of the product) by looking at another great invention.

There are many ways to start a great business. Some involve your experience in the industry you start in, gaining knowledge from an employer and then applying it for your own ends. Some involve an obsession you have to do something better than the rest, often drawn from your own experiences or passions. In my mind, the inventor is the ultimate in startup entrepreneurs. These inventions often come from years of experimentation and a prototype before a fully working product is available to the market.

One such invention is the lattice bracket which is fiendishly simple in design but solves an issue that has been around for a long time. Lattice work has been notoriously difficult to hang plant on. The option has always been to grow something in the ground and let this work its way up the lattice. This takes time. The lattice bracket solves this issue in an instant. It is a simple bracket that attaches to lattice work, whether it is metal or wood. It allows you to hang your plants on the existing lattice by placing a pot in the bracket. This solution is simple, elegant and cost-effective.

For your business, it shows how one great idea can change what you offer. I say that every great startup business needs to revolve around one great idea. The lattice bracket is a great idea that has started this company. You can find, and order lattice brackets at By having a single great idea for your startup it can focus everything else you do. Ask yourself the question at every decision point –

“Does this enhance the great idea?”

By giving yourself a focus you can use this as a yardstick to measure what you are trying to achieve.

New website? Does it sing and dance about the great idea? No? Then change it.

Marketing letter? Can your customers clearly see in the first paragraph what the idea is? Yes? Well that is just what I want.

Bill is the owner and inventor of and you can see his passion and knowledge in this area. When you are the entrepreneur, the startup owner, you want your customers to see your passion for your business in everything you do. You can learn from this great product for your own business. Take a look at the website, and get some lattice brackets to liven up your garden while you are there!

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Get a free social media audit for your startup business

At ‘245 days...” I take a look at all of the aspects of your startup business that you need to get right first time to get you in line for success. There are so many areas of startup business that must be done correctly to make sure that you don’t end up as one of the statistics of failure. Startup businesses are particularly vulnerable to closing down in the first few years. It can happen for a variety of reasons but the major factor in this is cash flow. This comes about because of not enough customers. It is vital as early on in the process as possible for a new business to start recruiting customers. In the past they may have involved expensive marketing campaigns, but in the modern world it involves making use of the free medium of social media.

Unfortunately, because it is free, some people in business seem to think that you can throw whatever you like at it and something will come back. There are millions of users on the social media networks and a high proportion is small business. To be seen takes a strategy.

How do you get your audience to find you? How do you gain a meaningful audience? Where do you turn for help?

Gradient Social Solutions is currently offering free social media audits for your startup business. It means that you can get quality advice from a professional in this field. It can transform the way that your company uses social media and the engagement you have with your audience.

Gradient Social Solutions have been helping clients for years to make the most of their social media presence. They work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get you an audience that means something to you. They look to engage followers that are likely to buy and endorse your products to get you traffic that converts into business.

When I first started on Twitter for my business I was thrilled to see that I was followed by Yoko Ono and the crown Prince of some country I hadn’t really heard of. After a short while it dawned on me that this wasn’t my audience. These were not people that were going to buy my product. It is by having your target audience follow you on social media and reacting to what you post that you can convert this free tool into income and profit. Don’t be fooled by follower numbers.

As you would expect with a marketing company that helps you with social media, Gradient Social Solutions have their own Facebook page that you can check out.

At ‘245 days...’ I repeatedly extol the virtues of marketing, especially when the medium is free to use. Social media is a great way to engage with your customers and get them to interact with you and your business. It is a really cost-effective way to generate new customers and to turn these customers into loyal customers. However you need to use social media correctly if you want a return from it. Gradient Social Solutions can give you a free audit to make sure you are doing just this. Contact them today!

Monday 22 February 2016

How to get great marketing help for your startup business

At '245 days…' I like to look at the different ways in which you can get your startup ahead. It can be difficult to attend to every part of your business needs on your own with no support or training. You will know the results that you want to achieve but maybe not how to get there.

I am a big advocate of marketing. I read marketing books all the time and I think that a company that uses quality marketing techniques will always be on to a winner. In the modern world of social media, email marketing and other uses of the internet this needn't cost the earth.

