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It’s business, but not as we know it…

The past year has taken businesses places they’ve never been before, driving shifts in strategy that will continue to be of benefit beyond the pandemic and inspiring the launch of unique ventures. Vodafone has caught up with pioneering entrepreneurs across a range of podcasts, so you can learn from their experiences, from underground farmers to curly hairdressers…

Growing Underground: Making an unconventional idea a success

People in general are resistant to change, which can make it tough when you come up with a new and unconventional idea. So what can you do to make people accept it and turn your unusual venture into a success? Join Claudia Winkleman and her guest, Steven Dring, from futuristic farm concept Growing Underground to find out why Steven is pioneering subterranean farming, and what he’s doing to convince people it’s a wonderful idea.

Cultivating change: Convincing people to purchase plants differently

Everyone loves a trip to the local garden centre to snap up some greenery for the home or garden, but this has been a major challenge during the pandemic. Enter Patch, a new company changing how we buy our houseplants by delivering them straight to your door and making sure they survive for more than a couple of weeks. Join Claudia Winkleman who talks to Patch founder, Freddie Blackett, about why he got his hands dirty with this unusual concept and how he’s making it a success.

Business on ice: Looking after your people when the world hides

Like many industries recently, the food sector has been facing a major challenge. With everyone venturing out as little as possible, food companies have had to reinvent their distribution models, while also facing new demands and complexities with respect to how they manage their staff. Join Claudia Winkleman to find out how brother and sister duo Howard and Vivien Wong of mochi ice-cream business Little Moons have handled their team during the crisis.

Making waves: Launching a specialist business with impact

If a business can successfully solve a problem people are struggling with, it’s a good bet it’s onto a winner. Whatever kind of hair we have, the chances are we’re not happy with it, so what if there was a salon that specialised in your particular ‘problem’ hair? Join Claudia Winkleman and meet her guest Michele Scott-Lynch who has done just that and launched Bouclème to offer inspiration and advice for people with curly locks to find out how she’s making waves in the beauty sector.

People power: The importance of understanding your local community

Across an unprecedented year, it has never been more important to develop a strong relationship with your local community – in fact, it can prove a real lifesaver for small businesses. During a turbulent period when business models are being redefined, join Claudia Winkelman and her pioneering entrepreneurial guests Brent Messenger, Vice President of Public Policy and Community Engagement at freelance marketplace Fiverr, and Marisa Thomas, Head of Brand at online flower business Bloom and Wild, to explore how to connect with and understand the people who matter most to your business right now – those on your own doorstep.

Side-stepping change: Keeping productive when the economy shifts

Getting the most out of yourself and your team to ensure you’re as productive as possible as a business is the secret to driving efficiency and success, but it can prove frustratingly elusive, especially when your market is thrown in to chaos, as it has been recently. Join Claudia Winkelman and her guests Joshua Umoren, co-founder of contemporary men’s Morts and More, James McMaster, CEO at nutritionally complete food company Huel, Anne Sheehan, Director of Vodafone Business and Claire Corkish, HR Director at Vodafone UK, to gain some practical advice and discover how Josh and James are tackling this new productivity puzzle in two very different sectors.

Doing the cake walk: Sweet success through social media

From painter and decorator to cheesecake entrepreneur, it’s been a whirlwind few years for Joe Moruzzi, founder of Pleesecakes in 2017. However, disrupting the home baking sector has been no piece of cake, but passion and hard work, together with a smart focus on social media has delivered success for Joe. In partnership with Enterprise Nation, we caught up with the new king of the cheesecake to quiz him on this top tips for entrepreneurs.

Socially driven: Building your audience online

The internet has never been more important to businesses as a way of engaging with their audiences than it has over the past year for obvious reasons, and social media holds the key. In partnership with Enterprise Nation, we asked one of the UK’s leading Instagram experts, certified life and business coach Sara Tasker, to share her tips and advice for small businesses looking to grow their social media presence.

A problem shared…

Vodafone has helped to develop Heads Up, a virtual meetings network designed to help and support small business owners just like you

When things are going well, there’s nothing as rewarding as running your own business, but it can also be a pretty lonely place, especially during the tough times, when you feel you have no one to turn to for guidance. Well, Vodafone is helping to change that with Heads Up in partnership with a host of high-profile organisations including, Salesforce, Mercedes Benz Vans and Metro Bank, and led by Enterprise Nation.

Comprising a network of regular local virtual meet-ups, Heads Up connects you with like-minded small business owners so you can discuss your challenges with each other and also meet experts who can offer key advice to help you successfully navigate running your own company.

V-Hub offers free insight and guidance for small and medium-sized businesses

Vodafone has created V-Hub, a digital platform providing free essential expert knowledge, training and support to help small businesses make it through the pandemic and bounce back strongly during the recovery.