How to set up and run a small business

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conducting good job interviews

Getting the recruitment process right is important for any business as employing the wrong person can have a significant impact on future success. It will also save time and costs as the process will only have to be carried out once and not repeated.

Although some employers perceive interviewing as a small part of the recruitment process, it is a vital opportunity to examine how potential candidates measure up against the needs of the business and, as such, it is important to get it right.

There are also risks of discrimination that employers should be aware of to avoid a tribunal claim, so here’s how to make sure your interviewing process gets the right results. Continue…

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Guide to profit & loss statementWhen you’re trying to work out how well your business is doing, one of the most powerful tools in your financial arsenal is your profit and loss account (P&L).

This is a simple set of figures that will give you a summary of what your business has spent and sold, normally in a 12 month period.

Crucially, a P&L statement will tell you how much profit or loss your business has made so it’s useful to have a good grasp of it.

Here’s an overview of Profit & Loss Accounts for a small business owner.
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Guide to UK outdoor workwear regulations PPE

The UK has one of the most robust and exacting health and safety regulatory frameworks to be found anywhere in the world.

Compliance with the various H&S laws is crucial for employers and this is true of the regulations for the appropriate and correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for outdoor workers. Continue…

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how small business beat big businessIn its 50 years, business book publisher Kogan Page has remained buoyant in a sector that is dominated by much larger companies.

The fact that its business is still prospering is testament to a few basic concepts that are as true today as when the company started in 1967. We asked Managing Director, Helen Kogan to share her experiences of how a smaller business can gain competitive advantage over bigger, dominant competitors. Continue…

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General Data Protection Regulation

Despite Brexit, the UK government has confirmed it will abide by the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is due to come into effect on 28 May 2018.

The aim of General Data Protection Regulation is to encourage companies across the European Union to think seriously about data protection. In practice, the new GDPR lays down some fairly stringent legislation, for both large and small businesses, governing the standards by which personal data is collected and stored.

To help UK businesses understand the new laws, and avoid the heavy punishments failure to abide by them bring, here’s a guide to the GDPR legislation. Continue…

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auto enrolment pension - no jargon

If you work in the world of hairdressing you’ll know a lob from a wob, just like plumbers know the difference between an angle stop and a capillary connector.

For those of us who don’t work in these industries it’s complete gobbledegook. What are they talking about?

The pension industry is one place where jargon is rife, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With auto enrolment pension schemes meaning more employees taking out workplace pensions, we asked Paul Budgen of NEST, which has been set up by the government especially for auto enrolment, to outline the benefit of jargon-free pensions communications. Continue…

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factors affecting your business plan

Thinking about your business in different ways affects how you plan for the future, opening up some new avenues, but making others potentially harder.

By being aware of how you view your business you’ll also invent new ways of thinking about it, which will give you a more balanced and flexible approach to financial planning. Robin Booth of Brixx.com explains how to think differently about your business, and the benefits of doing so; Continue…

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increase profitability

As a business owner, you are always looking for greater efficiencies, more productivity and some general cost savings.

One of your key jobs is to make sure you are always looking for ways get your business running more smoothly and more profitably, but before you jump in and make wholesale changes to the way your business is run; ask yourself these 5 key questions; Continue…

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electronic commerce regulations

If you are selling any products or services online, you need to comply with e-commerce regulations.

But what exactly must your business do to comply with these regulations? We asked Adrien Herbert of Lawbite to explain; Continue…

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real time marketing word cloud

Real-time marketing (RTM), the strategy and practice of reacting with immediacy in digital channels to external events and triggers, has been steadily growing in use and popularity.

An expanding array of tools and digital channels (e.g., social media and listening capabilities) has made real-time accessible, in theory at least, to virtually every marketer.

As digital channels increasingly function in real-time, all marketing organizations must consider to what degree they, too, will adapt, so here are 12 steps to help you get ready for real-time marketing; Continue…

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PROMOTED CONTENT
This article has been provided by fastgardener the new garden maintenance service.

A new British start-up connecting businesses and homeowners in the UK with professional gardeners is turning to crowdfunding to get the necessary capital to grow. Continue…

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employees collaborating document teamwork

From greater productivity and coming up with new and exciting ideas, to boosting morale and motivation, there are lots of advantages to working together. New businesses may be searching for effective and efficient ways to help promote teamwork and one of the best ways to do this is through document collaboration.

Document collaboration has a number of benefits. Most notably, it keeps everyone ‘in the loop’.

