How to set up and run a small business

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Leveraging clud technology to grow business

Whether its public, private or hybrid, cloud is redefining how SMEs use IT. Businesses of any size can now acquire high-quality, IT software and technologies when they need it.

According to the latest research, total cloud adoption in the UK now stands at 88 percent and no longer are SMEs trailing behind larger corporates, with adoption rates reaching 82 percent in 2017. Continue…

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Funeral plan legislation

Pre-paid funeral plans are set to be met with much stricter regulation, it has emerged. The funeral plan industry has been brought to the attention of the UK Government which plans to deal with bad practice in the sector. Continue…

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10 advantages of a limited company

Although the sole trader route, which is commonly referred to as being self employed, is the most popular way of running a business in the UK, there are significant advantages of operating as a limited company.

Here, we highlight 10 of the biggest benefits a limited company gives you over working as self-employed.
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 slot machine

 

High street betting stores are expected to ‘lose jobs’ over the recent crackdown in fixed odds betting machines (FOBTs). New rules coming into place in April 2019 will see the maximum stake changed from £100 to just £2, something that is expected to impact the profits and business of high street bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. Continue…

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ways business owners can pay less taxThe area of tax for small businesses is not straightforward, in fact it can be a real minefield for the unwary. However, if you take a little time, and work with your accountant, it’s usually possible to find ways to save some tax.

To help you think about ways you and your business could pay less tax, we’ve asked Simon Cox of Forbes Watson Accountants to share 10 of the best ways small business owners can look to pay less tax.

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help employee back to work after mental ill healthWe’re all faced with obstacles at work and sometimes just coming back after a holiday can feel challenging. However, when an employee is returning to work after mental ill health, the experience can be even more daunting.

We asked Liz Walker, HR Director at Unum, to share advice on how employers can support returning staff and help ease them back into the work that can be so beneficial to their recovery. Continue…

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Guide to digital signage for small business

Imagine your smartphone or tablet scaled up and delivering information in the high street, restaurant or hospital. That’s what a digital signage system looks like and it’s an engaging way to transmit information to your audience, whatever the focus of your small business.

To help you take advantage of the opportunity it offers, here’s our small business guide to digital signage. Continue…

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Ltd company

Aside from the sole trader route, the limited liability company is the most popular business structure in the UK.

With a limited company, the liability of company directors is ‘limited’ in that the company’s finances are separate from the personal finances of the business owner. This is not the case for those who run their business as a sole trader (self employed).

Limited company shareholders are not responsible for any debts run up by the business, although banks may ask company directors to provide loan guarantees for commercial loans or credit taken out in the company’s name.
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turn around presentation going wrong

As a small business owner, you may be giving a presentation to customers, at a networking event, to potential investors or for staff training.

What will you do if your presentation is turning out to be a nightmare: projector’s not working, presentation not displaying as you want or you have the audience from hell? How can we turn a challenging presentation into a winning one? Continue…

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PPI compensation claims for self employed

With the PPI deadline looming on the horizon, a number of eligible claimants may still be wondering whether or not they are truly entitled to compensation.

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Attracting graduates to SME
A recent study found that 48% of millenial graduates believe a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) to be the ideal sized business to work for as opposed to a larger organisation.

Even with this encouraging statistic, graduate recruitment can be difficult for small businesses. If you are to succeed you need to take a multi-faceted approach to gain interest from students and graduates alike. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure your graduate hiring process delivers. Continue…

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Advice on Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal can cause big issues for any type of small business. Even business owners with the best intentions and excellent hiring abilities might be faced with dismissing an employee one day.

Here, we look at what classifies as unfair dismissal and explain how to prevent legal action in the face of a dismissal within your business. Continue…

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Ethical link-building for SEO

Google regards links as a principal ranking signal and there is no evidence to suggest that this is set to change in the future. It therefore goes without saying that building the right links to your website will help you to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). Continue…

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Autumn Budget 2018 - Phillip Hammond speech

On Monday 29 October, Philip Hammond delivered his second Autumn Budget. With stronger tax receipts driving better than expected Government borrowing figures, the Autumn 2018 Budget was more generous than most observers expected. So much so, that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) calculates these spending promises to be the biggest Budget giveaway since the independent body was set up in 2010.

However, with the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal hanging over the country, the Chancellor did say that he will consider a Spring 2019 Budget should there be a no-deal Brexit.

To help you quickly grasp the major changes, we’ve worked with HFM Tax to bring you a summary of the key points from the Autumn Budget 2018 likely to affect small business owners and self-employed people; Continue…

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how to measure results from your social media efforts

Continuous testing, benchmarking and learning is a cornerstone of all social media activity. It will help you identify areas of relative under-performance, potential risks and opportunities to generate better results. Continue…

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A lot of small businesses start using AdWords in the hope that it will help them increase sales with small investment. This isn’t true.

Yes, AdWords can help you increase sales but only with the right investment.

To get the return on investment you’re hoping for, you will need to set up your account properly and invest the right amount of money. Continue…

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Surviving business difficulties

Running a small business can be a bit of a roller-coaster. Just when you think everything is going smoothly, an unexpected shock can hit your business and all of a sudden, your business is experiencing a very tough time.

So how do you turn your business around when times are bad, and all seems lost? Here, business owner, Anthony Main reveals how he saved his business from folding, and shares what he learned from his experience.