But how do you get the knowledge and skills to do this properly? How do you get your startup ahead of the game?

There is a way to help your company to understand this area of your business and get better at it.  gives you a training program that talks you through taking your existing marketing for your startup business to the next level. If you haven't started yet then it will get you started and on the road to successful marketing of your company and the products you offer.

If you start to understand the marketing messages you want to deliver, the audience you want to reach and where you can find that audience then you are well on the road to success. will get you moving in completely the right direction with this. They offer you help with-

·         Branding
·         Website Design
·         Social media visual strategy

And include many extras like-

·         An exclusive website template
·         A collection of logo templates
·         Ready-to-use social media posts
·         Easy professional video making tutorial

Taking your marketing efforts step by step means that you won't miss a thing. The online course takes you through each of these topics in detail and gets your company firing on all cylinders when it comes to your marketing.

Once you start to learn and then master the basics of branding, the quality of your website and your social media marketing then you can take your business to the next level. This course gives you the knowledge, skills and confidence to apply your learning to your business. It puts you in control of the situation and allows you to produce marketing in these areas that gets results.

This isn't a course where you pay your fee and then hear nothing. This is a fully interactive course where you can get hold of the teacher. It is set up so it will never be over-subscribed. You can contact and receive a response whenever you need it. For platinum members there is the rate bonus of a one to one hourly session every single week. This means that you can have that face to face chat to ask questions, discuss strategy and move things along as quickly as possible.

If you are looking for help in this area and you want a supportive learning experience then this is a great way to learn and develop. It might just be the next step in making your company great - you wouldn't want to miss out.

Sunday 14 February 2016

See how the latest technology can be available to your startup today

At “245 days...” I like to take a look at the different ways that you can help your startup business. I’ve taken a look at using professionals to help you with the set up and maintenance of the business but another area that is expanding massively for the startup is technology. It has advanced so much in recent years that there are tech items out there to help your business that you couldn’t have dreamt of only a few years ago.

One such area is the use of drone cameras and the leading proponent of this is who produce the world’s first 360° smart camera designed specifically for unmanned vehicles. There are so many uses for drones and drone cameras that the technology has moved to this level so quickly. Industries that can make great use of drone cameras include-
  •          Logistics
  •          Security
  •          Delivery services
  •          Traffic management
  •          Farming
  •          Exploration
  •          Media
  •          Conservation
  •          Real estate agency

The fact that have designed a 360° smart camera means that the functionality of the drone camera has just entered a new era. So instead of limiting your drone’s footage to only pointing in one direction, you can now capture immersive 360° field of view footage with brilliant Ultra HD resolution. In addition to this you can get a live feed from the camera for your specific point of interest to enable you to actually make decisions on the spot with live data. The camera is a brilliant aerodynamic unit with low weight, compact design, and lack of moving parts. Because of this, the Viooa also improves the drone’s endurance and overall performance.

“With a powerful image processor, Viooa offers unique capabilities: real-time stitching and image stabilization with gyroscopic and accelerometer orientation. Viooa is a 3-in-1 product offering a virtualized 3-axis gimbal with an integrated camera system as well as an image processing capabilities, such as 360° Sense and Avoid, optical flow, etc. There is no more reason to carry various payloads for different tasks. One payload camera can now do it all.”

All this means that you now have the very latest in drone camera technology available to your small business. In what other aspect of technology can the best be available to startups? I can’t think of many.

The simple fact is that the technology that makes or breaks your startup business is being developed by clever companies all the time. The uses for technology like drone cameras are clear for all to see. To be able to access quality images in real time from a 360 degree camera is something that can transform what you do. As you can see from above (no pun intended) there are so many applications for the potential startup business for the use of this technology.

Contact the guys at to see where this technology can take you and your business. You never know, it might just be moving everything you do to the next level.

Friday 12 February 2016

Use a proven researched method for getting your mindset in the right place for business

In my ‘245 days...’ blog I like to find ways to help the budding startup entrepreneur. I believe that business, like life, is about a continual pathway of improvement. There are so many ways to improve on what you do. Improving your skills in important, but improving your mindset is equally important - and often overlooked.

