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GDPR Fact or Myth?The juggernaut that is GDPR comes into force in just a few days.

We’ve known about this radical new change in privacy and data protection law for over two years and finally the day is almost upon us when the new regulation becomes law on 25th May.

The past two years have allowed plenty of time for numerous myths to bubble up about the impact of the new rules on all UK organisations. But which are the GDPR myths and which are GDPR facts? Continue…

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Using Google My Business to get customersTo 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 how to achieve this with Google My Business. Continue…

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workplace stressThis 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 Mental Health First Aid England, highlights five ways small businesses can address workplace stress.

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stressed female employee

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 UK, making sure these businesses are equipped to support the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff is essential for keeping the majority of the working population healthy. Continue…

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Retaining and rewarding key staff with EMI share optionsFor 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 Share Options are significantly more generous than ordinary share options from a tax perspective so can help you attract and incentivise key staff, in a very tax-effective manner. We asked John Leyden FCA, to explain how.

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Inbound marketing is an essential tool for any online business. By creating and distributing useful content, the aim is to attract potential customers to your products and services.

Ultimately the purpose of inbound marketing is to create sales. So, here we examine ways that you can hone your inbound marketing tactics to engage with more prospects and move them along the path to purchase.

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What small employers need to know about GDPRRecent research has suggested that 39% of SMEs haven’t spent any time planning or preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) over the last year.

With the clock ticking down rapidly to May 25 when the rules come into force, if you’re one of the small businesses that haven’t planned for GDPR, you need to prepare for its consequences right now.

The GDPR marks the start of a radical new data protection landscape, with significant penalties if your business doesn’t comply, so here are 9 key points small employers need to watch out for. Continue…

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Pros and cons of email marketing and direct mailTechnology has enabled us to communicate faster than ever. In the digital age, email tops the list of many people’s favoured way of communication, mainly because it’s faster than letters – or even phone calls.

So, in a world where communication is dominated by instant messaging, email and social media, is there still a place in the marketing mix for direct mail?

As David Manton explains, direct mail may be slower, but it still has a lot to offer businesses. Continue…

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alternatives to main broadband suppliersFor small businesses broadband is an essential requirement and yet for many people it’s hard to get the level of service they want from their supplier.

Why is this and what steps can you take to get the quality of broadband you need to run your business successfully?

We asked telecoms expert, Dave Millett to explain what alternative options you have if your business can’t get the broadband service you want from one of the main suppliers.
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statutory payments and minimum wage changes April 2018The beginning of April has likely been a hectic time for many employers, with usual accounting and financial deadlines sandwiched in between important updates to employment law rates and payments.

Here, we outline the increases in the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and other statutory payments, all business owners need to abide by from April 2018. Continue…

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GDPR Small businessData is vital for many businesses looking to take their productivity and profitability to the next level. Yet according to our research, 56% of UK small businesses have concerns about their current data collection processes.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to become law in May 2018, every UK business needs to ensure that the way data is collected fully complies with the new laws.

Many businesses see GDPR as a threat, but as Ian Woolley of Ensighten explains, it also brings opportunities that small businesses can capitalise on.

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cyber security tips and advice for small businessesYou don’t need to be a multi-national enterprise to be an enticing target for cyber criminals. Half of small business owners experience at least one type of cyber-attack over a one-year period, research from Nationwide’s Small Business Indicator survey revealed.

The reality is poor cyber security awareness and a lack of dedicated IT professionals make startups and small businesses tempting targets to well-funded networks of cyber criminals. So what are the simple steps you can take to protect your business? Continue…

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Key data science termsThere is a lot of talk about data science, big data, AI, and IoT these days, but what is the reality behind the hype? What do these terms actually mean, and what impact could these have on your business?

Let’s take a look at 10 of the highest profile tech terms affecting businesses in 2018; Continue…

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improving eliverability in email marketingEmail marketing is an essential tool for small businesses and large enterprises alike. The ability to communicate directly with your target audiences helps attract new prospects and keeps existing customers informed.

However, delivering a good email campaign that hits all the right notes is not as simple as you might think. It’s a complex discipline that is rarely perfected. Continue…

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how to improve your company culture to foster a happier, more positive and productive workplaceImproving company culture is at the top of the agenda for most modern day businesses, as more employers are coming to appreciate the role it plays in attracting prospective employees.

However it is not as simple as placing a ping-pong table in the staff room; a company culture needs to be fostered over time. To foster a better culture businesses need to take a multifaceted approach that demonstrates genuine commitment to equality, transparency and valuing employees. Continue…

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helping employees stay in auto enrolment company pensionWorkplace pensions are a legal requirement for all UK businesses no matter how small. Since 2012 more than 8 million people have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer.

