How to set up and run a small business

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How to dispose of old electronicsThe digital age is showing no signs of slowing down and there is now a greater range and scope of technology on the market than ever before.

As the demand for and the production of the latest technology increases, so does the need for efficient and eco-friendly disposal methods of old electronic equipment.

This is just as important for small businesses as it is for large businesses. If you’re a small organisation wanting to understand how you can get rid of your electronic waste efficiently and cost-effectively, read on to discover the world of WEEE recycling and disposal. Continue…

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Setting up a support network for your startup businessStarting up and growing your own business can be extremely exciting and exhilarating, but it can also at times be quite lonely and overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have a business partner to share the experience with.

When you are sitting alone at your desk it can be hard to know where to turn for advice and support.

The good news is there is fantastic solution to this. That is to create your own support team that you can call on whenever you need to for help and advice, and even sometimes simply for encouragement and motivation and a friendly chat.

Here’s how to do it: Continue…

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Making a contractual job offer to new employeeFollowing a successful recruitment and selection process, employers will be able to identify which candidates they wish to employ.

Making a job offer to the successful candidate appears to be a straightforward area of law, however, there are several factors that employers should consider to put themselves on the best path. Continue…

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Whatever industry you’re in, Health & Safety is a critical part of running a business. And with substantial fines if you get it wrong, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

In 2015/16 alone, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and – in Scotland – the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) prosecuted 696 businesses, and of those cases almost all (95%) were convicted, amounting to a grand total of £38.3m worth of fines. The average fine? A potentially business-breaking £58,000.

Many of the HSE and COPFS’s prosecutions stemmed from material breaches uncovered during HSE inspections where a Fee for Intervention (FFI) was charged. To help you steer clear of nasty fines, we asked Health & Safety experts Citation to put together an in-depth guide on all things FFI. Continue…

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digital marketing tools

For many small business owners, the term ‘digital marketing’ could very well generate a concerned or baffled look, and the temptation to turn around and hide in a darkened room.

As an established small business, or even someone setting up a new business, you might know all about offline marketing like posters and billboards, flyers and direct mail, and word-of-mouth advertising, but when it comes to promoting your business online, it’s unchartered territory.

So to help you safely navigate the online marketing landscape, conquer new marketing activities and promote your business in the digital world, here’s a small business guide to the basics of digital marketing; Continue…

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Tips to help you select the right epos or till for your business

Point of sales systems have been around for hundreds of years, and for most of that time they were not much more than a cash drawer and calculator. That was until now – huge leaps in technology have taken the humble till a long way forward in the last few years.

Today, point of sale systems can do so much more. They can feed data on sales straight to your accountant, keep track of stock levels and even find your best sales person.

Not only have all of these features come in with technological advances, but the price of a POS system is also now more affordable, lifting some strain from smaller businesses.

A till has become the cornerstone of a business, and that also means that if it falls short it can also send your business into disarray – so it is important to choose a system that really works for you. Here are some key points to consider when trying to find the right till option for your business. Continue…

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HMRC Personal liability noticePersonal Liability Notices or PLNs first came into effect in April 2009.

Originally, PLNs were predominantly used by HMRC to tackle “phoenixism”, where the assets and the operations of an insolvent business that has run up significant tax debts are transferred to a new company operated by the same management team that has a history of non-payment of tax liabilities. However, HMRC’s use of PLNs is now increasing. Continue…

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Business Awrd WinnersNo matter what industry you’re in, there are organisations that recognise and reward those that excel above the competition.

When you’re concentrating on finding your feet as a business, you may think that awards should be put on the back-burner. However, you can learn a lot by paying attention to industry awards. Continue…

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How diversity can make a better, more profitable business

As a small business owner, you may think ‘inclusion’ is an issue for big corporates, with large HR departments.

This misperception assumes that inclusion is a cost, when in fact, done properly, inclusion is one of the best free resources available to smaller businesses.

Here’s how being an inclusive business can help you succeed and how it can help you to build a more profitable company. Continue…

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What I learned from going bust

September 5, 2017

Business startup lessons

Every business owner can learn valuable lessons from studying how successful businesses are born and grow.

Looking out for, and replicating, key drivers of success in other businesses, can help to drive our own business forward.

However, vital insight can also be gained from business failures. In many cases, what we can learn from terminal business mistakes can prove even more illuminating than what we can glean by following the high-flyers.

Here, Robin Booth shares his experience of going bust, and highlights lessons we can all learn from a business failure.

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buy right business insurance coverAs 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…

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Be more productive, prioritise tasks with Covey's MatrixManaging time effectively is vital if you are to prosper as a business owner, especially when it comes to running a small business when just a few people have to deal with every aspect of the business.

Despite best intentions though, we’ve all got to the end of a day without achieving any of the tasks we intended to do at the start of the day.

There are many tips, tools and guides online and in print that deal with the age old issue of time management. Most seem to over-complicate something that really shouldn’t be that complicated in principle, but Covey’s Matrix has stood the test time and is something that all business owners can benefit from. Continue…

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Guide to HMRC Accelerated Payment NoticeGovernment measures announced last year by the Chancellor to tackle tax avoidance schemes appear to be paying off.

A recent illustration of this is HMRC’s high profile win in the Supreme Court against Rangers FC and its use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) to pay staff.

More than £47m was paid to dozens of staff members and players in tax-free loans, however HMRC successfully argued that these weren’t loans, but taxable income.

If you, or your business, have used tax avoidance schemes in the past, you could soon be receiving an Accelerated Payment Notice (APN) from HMRC. So what should you do if you receive an APN? Continue…

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successful video marketingVideo is a potent and wildly effective marketing tool, but only when it is part of a measured and considered content strategy.

It is no easy task to succinctly and effectively communicate your brand values and core messaging to an audience in a way that is original and compelling.

Before you even begin you need to have spent time seeking to understand who your customers are in the first place. Continue…

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staff sickness absence guideIt is virtually impossible to eradicate staff sickness absence entirely. However, for small businesses, the costly nature of absenteeism can be extremely disruptive to the day to day running of the business.

There are many costs associated with staff being off sick, including compensation to the absent employee, the additional expense of finding temporary workers and the possible decline of productivity due to other employees being tasked with additional workloads.

Despite its unpredictability, there are steps small business owners can take to minimise the negative effects of absenteeism. This guide provides you with advice on how to effectively manage the different aspects of sickness absence. Continue…

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salary sacrific schemes new rules April 2017Significant changes to UK salary sacrifice schemes have now been implemented. Affecting both employers and employees, these changes essentially remove the tax incentives of many of the benefits in kind (BiK) offered under salary sacrifice arrangements.

With, the new salary sacrifice rules reducing the tax benefits of salary sacrifice schemes, here’s what small businesses need to know about the changes and how they affect employers and employees. Continue…

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why you need to find a niche for your businessIf 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 read on to find out why it’s essential startups and small businesses find a niche, and how you can spot a potentially profitable gap in the market.

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Start-ups and small businesses have to be prudent in their go-to-market activities. There isn’t the budget to splash out on extensive marketing campaigns, or the time for spray and pray customer targeting.

As a business owner, you are often the face of the business at every turn. Whether you’re dealing with customers, suppliers, partners or staff, what you do matters and sets the tone for your whole business.

How successful you are often comes down to how good you are at persuading and influencing people. With these skills being so important, we asked behaviour expert, Ally Yates, to outline how you can become more persuasive in business. Continue…

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12 Steps to getting paidDealing with late payment can be tricky for small and medium sized businesses. Handle it wrong and a customer could be lost, ignore the issue and it can stifle business growth, have a huge impact on cash flow and even cause a company to go bust.

Staggering figures published in a government paper, revealed that small businesses spend around 130 hours a year chasing late payments, equating to an average cost of £1,500 per business.

The problem is endemic with two thirds of SMEs suffering according to research by the IOD, but follow this 12-Step plan and you’ll be able to minimise the damage late payment causes your business.

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benefits of mindfulness in business

Now more than ever, creative thinking and the ability to come up with innovative solutions to today´s challenges is crucial for business success.

With mindfulness being increasingly used to unlock creativity throughout businesses we’ve asked author Palma Michel, to share practical tips on how you can use mindfulness to improve your business:

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The Beauty of selling your business with a Management Buyout (MBO) – And what to look out for

August 2, 2017

Many small businesses, up to 20 employees, are run in a very hands-on manner by their owners. This can work well for everyone and hopefully provide the proprietors with a good level of income. When it comes to the moment they want to move on, or retire, however, their future financial independence will depend on […]

Business Funding – What to do when the bank says “NO”

July 31, 2017

PROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Funding Xchange – the business funding marketplace where lenders compete to fund your business. Get Funding Now! If you have approached your bank and found it difficult to secure the funds your business requires, you’re in good company. Banks are declining up to 50% of loan […]

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

July 26, 2017

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 […]

Financial planning – 6 steps to a successful plan

July 24, 2017

Good planning is important for both startups and established businesses, and a financial plan is no exception. As a new business owner, you have probably never had to produce a financial plan, so it can definitely be a daunting prospect. However, investing a little time and effort in making a financial plan for your new […]

How do you go from startup to selling a product every 12 minutes?

July 21, 2017

The dream for many entrepreneurs is to come up with a great new product, find the funding to develop it and then for it to fly off the shelves. The reality for most is different, but when this does happen it’s worth finding out how this success was achieved because the lessons we learn can […]

Interviewing job candidates – How to get it right

July 19, 2017

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 […]

Profit and Loss (P&L) Accounts – A Guide for small business owners

July 17, 2017

When 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 […]

A Guide to UK Outdoor Workwear Regulations

July 14, 2017

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.

SME Secret Weapons – How smaller businesses can take on and beat bigger competitors

July 13, 2017

In 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 […]

What small businesses need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation

July 11, 2017

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 […]

Auto-Enrolment Pensions – Skip the jargon

July 5, 2017

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 […]

How you think about your business affects how you plan

July 3, 2017

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. […]

Five questions that will add value to your bottom line

June 30, 2017

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 […]

A Small business guide to e-commerce regulations

June 28, 2017

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;

Real-time marketing – How to do it right

June 27, 2017

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 […]

Gardening start-up seeks to bloom with crowdfunding

June 26, 2017

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.