The practice makes it easy to see changes, understand processes, and maintain strong communications, both internally and externally. However, while some may think of collaboration as being simple, getting it right can be tricky.

So to help you get it right first time, we asked, author and document management specialist, Kent Raju to share his tips on how startups and small businesses can successfully collaborate on documents: Continue…

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how to choose right phone system for your business

As internet access becomes increasingly universal, more and more businesses are turning to cloud phone systems (also known as PBX, virtual or internet phone systems and VoIP) instead of traditional landlines.

The benefits of a cloud phone system are numerous – they’re more flexible, allowing team members to make and receive calls without being tied to their desk, and they’re often more cost-effective for smaller businesses.

If you’re thinking of moving to a cloud phone system, or setting up your first business phone system, this guide will help you to work out which features you’ll need, and what to look out for when choosing a phone system supplier. Continue…

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job advert in newspaper

Advertising for a new member of staff is something many business owners will need to do. Whether it’s because an existing employee is leaving, or a new role is being created, advertising for job vacancies is part and parcel of running a business.

One of the first steps for many businesses seeking a new employee will be to write a job advert. However, there are legal implications, as well as practical concerns regarding the advertising of job vacancies, that employers need to be aware of.

If you get this crucial part of the recruitment process right, the next steps are more likely to go smoothly, but get it wrong and you could get into hot water.

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Questions to ask about SEO

A website can be a very powerful marketing tool for start-ups and small businesses. An effective site helps smaller firms to reach out to a huge audience of potential new customers and take on bigger rivals.

However, the battle to be found online can be fierce, so if you want your small business website to be successful, you will need to look at search engine optimisation, or SEO as it’s commonly referred to.

With SEO becoming more complex and specialised, many small businesses look to outsource the work to an agency. But with so many practitioners and firms out there offering SEO services it can be tricky to find the reputable providers.

To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are the 5 questions you should ask an SEO agency before you think about hiring them.
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PR Tips for start-ups

June 16, 2017

PR tips for new businesses

As a start-up the chances are your marketing budget is smaller than you’d like, so it’s important to get as much out of it as possible.

Although not right for every business startup, PR is a marketing tool that is well worth considering as it builds both awareness and credibility. It can showcase your expertise while delivering third party endorsement from respected journalists and media outlets.

In addition, PR is great for your SEO; having articles authored by you or quoting you filling up the first few pages of Google is just what a start-up business needs.

So how do you do it? We asked, Chantal Cooke, author of PR Demystified; how to get free publicity by giving journalists what they really need, to share her blueprint for DIY PR success;

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It has been proven that the happiness of your employees can have a huge impact on their productivity. In fact, job satisfaction can lead to your workers being 12% more productive, according to a study carried out by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick.

One of the best ways to increase happiness and morale throughout your business is by implementing an employee engagement scheme.

Here, Steve King, Director of Gifts International, explains how you can help your staff to be happier and more productive with an employee engagement scheme.

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signing telecoms contract agreement

To some extent we are all caught in a telecoms trap. Whether you are in services, retail, or manufacturing your start-up or small business must have some form of telecoms.

This gives some suppliers an opportunity to bamboozle customers with jargon and complicated long-term contracts. It can even get to the point where when you have a query and consider moving supplier you are promptly told, “sorry you are still under contract.”

But are you really always bound by such a contract, and do you have any options to get out of a telecoms contract you aren’t happy with?

We asked Dave Millett of independent telecoms brokerage, Equinox,  to give you the inside-track on business telecoms contracts; Continue…

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You may have attended presentations that dragged or others that gripped people throughout. Perhaps you have given talks yourself and wondered what really makes the difference.

Whatever the situation, there are numerous factors that affect your chances of success. Everything you do contributes to the overall audience experience and even small things make a big difference.

This guide gives you 9 proven, practical tips to deliver more engaging and more effective presentations. Each one makes a positive impact, and you will know best which will be most useful in your own presentations. Continue…

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Prospecting research to find customers

Prospecting is the foundation of B2B sales strategies. Or at least, it should be. Many businesses aren’t prospecting as well as they could be, if at all.

Research-led sales prospecting is a highly targeted, measurable way of identifying businesses for your salespeople to approach. It is important to realise that prospecting is not lead generation.

While prospecting can provide a framework that the sales team can use to qualify leads that come in (as we’ll explore), it is otherwise a distinct activity wholly concerned with finding and approaching the businesses that make up your target audience.

