Archive for Community

Running a home business?

Working in the garden - a picture of a shed

The Guardian have recently begun a new small business forum for the small business that is based at home. You can see the pages of the home business hub here.

The first edition offers insights into people who have started a business in their garden shed. No, really. Research in the article shows that garden based businesses contributed £6.1bn pounds to the UK economy in 2012.

If you thought the shed was the sole domain of middle aged men and their rusty lawn mowers, you couldn’t be more wrong. Female entrepreneurs have started jewelry design businesses and online vintage shops from their sheds.

The home business hub also has a feature article on meeting clients in ‘third party’ places. Some successful businesses meet their customers in some very different places, form Garden Centres to dedicated meeting spaces in stationery shop chains.

You can start your enterprise wherever you are, using the resources to hand when you start and as you grow, you can still be imaginative about keeping those costs down.

Food for thought – especially for a garden based business. See The Guardian home business hub here.

Firming up your structure in 2013

cashregisterPic5One of your New Year resolutions might be to begin thinking about how to take your local community enterprise forward in terms of legal status. with the benefits and responsibilities that entails.

The Guardian small business network have just published a clear and detailed article about the pros and cons of the ‘big four’. You can read it online here…

The article looks at the following – setting up as a sole trader, becoming a partnership, creating a new limited liability company or becoming a limited liability partnership.

To help you decide what is right for you the article has a simple, clear grid of advantages and disadvantages for each option.

If you are already trading, or want to legalise your status, this simple, clear article can help.

If you are a local community charity, planning to extend your trading activities or looking to create a social enterprise then you can, like the above, visit the VolResource pages – which offer framing information for charities wishing to register as a limited company or to become a community interest company.

VolResource offers a good stating point to review and make a list of your options as a trustee or director. Always consult the Charity Commission web pages too when doing your research.

The Charity Commission have just launched a new portal for trustees looking to partner, develop their structures and governance etc. This too can be a helpful first reference place to look.

As always, if Sandringham Enterprise can share our experiences and knowledge, just ask us.

Free books for the New Year

Entrepeneur and author, Guy Kawasaki, has made available four books for the New Year which you can view, print or download here.

The books offer insights into developing a business, utilising free tools online or developing skills in managing business information and helping you overcome your frustrations with technology.

A great New Year gift from someone who was involved very early in the marketing of Apple Computers, who invests and writes about new enterprise across a broad range of sectors. (Read more about him on Wikipedia here…)

Below is a brief synopsis of the titles you can get for free

Useful reading for the New Year entrepreneur?

Useful reading for the New Year entrepreneur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Macintosh Way (218 pages)

Packed full off insights into the early development and marketing of this computer giant. How you can grow a world beating business from even the smallest beginnings.

Database 101 (177 pages)

A very easy to read, digestible book – helping you to think about and master databases. How to keep customer records and to get the best from the informaton you create, be it sales, mailings or financial analysis.

Computer Curmudgeon (229 pages)

In the words of the author, if you have ever wanted to take a baseball bat to your laptop…this is the book for you.

Google Plus (177 pages)

Insights and information to help you get the best from the new, free virtual networks you can create for your enterprise on the web. Very much in keeping with our recent Facebook advice series.

Happy reading and a Happy New Year for 2013 from the Sandringham Enterprise Team.

(Guy’s original Google Plus post is available here…)

Twitter the best you can…

How to get the best from TwitterHere is another publication in our occasional series of getting the best for your rural business from the web.

Enterprising use of social media, like Twitter, can raise the profile of your work, give you access to and contact with your customers, as well as helping you build a following for your goods or services.

The booklet from HubSpot informs the enterprising business person how to think afresh about Twitter, as well as help with planning how to develop your contacts and new relationships with bloggers, other web publishers and influencing readers of your web site.

Twitter is actually a micro-blogging tool in its own right for your business. Download the booklet here and find out why

secBEANS – helping build sustainable social enterprise.

Community business planning tool

canYouPlanItButtonThe organisation Community Matters have just released a new social business planning tool – Can You Plan It.

This interactive tool is not the usual dry, spread sheet based business tool kit you so often come across. This great resource involves the use of ideas cards, consultation processes and how to plan together.

