The British Library is an outstanding source of support for business start-ups, scale-ups and anyone else with an interest in creating commercial success. Through its Business and IP Centre, it gives British business access to the same – if not better – resources as are available to multi-nationals. The offering includes courses, conferences, market research databases, specialist advisors, free wifi, and a quiet place to work and study.
According to the US Department of Labour Statistics, 53% of start-ups stay in business longer than five years with only 20% surviving more than 20 years. In the UK the number of five-year survivors is slightly higher at 56%.
UK business owners told researchers their biggest challenges are the tax system (44%), lack of bank lending (38%), red tape (36%), costs of running a business (36%), and late payments and cash flow (35%).
A friend of mine is one of the best leaders I know. He's also deeply introverted. Anyone meeting him for the first time could easily think he's a back office guy - and the one at the very back, maybe in charge of the old metal cabinets storing the paper archives.
Au contraire. He's the guy who transformed an ailing world class IT company so that it is now turning over several billion dollars per year. So how? His twin essential gifts are his ability to listen and also recognize the value in ideas that are not his own. Corollary to this is the near adoration of his staff because he is fair and always rewards those good ideas.
The idea with investment is to trade at the bottom. Calculate risk wisely but identify the low point that signals opportunity and growth. For international investors, this means finding locations with more positives than negatives and ignoring the crowd’s belief that it’s a dangerous place to be. Go back 50 years and Singapore was on that cusp.
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