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7 Advantages a sole trader (self employed) business has over a Limited Company

June 6, 2017

For those new to the world of business there are many things to consider. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when you’re starting a business is whether to set up as a sole trader (self employed) or limited company. Both sole traders and limited companies have their distinct advantages and disadvantages (make […]

Standing on the shoulders of giants: How small businesses can thrive in today’s platform economy

June 1, 2017

We live in a platform economy dominated by one or two big companies in every industry: but small businesses should see this as an opportunity not a threat, says Steven Van Belleghem.

When could your small business benefit from an interim manager?

May 30, 2017

Businesses often find themselves requiring some management resources and skills on a temporary basis. Hiring an interim manager, or an entire management, team can ensure the business successfully fills this temporary, but urgent, business gap. To help you understand if your business could benefit from the input of an interim manager, we asked Clive Hyman […]

10 advantages of running your business as a limited company instead of being self-employed

May 25, 2017

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;

Planning short term and planning long term

May 24, 2017

Planning ahead is important. It helps you to understand where you want to get to and how you’re going to get there. However, financial planning can be a bit of a mystery for many small business owners. So to help demystify it, we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to answer the questions business owners often […]

How to harness the power of business blogging

May 23, 2017

Setting up and running a small business isn’t easy. We all know that. The first few years are often spent seeking the answers to — what seems like — a never ending list of questions, like, “Who is my target audience?” and “How do I reach them?” Whatever industry you’re in, we all strive for […]

People first: How to engage key talent through a great employee experience

May 22, 2017

Attracting, hiring, developing and retaining the right people is crucial to the success of any business. Staff turnover is costing businesses more than ever and recent research from the Recruitment and Employment Federations reveals that companies are reporting skill shortages across 60 different types of role including engineers, IT specialists, care workers and accountants. Not […]

A guide to carrying out a disciplinary investigation

May 18, 2017

A disciplinary investigation is the first important step in carrying out a full and fair disciplinary process. It is one step that employers may find insignificant but, on the contrary, a proper investigation will generally lead to a smoother disciplinary rocedure. An investigation is key as it is required by the Acas Code of Practice […]

The Future of Business – 20 Key Trends Leaders Should Know

May 16, 2017

Change is happening rapidly in the business world. Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and ever improving technology at almost level are just a few of the new trends that business owners will need to deal with in the next five years. With these trends being pivotal for businesses of every size, we asked Rohit Talwar […]

The Future of Business – 20 Key Trends leaders should know (Trends 11-20)

May 16, 2017

Part 2 of; The Future of Business – 20 Key Trends leaders should know. 

What is Corporation Tax?

May 11, 2017

When you set up a limited company, your annual profits will be subject to Corporation Tax. Dealing with your corporation tax issues is one of your accountant’s key tasks. However, it is ultimately the directors of a limited who are responsible for ensuring that a company’s tax affairs are in order. As a director of […]

Two big reasons to choose a workplace pension scheme that invests responsibly

May 10, 2017

With auto enrolment now well into its fifth year, you’re likely to be familiar with the workplace pension reforms and what they mean for you and your workers. What some employers may not have thought much about is that, as a result of auto enrolment, millions of workers are getting a stake in companies around […]

Local SEO for Startups: What you need to know before you start

May 8, 2017

According to recent research by Google on search behaviour, a whopping 50% of all people who conducted searches on local businesses visited the business the same day. If you’re a startup owner and serve clients locally, this might sound like music to your ears. People who conduct local searches are highly motivated and are looking […]

The 4 Rs of getting more business from your existing customer base

May 5, 2017

Marketing is about getting more business – and that includes getting more value out of your existing customer base – through delivering them multiple times the value you get. If all you did was chase new clients, then you would be regularly losing the ones you already have, which means you would need to be […]

How to recover from a business failure, fast

May 3, 2017

Nobody enjoys failure, but everyone experiences it at least a few times in their life and especially as a small business owner. While it’s one of those things that most people like to gloss over, failing is actually a hugely valuable experience, as long as you know how to make the most of it. Leigh […]

5 ways for small businesses to get smarter about using data

May 2, 2017

Many small business owners view ‘big data’ as something exclusively for large businesses. But that isn’t the case. Astute small business can benefit from using data to grow sales. To help business owners understand more about ‘big data’ and how they can benefit from it too, we asked Oliver Rowbory to explain;