It offers any sort of community business a way to explore an idea, or development opportunity, in a way that fosters creativity, clear thinking and an understanding on how to achieve your aims that is not delivered through ‘text heavy’ frameworks.

You can download a quick pdf leaflet for the tool here.

If you would like to see all the elements of the toolkit online you can visit the Community Matters web site page here.

You can find the main secBEANS main website here…

Start your Social Enterprise

You can access useful information for your start-up in this publication from Social Enterprise UK, a booklet sponsored by Unity Trust Bank.

This guide, which is a short version of Craig Deardon-Phillips’s book Your Chance to Change the World, presents the key elements which need to be considered to help every social enterprise become a reality.

There is a lot of information for budding social entrepreneurs available, but we liked the easily digestible ‘main points’ approach of this publication.

It also offers some useful case histories, issues which will be recognisable to community groups who have started any project, whether a community business or not.

From planning your business plan, through working out what your social enterprise mission is and how to work best in partnership with others. The section of governance and legal forms is also clear and useful.

You can download this free pdf booklet here.

If you would like the whole book and really get into the ‘no-fibbing’ guide to Social Enterprise, you can find it on the secBEANS bookshop page (…and donate a small amount to SEC when you buy!)

Enterprise news – always updated

Get news automatically here...We have just published a new secBEANS page – a newsfeed where you can find constantly updated enterprise news, advice and resources.

From The Economist to the The Start-up Foundry, you will find a variety of enterprise themed newsfeeds, which we hope you will use as a one-stop shop to keep current with enterprise developments and small business information.

Do you have a favourite blog or news source that you like to use? Would you share it with others? If you let us know, we’ll integrate into our page if we can  (…and give your business a credit too!)

You can subscribe to the individual feeds by rss at anytime, for free.

If you do not yet use rss feeds to keep up to date with enterprise news, or any news at all, this link will take you a short 100 second YouTube movie which explains how it works. Keep up to date with a news reader – makes life simpler…

You can find the secBEANS newsfeed page here… 

 

Is there a Business In You?

businessBalance PictureYou can now access a new government backed business inspiration website called Business In You.

This new web site offers some inspirational stories about people who have created businesses or turned their creative ideas into a revenue earning project.

You can also find a ‘Find Finance’ service, which offers visitors help to seek funding for their business idea or project.

As always, you can subscribe to regular email updates from the Business In You team. (There are also links to information from Business Link and |the Start Up Britain Campaign too).

Don’t forget if you have a business idea in our area, why not subscribe to the secBEANS network. Having someone to talk through your ideas with, or meet others who are on the same journey is a great way to add power and conviction to your idea and the research you have done to support it.

Sign up and get going with secBEANS for free.

beansBOOKS pages just launched

beansBooksBluescreenPicWe have just launched the beansBOOKS pages for the secBEANS network.

This online bookshop, powered by Amazon.co.uk, provides everyone who visits us with access to carefully chosen titles to help establish, develop or manage your community enterprise.

You can buy with confidence from Amazon, book distribution you can trust.

(We never see your personal or financial details…ever).

We have a regular monthly selection of useful resources, along with strong sections on being a female entrepreneur, small business finance and marketing ideas for smaller enterprises.

We also have sections on community business specifically, explaining how sustainable community enterprises can change the vitality and view of community landscapes – philosophically speaking.

Have a look at beansBOOKS – every purchase you complete using the links on our pages sends 5% of the transaction directly to SEC to help with our charitable activity.

The business bookshop – a service from the secBEANS network and its members.

Could you be a community entrepreneur?

pileofLearningPicStanford University in the USA is committed to putting learning online for free. Offering you access to great thinkers (…and doers), to help get your enterprise idea started.

In February 2012 Steve Blank, a serial starter of successful companies will, as part of his teaching duties at Stanford be launching an online Lean Start-up course.

You can register with your email address here.

Don’t be put off by the technical content of the course, or the fact that it comes from a prestigious university. Simple business ideas, clearly expressed, will be the source of your community enterprise success.

The course is free, built around a series of online videos, which you can watch at your leisure and supported by some interesting quizzes.

Why not do the course before you start your enterprise, or begin to expand your existing enterprise idea.

You never know what might happen. Good luck if you do try out something new.

The beans team.

(Watch out for the new secLEARNING web pages too – access to free knowledge, learning and skills from a variety of providers – coming soon).

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