How much of your success is in your mind? A positive outlook on what you do can actually makes a real difference, but how can you affect this? How can you change your mindset? Is this something they you can get better at?

To be as good as you can at business, it takes many different talents. Your knowledge and skill set needs to be as broad as possible for the industry you are working in. But in addition to this, you need mental capabilities-
  •        Confidence
  •        Optimism
  •         Determination
  •         Focus
  •         Dealing with Setbacks

But what if you need help in these areas? How can you improve here to make improvements in the your business?

Help can be found with

It works by using a proven researched method of listening to success messages while you are asleep. The busy startup owner doesn’t have hours during the normal working day to commit to extra learning, and your time away from work is precious. So the fact that this can be added to your routine while you sleep is a real time saver. Time is money, as they say.

To get your startup on the right tracks, Dr Teri Mahaney, Ph.D suggests that you take up a start a Change Your Mind program. This means that you get your mindset in the right place from the outset, and you go down the road of self-belief in making the money that your startup business craves. Every startup has this need for income in the early months because that is when you are finding your feet. Unfortunately this is also when the majority of small businesses fail. To become one of the small businesses that succeed, you need as much of a leg-up as you can get in as many areas of business as you can find. To be able to add the success mindset while you are sleeping will be a massive shot in the arm  to your business.

Some of the testimonials on the website show you how much difference these CD’s have made in the lives of those that have tried them.

“The CDs are more than amazing. They are truly breathtakingly life changing and it has given me so much hope.” - Josephine 

I wanted to personally thank you for the difference that SuperSleep® has made in my life. In particular, the Money series blew wide open the "glass ceiling" that I had hit financially.
In the first 2 months of listening to the series, I doubled my income. I am on track to easily make a six figure income for the fist time in my life. I would highly recommend this series to everyone.
The SuperSleep® program is a MUST for anyone who wants to open to possibility and climb over whatever wall they have been facing.
Mendy M

If you can commit to changing your mindset for the better then it will make a massive difference to the business owner that you are. Being positive, being confident in your abilities and being of the mindset that wants to make money are traits of the best entrepreneurs. To be able to refine and hone these behaviours will make a big difference to your startup company.

Dr, Mahaney suggests you start with her Success series, then move on to her Money series. Try them today.

Monday 8 February 2016

A great way to look after your own health, and perhaps put a little money in your pocket

At '245 days…' I like to take a look at the different ways that you can get help with your startup. There are professional services and others that can help you with some of the things you need when setting up your new business. A lot of my blog has been geared towards generating an income that can run alongside your new business to help in the early days and when times are lean. Any extra income helps. It's as simple as that. In the fledgling days of a startup business, you need money coming into the business and you need it fast.

Today I will look at a product that is great for you to use for your own health, and can help you with the income side of things as well.

There are some ways that I have looked into for generating an income that helps the startup to become successful. Today I'll take a look at an idea that runs with your business and can convert your traffic and customers into extra income for you. It is all about offering something that is high quality, meets your customer’s needs and dies nothing to undermine your reputation.

If you have a startup and you are looking for an extra income stream, for another product or looking to diversify then look no further than o2 drops.

It is all about taking the healing power of oxygen and harnessing it for better wellbeing. We simply don't get enough oxygen at a cellular level. There are different factors that stop this from happening-

Pollution levels
Toxins in the air

Getting oxygen into your system at source can have all kinds of health and wellbeing benefits. This as a unique product that can help you in your personal health and that you can offer to your customers. It can fit in alongside what you are already offering or sit alone in addition to your startup company. Either way it can help your customers and improve your sales.

The income that you generate from thisoxygenated water can enhance what you offer through o2 drops and you can get to the higher selling levels, with upgrades such as marketing tools and the call centre.

This really is a great opportunity to add to your startup plans or to look after the health of you and your family. There is so much scope in the health sector that you will always find customers for this product. People will always want help with-

  •          The common cold
  •          Energy
  •          Immunity
  •          Concentration levels
  •          Headaches
  •          Weight loss
  •          Skin conditions

O2 drops can help you with these conditions and much more. It is all about making sure that you know the benefits of the product and are able to speak confidently to your customers about it.

