Need some advice, motivation or feel stuck in your career? Consider this your monthly pick-me-up dose of business inspiration
The influencer we follow for a daily dose of business advice
Businesswoman, entrepreneur and TV personality, Sara Davies is someone who knows how to turn her dreams into reality. She is best known for being one of the investors on BBC One’s Dragons’ Den but has also captivated audiences with her recent appearance on Strictly Come Dancing. Having spent her teenage years working in her parents’ decorating shop, the 39-year-old celebrity founded Crafter’s Companion at the age of 21 from her university bedroom. The company was born when Sara found a gap in the market and created The Enveloper, a tool which allows people to make envelopes for handmade cards. Since then, Sara has massively grown her business and her net worth is estimated to be an impressive £37m. She was also awarded an MBE in 2016.
The podcast we tune into to buy, grow and sell a franchise
Host Erik Van Horn has seen it all and is keen to pass his knowledge to his audience. Each episode lets listeners peek behind the curtain as Erik reveals the secrets he uses as a franchisee, consultant and investor.
Still an active franchise entrepreneur, Erik has owned six brands in eight states, with 30 more locations in the works. But more than expanding his businesses, he wants to help people find great opportunities that meet their lifestyle goals. If you have 45 minutes left to spare, this show will help you learn the practical tools needed to buy, grow, and sell franchises like a true expert. You can tune into Franchise Secrets every Wednesday on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and others.
Must-listen episode: Proven ways to maximize the lifetime value of your franchisees
The podcast we tune into to launch a small business
The how of business
The weekly show is packed with actionable advice, tips and techniques to support you every step of your journey – you can learn how to start, run and grow your small business. Launched in 2016, The how of business consists of 30- to 45-minute-long episodes, which cover small business matters and interviews with successful professionals. The podcast has enjoyed consistent five-star reviews and has also been ranked as one of the top 200 business shows on iTunes. Hosted by Henry Lopez, a serial entrepreneur and small business coach, the show discusses important topics such as overcoming decision paralysis, financial projections and conflict resolution. You can tune into The How of Business every Monday on Apple iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and others.
Must-listen episode: Surviving a start-up with Steven Hoffman
The book we read to take the plunge into franchising
The Franchisee Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Franchise by Mark Siebert
As the founder of iFranchise Group, a leading franchise consulting firm, Mark is an expert in evaluating a company’s “franchisability” and developing franchise programmes. His book will walk you through the process of vetting and buying a franchise, but also prepare you to ask the right questions of franchisors and yourself.
Running a franchise is a challenging endeavour, so Mark gives you the resources to decide if this step is right for you. The Franchise Handbook will help you accurately assess the risks of buying a franchise but also research the potential opportunities. Mark’s guide is designed to assist you in creating a start-up plan which meets your business goals and prepares your franchise for success. So, have you picked up your copy yet?
The book we read to become successful owners of a franchise business
Secret Sauce: The oracle’s guide to success as a franchisee by Neal Lappe
What better guide than the one compiled by someone who has walked the walk! Having been downsized from a corporate position, Neal decided to pursue a service-based franchise opportunity.
Hailed as a practical and actionable guide, his book features three core strategies which will “bring about success that you previously thought was not possible”. According to Neal, creating a positive relationship with your franchisor, building a scalable, repeatable lead generation and sales system, and investing in a process-oriented fulfilment system make up the perfect recipe for a thriving franchise. The Secret Sauce also has specific actions plans depending on whether you are simply researching a franchise opportunity, or you have been a franchisee for a while and want to boost your success or exit the business.
The book we read to find out what makes leaders tick
The Nine Types of Leader: How the Leaders of Tomorrow Can Learn from The Leaders of Today by James Ashton
Having worked as city editor and executive editor at the London Evening Standard and Independent titles, James Ashton has covered some of the biggest economic and corporate stories. Cleverly using anecdotes and insight from his memorable encounters with world-class leaders, James introduces us to some obvious (and not so obvious) types of leaders. The renowned journalist assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each leadership type while highlighting where and when they can be best deployed. Reading James’ book will help you identify what kind of leader you are and how you can improve your performance. And one of the key takeaways? “The leaders of tomorrow will improve their game by borrowing from the very best of the nine types of leader that exist today”.