Nottingham Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 - Pouring Pounds
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Nottingham Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 - Pouring Pounds

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Slides from the workshop this week!

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Nottingham Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 - Pouring Pounds Nottingham Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 - Pouring Pounds Presentation Transcript

  • NEF 2011 ‐ PRACTICAL TIPS ON STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS  0 C C SO S G OU O US SS (BY SWATI BHARGAVA)
  • What is Pouring Pounds? HOW DOES IT WORK? Pouring Pounds is a unique cashback and voucher website in the UK (www pouringpounds com) W (www.pouringpounds.com) The benefit of Pouring Pounds for individuals and businesses, alike, is to save money on all their usual online shopping T We already have a retailer partner network of over 2,000 retailers, which is amongst the largest in the UK Whenever users visit these retailers via our website, they get back some of the money they , yg y y spend online i.e. a cashback on their purchase. For example, if you booked hotels worth £500 on Expedia and Expedia is offering 6% cashback, you would get £30 back on your purchase! Users shop at the retailer websites as they always have, but now earn a cashback The cashback comes from the commission retailers offer us for bringing business and we share  most of that with our users Shops as per normal  User joins PP  Clicks on Expedia’s and lets say, books a  for free link on PP hotel room for £500 PP passes this to user as cashback.  Expedia pays PP referral  In this case if cashback offered was  s case cas bac o e ed as commission for bringing  g g 6%, user gets £30 back! business 2
  • The Idea! SHOULD I, OR SHOULD I NOT? What is the basic function that your product serves? How does it make people’s  life easier/what need does it meet? R What is your revenue model – how do you make money? Who will be your suppliers and buyers? D Current competition – how are you different? Can your idea be very easily copied? If yes, then what steps can you take to   establish your competitive advantage ahead of others? establish o r competiti e ad antage ahead of others? Once you know for yourself that you have the answers to all these questions  AND if you REALLY believe in the idea, you are good to get started! 3
  • Domain Names – some thought and a lot of luck! WHA IS IN A NAME? A LOT! AT Start thinking of domain names MANY of the ones you think of  y A will not be available It will take you longer than you  think to find the right name think to find the right name You can buy domain names  from many websites, can see a  list on Pouring Pounds: Office> Domains & Hosting 4
  • How do I get yourname@Mycompany.com Email? MY OWN EMAIL! Using Google Apps is a simple and easy way to setup your business email accounts You will need to verify domain ownership by uploading a simple file and your web development team can help you easily Simply sign‐up at http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/gmail.html Initially the Standard package should be adequate and you can create up to 50 free accounts G Google allows you t use all th great f ti l ll to ll the t functionality of G il and G lit f Gmail d Google l Applications for free on their standard package However, if you are looking to send mass newsletters and emails to large number , y g g of people then using an email service from your hosting service providers is a more viable and scalable option 5
  • What is the right legal structure for my company? LEGA CORR ! ALLY Detailed info on Business Link  website: http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/ Four common legal structures: RECT1. Sole trader (all profits go to you / unlimited personal liability)2. Partnership (team contribution / unlimited liability)3. Limited liability partnership (personal liability limited / more complex & costly  formation)4. Limited liability companies – most popular! (personal liability limited / extra  y p p p (p y / legal duties and filing of accounts)5. Franchises (good brand name / limited freedom & possible revenue share)Social  enterprises (businesses that trade for a social purpose & often re invest Social enterprises (businesses that trade for a social purpose & often re‐investprofits e.g. community development trusts, housing associations, worker‐owned co‐operatives, leisure centres)Usually this info is enough to decide  what structure is most appropriate – you can call an accountant (for free) to double check. 6