I have looked at several different avenues in my blog to generate an income to sustain my business in the early days. I have looked at writing, blogging and mystery shopping. I recommend that you investigate the massive potential that o2 drops can bring. There aren't many opportunities out there as good as this.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Look at how you can keep your developers happy (and keep them in your business)

At “245 days...” I am always on the lookout for things that can make the startup process easier or help to develop those that are in the early days of their business. Sometimes this is through chance as I trawl through the internet; sometimes it is while looking for something that I need for my business. Today I will take a look at development in an area that needs professional assistance.

Technology is at the core of just about every business today. The iPad has transformed the customer experience in so many businesses that it is considered essential nowadays. The fast-changing nature of technology means that you have to become an expert in the aspects of it that mean a lot to your business. The internet is a great tool for many things but just clicking through Google on this topic brings you millions of hits and millions of different opinions. It isn’t time to read away, it is time to find an expert who knows this side of business and is ready help. Your developer team needs to be kept on top of all the latest in their field but sometimes it can be difficult to provide all the training that they need.

Step forward Develop Intelligence. This is a virtual academy for your developers to ensure that they keep absolutely on top of the changes in technology to keep your team right up to date with everything they need to know to keep your company at the top of its game. It is only be ensuring your team are trained and developed that they will feel valued, motivated and less likely to leave. Retention and recruitment are two very different things in business with very different cost bases. Retention involves talking to your team, keeping up morale levels and making sure that they feel valued. It is like maintaining a car instead of ignoring it and buying a new one when it breaks down completely.
Recruitment is costly and time consuming. Recruitment for the right reasons (expansion, new customers and new markets) is a wonderful thing. Develop Intelligence can help your new recruits to bed in, quickly pick up the skills they need to match the rest of your team. Recruitment for the wrong reasons (losing team members to a competitor, people walking out) is a terrible thing. It saps the morale of other team members and creates unrest. Deal with all of this by getting Develop Intelligence to work with your team to provide them the very best in training to keep your talent with you – not leaving to work with someone else.

I’m not starting a technical business but I couldn’t just pass by Develop Intelligence without letting you all know what they can offer. It is a tool that keeps you on top of your game by having your developers trained. They become much more useful to you in the ever-changing business world of today. They are much more likely to stay with you as they feel valued and inverted-in.

Bookkeeping and accountancy is a specialist area that needs professional attention

As 245 days starts to move towards an opening date, I am putting together plans to research the service providers I will use when I get started. There are many aspects of the business that I will want professional help in so today I take a look at one area that I have been meaning to sort out for a while.
There are so many facets of the startup life that you probably shouldn’t attempt on your own. I know that startup entrepreneurs are intelligent people (at very least my readers are) and there is a tendency to control costs, but there are some specialist areas that need specialist attention.

Areas such as the legal side of things and bookkeeping just need that professional touch to make sure that everything is above board and working properly. And so many services for the small business have gone online, which means that the cost can drop but the service level isn’t always there.

In my search for service providers in my startup I have been trawling through the internet for a bookkeeping solution that I feel I can trust. I have found one for UK small business in the form of who offer a smart bookkeeping solution.

The core of the great service they offer is the fact that you just scan and send your receipts, and then they do the rest by-

  •         Working out your books
  •          Producing your payroll
  •          Sorting out the auto-enrolment
  •          PAYE
  •          VAT returns
  •          Providing development support

It isn’t a faceless business that you can’t get hold of, there are full contact details on their website including telephone numbers, something which is sadly missing from so many internet-only service providers. They also provide training on the set up process, which means that you don’t end up struggling to work out what you should be doing. It is little touches like this that show a real class and customer care from in everything that they do. So many companies offer a lower-cost internet service and then disappear behind the price – I call it the Ryanair syndrome. It is lazy and when the service is that bad, it loses customers left, right and centre. Not these guys.

They believe that accountancy can be so much more than “doing the books” like the traditional accountant you may still find on your High Street. It is about embracing the traditional value of customer service whilst bringing every other aspect of the service into the internet age. The result is a website that lets the customer know that they are the number one priority.

On this theme, there is a great offer available right now if you follow this link today. Get in touch with them and find out how the bookkeeping and accountancy service has reached new heights. There are so many ways in which you can make your startup business streamlined, easier and more cost-effective. This is definitely one of them. It frees up your time and allows you to concentrate on what you are good at.

