What can businesses learn from Silicon Valley’s success?

What can today’s start-ups looking to accelerate their growth learn from Silicon Valley’s high tech boom of the 1970s and 1980s? In the space of just a few years, this southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area – centered on Santa Clara Valley – became home to so many high-tech computer companies that it earned the nickname “Silicon Valley” after the silicon chips these organizations were using. It has in turn become shorthand for the US digital technology industry itself.

Today, Silicon Valley has grown to encompass the entire San Francisco Bay Area. It remains a leading high tech hub and focus of a strong start-up ecosystem – attracting as much as 43% of US venture capital funding, and home to dozens of “unicorn” start-ups, worth over US$1 billion. Yet around the world, other clusters of start-up innovation have also sprung up – so many that Slate magazine jokingly created a map listing all the places dubbed “the new Silicon Valley.”

So what was it that turned Santa Clara Valley into Silicon Valley? Why here, in this once-remote and rural part of America? According to Bryan Pearce, Global Leader EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, and Jeff Grabow, EY’s US Venture Capital Leader, there are five key factors that converged to transform this part of San Francisco Bay into the world’s leading technology hub. Entrepreneurs can look to leverage these components of success in order to accelerate growth within their businesses.

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Five Steps to Becoming Self Employed

If there are only five steps to becoming self employed, why doesn’t everyone do it? Here’s the thing: everyone can become self employed if they have discipline, drive, and the ability to overcome some tough working situations. Learn how to find self employment opportunities, and find success.

There may be five steps that lead to self employment, but everything hinges on one simple skill: the ability to find work. Through self-promotion, die-hard job seeking, ad placing or a combination of efforts, everyone who wants to succeed as an independent contractor has to succeed at finding paying customers. Learn how to make the process a little easier.

Becoming Self Employed

Step 1: The Self Employment Resume

Obviously, the first step to becoming self employed is to have a resume that highlights skills, education and experience in the professional’s chosen field. It does very little good to start any type of job hunting without having a great resume ready, so get one ready!

Often, success in self employment isn’t about finding opportunities but seizing them…and it’s pretty hard to self-sell without a resume that shows off skills and accomplishments. Even those with very little work at home, or independent contractor, experience can highlight other job experience they’ve gained, skills they’ve acquired and education they’ve completed. Remember that a resume should always stay professional, read in the third person and be presented on a single typewritten sheet – no colors, images or added embellishments necessary. Continue reading “Five Steps to Becoming Self Employed”

Self Employment is the Loneliest Job

For professionals who feel cooped up and hemmed in by an office environment, the thought of work at home seems sweet. But for those who have actually experienced self employment, working alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Self employment is really the loneliest job, one that brings a lot of stress and boredom. Can you handle being self employed, and working alone?

Self Employment

Work…Alone

For busy parents, work alone might sound like an ideal dream. Daily distractions often make it difficult to reach self employment goals. In these cases, working alone suddenly becomes desirable, needed. Successful self employed professionals have to learn to work even with home-oriented distractions. The phone will ring. Roommates and spouses might want to chitchat. People may come to knock on the door. And, if there are kids in the house, they’ll be sure to demand their fair share of attention. Continue reading “Self Employment is the Loneliest Job”

The Truth About Being Self Employed

It’s difficult to find the self-employment facts when so many myths, scams and complete cons get in the way of honest workers. There’s a lot of incorrect information out there, and it’s very easy for even extremely intelligent, hard-working professionals to fall prey to the false data. Find out what it means to work alone, and learn the truth about being self employed.

Self-Employment: The Facts

Knowing certain facts about self-employment makes it easier to avoid all those scams, helping professionals learn how to identify myths rather than fall prey to them. Everyone should know a few things about self-employment before pursing this career path.

Independent contractors must cover their own health care. This is a fact that every self employed professional must face. Individual policies don’t often provide the best coverage at the most affordable rate, so it’s extremely important to shop around to find the best policy. Continue reading “The Truth About Being Self Employed”

The right way to start a business

I imagine that everyone has at some point contemplated starting a business of some kind or other; either spurred by a detailed and analytical diagnosis of current market trends or having a cool idea whilst sat in the pub.

The good news is that a lot of the best business ideas have come from impromptu ideas, although equally a lot have come from months of tireless and expensive consumer research too. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where the idea has come from – what matters is that you know what to do with it.

start a business

Ideas

You must have something to offer which is not currently available. If there is already a market for it then your idea has to be significantly better, simpler or cheaper. You will not be able to take on Nike or Microsoft overnight so regardless of how good your idea is, be prepared for a long journey and look for niches to target to get your foot in the door. Continue reading “The right way to start a business”

Factors to consider when switching your Accountant

If you are self-employed already you will know the value of having an accountant and if you are about to start working for yourself, you will soon become very familiar with the sound of your accountants voice.

Having an accountant who is right for you and your business can mean the difference between doing OK and fulfilling your true potential. Often considered as a passive partner simply responsible for number-crunching, an accountant can have a truly significant impact on your success.

Accountant

Unfortunately, its all too easy to simply stick with the accountant you have, just because its easy. But if you don’t feel like they really understand what you and your business are trying to achieve, perhaps its time to consider a switch.

We run through some of the factors you should bear in mind when you are looking for a new accountant.

Relevant experience

Not all construction workers are the same: there are electricians, plumbers, carpenters and plasterers and many more types of specialist knowledge too. No-one expects a construction worker to understand every aspect of another persons expertise; the same principles apply to accountancy too.

Whilst all accountants certainly have a grasp of the basics, there are many different types of accountancy. Finding a firm that can offer you the right experience is vital if you are to get the most out of your business. Continue reading “Factors to consider when switching your Accountant”