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  • CNN Business: Why I quit JPMorgan to start a jetpack business
    Dean O'Malley walked away from a high-paying job in finance to start a risky venture in the new jetpack industry.
  • Business Matters: New initiative gives start-ups and SMEs free access to finance advice

    Experts Bill Morrow (Angels Den), Luke Lang (Crowdcube) and Richard Alvin (Audere Capital) will discuss the best funding options for SMEs and they will also be joined by Matt Perkins from Freeagent, who will be discussing what steps businesses can take to keep the accounting process as painless as possible, along with looking at how the cloud in changing our relationship with business finance.

    Rebecca Jones of Our Hub commented: “Over the last few years we have seen many more finance options become available to Startups and SMEs, however, it’s a complex area and for companies to make the most of the finance out there, they need expert advice.”

    “The Our Hub experts will have a panel discussion that highlights the key areas of alternative finance to help guide SMEs through the difficult finance and funding landscape.

    “We are extremely lucky to have two of the leading authorities on funding joining us and I’d encourage all start-ups and SMEs to come along to this event and take the opportunity to find out what finance will work best for their business. It’s a free event so there’s really nothing to lose.”

    Taking place from 6pm-9pm on the 26th of November the launch of Our Hub, with its finance focus, will be held at Club Workspace in London Bridge. For your free tickets click here.

  • Business Matters: Creating ‘Brand You’ and why it matters

    Yet we can all learn from these global companies and branding is also something that can be applied in the workplace to help people accelerate their careers.

    A strong personal brand image can be essential for people wanting to climb the corporate ladder. There is also a risk that if they don’t cultivate their own brand, others will do it for them and their perception can become reality. In the race for promotion, presentation and perception having a strong brand image can be important as someone’s track record.

    To create a good personal brand people need to think about how they wish to be presented to the world, and the identity they want to project.It involves them considering what is their promise to stakeholders and what can people expect from them. They need to also focus on what makes them stand out from the crowd and different from others in the people in the organisation.

    A personal brand is all about what people want to be known for and what people will say about you them when they have left the room. It’s about reputation and people, just like products, have to work hard to make sure they come across to work colleagues, customers and other stakeholders in the best possible way.

    Steps to creating your brand ‘you’

    Be real

    A common mistake is that people fail to be authentic in their brands. Authenticity is the key.

    The most important things to remember are:

    • Be honest about your values and ideas
    • Promote causes that align with your values
    • Be consistent and reinforce words with actions. Stick to core messages
    • They need to protect the integrity of ‘brand you’ at all times

    SWOT

    An honest assessment of your situation is crucial to understand what you have to offer and the areas that need improvement. Identify the following:
    Strengths – Internal characteristics that give you a competitive advantage
    Weaknesses – Internal weaknesses that must be improved
    Opportunities – External chances that can be exploited in the marketplace.
    Threats – External challenges that cannot be controlled, but may be addressed through opportunities

    Values and Passion

    This is about knowing what really matters to you and what lights you up. Ask yourself the following questions to understand where your values and passions lie:
    • What really matters to you?

    • What makes you angry?

    • What drives you forward?

    Defining your brand mantra

    This is the heart and soul of your brand. You should create a quick and memorable statement describing who you are, what you have to offer and what makes you unique. Keep it snappy. Between three and five words is enough.

    Think about what words others might use to describe you. It is always an interesting exercise to ask a few other people to describe you in three words. You may be surprised by what people already see and it could help form the basis of your brand mantra.

    5. Committing to your brand

    Once you have developed your brand and established a clear brand identity, it’s important to maintain it and be consistent. Trust can only be built by staying close to your brand identity. It is important that you present yourself in the same light each time people touch your brand and that your behaviour is consistent with your values, making that visible through all work, activities and actions.

    You must commit to your own brand and not doubt it or keep changing it too frequently, as this can confuse people, and may erode your reputation, trust and brand image.

    Developing a unique brand and committing to it can be a really positive step in anyone’s career, whatever level, but it is crucial at a senior executive level. Those that take the time to do this will reap the rewards, be more empowered and be more confident in achieving their career goals.

    Executive Coach, Ishreen Bradley

    Image: Concept of branding via Shutterstock

  • BBC Business News: Labour warns over pension charges
    Labour urges the government to ensure people taking advantage of new pension freedoms next April are not ripped off by financial firms.
  • CNN Business: Europe to vote on Google breakup proposal
    Read full story for latest details.
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