Friday 5 February 2016

Young startup owners can get practical advice and support from a great initiative

In my blog I take a look at many different angles relating to startup business. I have showcased some companies recently that can help a startup in the early days. Today I'm taking a look at something a little different…

When you are going through the business of setting up your startup company it can feel quite lonely. There are many challenges to face and lots of startups are sole traders, where the owner goes through the process of working things out on their own. It can be quite a scary, daunting place. But it is also quite an exciting time. It can be doubly daunting if you are a young person with a startup. It can feel like you are dining this all on your own, with little support and no recognition. Even the exciting part is framed with some level of fear.

This has started to change. There is an enterprise scheme that supports and rewards young entrepreneurs and encourages people between the ages of 16 and 25 to set up on their own in business. It is the Matthew Martino Enterprise Award. The idea behind this is to give support to turn a business that is run by a youngster into a success.

It provides a level of support that those new to business will really benefit from. It gives a helping hand to young entrepreneurs. The valuable support takes many forms and includes-

  •          A mentoring service to assist in the journey
  •          Startup grants specifically for the young entrepreneur
  •          Access to other resources that help along the way

There is so much that can and needs to be done to help the small business owner, especially those aged 16 to 25. The future of British industry is in the hands of today’s young business owners. So it is on the interests of everyone in the United Kingdom that these young people get as much support and recognition as possible. The Matthew Martino Enterprise Award is a fantastic way of providing this. The support that a young person gets breeds confidence. Giving a business owner confidence means that they feel empowered. They feel that they are not on their own. They feel like they will succeed - not blindly feeling that they will succeed no matter what, but the feeling that comes from being around a solid support structure.

The fact that someone has gone out of their way to provide positive ideas and practical help to people between the ages of 16 and 25 to grow their business from the very start is heart-warming.

I would urge all of my readers to spread the word about the Matthew Martino Enterprise Award. If you are a young entrepreneur then you can see what they have to offer. If you are over 25 then it can still be good to know and learn about the award. Talk to others - you never know that you just might be talking to showing who would really benefit from it. is a great website to measure your startup against

In my startup blog, the thing I find the most interesting is the interaction I get to have with other startup entrepreneurs. I get to meet with many other business people (both face to face and online) and discuss how things are going, what challenges they face and to share best practice and knowledge.
This week I have got in touch with an entrepreneur that is going through the startup process. He is a little further down the road than me and I was thrilled to get the chance to ask him a few questions, learn about his business and share the experience with you.

His name is Bryan and he owns and runs which is a great online guitar shop. It is essentially a small town guitar shop but taken online. The focus is on the customer rather than the equipment and the store is clearly run by someone who knows everything about the stuff they are selling. And I would say that this is the first thing that we can learn about the startup business. Start your business in something you know and something you have a passion about. That passion and knowledge will shine through in everything you do. Take a look at the website now and you will see knowledge and passion on every page.

Bryan tells me that the biggest hurdle he has faced is generating traffic for the website. Once customers are there then they will browse, enjoy and probably buy. It has been getting them there that has been the biggest hurdle. He quotes using different angles and perseverance as the two main characteristics that have helped here. Lesson number two for startup entrepreneurs. You must remain positive and keep trying. By this I don’t mean keep trying the same things, but trying different ways of making it work. Check out the headline on the website-

“Rusty Frets is an online guitar shop for the working class guitarist. Great gear without the huge price tag.”

It is simply effective. It resonates with the target audience and ensures that the connection is made.
Bryan tells me that he is proud of his success in generating other sales channels. This is another important lesson for the budding startup owner. The traditional methods of selling your product or service may not necessarily be the only way to get to market. Social media, online forums and blogging sites are often a great way to meet potential clients, woo them and make the sale.

In terms of there is definitely a market out there for the service they offer.  A guitar shop that really understands guitar players is a wonderful thing. If the seller truly understand the buyers (because they are one of them) the game changes.

This is a great website and looks like a great business, so I urge you to go through their website and look at how they connect with customers, explain what they offer and make that connection. And while you are there, you can get yourself a guitar as well!