Welcome to this week’s roundup of new posts affecting entrepreneurs and their startups that are sweeping the UK! Read on – for a bit of advice from Richard Branson, an update on the latest investigation into online review scandals, and one entrepreneur who is making a difference.
Richard Branson shares his wisdom on decision making, and why it’s important to look at the big picture before taking actions. He describes how he’s learned to step back, instead of jumping to snap decisions – and how, when you slow it down, the odd opportunity can reveal itself.
Interesting that one of the richest men in the world takes the time to mention other’s contributions as he speaks. Throughout his post, Branson shares a few insights from others who have made a lasting impression on him.
One, a resounding message revealed in a story by Stephen Covey: seek first to understand, then to be understood. Another, in a statement of David Ogilvy’s on taking statistics over judgement: “They are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”
For more advice on keeping your company afloat, please have a look at Linkilaw’s new blog post ‘Why Small Businesses Fail.’
For Camilla Ley-Valentin, life as a top executive isn’t so much different from owning your own business. You still are buried with things to do – though perhaps sans assistance at first.
What did make a difference to her was being able to choose what she spent time on; priorities management. As co-founder of Queue It, she saw a demand and took action to fill it; that of website overload.
At a tech startup conference in Copenhagen, Camilla shared her experience and tips on handling the following 3 issues prevalent in the world of a female entrepreneurship:
- Managing a family along with long days and business travel
- Tackling sexism and gender bias when dealing with investors and male-dominated business connections
- Handling pregnancy while fundraising for a startup
One good reason for a mother to launch her own company is the tax advantage that comes along with it. Some of the costs of running your household now become deductions if they are necessary to keep your company intact.
Whatever happened to real testimonials or suggestions for improvement? It seems the opportunity to see their complaints ‘live’ on the Internet has spawned a very underhanded industry. For a price – people hiding behind fake personas will take a shot at an unsuspecting (and unprepared) retailer just trying to make a living. Sometimes competitors get greedy, or are talked into a paid ‘marketing’ scheme they don’t realize borders on libelous.
Social media is, of course, one way to voice your opinion, but that avenue is more of a place for – let’s say it – idle talk. Whereas, reviews attached to a company’s actual listing on the web or in a directory – well, that’s another thing altogether. Balistic and defamatory ‘reviews’ are hurting these businesses ‘where they eat.’
There’s yet another aspect of this scandal – fake complimentary reviews (always 5 stars) which can be obtained at a very low cost, under the auspices of smart online marketing. Unfortunately, for the purchaser, Google is ‘on to you’ and you’ll soon find schemes like will result in penalties to your site (such as sending it to the back result pages).
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has just opened a further investigation, prompted by its February 2015 call for information about online reviews. Though the CMA found most people’s expectations were met when purchases relied upon reviews, they did find the following discrepancies:
- fake reviews being posted onto review sites
- negative reviews not being published
- businesses paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles without this being made clear to consumers
After observing damages to companies from flagrant review site comments, Georgina Nelson imagined a world in which businesses could receive honest and immediate feedback. Enter Trurating, a brilliant new ‘Have a Say When You Pay’ service which obtains immediate scores from every customer’s experience, online or in person.
This way, you get reactions from everyone, crowding out the lone angry person trying to cause you grief. Not only does the service give retailers analytical reports and real client response, it also allows potential buyers to check these ratings as they determine their choices.
Georgina describes the point of Trurating: “With us that angry, shouty person who might not have any grounds for that complaint, even if they rated you as zero they would be lost in the big sea of other customers who are probably really happy with your service. We’re finding that all these businesses are really pro it just because it’s a fair representation.”
If you have an idea for ‘the latest big thing’ be sure to check out our latest post: ‘Why The Time is Right to Launch Your Business!’