  • How to set up my company? EASIER THAN YOU THIN ! Company formation services like Companies Made Simple  http://www.companiesmadesimple.com/ e.g. Silver package for £50 – company formation within 3 hours , registered office  address, fast track Barclays business bank account  List of recognised company formation agents: List of recognised company formation agents:  NK http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/toolsToHelp/formationAgents.shtml Companies House: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ ‐ Great resource to  research a company that is privately owned. They need to file their balance sheet  h h i i l d Th d fil h i b l h there Other things to think about:  g • VAT registration • Copyright • Trademark • Pi Privacy policy / Data Protection Act li / D P i A 7
  • Your website – the first point of contact for many users! WEB BSITE DESIGN & DE Design options  • Check out websites where you can hold online competitions between 1000s  of registered freelancers: • www.99designs.com, www.elance.com, www.designcrowd.com EVELOPM Contract individual freelancers for various needs: www.peopleperhour.com Video to explain your concept: www.elance.com, self‐made  videos loaded on  MENTyou tube!you tube! Voice‐overs: www.voices.com Website development • See examples of the exact thing that you need • Try to get testimonials and reviews from past clients • Negotiate staggered payment which is market standard: 50% upfront • Fully integrate social media 8
  • While the business set up is going on, start getting out there! GOO OLD NETWORKI OD Get on Twitter! Attend Tweet‐ups Funding contacts and support e.g. Microsoft Bizspark, Seedcamp, Astia Entrepreneur focused organisations like TiE. Especially important when you are Entrepreneur focused organisations like TiE. Especially important when you are  ING entering a new sector Blogs about your industry: Mashable, Techmeme.. Even Cybermummy 2011  (largest blogging conference for mum bloggers) (largest blogging conference for m m bloggers) Trade shows: http://www.exhibitions.co.uk/ Special emphasis on Linkedin for a professional connection with pretty much  anyone Find support networks and build new contacts Find support networks and build new contacts 9
  • Marketing Strategy WHE ARE U ERE If possible, start with targeting a niche Social media  strategy: first for broadcasting, and slowly for engagement USERS GO1. Twitter –not over load  of tweets2. Facebook – more engaged strategy, more difficult more engaged strategy, more difficult OING TO C3. Linkedin4. Digg, Stumble Upon, Delicious – for posting blogs and articles4 Digg Stumble Upon Delicious for posting blogs and articles COME FRO ?5. Quora?  OM Tools like  Hootsuite, Tweetdeck Social media metrics: as important as database today Email marketing – design email templates and newsletters Offline marketing per strategy 10
  • Driving Traffic to your website CREA ATING THE BUZZ…. Blogging: to engage people who have signed up and to get new users interested Search engine optimisation: the right titles, meta tags, link building to increase  your page rank • Backlinks! • SEO Consultants • Hubspot: http://www.hubspot.com/ • Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ • Facebook Success Summit, Social Media Success Summit • Case studies, blogs about how to increase website traffic, specific strategies • Sign up for free updates Sign up for free updates Engage press/media: Look up journalists who write about your field. Write to  them, follow up, chase Find journalists on Linkedin & Twitter 11
  • Recommended books! SELF TAUGHT, AND TH BEST! Marketing Warfare by Al Ries and Jack Trout The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarrella Unleashing the Ideavirus b Seth Godin ( l h h d by h d (considered to b the most d d d be h downloaded l d d e‐book of all time) Online marketing inside out by Brandon Eley HE Good to Great by Jim Collins Autobiographies of anyone you admire 12
  • LETS TALK!Background & Contact Information S Swati D Bhargava (CEO & Co‐founder) was working at Goldman Sachs for the last  5 years. Swati recently resigned from Goldman to start Pouring PoundsI t i Interview on e‐financialnews.com  fi i l http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011‐03‐01/swati‐bhargava‐life‐after‐the‐ city Pouring Pounds has also been featured as the Start up of the Day by Microsoft  Bizspark: http://ht.ly/45NaOFeedback, comments or suggestions!Swati  Bhargavaswati@pouringpounds.comTwitter: @Swats26, @pouringpoundsPlease mention NEF2011 when you join Pouring Pounds so you get a £5 y j g y gjoining bonus! 13