Latest Articles

Perfecting Your Pitch: 10 Principles for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, of course, but many of the most innovative entrepreneurs are creative contrarians. They are outsiders, gainsaying the doubters that say it cannot be done. In fact, many entrepreneurs are introverts, which can be a major barrier when it comes to that vital part of the entrepreneurial process: pitching.

9 Tips to help you impress when communicating on the small screen

From bold new start-ups to established small companies branching out, meetings and interactions are increasingly virtual. In some cases, due to distance and the global reach, you may never meet in the ‘real world’, only ever online. So to help create a good impression, now more than ever, is the time to invest in developing […]

How to quickly build good rapport with anyone

Being able to get on with other people is important for anyone, but especially for small businesses and start-ups. There is very little you do alone – for most things you need to work with other people, (staff, suppliers, customers, advisors, government agencies, and so on) – and you need to get them onside. The […]

Practical tips on navigating the patent process

Starting your own business isn’t plain sailing. It throws lots of new challenges at us, each with their good, bad and ugly dimensions. And registering a patent is no different. A lot of inventors with incredible ideas have fallen along the wayside, simply because they didn’t invest the time needed to successfully navigate the patent […]

5 Tax Incentives Every Small Business Owner Should Know About

Increasing cash flow and being tax-efficient are usually near the top of every small business owner’s agenda. One way to achieve both these aims is to take advantage of the various tax incentives available to businesses. However, small businesses often miss out on these tax breaks because they either don’t know what they’re entitled to, […]

Why Crowdfunding Heralds a New Power, & What this Means for Small Businesses

Look around at the world’s many unpredictable events and it could not be clearer that our political, and social, tectonics plates are shifting. Fueled by the digital revolution of young technology adoptees who are now reaching adulthood, it is unsurprising that the connected generation is favouring the peer-to-peer model over outdated intermediaries.

The Challenges of recruitment for startups

Hiring the right people is vital for the growth of your company. It is likely to go some way in contributing to the development of the business and helping it to become successful. The task of recruitment varies across different industries depending on their nature. For example, recruitment in hospitality is seasonal and finding the […]

5 Simple Steps to Grow Your Facebook Fans

Nowadays, everybody knows that social networks play a significant role in the promotion of a company. That’s why having an engaged and active community on Facebook can make all the difference to your business. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, building Facebook friends can take a lot of time and effort. So to […]

Staff Performance Reviews – How to get the most out of them

As a business owner, it’s likely that you struggle to find time to do the performance appraisals for your team. You are not the only one. Surveys have indicated that owners and managers hate doing performance reviews and as many as 58% think it is a waste of time.

A Guide to Setting up and Managing Payroll for Employers

If you’re starting to employ people in your business, mastering payroll is going to become an essential part of your business. Get it wrong and you risk unhappy employees and potential penalties from HMRC. There’s a lot more to it than simply paying staff money. So we’ve put together this guide to help you get […]

Keeping employee records: What small business owners need to know

The GDPR gives people more control over their personal information and requires organisations to clarify exactly where Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is stored – and how it is used. Less well-documented than data protection regulations, but no less important, are data retention regulations. To outline what your legal obligations are when it comes to keeping […]

6 Common Challenges in managing small projects (and how to overcome them)

Organisations tend to be fairly poor at defining their projects in terms of criticality and risk. Yet these are key attributes when it comes to deciding how much management and governance a project needs. Instead, the importance of a project is often seen as directly related to how large it is, how many people are […]

A Startup’s Guide to Cloud Accounting

From IT and recruitment, to marketing and sales, it’s safe to say as a startup you have a million and one things to do to get your business up and running. Finding time to devote to accounting and financial matters isn’t always at the top of a startup’s list of priorities. Nonetheless submitting annual accounts […]

How to bounce back from a business failure

A failed business can have a devastating impact on a business owner. However, the lessons learned can also make an entrepreneur stronger, wiser and more determined to succeed next time. Author and international speaker, Jonathan MacDonald, was floored by a business failure, but after the initial despair, he picked himself up and used the experience […]

4 Cyber safety essentials for small businesses

According to the latest Zurich SME Risk Index, almost one in six UK SMEs have fallen victim to cyber attacks in the past year, costing a fifth of victims over £10,000 and 1 in 10 over £50,000. It’s clear no SME should gamble when it comes to cyber security, especially with the new GDPR regulation […]

How to Set Up in Business as a Partnership

  If two or more people wish to go into business together, and don’t want to set up a limited company, a partnership offers a simple way to get started. It is similar in many ways to going the sole trader route for an individual.

