Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

3 Big Businesses That Give SMEs Reason to Dream

OK, so small business confidence in the UK is at its lowest ebb for six years, but this does not mean that SMEs should prepare for the worst.

In fact, there are numerous reasons why small businesses in the UK should remain optimistic, even if the economic climate remains strained. If all else fails, entrepreneurs can even draw on the experiences of other small start-ups that managed to scale quickly, before turning into the big brands of today.

With this in mind, here are three big businesses that have given smaller firms reason to dream:

1. Apple

We start with Apple, which despite being based in the U.S. has established prominent bases in the UK and Ireland.

It is also relevant to our message, as despite growing into one of the largest and most influential corporations in the world, it actually started out in a garage. Launched by the late Steve Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniack, the business emerged from a shared passion for electronics and a desire to create a PC for the home market. With this behind them, they set up shop in Jobs' parents' garage and developed their first prototype product, intriguingly named 'Apple 1'.

The two also made considerable sacrifices to source the $1,350 worth of capital that was required to launch their venture for real, with Jobs selling his Volkswagen microbus and Wozniack offloading his Hewlett-Packard calculator. With this, Apple was born, the brand quickly began its ascent as a thriving technology giant.

Many entrepreneurs can probably identify with this story, as it is a narrative of sacrifice, hope and humble beginnings. If this is how some of the world's biggest ventures have started, there is no reason why your venture cannot follow suit.

2. Virgin

While Virgin's story is arguably more about the man behind the business than the brand itself, it is still an inspirational tale that should resonate with anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit.

Virgin is now one of the largest and most diverse operations in the world, and one whose shares are often traded through brokerage sites such as LCG (either as individual shares or as part of larger indices). It began as little more than a creative vision in the mind of Richard Branson, however, who quit school at the age of 16 to create a youth culture magazine called 'Culture'. This venture did not prove to be popular, so like all good entrepreneurs he redoubled his efforts and quickly broke into the thriving London music scene.

From here he opened a modest, mail-order record company, scaling it gradually to establish his first retail outlet on Oxford Street. The iconic name 'Virgin' was also born at this time, as Branson and his staff were dubbed by experts as inexperienced and novice entrepreneurs.

The rest, as they say, is history, with Virgin producing an estimated £19.5 billion in revenue last year and having diversified into interests such as trains, travel, mobile phones and banking.

3. Asos

At the turn of the century, Amazon blazed a trail in the world of business that led to the development of the prosperous e-commerce space.

At the same time, a little known UK start-up called Asos decided to capitalise on the move towards online sales, by duplicating celebrity-inspired products at the factor of the cost and focusing on the speed of delivery. While the brand's sense of timing and underlying business model was to be admired, however, Asos started out slowly and even after a year only employed three individuals.

The brand showcased how success can often follow a well-timed entrance into a growing market, as within 10 years Asos had grown to employ 2,000 members of staff, host nine international websites and maintain six global offices.

It has continued to grow incrementally to this day, focusing on delivery affordable goods quickly and for affordable prices. It has also made its name by developing excellent customer service, making returns seamless and delivering genuine satisfaction for loyal patrons.



Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2024, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.