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Entrepreneurs Panel

Tony Caldeira
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
Michael Oliver
Steve Purdham
David Pollock
Jennie Johnson
Brian Hay
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Laura Tenison
Charlie Mullins

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Attending networking meetings has become an important marketing tool for both small and large companies. But for some, the thought of delivering a 60-second pitch or talking to strangers fills them with fear.

A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and as colleagues spend upwards of 35 hours a week with each other, good interpersonal relationships are key to achieving success. The benefits of fostering positive working relationships between staff is clear, but what happens when a blooming work relationship develops into something more?

Happy teams are successful teams. And if you want a happy team then you need to make people feel good.

Sarah Lewis, a chartered psychologist and author of Positive Psychology at Work, offers nine positive psychology tips to make your team feel great.

We are constantly told that, in today’s world, change is a permanent feature of organisational life. Given this is it surprising how many myths abound, and the extent to which organisations struggle with the concept of change.

Sarah Lewis, chartered psychologist and author of Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management, believes that part of the problem is that our ideas in this area are outdated. The organisation is not a machine and our leaders are not all seeing and all knowing.

You’ve planned and prepared your presentation, or training workshop, in detail. You’ve anticipated every eventuality. You arrive early, get set up and are no more than five minutes into your presentation someone in your audience starts to throw out unsolicited comments.

These are the type of comments that aim to catch you out, to make you look bad. You’re being heckled. What do you do? How do you handle the heckler?

Eric Fitzpatrick from Toastmasters International has had to handle many hecklers in his career as a speaker and trainer and he says that the good news is that there are many ways to handle hecklers. The bad news is that there is no one way that will work every time.

Barack Obama famously crowd-sourced the finance for his election campaign - a powerful example of the ability of new technology to create a great aggregate result out of lots of small voluntary actions.

But this process is not as new as it seems. Sir James Murray used a similar approach to creating the Oxford English Dictionary back in 1897.

Snowy conditions are causing havoc – not least with your work force. But where do you stand if your employees are failing to turn up to work as a result? Gaynor Beckett, expert in employment law specialising in contract, policies and procedures at Brilliant Law.

For an entrepreneur nothing is more traumatic than when the business you’ve worked so hard to build up grinds to a halt because of a crisis.

A crisis can present itself in many different forms: system breakdowns, theft of office equipment, fires or floods in the office or financial disasters. When you are hit by a crisis, it’s important to deal with it calmly, quickly and effectively. There are number of logical steps a small business owner should go through to ensure they are equipped to handle a situation and come out the other side with the business intact. These steps are preparation, planning and action.

Deepak Soni, small business insurance expert at Hiscox looks at how SMEs should prepare for a crisis.

After a wet Christmas and mild New Year, the cold snap is set to hit the country once more, with temperatures predicted to reach as low as -10 and snow forecast in many areas. Inevitably, this will result in travel disruption and employees unable, or unwilling, to get to work.

You may find that some of your employees go to great lengths to get to the office despite the cold and a journey of perhaps several hours. However, others may seize the opportunity to have a duvet day. How do you deal with this?

After more than forty years is appears Jimmy Savile has finally been found out and as the days go by, even more terrible revelations continue to emerge. But what is also shocking about this case is just how many people, in so many different organisations, appear to have kept quiet about what they knew.

While the case of Jimmy Savile is an extreme one, it has highlighted an important issue that any organisation would be wise to consider - are your employees encouraged and enabled to speak out?

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.