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The Phrase That Will Kill Your Business April 23rd, 2017

“It’s how we’ve always done it.” Is there any other phrase that could do more damage to your business? But we hear it all too often. I bet you’ve even said it at least once or twice. Finding your way of doing business – your magic formula – is essential, but that doesn’t have to impact every single activity. The only guarantee in business is change. Every single moment of every day your industry, whatever that may be, is changing. Your customers are changing. You are always changing. Take Wrigley’s for example. The chewing gum giant began in 1891 as a soap and baking powder retailer. Founder William Wrigley Jr began offering chewing gum as a freebie with the business’s products and before long, the… Read the Rest »

Hatching Creativity April 16th, 2017

How is your Easter Bank Holiday break going? Are you having some time out? It is essential to make the most of these occasions to have a little time to unwind. Let your brain rest. Leave the office at the office for a little while. Why? Rest can easily become a matter of pride for entrepreneurs; ‘sleep is for the weak!’ But in reality I learned this valuable lesson many years ago. I had been proud to say to my uncle that I hadn’t taken a holiday in nine years! He couldn’t believe it and pleaded with me to take a break. I was so locked into my business ventures, so focussed, that I forgot to look after myself and was on the cusp of… Read the Rest »

Real Value April 9th, 2017

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Henry Ford It’s an interesting quote and a concept that many business people often forget. Being an entrepreneur is not about making money. I believe that an entrepreneur’s purpose is to make a difference. It’s as simple as that. Money will only motivate you so far. What happens in the inevitable times when there is very little spare cash? What will keep you going at those times? How do you stay driven? A good goal isn’t ‘to make a million’. It’s a good milestone in your business journey, but who are you helping? What difference are you making and what are you learning along the way? If you had asked me 17 years ago,… Read the Rest »

Outside The Box April 2nd, 2017

‘Why?’ That’s a question that I must hear about a hundred times every single day having four daughters aged from little baby Summer to my fast-growing teenage daughter Tegan. And I am never short of amazed at the questions they pose when talking about what adults just accept as ‘the norm’. Children have an extraordinary ability to see the world differently, rather than simply accepting it the way that it is. As we grow, we become increasingly confined in ‘the box’ and have to encourage the think outside of it! Why is that? I was reminded again of the wisdom of young people at an event with the Prince’s Trust this week. Joining a judging panel at the Mosaic Enterprise North West finals alongside Sir… Read the Rest »

Persistence Pays March 26th, 2017

I rarely disagree with my wife and business partner Gail. But today on a train journey back from London this week she gave me one of those looks and said “you were sucker punched!” The comment was in relation to an email chain she was copied in to where I’d agreed to give a small proud Welsh 7s team a helping hand. I’d originally explained that our marketing fund for this year is already allocated. The chap thanked me for my time and explained openly they are in real trouble if they don’t get a sponsor they were done for. He offered me the sponsorship for a fraction of the original price. There were clearly a lot of people relying on this man. I sent… Read the Rest »

Breaking News March 19th, 2017

I grew up believing journalists have a responsibility to tell the truth and paint a clear and accurate picture of what is happening in the world. Lately, however, headlines are becoming more about grabbing people’s attention and selling as many papers as possible, often with no relation whatsoever to the story they are driving you towards. It seems a shame that some British newspapers are sinking to an all-time low, funding and fuelling mouthpieces like Katie Hopkins and Piers Morgan who are, at best, deliberately inciting aggression on Twitter in an attempt to drive traffic to their articles. They are creating a change in behaviour; a media where posting controversial and inciting stories is rapidly becoming the norm. Katie has gone too far a number of… Read the Rest »

Net Result March 12th, 2017

We run a fun company at UKFast and whilst I am a great believer in having a team that is relaxed at work and that we find the right work-life balance, the responsibility we hold to ensure our clients get the best service and remain online, is huge. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we set up UKFast, it was 1999, I was a musician, Gail was a student and we met in the summer in a chance meeting at one of Tim Bacon’s restaurants Via Vita in Albert Square. Whilst I knew the internet was going to grow, as I’d spent the year hanging out on and off in New York and there was a significant buzz around the possibility of this new… Read the Rest »

Serious Business March 5th, 2017

Having fun in business is essential. When I first started UKFast, Gail and I tried to emulate big businesses, learning from what they did best. Over time, we learned that the best decisions come from managers and teammates who are happy and engaged. It’s honestly that simple. While the responsibility of what we do is incredibly important, it doesn’t mean we are not allowed a smile on our faces and quality time to interact and get to know fellow colleagues. At UKFast, we’ve become renowned for our culture, rewards like Vegas and Verbier, and, more recently, for our office. I had always aimed to have our own campus, a space where we could create an extraordinary environment where the team would feel at home. Somewhere… Read the Rest »

Best Companies Secret Formula February 26th, 2017

It didn’t always look like this at UKFast. UKFast is a culmination of ideas, a pastiche of discoveries from businesses and entrepreneurs across the globe.   We had quite a rocky start. Neither Gail or myself had a blue print or experience of what we really needed to do. I had a number of ideas from my short stint at Granada of what I didn’t want to do; I’d worked there after they acquired my first very small music business. Its also safe to say the world was a very different place too. The ideas of unlimited holidays, birthdays off, kennels, a week’s extra pay if you are getting married, would have been laughed at by experts back in the 90’s. But if you want to do… Read the Rest »

No Hands February 19th, 2017

Over the years I have heard so many people assume when talking to entrepreneurs that they have difficulty letting go of the handle bars. Whilst this may be the case for some, its certainly not the case for the ones who break through and become uber successful. In fact I’d say there are some similarities in degrees of success and the amount people are able to actually let go. I remember some years back, a senior manager coming to me and explaining that one of the new people who’d joined was complaining that I had my eye on his every move. The senior manager said “that’s strange, Lawrence never interferes and just lets me get on with it, in fact I never see him!” I explained in… Read the Rest »

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