How to set up and run a small business

Leaderboard – Home

You are here: Home

We’ve all been in business meetings where we’re clock watching and wondering how long it will go on for, worrying about our to-do lists which are not getting any shorter. This is especially true in start-ups, where time is especially precious for everybody in a small team..

When it comes to meetings, especially internal ones, it can be difficult to enforce the discipline needed to get the most out of them. This includes starting and finishing on time and sticking to the agenda. Meetings should have a purpose and a definite outcome, otherwise they can be an unproductive use of time for all involved.

What’s more, poor meetings aren’t only wasting our valuable time, they are also having an impact upon our bodies. Research has shown that spending long hours sitting down can play a significant role in the development of chronic diseases, so it’s imperative that you, as an employer, implement changes to protect the health, wellbeing and productivity of your employees.

It’s time to transform the standard routine and be more creative and active with work meetings, not only to breathe more life into them, but reinvigorate your colleagues too. Here’s how you can achieve more from meetings, eliminate wasted time, improve your health and potentially have some fun in the process: Continue…

{ 0 comments }

If you are starting your own business, you can’t hope to succeed in today’s commercial world without employing good, time-saving technology.

Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost, or even, free tools out there that help small businesses to do those everyday tasks that much quicker and simpler. But, faced with dozens of different tools, the biggest problem is usually trying to work out which one offers the best solution.

So to help small business owners find the best time and money-saving tech tools, we asked Martin Bailey, author of The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps, to share five of his favourite small business utilities, that can give you the edge over your competition. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

You’ve established a company, it’s successful, and everything is running smoothly. Congratulations, that’s a fantastic feat. But…

… at some point every company will find that its growth has plateaued. Although things are stable, stimulating growth becomes an issue and the company isn’t climbing to the next level.

When this happens to you, do not panic, take these five steps and you’ll kick-start your business growth strategy.

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

In years gone by, equality and diversity haven’t always been at the forefront of business owners’ minds. However, in recent years more and more business leaders are recognising that respecting equality and diversity make good business sense.

So, what makes equality and diversity increasingly vital when you are setting up and running a business? We asked entrepreneur and author, Jackie Arnold to explain; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Having to carry out difficult conversations is an inevitable consequence of owning a business and being an employer. When most business owners start employing staff they often haven’t thought of the reality of becoming an employer and having to tackle workplace issues as they arise.

Employers often don’t have the confidence to successfully carry out difficult conversations but avoiding these, and leaving issues to fester, is likely to negatively impact the business and, whilst this may be avoided in a larger business, a lack of productivity, capability or incidents of misconduct can have a serious effect on the business as a whole.

As a small business employer, you can avoid this outcome by being prepared, and facing difficult conversations with confidence in your ability to come to a positive solution. Here’s how; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Change is inevitable. And with change comes uncertainty. So, how can people in business, particularly those running a start-up or small business, which are often more sensitive to change, ensure they make the best decisions they can when so little is certain?

Here, John Reynard, author of ‘The Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success” highlights 5 things you can do to help you make good decisions, even when there is confusion all around;

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

It’s safe to say that writing a health & safety plan isn’t one of the most exciting parts of starting a business. In fact, it’s something that many new business owners neglect to do.

A health and safety plan is a plan which outlines how health and safety protocol will work in your business. In an ideal world, it would be seen as something that goes alongside a business plan but, far too often, this is not the case and businesses end up neglecting it.

Planning for health and safety means more than just checking the law as you go to make sure you are following it. Rather, a health and safety plan is something that should be done in the early stages of business planning.
Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Everybody understands that starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on.

Regardless of how lofty your ambitions are or whether you’re aiming to establish yourself as a sole trader or as a the boss of a burgeoning new enterprise, finding access to initial and early-stage sources of finance is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success.

Here’s a look at some of the most commonplace and most viable routes to finance currently available to startup businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Have you ever heard the saying: “There is no such thing as an original idea?”

Like many things that live in the public imagination, it is there because there is some truth behind it. There are some ideas that come like a bolt of lightning out of the blue, or so they seem. But when you look closer at the facts, the ideas have been stimulated by other factors and inputs.

A great example of this is in watching the evolution of the earth and how totally separate cultures, closed off from each other, have developed similar inventions over time.

The best ideas have a bit of something else in them, but how can you capitalise on this and use it to develop a great business idea? Continue…

{ 0 comments }

If your new business is going to be operating in a competitive marketplace, it’s crucial that you find a way to differentiate your business from all the competitors out there. In short, why should customers choose your products or services over what’s already available?

If you can’t answer that question, then you need to go back to the drawing board with your business idea, or read on to find out why it’s essential startups and small businesses find a niche, and how to spot a potentially profitable gap in the market.

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Most business cards are about as much use as a scrap of paper with a name and number scribbled on it. That’s fine if you are looking for a date, but not so good for showcasing your business.

With a little thought, however, it’s easy to create a business card that packs a real promotional punch and helps you, and your small business, stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips and ideas that will help you design business cards that make a big impression;

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Why the best leaders do less

September 8, 2016

How do you describe yourself? Are you an entrepreneur, a technical expert, someone who is good at a specific task or a manager? Or are you a leader?

Whether you describe yourself as a leader or not, the chances are that your business needs you to show leadership at every stage of its development. So how do you successfully lead your business?

Here’s why great leaders do less, and the 6 key steps you need to take to transform yourself into a brilliant business leader; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

A number of the world’s largest companies were founded by ambitious and determined university students who weren’t afraid to dream.