Employment Status – Why do I need to know the difference?

It would be fair to say that employment status has been a contentious issue in recent times as business owners and staff in various sectors dispute the true nature of their respective working arrangements. As a business owner it is important that you are familiar with the differences between the three main categories of employment […]

Why helping, not selling, is the key to sales success

Technology is constantly advancing and with technological advancement comes change. If you want your business to stay competitive, then you must be prepared to embrace technological changes. You may think that you understand the current sales market, however, the sales game is changing, and these changes are coming about thanks to technology. If you want […]

Guide to Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and managing it effectively can mean the difference between make or break. When we refer to cash flow management, we’re talking about making sure there is enough cash available to cover all your outgoing expenses. If your outgoings are more than your sales and you run out […]

6 Reasons why local PR can be good for business

Getting coverage in your local press may not have the kudos of being featured in national newspapers but it often delivers a better return on investment, especially to locally-based businesses. For small businesses, local newspapers are a more realistic target for press coverage than the national press. Readers of local papers want to read about […]

9 GDPR Myths – Busted

The juggernaut that is GDPR has now come into force. We’ve known about this radical new change in privacy and data protection law for over two years and on 25th May it became law across the EU. The past two years have allowed plenty of time for numerous myths to bubble up about the impact […]

How to futureproof your business

There’s never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur, the amount of new options and opportunities can also feel overwhelming. Moreover, your customer has become ever more fickle and mistrustful of how companies operate and what they promise. So how do you futureproof your business in the face of so many choices and […]

How to use Google My Business effectively: 6 Tips for small businesses

To generate new leads in today’s online world, your business needs to be optimised for search engines – in particular Google. Most small businesses know this and invest good time and money in their online strategy. The challenge lies in achieving sustained search success and business map listings are a key part of this. Here’s […]

5 Simple ways for SMEs to address workplace stress

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14 – 20 May) is shining a spotlight on stress. With one in six adults experiencing depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress at any one time, it’s important for smaller employers to recognise the signs that their team may be under too much stress. Here, Jaan Madan of […]

4 Reasons why SMEs should invest in an Employee Assistance Programme

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives and the UK Government is taking this statistic seriously, recommending all companies with more than 500 employees should provide tailored mental health support for their staff. But what about smaller businesses? With millions of small businesses in the […]

What is Public Liability Insurance? – A 60-Second Guide for Business Owners

Public liability insurance will protect your business if you cause an injury to a member of the public, or property belonging to another business or individual. You should consider taking out public liability insurance if members of the public visit you at your place of work, or if you perform work at places of work […]

How the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Can Help You Raise Funding for Growth

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is designed to help smaller, risky businesses raise funding to fuel growth. Early-stage businesses can find it difficult to secure investment, so the EIS was set up to encourage more investors to back fledgling businesses by offering generous tax-breaks. To help you see whether the EIS could help you raise […]

5 Things You Must Do When You Go Self Employed

One of the main benefits of becoming self employed is the ease with which you can start up and run your new business. You can even become a sole trader (another term for self-employed) whilst working as an employee for someone else, so you can test the water and see whether working for yourself suits […]

Incentivising and rewarding staff with an EMI share option scheme

For many companies, staff retention is a key issue. Giving employees a slice of the business can foster a sense of ownership and can be a key element in retaining and rewarding them. One of the most widely used methods of achieving this is the use of Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) Share Option Schemes. EMI […]