One of the beautiful things about running a small business is that it’s so much easier to motivate your staff.
As the leader of a small team, you will have the opportunity to get to know exactly why each employee is working for you – and use that knowledge to press the right buttons and positively influence productivity.
Managers of large companies can’t do that, especially when their hands are tied by daft schemes “sent from head office”. You can therefore use the advantages of a well-motivated team to sharpen your business’s performance against your bigger rivals.
If you’re about to launch your new business and need premises, or have started up successfully at home and now need space to expand, this is an exciting time!
Moving into an office or retail premises for the first time says something about a business. It can make your operation seem more “real”, meaning your dreams are actually happening.
But getting business premises brings a whole new set of pitfalls that you have to watch out for. You shouldn’t allow these to put you off; but you do need to be aware of these potential dangers so that they don’t sour the experience and hamper the growth of your new venture. Continue…
When you’re starting or running your own small business, you have an endless list of jobs to do. One of the most crucial is generating interest in your business and creating awareness of your products and services.
Big companies can have a team of people to do this and hire a PR agency but as a small business you will probably need to do all your PR yourself. There’s nothing more demotivating when you’re doing your own PR than spending hours getting the perfect press release put together… only for it to be completely ignored by all the journalists you’ve sent it to.
But don’t take it personally, it’s a very common occurrence. And when you hear that 99% of all press releases sent to the media end up in the bin you realise it happens a lot more often than you think.
Most small business owners have an opinion on networking. For every person who enjoys and values it – you’ll find another who visibly shudders at the mere mention of the word.
But why does networking seem to polarise small business owners? Is it a massive untapped opportunity, or is it an uncomfortable evening in the company of strangers and cocktail sausages?
If there’s one piece of advice to hold above all others while running your business, it’s this: cash is king.
It doesn’t matter how much you are selling or the size of your profit, if your business doesn’t have enough cash to pay staff and suppliers you are in big trouble.
Even successful and profitable businesses can be struck by cash flow problems because as they grow, more working capital is tied up in the business.
Without proper cash flow planning good businesses can suddenly find they don’t have enough money to buy resources to fulfil the orders coming in.
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not just the big corporates who are offering their staff the chance to work away from the office. Savvy small business owners are now looking to enjoy the benefits it can bring to their ventures.
Recent changes in the law mean that employers are now legally obliged to consider flexible working requests from all employees. A flexible working request could, for example include, working from home or from different locations, working flexibly, or staggered hours.
All limited companies in the UK must submit an Annual Return form (AR01) to Companies House every year.
The Annual Return provides a snapshot of general information about your company, including details of directors and company secretary if you have appointed one, the registered office, share capital and shareholdings.
Every business – even yours – has a brand.
One common misconception is that your brand is your logo. Your logo is a single visual representation of your brand, but it is not your brand. Continue…
2.1 million businesses are run from home according to research and 60% of new businesses are started at home – that’s 1,400 a week.
It’s no wonder really. Starting a new business can be costly, but when you launch it from home you immediately remove a large layer of cost and risk. You can use existing rooms, computer, electricity, phone and internet access.
One thing that many people don’t think about with their home-based venture is insurance. Existing house insurance policies are designed to cover domestic arrangements, and may actually be invalidated by you working at home.
There are around 2.8 million sole traders in the UK. It is the most popular, and simplest, way of starting and running a business.
In this guide, we take a look at what exactly a sole trader is, the key things you need to know about becoming a sole trader, and whether it is the right business structure for you.
For the majority of small businesses buying business travel is unstructured and unmanaged, with travellers operating without policy costing the company time and money.
By following these five fundamentals of travel management, smaller firms can successfully buy travel smarter, cut costs and get more for their money;
As a small business owner you may not have lots of money sloshing around. You know your staff are your most important asset, but you may not be able to afford to give them a pay rise.
So how can you be an attractive company to work for, motivate and reward staff and promote loyalty without increasing your pay bill?
Believe it or not, introducing employee benefits may be the answer. There is a range of benefits which won’t be a cost to your company and will actually provide savings by reducing your tax liability. These are known as salary sacrifice schemes.
If you are dealing with a new customer or supplier and want to check whether the VAT registration number (VRN) they have supplied is valid, there are two ways you can do so.
One method is to call the HMRC VAT Helpline, the other is to use the online VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) run by the European Commission.
Writing a business plan is an important step in the business start-up process. And, if you want to raise funding for your new business, you simply must produce an up-to-date business plan to show potential backers.
Even if you don’t place much importance on the business planning process, the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help focus your mind on aspects of the business which you may otherwise have neglected.
So to get you started on the right path, here are 10 business planning tips to help you produce an effective plan; Continue…