How to set up and run a small business

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Due diligence – A Jargon free guide on what it is, and how to do it properly

March 13, 2017

Due diligence is a term bandied around quite a lot. However, not many people understand what it means or how it’s can be used to help. If you ever consider buying or selling a business, or investing in a business, then you’ll need to know precisely what due diligence means, what the process involves and […]

“Can you do it cheaper?” – Giving great answers to tough questions about your prices

March 10, 2017

“Will you give us a discount on that figure?” “Can you match the lower price I can get down the street?” “Can’t you do it cheaper?” These are the kind of questions people running start-ups and small businesses get asked an awful lot. But what are the best answers to give? Here, we look at […]

21 Costly VAT Mistakes businesses make on their VAT Returns

March 9, 2017

Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake? Now if you think this is some playground joke, think again. This is a real question that judges were asked to consider in a landmark VAT case. The fact it took a court case to work out the answer to this question gives you an insight […]

Small business owners hit by tax increases in Budget 2017

March 8, 2017

Millions of small business owners will see the amount of tax they pay go up following the Spring 2017 Budget. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget speech, plans to increase the taxes paid by the self-employed and limited company directors.

7 Steps to starting your business on firm financial foundations

March 7, 2017

When you are starting out in business, you need to quickly grasp that the three key factors that determine a company’s financial success, or failure, are: Sales Control of costs Cash management Two out of three simply won’t work – you need to have complete control over these three crucial aspects, otherwise your chances of […]

How to be a leader rather than a manager

March 6, 2017

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 […]

Achieving sustainability in business – managing the complexity of profit, planet and people

March 3, 2017

Business sustainability is a great opportunity for start-ups and small businesses to focus on. Not only is it a way to create long-term, sustainable success, but it’s also a way to attract employees (younger generations expressly value sustainability), investors and business partners. Let’s briefly look at what business sustainability is and then get into some […]

Why “Artificial Intelligence first” is replacing the “mobile first” approach in 2017

March 2, 2017

You don’t have to think back very far to remember the time when disruptive start-ups and forward thinking businesses were championing a “digital first” strategy. Digital technology had been adopted by mainstream consumers and companies that failed to recognise it were being left behind. More recently, that slogan has been replaced for many businesses by […]

Can dual sim phones solve a common problem for small business owners?

February 28, 2017

As the name suggests, a dual sim phone allows you to have two sims in a single phone. There are a variety of reasons why people may want access to two different phone numbers on a single device. A dual sim phone could be of particular use to self employed people, freelancers and business owners […]

How to create a gold medal winning business culture

February 27, 2017

For many business owners and entrepreneurs, it can be hard to motivate your employees and encourage them to perform to optimal levels, especially when resources are limited. Olympics athletes not only have to train extremely hard but are also faced with huge financial burdens and limited resources and often rely on sponsorship to maintain a […]

How start-ups can get the most from digital marketing

February 24, 2017

Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few. The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small […]

Why trust-based selling will accelerate your business growth

February 23, 2017
Thumbnail image for Why trust-based selling will accelerate your business growth

We live in incredible times of change; there’s no disputing that. Old business models are dying out, new business models and disrupting technologies are being born every day that are turning industries on their head. At the same time, trust is at its lowest level ever. We no longer trust politicians, we no longer trust […]

A step by step guide to auto enrolment for small employers staging in 2017

February 21, 2017

The roll-out of auto enrolment is well into its fifth year. Having started with the largest organisations back in October 2012, it’s now the turn of small and micro sized employers. If you’re one of these, you’re in good company. During 2017, hundreds of thousands of organisations just like yours will need to get to […]

The 10 Steps you need to take to turn around a struggling business

February 20, 2017

Most companies will face some kind of cash flow problem at some point. Temporary cash flow problems or financial squeezes usually arise out of matters that are outside of the immediate control of the directors, but when problems like this happen it’s vital you take the right steps and move quickly to ensure the issue […]

How to minimise non-billable time

February 17, 2017

“Time is money” isn’t just an adage when running a small business, it’s a way of life. When your business model is to sell your time and expertise, it’s important to monetise every moment of every working day. There are plenty of hacks to help freelancers and contractors get more and more efficient with reducing […]

The secrets of getting a business bank loan

February 16, 2017

Borrowing money from a bank to finance your business is a lot harder than getting a loan to buy a new car or to improve your home. Banks have a number of tough rules that you need to know before you approach them for a business loan, and these rules have become even more stringent […]

Creating the right visuals to complement your presentation

February 14, 2017

Startups need to get their message across — and fast. It’s therefore vital for every new business to create a great pitch presentation. To help you prepare a compelling case, we asked, Emma Ledden, author of The Presentation Book to share the secrets of how to produce memorable presentations that help put you on the […]

Going into business with friends – How to do it successfully

February 13, 2017

Starting a business with friends can seem like a good idea, but before you jump in and set up a company with people you are close to, you need to be honest with yourself and each other. If you get it wrong your new business could fail and lifelong friendships ruined. So what steps should […]