With auto enrolment contribution levels set to rise on 6 April 2018, it’s more important than ever that small businesses improve pension awareness to prevent employees opting out of the company pension scheme. To help you do this, we asked Steve Butler, CEO, Punter Southall Aspire to reveal his tips on how you can help ensure how your staff continue to save for their retirement. Continue…

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technology to help your business growBritain’s entrepreneurial nature is highlighted by the fact that a new business is founded every hour. But only a small portion of these start-ups will make the leap to become a growing business that enjoys success at scale.

For the best chance of becoming a successful scale-up, small businesses need the right people, systems and processes in place, with an invest-to-grow mindset. They need to plan for the complexity, standardise and automate processes wherever possible and eliminate manual processes. Continue…

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How to use Google Analytics to boost website resultsThere are a million things to think about when you start a small business. Your website alone is a field of rabbit holes – content, structure, design, SEO, social media integration – down any one of which you might lose yourself for days if you don’t know what you’re doing.

One area that small business owners tend to neglect, or to consider out of their league is web traffic analytics. Yet this form of stat management is nothing less than essential if you want to make your website a worthwhile proposition. Continue…

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guide to content marketing

When you are looking for ways to promote your new start-up or small business you will, without doubt, soon hear the words, “content marketing”.

There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing at the moment, but what does it actually mean and how can small business owners use content to help grow their business?

This guide answers those questions, and also offers useful, practical advice if you are considering incorporating content marketing as part of your marketing strategy. Continue…

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why work experience benefits buisnessesThis week (5-9 March) marks National Careers Week, it highlights the importance of good careers education and support for young people leaving education. The week brings together schools, colleges and universities with employers to showcase best practice in careers guidance.

Work experience can help kickstart a career for young people, but it also offers many great opportunities for employers too. If managed effectively, a well-structured work experience programme can deliver returns from bringing in fresh insights, through to training the next generation of talent with the skills your business need. So, this National Careers Week we’re looking at how and why more SMEs can reap the rewards of offering work experience. Continue…

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How to balance your digital and print marketing

March 6, 2018

Now that the panic-provoking headlines of “print is dead” have toned down to “well, not quite”, it’s safe to say that we all know there is value in both print and digital marketing. The question that businesses are now asking themselves, is how exactly do we work out how to divide our budgets between print […]

What can small employers do to improve gender equality in the workplace?

February 27, 2018

The issue of gender equality in the workplace has garnered much publicity in recent months and is one of the biggest issues facing employers in 2018. Most of the media attention has surrounded information on Gender Pay Gap Reporting (GPGR) which forces companies with 250+ employees to publish a report detailing aspects of staff pay […]

13 Questions you must ask to get the best deal on business telecoms, and why you should never buy just on price

February 26, 2018

Everyone wants to get the best deal on their telecoms – but buying just on price, is unlikely to give you a great return. Not all telecoms solutions are the same; so, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure you are comparing like for like. To help you get the best deal on […]

Legal implications of copyright infringement

February 22, 2018

Copyright infringement can be defined in numerous ways, some of which include piracy, theft and freebooting. Legally, the term is used when an individual uses any works protected by copyright law, without permission, which then leads to the infringement of any exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder.

The Pros & Cons of Microsoft Office 365

February 21, 2018

For any small business, the decision to switch to a cloud-based system where all pieces of data can be stored online is one that’s worth deliberating. Platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 have many benefits, but they might not always be suitable for every business. To help you decide whether or not it’s a system […]

Why the customer relationship should now be TOP priority for any business

February 19, 2018

In the past, company leaders were focused first and foremost on the development of innovative products and operational excellence. Today, customer satisfaction is the absolute number one priority – a point confirmed by almost every recent survey of top managers, with 89% of company leaders now seeing customer experience as their biggest differentiator. Here, customer […]

Tools that will make your startup team more productive

February 13, 2018

PROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Be Wiser Business Insurance. Find your ideal insurance quote today from a range of top suppliers.   Running your own business can be very enjoyable, if also fraught with potential distractions. You must make sure that you stay focused while instilling the same attitude in any […]

4 Simple Steps to finding more customers

February 8, 2018

Finding customers is a vital skill for all startup and small business owners. Without big advertising budgets or marketing campaigns to bring new customers to your door, you need to know the smart ways to attract clients. To help you succeed, we asked growth coach and author, