The Customer Is King: Treat Customers Like Royalty

In this briefing, successful entrepreneurs like Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox, give their business sales advice. According to award winning businessman Colin Stevens, the best business sales advice is to base every single decision around what is best for the customer.

Expert Business Sales Advice

Listen to your customer: Colin Stevens, Founder and Leader of Better bases his decisions around their effects on the customer. He will look at feedback from social media and other interfaces and will change processes and products accordingly. His business sales advice is to work your business model to suit customer needs. Better Bathrooms extended its exchange policy in order to offer customers more flexibility.

Treat customers as human beings: Bruce Dickinson, Airline Entrepreneur, says human beings are simple creatures. He says that beyond basic needs, all desires are about gratification. Therefore his business sales advice is to offer something that people want. He recognises that what people want from an airline is to get from A to B quickly with little fuss, and sees it as his job to facilitate this.

Understand that consumers are diverse: Martha Lane Fox, former UK Digital Champion, says that businesses are now able to be much more targeted and segmented about consumers. They can address particular customer profiles. Technology and website data is now allowing business to understand the complexity of customer behaviour. It has greatly changed Channel 4’s understanding of their viewers.

Connect on Social Media: Graeme Codrington, Futurist, TomorrowToday, believes that social media usage is driven by a human desire to connect. He says it is the best way in history to make a connection. The technology is the facilitator.

Offer alternatives to digital: Ibrahim Ibrahim, Managing Director of Portland Design Associates, says that with the rise of connective digital technology it will become entirely normal to know where anyone is at any time. There are issues of privacy of course but there is also an opportunity for brands to offer people the intimate experiences they will inevitably crave to compensate for this digitalisation. His business sales advice is that some businesses should consider un-digitising.

This is a guest post.  These videos are kindly provided by our strategic partner, and first appeared on Inside Finance TV.

No fear – an entrepreneurial strategy for 2014

David Spencer-Percival was named Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards last year. He has a background in fashion but found his success in recruitment.

He teamed up with Sir Peter Ogden in 2010 to co-found Spencer Ogden. From offices in London and Aberdeen they began helping clients from all sectors of the energy industry find talented mid-senior level staff. They now have 12 offices worldwide. Their global view and cross sector approach meant that they could find the best talent, wherever it was. This large scale thinking paid off as the business has grown incredibly fast in the mere four years it has been running.

As an entrepreneurship strategy, it goes to show what recognising your own expertise can do. David previously co-founded recruitment company Huntress, experience of which has no doubt added to his success. Spencer Ogden has been recognised at the highest level, it recently won at The Queen’s Awards in the International Trade category. David is naturally confident and says that it is this lack of fear that helped him succeed. He followed his instinct to be an entrepreneur and was willing to take the risks to see it through.

David and three other experts offer their entrepreneurship strategy advice.

This is a guest post.  These videos are kindly provided by our strategic partner, and first appeared on Inside Finance TV.

Angels Den Funded Deal Wins At UKBAA Awards

Vicky Brock & Sally Goodsell

Vicky Brock & Sally Goodsell

The evening of the first day of the UKBAA Investment Summit kicked off with a bang with the black tie gala dinner and awards event with a champagne reception hosted by Asset Match.

Awards were nominated from a range of businesses, investors and intermediaries. All eight of Angels Den’s entries were shortlisted with Clear Returns going on to win the award for Best Women-Led Investment of the Year, selected by a leading panel of industry experts. Having already won an award earlier in the year for Innovator of the Year, Clear Returns’ CEO, Vicky Brock, was exuberant.

Vicky Brock, CEO of Clear Returns said: “I was delighted to win the award and I’m so glad that we are seeing more women entrepreneurs in technology based businesses. Angels Den was a great support in helping me raise the finance I needed”.

Clear Returns, a Glasgow-based technology company that helps retailers cut the cost of online returns through predictive analytics software, raised £160k through Angels Den last month.

CEO and Founder of Angels Den, Bill Morrow, said: “We were really pleased to see that all of our entries to the UKBAA Awards were shortlisted and it’s fantastic that Clear Returns have won yet another award”.

Angels Den’s Sally Goodsell was in attendance on the night and said: “The quality of the entries shortlisted and competition this year was just amazing, it must have been a real challenge for the judges to pick just one winner from each category. It was a proud moment when Clear Returns, who found funding through Angels Den, received their award”.

Scottish Start-Ups Beer52 and Flavourly short-listed at Angel Investment Awards

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 17.34.13 Tonight sees one of the biggest nights in the investment world, with the UK Business Angels Association hosting their annual awards dinner. What makes tonight extra special is that two of Scotland’s hottest start-ups, Beer52 and Flavourly are vying for the same award having raised investment earlier in the year from a combination of traditional angel investors and the latest trend in the investment world, crowdfunding. The award for Best Equity Crowdfunded and Angel Deal, celebrates businesses that have successfully raised investment from Dragons Den style investors at the same time as using the online mechanism of a crowdfunding platform, in this case, Angels Den.

According to Ryan O’Rorke, the founder of food business Flavourly, ‘The money has helped us achieve rapid business growth that is now self sustainable and we have created more jobs along the way. The power of having such a large pool of highly connected investors is invaluable.’ 

However, tonight O’Rorke is up against close friend James Brown, the founder of the UK’s largest and fastest growing craft beer club, Beer52. James was recently included in the Forbes top 6 UK young entrepreneurs to watch.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 17.34.20Both entrepreneurs pitched to investors on Angels Den’s crowdfunding platform and went on to raise over £100k each in a matter of weeks. Brown is also a big fan of crowdfunding because it ‘provides our fans with the chance to become part of our story and join us on our craft beer adventure’. What made Beer52’s pitch even tastier was they offered investors free beer if they came on board.

The combination of Angel Investment and Crowdfunding, also known as Angel Crowdfunding is certainly a hot topic in the investment world. Many in the sector see it as the future of funding start-ups businesses because of the invaluable combination of having experienced business investors on board but doing so through the click of a button online. Although both Beer52 and Flavourly will both have their fingers crossed tonight, it seems pretty clear that both founders already feel like winners.

Find out more about how Angels Den can help you get funded here.

Roundup Of The Business Show

We were excited to once again be the biggest feature at The Business Show at London’s ExCeL last week. If you weren’t there, you should have been! We held funding clinics on our stand and spent both days meeting hundreds of entrepreneurs and hearing all about a wide variety of businesses at varying stages. Over the two days we had 370 serious applications for funding, which is keeping us busy this week! We’re looking forward to seeing some of those businesses go on to pitch at one of our events and feature on our crowdfunding platform.

The Biz Show 2014We also held a series of talks, lectures and our ever-popular live pitches at the Angels Den theatre. The live pitch applications flooded in as always in the lead up to the show, with eager entrepreneurs wishing to pitch in front of a panel of our investors and a live audience, all hoping to win funding for their business, as well as another chance to pitch for free at one of SpeedFunding events.

After the difficult decision of who was going to have the chance pitch was made, the 16 nervous entrepreneurs were ready to impress. All the businesses pitched very well, with two of the pitches currently following up with investors and looking very likely to get the funding they required.

We’re looking forward to returning to The Business Show at Olympia later in the year.