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Taxes a sole trader (self employed) need to know about

In this guide, we look at the taxes you will encounter if you start your own business as a sole trader, and other things you should bear in mind before taking the plunge and becoming self employed.
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Ensure your business survives a divorce

Being a business owner ultimately means you will face tough times, whether that be the loss of a key staff member, a dip in revenue or an untimely economic recession. However, one of the greatest – and most unsuspecting – challenges to a business owner, is a divorce.

To help ensure you don’t lose your business if you get divorced, we asked Matrimonial Consultant and Family Lawyer Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart to share her advice on how to ensure business survival in the event of a marriage breakdown. Continue…

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Employment Tribunal - details and procedures

Are you an employer that is being taken to the Employment Tribunal by an employee for alleged sexual harassment or racial discrimination or for unfair dismissal?

Are you an employee that feels your job situation is untenable? If so, then here’s what to do. Continue…

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How to build a company culture where everyone likes to sell

October 15, 2018

The saying goes we hate to be sold but love to buy. However, the same can be said for how people feel about being involved in selling. We all love to help people buy but only a few feel comfortable with being seen to sell to someone. In the past, this worked well, as the […]

A 6 Step Marketing Process to Accelerate your Startup Growth

October 12, 2018

For business founders, the “To Do” list is never ending, especially when faced with external demands from investors and stakeholders. The need to increase revenue becomes an all-encompassing obsession, and it’s easy to forget “secondary” tasks – like marketing – that help to fill the sales pipeline. But failing to build an effective marketing strategy […]

7 Fundraising Mistakes that will stop investors from investing in your company

October 10, 2018

  Getting funds together to accelerate your venture won’t be a quick task. Choosing the wrong fundraising activities can not only prolong the process, it can even deter investors from backing your business. So, what are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to bring in funding for their companies? Funding expert, John Auckland […]

Short term business loans – when to consider using them

October 8, 2018

Like many people, you may have always dreamed of starting your own business. Being your own boss, making your own hours and realising your own vision are all common reasons people decide to start a business in the first place. A lack of funds can hold you back from taking the plunge, but now more […]

Daily Huddles: Meetings that empower your team

October 5, 2018

Many small businesses and startups are quite agile. The relatively simple structure of most small businesses means they are well placed to adapt to changing market conditions, the ever-increasing pace of working life and evolving customer needs. If everyone in the business is empowered to act in the interests of your customers, you’ll find that […]

How to choose the best online accounting software for your business

October 5, 2018

Small business accounting software has changed massively in recent years. Thankfully, the advent of cloud computing has consigned the days of buying book-keeping software in a box and installing it on your own computer to history. Nowadays, start-ups and small business can choose from a whole host of online accounts software packages. The technology helps […]

5 Strategies for dealing with office politics

October 2, 2018

Office politics, workplace politics, corporate politics… You may refer to ‘politics at work’ by a different name, but, they all mean the same thing. The danger for a business where office politics take hold is that everybody involved becomes distracted and loses sight of the common purpose that galvanizes a team.

The Dos and Don’ts of Filming in public spaces

September 28, 2018

More and more small businesses coming round to the power of using video to establish their brand presence and promote their products or services. With the technology to make professional looking brand film, becoming increasingly affordable, a little bit of production knowledge and know-how can go a long way. Of course it’s not just a […]

5 Ways you can use emotion to connect with customers and get more from your marketing

September 25, 2018

The more people feel, the more people buy. That’s the clear conclusion from the last decade of work by two of Britain’s top marketing analysts, Les Binet and Peter Field. They delved into the IPA DataMine – a huge database of ad effectiveness case studies – to find out how advertising really leads to meaningful […]

Science of success – How to apply Team GB’s gold medal winning techniques to your business

September 24, 2018

In 1996, Britain’s team of athletes returned from the Olympic Games in Atlanta with one solitary gold medal from rowing. This was a low point in British international sporting achievement and was the subject of a good deal of national self-flagellation in the media. Fast-forward to 2016 and Team GB had completed an incredible turnaround […]

Guide to Alternative Business Funding

September 20, 2018

Finding a business loan used to be a pretty black and white affair. You’d call up your local bank and book an appointment, wait a few weeks (or months) and then sit down with the bank manager, explain why your business needed some money, and hope that you’d caught them after their morning coffee. Since […]

10 Do’s and Don’ts of writing a business plan

September 17, 2018

When it comes to writing a business plan, there is one single golden rule that dwarfs all others – your business plan must address each of the key concerns of your potential backer. If you fail on this first point, all the other things you should and shouldn’t do pale into insignificance and even a […]

Improve your business profitability with the 3C approach to employees

September 12, 2018

Can you say that you and the people in your business form a dynamic team? When geese fly in V formation, I see a dynamic team at work. This level of cooperation benefits each goose and the overall team. They reach their destination quicker and use far less energy. Let me share an effective approach […]

How to make realistic sales forecasts

September 10, 2018

So, how do you do forecast sales realistically? Every startup benefits greatly from making a cash flow forecast. But if your business hasn’t opened its doors yet, how is it possible to estimate the kind of sales you will get in your first month, let alone year of trading? We asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com […]

A Guide to getting started with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for small businesses

September 7, 2018

Are you struggling to get your sales and marketing processes clear, consistent and measureable? If so, it may be time to invest in a CRM system. If used correctly such a platform can benefit fast-growing businesses and allow them to build their customer base whilst maintaining that personalised relationship which is essential for both B2B […]