How to finance your new business – funding advice for start-ups

February 10, 2017

If you are looking to start a new business, there is a good chance that you will need some funding to get it off the ground. Most businesses will have start-up costs, whether it’s securing premises, stock, equipment or hiring people, and they will all need paying for. Some people might have savings, or a […]

Why 95% of your website visitors don’t buy, and what YOU can do about it

February 9, 2017

If you’ve been involved in running a website, you’ll know that it’s relatively “easy” to get eyeballs on your site. Throw money at it and they will come. But, it’s getting those visitors to take action, to buy from you – that’s the hard part. So it’s no wonder that a website’s ‘Conversion Rate’ is […]

Understanding fixed term employment contracts – what business owners need to know

February 8, 2017

Fixed term employment contracts are generally seen by employers as those which “plug the gap” when their normal, permanent employees are absent for a period of time. Fixed term contracts are useful tools for businesses who need to employ staff to cover short term peaks in business demands. But before employing staff on a fixed […]

Embracing technological opportunities – how SMEs can adopt new technologies without being overtaken by them

February 7, 2017

Technological innovation is happening ever more rapidly and the changes will transform every industry. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from these innovative technologies but must strike a balance between using technology and being overwhelmed by it. To help business owners embrace the potential of new technologies we asked Rohit Talwar, editor of, […]

How to create your own support team and increase your startup’s chance of success

February 6, 2017

Starting 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 […]

Mindfulness for small business owners – How 10 minutes of me time can make all the difference

February 3, 2017

As a small business owner, you have to juggle many balls and spin a canteen’s worth of plates. You have to simultaneously pay attention to every part of your business; sales, production, cash flow, marketing, accounts and the list goes on. During a typical day, your attention is pulled in many directions at once and […]

Simple stories, super results for startups

February 2, 2017

It might be strange to think that storytelling can be a powerful tool for startups. But stories provide a fantastic way to explore the purpose of your new business, what it stands for, what it will be like and how you will achieve your vision. The great thing about stories is that we are all designed to […]

How to be a successful freelancer in the gig economy

January 31, 2017

The gig economy is one of the UK’s fastest growing ways of working. According to IPSE, the body representing UK freelancers, there are now around 1.9 million freelancers in the UK alone. And the global figure is upwards of 50 million people earning a living from freelancing. The rise in popularity of freelance working is […]

10 ways to maximise your productivity when running your own business

January 30, 2017

Successful business owners know how to make the most of every minute of every day. Wasted time costs money and clients, but when you’re slowed down by administrative tasks, an over-spilling inbox and endless meetings it can be hard to keep up with the pace. Here, Richard Walton highlights ten ways to maximise your productivity […]

Is my business data safer in the cloud? A guide for small businesses

January 26, 2017

IT security has never been a bigger issue for startups and SMEs, with 3 in 5 digital firms likely to experience service failures by 2020 due to improper mitigation of risk. It comes at a time when small businesses are increasingly being targeted by hackers keen to exploit network vulnerabilities, and access their data. Ensuring the security […]

Build a Brand, Build a Business

January 24, 2017

If you’re starting a new business you’ll, no doubt, want to establish and build a strong brand. Doing so will bring huge benefits over the long-term, helping you to stand out from the crowd, generate more customers and ultimately build a more valuable business. But how do you build a brand, and where do you […]

Build a brand, build a business – Part 2

January 24, 2017

…continued from Part 1 of Build a Brand, Build a Business

5 Tips for small businesses setting up an auto enrolment pension scheme in 2017

January 23, 2017

Figures from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) reveal that more than 95 per cent of the small employers required to put their staff into a workplace pension by June 2016 had complied with the law. To the end of September, almost 257,000 employers had completed their automatic enrolment duties and enrolled over 6.7 million workers on […]

8 Common mistakes new business owners make

January 20, 2017

Building a successful new business is a roller-coaster. There will be days you know you couldn’t do anything else, and days you wish you did. Sometimes you’ll be on top of the world, but at other times it will be a struggle to drag yourself out of bed. In the high-stakes world of starting a […]

Why YOU need to understand the numbers of YOUR business

January 20, 2017

Understanding the numbers of your business is crucial to your success. If you have a grasp of key figures, and have an understanding of your business’ accounts you are more likely to make good business decisions. Knowing your way around business accounts isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, but if you are serious about […]

How to defend your small business from ‘Insider Threats’

January 19, 2017

As a small business, one of the biggest threats to your information assets resides within your operatin. The insider threat, intentional or otherwise, is now one of the major concerns in cybersecurity, and with good cause. So what exactly are the insider threats to small businesses, and how can you mitigate the dangers? We asked […]

Statutory & Contractual Notice Periods: Advice for small businesses

January 17, 2017

Once a contract of employment is in place, notice has to be given by either party to the contract to end it. There are two types of notice periods; statutory notice and contractual notice. As an employer, if you fail to give the correct notice when terminating an employment contract, you are in breach of […]

Why financial forecasting is important for startups, and how to do it painlessly

January 16, 2017

When you are launching a new business, it’s fair to say that planning your finances isn’t the most exciting aspect of of being a startup. However, it is a crucial part of understanding whether your business has a chance of succeeding And the good news is that there are now dedicated software, tools and apps […]