Restructuring financial plans to enable a London-based engineering and utility consultancy to expand and support emerging healthcare markets in South East Asia and Africa

Healthcare is experiencing huge growth in South East Asia, with governments implementing reforms to provide universal healthcare for their citizens, whilst encouraging growth in the private healthcare sector. As such, the demand for a healthcare infrastructure is rapidly increasing with a need for hospitals, clinics and specialist health centres, which all require the basic utility services, such as compressors, boilers and chillers. This in turn leads to a need for related services, namely the provision of food and pharmaceuticals. An engineering and utility company, based in London and specialising in pharmacological and food support, was ready to respond to this demand. They already had a wealth of experience in providing their clients with project and engineering management services within the UK and Europe, and were often required to provide ongoing, long-term support. Aware that the South East Asia market threw up different challenges, they approached Big Aspect to help them adapt their business and financial plans to secure seed funding for expansion into this arena. Our first step was to organise a discovery meeting with the consultancy to enable us to fully understan

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Supporting the Mayor of London’s Regeneration initiatives by providing growth and sustainability support to some of London’s most distressed business areas

All of London has suffered from the economic crisis, but perhaps none more so than the London borough of Croydon. In 2011, the rioters who rampaged throughout the capital reached Croydon, and caused significant physical damage to the borough, with shops looted and businesses burnt down. The effects of the 2011 riots are still being felt in this area to this day and as a result, the Croydon business community has suffered in terms of finance, community involvement, and support. A local charity wanted to change this. As the key local umbrella infrastructure body servicing all of Croydon’s multi-cultural communities, they sought to provide various services to assist small groups, large charities, volunteers, and social enterprises through every stage of their development. But they were hampered by inexperience in business planning and asked the advice of the Croydon Enterprise Hub, who recommended us as a premier business advisory consultancy. Over a period of five months, we worked closely with the charity to achieve the regeneration of Croydon and stimulate economic growth. We deployed our business advisor who had in-depth local knowledge of the area and an understanding of

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How the development of a digital strategy transformed a bricks and mortar Oriental food company into a successful online food provider

The UK takeaway industry is currently worth approximately $8bn and is set to increase as more and more people turn away from the telephone and look to the convenience of the internet to source their meals. London has the greatest number of takeaways in the UK with a 13.7% share, and as home to more than 7.5 million residents, it is more important than ever that London-based restaurants and other food providers in particular develop an online presence as well as their bricks and mortar establishment, to provide information about their company and the food they offer, as well as making vital contact with their customers via social media to build a loyal fan base and strengthen their brand. The main problem our Docklands-based client had was that they were unsure how to go about developing this area of their business, coupled with an inability to take on additional employees who were experienced in implementing a digital presence. We managed to solve this problem by providing them with access to the skills and knowledge base of our Digital Marketing and Food and Beverage teams, delivering to the client a thorough understanding of the digital marketing tools available to them. Wo

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Empowering a young casual dining business to become one of the UK’s most innovative and successful franchises

The client was a healthy, fast food operator who had launched their business in 2006 and had enjoyed considerable success in London, employing 70 staff, satisfying more than 2,000 customers daily and achieving an annual revenue in excess of £2.5m. Energised by this success, but aware of the struggling economy, they realised that the huge UK franchise industry, estimated to be worth £13.7 billion, presented the best opportunity of accelerating their expansion plans. However, their organisation was struggling to perform at an administrative level; ill-equipped to manage their business relationships, using outdated marketing material, having no staff able to deal with queries and none to engage with potential franchisees or negotiate sales, stymied by a lack of potential sites for expansion and stalled by an inability to secure funding for this expansion. With our breadth of experience in providing guidance and strategic organisational planning to franchises, they turned to Big Aspect for help. We started by reorganising their infrastructure, introducing a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system, which had the immediate effect of streamlining their business and

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The Effect Social Media is having on Human Value

Facebook reached over a billion members at the end of last year, as did YouTube. Google+ is catching up with 343 million and Twitter has 500 million users. There are many more social network apps out there and most of them have user figures exceeding 5 million. In fact if you add them all together there are probably more users of social networking sites than there are people in the entire population so it's not too much to presume that almost everyone in the western world has at least one such account. That's an awful lot of public, searchable information about us, so should we be worried? Social Media For Business Social media plays an important role in business interactions. Once upon a time you had to forward your CV to potential employers but now all you have to do is link them to your LinkedIn profile which details not only your CV but the profiles of companies you worked for along with recommendations and endorsements. You can use your profile to build up a network of people and companies that you are interested in and they in turn can endorse your skills or add a recommendation to your profile. This gives prospective employers all the information they need about

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Google Campus

Google Campus Monday, 1st April 2013 Google Campus is a 7 storey building ideally located in the center of the Old Street, London, also known by the name of Silicon Roundabout. The building’s main purposes are to host events, and provide office spaces for promising start-ups. Moreover, Google Campus holds mentoring events with the Google staff that are eager to share their knowledge with the residents. The architectural focus was to somehow connect the ground floor and the lower floors so as to host socializing events and make the transition easier. The most important aspect was to make the 7 storey building, which initially was a plain office building, a place where people could learn from the more experienced while they could socialize and improve human connections as well. Google Campus followed the Googleplex model from California, where the main focus of the architect was to create a building that, unlike most offices, would give employees the chance to enjoy a laid-back environment due to the creative design. Being an ideal place for workers, both Google Campus and Googleplex are two of the most inspiring office buildings. The reception desk at the entrance is mos

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DreamWear Inspired by a company inspired by dreams (and clothing).

