From the top · 17 November 2016

Live at The Business Show 2016: Day one

The Business Show 2016, Kensington Olympia
The Business Show 2016, Kensington Olympia

Every year, The Business Show brings together the small businesses that drive the economy with every kind of resource needed to grow a company.

Entrepreneurs have come together again at Kensington Olympia to network with like-minded business owners, access advice and guidance from the larger organisations represented, and get an on-the-ground sense of the health of small British enterprise.

Corporate giants Google and Facebook have been delivering digital masterclasses and advice seminars respectively, while organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses  and the Forum of Private Business have been in attendance to remind entrepreneurs of the fighting role they play for enterprise.

Business Advice is once again right at the centre of the show today (17 November), meeting ambitious entrepreneurs from all over the UK.

Bill Morrow, of Angels Den investment platform, gave an early seminar that revealed the do’s and don’ts of accessing angel-led investment in a small company.

The investment guru offered valuable advice to business owners seeking early-stage finance for their company. The key message taken away by attendees was the importance of passion over profits in driving a business.

He told the audience: “The most difficult thing you will ever face is staying in business – if money is all you set out to get, you will fail.”

Morrow added that, for entrepreneurs looking to approach angel investment platforms for support, they must be seeking what he called “clever money”.

“You don’t need money – what you genuinely need is mentorship, business experience, contacts and networks. Only then do you need money. With an angel investor you are getting someone who is emotionally involved in your business,” Morrow concluded.

Steve Bartlett, the 23-year old behind social media agency Social Chain, used his keynote speech to tell the story of his company’s journey from startup to counting 20th Century Fox and McDonalds as clients.

The national business registration body, Companies House, delivered a mid-morning talk to guide budding entrepreneurs through the differences between sole trader and limited partnership registration.

The representative drew the biggest laugh of the morning when outlining the regulations on inappropriate business names. Initially rejected on the grounds of offensive language, a Mr Chance and a Mr Norfolk eventually managed to register their limited partnership – “Norfolk & Chance”.

UK policy makers have ensured that they use the opportunity The Business Show provides in creating a central business network.

The Exporting is Great initiative has been providing advice and guidance to business people looking to get into the exporting game, shouting about the benefits of international trade, and the existing opportunities available to small business.

Facebook’s head of ecommerce, James Carr, brought his expertise to The Business Show to revealing what behavioural changes can be seen through mobile activity, and how to drive performance through mobile.

Business Advice will be appearing at The Business Show again tomorrow (18 November), meeting more entrepreneurs, with our editor Hunter Ruthven delivering keynote interviews throughout the day.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.