How to set up and run a small business

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Compulsory & optional insurance for tradesmen

January 31, 2018

Tradesmen who are looking for the most appropriate type of insurance when setting up a business can often find themselves confused with the sheer number of options available on the market. From the all-encompassing tradesman insurance, to policies tailored to specific trades, e.g. electrician insurance, the choice can be overwhelming. So to help you work […]

How to work out whether a leased line is a suitable connection for your business

January 30, 2018

While, you may be willing to put up with a bit of buffering if you’re trying to watch YouTube comedy clips, a slow connection can be no joke for your business. If slow connection is an issue for your business, your service will almost certainly be ADSL over a standard copper phone line. In these […]

The Changing Face of Digital Marketing: What small businesses need to know for 2018

January 29, 2018

Digital marketing never stays static, and 2018 is going to be no exception. As a small business owner, or the person responsible for marketing in a small organisation, what do you need to know at the start of this year to stay ahead of your competition? We asked Tim Butler, founder of Innovation Visual, to […]

The 7 Principles of PRINCE2 Project Management

January 26, 2018

All businesses go through change as they grow and develop and it will become likely that at some stage every business will take on a project of some sort, whether that’s the delivery of a new IT system, reducing wastage in the supply chain or developing a new website. Many business projects can be complex […]

Why start-ups need to balance focus and flexibility, & how to do this with an Agile Focus Strategy

January 25, 2018

Commercialising your innovative ideas requires constant, large leaps forward. This requires great speed, to make sure that your market isn’t filled by your competition. Yet speed is useless if you aren’t running in the right direction, that is – if you are not pursuing a promising enough market. If you are too blinkered, you might […]

A Start-Up’s Guide to the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

January 24, 2018

One of the biggest obstacles to growth for start-up businesses is investment. Investors are often reluctant to commit their money to a new business with a promising idea but no track record of success. Fortunately the Government lent a helping hand in 2012, and introduced the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to help smaller, riskier […]

How to create a positive workplace

January 23, 2018

Building a business isn’t just about making money. It’s about building a workplace that people want to be part of. Whether you are building a new business or part of an existing one, you can and should take steps to make the culture of the workplace a positive one. In this article, I’ll discuss some […]

How to manage staff holidays

January 22, 2018

All workers are entitled to receive a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave. Whilst this is a benefit for staff, employers can find themselves struggling to manage staff holidays around their business needs. Even large companies can find managing holidays difficult, for example, Ryanair’s recent flight cancellations were caused by too many pilots booking […]

5 Ways small businesses can implement a successful CSR program

January 19, 2018

When it comes to implementing an effective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, small business leaders can often feel overwhelmed. However, CSR activity shouldn’t be reserved just for the big players. Small businesses can also enjoy the benefits a good CSR program can bring.

Confident SMEs plan to drive growth in 2018 with innovation and customer focus

January 18, 2018

New research finds the UK’s SMEs are optimistic about the global economy and their role in it – and indicates that they are going ‘back to basics’ to unlock ambitious growth over the next 12 months. The study also suggests that Britain’s SMEs could be ripe for international expansion.

10 of the most common workplace accidents and injuries

January 18, 2018

There are hundreds of thousands of accidents – many of them serious – in workplaces every year. That’s why it’s so important for every small business owner to take the proper precautions. Of course, even the best prepared among us can still fall victim to accidents at work. But to be forewarned is to be […]

Thinking of going self-employed? The key finance & tax points you’ll need to get right

January 17, 2018

In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of individuals working for themselves in a trade, profession or vocation. Becoming self employed is a new and exciting chapter of life, but it is crucial to get all the basics right to ensure that your new business is as successful as possible. […]

Guide to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for small business owners

January 16, 2018

National Insurance is a deduction from earnings, set up originally to fund various State benefits such as the NHS, the State pension and other welfare-related schemes. In reality, it is just another tax. In fact, as standard income tax rates have remained constant for many years, NI rates have soared. In this guide we look […]

Getting started with Google AdWords – A Step by Step guide for small businesses

January 15, 2018

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 […]

How to overcome your speaking nerves by turning fear into your friend

January 11, 2018

When you’re starting a new business or part of a small team, public speaking is an essential skill and yet one that many of us fear so much. As a small business owner you need to be the face of your own business and being able to impress rooms full of people will open lots […]

Sole Trader Tax – A Guide for start-ups and the newly self employed

January 11, 2018

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.

The best UK cities for co-working

January 10, 2018

A new study examining 18 major UK cities reveals; Edinburgh is the most popular city for co-working spaces Leeds and Bristol are the next best. Brighton & Hove named as least favourable city. London near the bottom of the rankings.

Preparing to raise finance for your business – 6 Steps to success

January 9, 2018

Any time is a good time to start a company, so said renowned American angel investor Ron Conway. That may be true, but how easy is it to find the necessary funding? The answer largely depends on your understanding of how fundraising should be done.