Most people know that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, but were you aware that FedEx, the global courier service, was first imagined by Frederick W. Smith in an undergraduate paper while he was studying at Yale?

In fact, lots of companies that we encounter on a daily basis, like Google and Microsoft, were set up by university students who decided to run with their business ideas. So if you’re a student at university and feeling entrepreneurial, here are 10 practical tips to help you launch a successful business while you study; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

As with owning a car, you are legally required to take out certain insurances when running a business. If you don’t you can be fined heavily and could put your entire operation at risk.

It’s also sensible to have some of the many optional business insurance policies available to cushion you from nasty shocks.

With dozens of different types of insurance cover available for businesses, here’s ByteStart’s review of the main insurances that businesses ‘must have’, some insurance cover you ‘should have’, and several ‘could have’ policies. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Workplace diversity is a term which relates to the people who work for an organisation. It is often spoken about with reference to equal opportunities, and the two are intrinsically linked, but have varying perspectives.

Providing equal opportunities means ensuring that no individual is treated less favourably on the basis of who they are – that all decisions taken in relation to them are based on fact and merit alone.

So what are the benefits of workplace diversity to a small business and how can you achieve it? This guide provides you with the necessary advice. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

When you decide it’s time to get your business started, you’ll find the first piece of advice given by most experts is to “get a business plan written”.

And they’re right; that is the first step to turn your business dream into a reality. But many people find it the hardest step to make.
Continue…

{ 0 comments }

An effective incentive scheme is an important way for small businesses to motivate their staff in order to improve performance and boost profits. Responding to incentives is part of human nature and employees like (and deserve) to be rewarded for their hard work.

For startups and small businesses who have a limited budget, designing a staff incentive scheme can seem like a real challenge. But you don’t need company cars and large annual bonuses to design an incentive scheme that has a positive impact in your workplace.

Here’s how to create an incentive scheme that really works for your staff and your small business;

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

We live in a connected age where you can purchase pretty much anything you want at the touch of a button on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer.

With this in mind, you may find it surprising to learn that not all businesses are tapping into this, or even quite know how to.
Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Young businesses and start-ups that are looking to raise funding have a dizzying array of choices nowadays. In fact, there has probably never been a bigger range of places to go for early-stage finance, from crowdfunding and angel investors through to government-backed start-up loans and P2P lenders.

But before we take a look at the options in more detail, it’s important to think about what sort of funding you’re after for your business, and what you’re prepared to offer in return. The basic division here is between equity and debt. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Many small business owners are now tackling Auto-Enrolment for the first time. The subject is throwing up lots of questions, and with deadlines looming, small businesses need to ensure they get their Auto-Enrolment Pension Scheme in place in time.

To help, we asked Paul Budgen of NEST, which has been set up by the government especially for auto enrolment, to answer 5 of the most common questions small businesses are asking about auto-enrolment pensions; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

5 Ways data analytics can help you generate more leads and get the most out of your marketing spend

August 17, 2016

Lead generation is absolutely crucial to identifying potential customers that are interested in you business’s products and services. With online leads coming from various sources such as search engines, email marketing, banner advertising and social media, you need to take an informed approach so you can reduce waste and focus your marketing budget on the […]

How to delegate when you’ve always done everything yourself

August 15, 2016

Your business is growing and you’ve taken on one or more additional staff members – but are you really maximising their skills and getting the best out of them? Or, if you’re honest, do you find yourself still doing some of the things you employed them to do?

How to be your best business self through Emotional Resilience

August 12, 2016

Research shows that people with ‘emotional resilience’ will have the best chances of not only surviving critical business events but thriving in life. With emotional resilience being such an important factor in whether you and your new business start-up will be able to survive and thrive, we asked Geetu Bharwaney, Author of, “Emotional Resilience” to […]

Guide to Bookkeeping for new business owners

August 10, 2016

If you’re in the midst of starting a new business, then the bookkeeping requirements are unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind. At this stage there can be far more pressing things for you to think about. However, once your business is taking shape, you will need to start thinking about keeping up-to-date […]

How to attract customers from heaven – not clients from hell!

August 8, 2016

You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers. However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while […]

Essentials you need to know before becoming a contractor

August 4, 2016

Making the decision to go it alone and leave the relative security of life as a PAYE employee is a big one, but it can pay dividends (quite literally) when it comes to your potential earning power. If you’re thinking about whether becoming a contractor could be the right career move for you, we have […]

Become a better negotiator – 5 steps to asking powerful questions

August 2, 2016

Negotiations are something all of us need to do every day. Whether it is securing a sale, negotiating a discount with a supplier or simply making arrangements with friends and family (children make particularly good negotiators!), the kind of questions we ask influences the final outcome for everyone. The quality of the questions you ask […]

Starting your own business – 8 common myths and misconceptions

August 1, 2016

Every year, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs make the huge leap from working for somebody else to running their own business. Launching your own venture is a leap into the unknown, and many new business owners discover that much of what they thought was true about starting their own business, turns out to be completely […]

The 7 Key elements of an effective direct mail campaign

July 29, 2016

In a world dominated by ever-updating newsfeeds and 140 character exchanges, it seems that the traditional practice of direct mail has no place in modern communication, particularly as businesses look to utilise cheaper, faster ways to communicate with their consumers. However, overloaded inboxes and newsfeeds that update faster than you can blink means that direct […]

How to be a leader rather than a manager

July 27, 2016

The transition from being a manager to becoming business leader, is one that many new business owners will need to make. Often, the success or failure of your business depends on how well and how quickly you can adapt to this fundamental role change. Never more so than in times of challenge, are leadership skills […]