I met Tauseef Nawaz over coffee (and English tea) near Shoreditch High Street – workplace  of DreamWear. A clothing company designed to go beyond T-Shirts (and we’re not just talking about baseball caps and hoodies). Tauseef’s early tale will be familiar to many young people. Dropping out of his hometown college, he found himself at a loss for not only direction, but confidence. Confidence in himself, and in his skills as a person. The long list of rejections from potential employers which followed could surely have been enough of a toll on anyone in the same position, to give up or to lose hope. But Tauseef claims he knew he had to persevere, to do something greater, to believe in himself. Today, with unemployment and disheartenment sweeping the lives of the young, Tauseef’s message is important: “Believe in yourself and in your abilities – never give up on yourself”. The line “If we can do it so can you” is a well-known and dare I say it overplayed message, however Tauseef is determined to bring this to light in his brand (as well as to sell t-shirts of course.) The highlight of Tauseef’s range, the ‘Born To Inspire’ t-shirt, seems to de

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Will Alice Soon Be Looking Through a Google Glass?

We've all seen Terminator and envied Arnie's spectacular in eye information station. Well if you've always dreamed of doing the same, Google Glass may be about to make those dreams come true. What Is the Google Glass? Launching in 2013, the Google Glass is worn in place of a standard pair of glasses with a small prismatic screen in the top right corner which provides eye tracking and voice control to access to a wealth of functionality. The basic term 'OK Glass' turns on the product. You can then use 'Take a Photo' or 'Record a Video' to get an instant picture or 10 second film. The 'You Are There' functionality means you can record or photograph exactly what you are seeing. This can then be shared with others or you can 'hang out' with pals so that they can see exactly what you can in real time. However, the Glass is far more than a simple instant recording system. It provides access to a wealth of apps and search facilities directly to your eye. From weather and directions, to the latest market statistics, the Glass has its own WIFI receptor and can be tethered to the iPhone to obtain instant data. The Benefits of the Glass It is said that users today are more f

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Cloud Computing is Cool

What, didn’t you know? Cloud computing has all the industry insiders raving. Only pay for what you use! Automatic data backups! No more investments in hardware! Oh, I’m sorry, did I lose your attention? Not surprised. It’s boooooooooooooooooooriiing. But really, the cloud is cool. Very cool. And here’s why. I now live without ads. None, as in zero. Nada. Zinch. I’ve given up entirely on traditional TV (including cable) and now rely on Netflix alone. All the TV series and movies I want at the touch of a button. Plus, with a VPN, it’s possible to get full access to all the US content, which way exceeds what the crappy UK version has to offer.   It’s cheaper (much, much cheaper) So a decent cloud music service costs you, what, £6 a month? Please tell me you’re not still relying on illegal downloads and playing off of mp3s. Really. So 2009. Netflix is £6 a month and you can get a decent VPN service for £4. Cut out your BBC TV licence and you save yourself £145 a year. Cancel cable and save maybe £250+? Really, beyond live sports, what are you paying lots of money for that you can’t get online now?   No more stupid TV I mean the

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Crowdfunding

Any entrepreneur today will tell you it's tough getting funding for a new idea. Traditional forms of finance, including angel investors and venture capital funding demand prohibitive prototyping, proof of concept, and expensive research and development, before taking a massive stake in the equity of the company and demanding a say in how it's run. Introducing Crowdfunding Crowdfunding makes it possible to bring a neat new idea to market with minimal development costs, while at the same time building a tribe of enthusiastic investors with a reason to become an ambassador for your brand. Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs and small business start-ups to approach the public for funding direct, cutting out the middleman. Through sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Wefunder people pledge small amounts (as little as $1) to support projects that interest them. In return, rather than equity in the company, the project organisers may make available a scale of rewards; from listing the donor's name on a roll of honour to special editions of merchandise or a personalised tour of a movie set. Projects may be new businesses, or an existing brand seeking to develop new market

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Poor Economics

Recommended Reading: Poor Economics by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo Today's recommended reading is Bannerjee and Duflo's "Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty". The radical rethinking in the tagline relates to the application of the scientific method, in the form of randomised controlled trials, to understand the choices and behaviours of the poorest people of the world. In the same way pharmaceutical companies test drugs, Bannerjee and Duflo seek to document the actual effects of developmental interventions on the ground. Conversations with people living on less than a dollar a day demonstrate that they are prey to the same apathy, procrastination and mistaken thinking as the rest of us. But where society frames the choices of the wealthy, the poor are responsible for even minute areas of their own lives; often placing faith in expensive cures, for example, rather than access preventative immunisations for which the "pay-off" comes in the future. The poor are required daily to make complex economic decisions that people in developed societies rarely confront. Understanding the thinking behind the decisions enables us t

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Britain’s Answer to Silicon Valley

Many of the world's largest technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and eBay operate out of the San Francisco Bay area in America (also known as Silicon Valley). But could this all be about to change? There is an unlikely part of London that has recently been causing quite a stir in the world of technology. Insiders have long known about the Silicon Roundabout - the junction of Old Street with City Road in Shoreditch, but until the multi-million dollar sale of TweetDeck by Twitter, London's answer to Silicon Valley has remained largely out of the public eye. So just how has this small part of London built itself up to be coined 'Tech City' by the government and Silicon Roundabout to locals? Well the facelift has been fast as even just four years ago this part of London would barely muster a mention. In 2008 Richard Moross set up Moo.com here, an online printing company. The offices that Moross moved into were too big for just one company so he decided to offer cheap rental rates to other start-up companies. Those companies moved on to larger offices in the same area once they became more established but there were always new businesses ready to move in. The

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