A Guide to business credit cards and using them as a short term funding solution

January 8, 2018

There’s a huge variety of finance solutions available to small businesses these days, and each have their own pros and cons. What works for one business may not work for another, and you may use a number of different products to finance your cashflow, short-term projects, or long-term growth plans. Many companies find business credit […]

5 Ways to make your blog content SEO-friendly

January 5, 2018

Blogging is something a lot of small business owners do. When it’s done well it can be a great low-cost way to reach out to potential customers. However, many new businesses can find that the effort they put into their blog isn’t as well rewarded as they’d hoped. So to help you realise all the […]

A Guide to employee perks and benefits for small businesses

January 4, 2018

As salaries, working hours and development opportunities are becoming more aligned from business to business, offering staff perks, benefits or incentives is a way of attracting, and retaining, talent. Glassdoor, the career site, say that 57% of all workers rate perks and benefits as one of the top factors they consider when deciding whether to […]

5 ways small businesses can effectively communicate brand messages without big budgets

January 3, 2018

The number of businesses in the UK is at a record high. It’s exciting the country is a fantastic place to start a business, but, it also means today’s business landscape is more competitive than ever before. With lots of competition for customers it’s imperative you find ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace […]

8 Common mistakes new business owners make

January 2, 2018

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 […]

Could you cut your tax bill by claiming some of these business expenses?

December 22, 2017

Whether you’re a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company, you may be paying more tax than you need to, and you won’t be alone. Many business owners don‘t realise that the expenses they can claim against income go beyond rent, rates, equipment, marketing, insurance and salaries. How about food, holidays and school fees? […]

Revolving credit facility – The short term funding solution every small business owner should know about

December 21, 2017

PROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Funding Options – the free marketplace for business finance. Find the right finance for your situation, from dozens of the UK’s best lenders. They might not have the catchiest name — but revolving credit facilities are one of the most useful types of business finance available. […]

How small businesses can encourage mothers returning to work, and why this makes business sense

December 20, 2017

Over 99% of businesses in the UK are small and medium enterprises and, according to Wasp Barcode’s annual State of Small Business Report, 50% of small businesses say hiring new employees is the top challenge they face. ‘Parents’ represent a great pool of talent; however they seem to not be noticed by many small businesses. In fact, […]

9 of the Best & Fastest ways to improve your website results

December 19, 2017

The majority of startups and small business owners recognise the power of digital marketing and that having a website is a must have. With limited funds and marketing budgets, the majority of small business owners tend to buy their website from a creative agency or designer that does everything. However, as Tim Butler, founder of […]

What businesses can learn from the US Marines

December 18, 2017

The US Marines are world-famous for their exacting standards and ruthless efficiency. The conditions they operate under might be very different from those we see in the commercial world, but there are very valuable lessons that businesses can learn from the Marines. Here, James Bowen and Brian MacNeice, authors of Powerhouse – Insider accounts into […]

Why every leader needs behavioural flexibility and how to achieve it

December 15, 2017

Leadership is one of the most written about topics in business. You can be an ‘Authentic Leader’, a ‘Facilitative Leader’ or an ‘Agile Leader’, to select words from just three of the recently published leadership titles. These words fast risk becoming clichés. Some may have currency, others do not. What is true is that there […]

3 Top Tips for a dynamic December

December 13, 2017

The Christmas holiday season is eagerly anticipated. But the forthcoming festivities mean that the number of working days in the month is curtailed – and at a time when planning for the new business year makes life busier than ever. So how can you maximise available working days to ensure a fully relaxing festive period? […]

The 3 people every small business owner should be buying presents for this Christmas

December 13, 2017

While many festive traditions have successfully made the move from the home to the workplace – the annual party and ‘Secret Santa’ are both staples of nearly every small business’ Christmas celebrations – there is one that still hasn’t made the leap: proper gift giving. Crack Christmas gifting and the benefits will roll in: you’ll […]

Get your telecoms in order for the holiday period

December 12, 2017

Christmas is fast approaching and if you started a business in 2017 this may be the first Christmas period you have experienced as a business owner. It’s therefore important to starting think early about your telecoms and your customers over the festive season. If you don’t plan now, you may find that rather than having […]

Presenting with P.O.W.E.R.

December 11, 2017

As the owner of a startup or small business you will inevitably need to stand in front of an audience and speak to them. It is an essential part of modern business life. Speaking in public is something that turns many business owners cold with fear. But with some expert insight and a little practice […]

Intelligent Customer Service: How AI is transforming experience of customers

December 8, 2017

The growth of AI is set to be one of the most disruptive technologies in the coming years for businesses of all sizes. Even in these relatively early days of AI, it is already affecting customer experience. The younger generation have grown up in a world where they are used to a quick and effortless […]

How to harness the power of Google for your business

December 7, 2017

Google is the world’s most popular search engine, controlling 79% of the market share and dealing with 3.5 billion searches every day. The power of Google is staggering, but many businesses aren’t fully harnessing this power. To help ensure you’re not missing out, we’ve asked Tim Butler, founder of Innovation Visual to outline how you […]

10 common Self-Assessment Tax Return mistakes and how to avoid them

December 6, 2017

If you need to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR) it’s imperative you get it in on time and free of any mistakes. There are penalties for not submitting your tax return on time and you may have to pay a fine if HMRC deem you have not taken enough care in completing it. With […]