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Lessons we’ve learnt &
  what to remember


       Neil Dennis
Back in 2005
• Started Strawberrysoup in final year of uni
• No money or external investors
• Used assets available to us
• Bedroom/office during planning/startup
• Moved into ‘shedquarters’ after
    graduating
•   First project gave capital to launch
1) Money, money, money




             Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/
                                 wwarby/
1) Money, money, money
 • Work with existing hardware
  • You don’t need the latest Macbook Pro,
       iPad, iPhone, 27” cinema screen
 •   Months to live spreadsheet
 •   Don’t trade services, it’s too confusing
 •   Highlight your terms
 •   Business link offer good advice on funding
 •   Grants available so use them!
2) Stick to what you know

             Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/
                         illuminated_photography/
2) Stick to what you know
 • Don’t pretend to know more than you do
 • Do you know CRM, CTi, VB.net, SQL?
 • It’s ok to say “I will need to look into it”
 • You can’t be expected to know everything
 • Use experts in each field if appropriate
 • Keeps stress levels down
3) You can say
no!




         Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/
                     illuminated_photography/
3) You can say no!
 • The customer is NOT always right
 • You have been hired as you are the expert
 • An uncles friends brothers mums cat
   always knows better/different
 • Your opinion counts, ensure it’s heard
 • You don’t have to accept every project,
   it’s not always about the ££
 • Trust your gut
4) Get a good
accountant


                Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/
                                   alancleaver/
4) Get a good accountant
 • Ask around and get recommendations
 • Find someone you can easily talk to
 • Help with hiring staff, PAYE and company
   formation
 • Help you save tax and money in the long
     run
 •   Won’t charge you for every second
5) Network your a*se
off
              Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/
                                 alancleaver/
5) Network your a*se off
 • Don’t worry if you’re not a natural
 • People buy from people they like
 • Use friends, family to spread the word
 • Word of mouth is so powerful
 • Use Twitter and LinkedIn
 • Go to events like this and conferences
Questions?

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Strawberrysoup - Lessons we've learnt

  • 1. Lessons we’ve learnt & what to remember Neil Dennis
  • 2. Back in 2005 • Started Strawberrysoup in final year of uni • No money or external investors • Used assets available to us • Bedroom/office during planning/startup • Moved into ‘shedquarters’ after graduating • First project gave capital to launch
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  • 5. 1) Money, money, money Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ wwarby/
  • 6. 1) Money, money, money • Work with existing hardware • You don’t need the latest Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone, 27” cinema screen • Months to live spreadsheet • Don’t trade services, it’s too confusing • Highlight your terms • Business link offer good advice on funding • Grants available so use them!
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  • 8. 2) Stick to what you know Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ illuminated_photography/
  • 9. 2) Stick to what you know • Don’t pretend to know more than you do • Do you know CRM, CTi, VB.net, SQL? • It’s ok to say “I will need to look into it” • You can’t be expected to know everything • Use experts in each field if appropriate • Keeps stress levels down
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  • 11. 3) You can say no! Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ illuminated_photography/
  • 12. 3) You can say no! • The customer is NOT always right • You have been hired as you are the expert • An uncles friends brothers mums cat always knows better/different • Your opinion counts, ensure it’s heard • You don’t have to accept every project, it’s not always about the ££ • Trust your gut
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  • 14. 4) Get a good accountant Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ alancleaver/
  • 15. 4) Get a good accountant • Ask around and get recommendations • Find someone you can easily talk to • Help with hiring staff, PAYE and company formation • Help you save tax and money in the long run • Won’t charge you for every second
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  • 17. 5) Network your a*se off Photo borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ alancleaver/
  • 18. 5) Network your a*se off • Don’t worry if you’re not a natural • People buy from people they like • Use friends, family to spread the word • Word of mouth is so powerful • Use Twitter and LinkedIn • Go to events like this and conferences
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