Turn your small business ideas into reality with our top tips


A new study by Virgin Money shows that the pandemic has boosted our national entrepreneurial spirit.


Aurelia Meakin’s Ballista.com is the 2019 SBS Winner.Credit: Unknown, clearly with photo table.

Since March 2020, driven by a desire to change the way we work, people have jointly launched 31 million new business ideas.

But only 37% of potential entrepreneurs want to start their own firm. If you are one of them, Sunemployment will help you.

We’ve teamed up with Theo Paphitis of Dragons Den to get you started.

Today, Birmingham is home to his annual #SBS Small Business Sunday event, which brings together the UK’s best small businesses.

Aurelia Meakin’s Ballista.com was the 2019 SBS winner, making the former telecom employee very happy.

Aurelia, from Orpington, Kent, said: “Running your own business can be challenging.

“You have to be persistent and resourceful and not be too hard on yourself.

“If you have a dream, you should go for it.”

Here are Theo’s tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.

  • One of the biggest hurdles aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners face is a lack of self-confidence. You have to believe in your idea – moreover, be the one who bores your friends to death.
  • Never be afraid to make decisions. Once you have an idea, the confidence to make decisions is critical to starting and maintaining a business.
  • If you don’t take calculated risks, you’re standing still. If a decision turns out to be wrong, identify it quickly and take action if possible. Otherwise, find someone else who can.
  • It’s okay if it doesn’t work the first time. My experience of making bad decisions helped develop my confidence, making me who I am today.
  • Never underestimate the power of social media and remember that the Internet has leveled the playing field for small businesses.
  • Don’t forget to dream. The car can’t do that!

Working our way back to

The government’s “Living with Covid” plan has prompted more firms to recall their employees back to the office.

Psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos of the SmileDirectClub Trust Council says: “Going back to the office after months or even years of working from home due to a pandemic can feel daunting.”

Here is her advice:

  • Remember that change naturally creates anxiety. However, we grow and develop only when we leave our comfort zone.
  • Hold on to the best parts of working from home. If you were going to take a walk at lunchtime while working from home, try incorporating that into your new daily routine.
  • Have the courage to ask to work from home when needed. If you want to continue working from home part of the week, ask your employer about it.
  • Ask for support. Chances are you’re not the only one worried about going back to the office. Ask your manager to create a support group.
  • Remind yourself why you are good at your job. Talk to colleagues who inspire you, ask questions, and be sure to connect with your team. All this will help you get comfortable and will contribute to your professional growth.


Are you a bright spark? ELECTRICITY NORTHWEST needs 30 new students. Hurry – applications close tonight. Head to jobtrain.co.uk.

BUILD a brighter future with BELLWAY. The housebuilder takes on 57 apprentices across the country. Find your ideal role bellway.co.uk/career.

It’s all wages

SALARY has surpassed flexibility as a top priority for job seekers as the cost of living crisis bites.

A new report by recruiter Michael Page shows that 40% of those who want to make a move do so to make more money, compared to 30% of those who want a more flexible work week.

Overall, 28% of employees are actively looking for a new position, rising to 43% between the ages of 18 and 34.

Doug Rode, MD UK&I at Michael Page, said: “A year ago, flexibility could trump wages on the work priority checklist.

“However, with rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis putting pressure on workers across the country, it is clear that the tide has turned again.”

Earn your spurs

INCREASE your net income by winning a new hot job.

Today from 10:00 to 14:30 Tottenham Hotspur hosts a job fair with the participation of 50 top employers, including Google, HSBC, retailer JD Sports, Ikea and the police.

Positions range from entry level, interns and apprenticeships to graduate and leadership positions. The event, held at the stunning Spurs Stadium in North London, is open to anyone over 18 years of age. Pre-registration is not required.

Sarah Ebanja, chief executive of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “We look forward to opening our doors to people who are looking for opportunities that can change their lives.”

Find out more at tinyurl.com/3rpu8sd8.

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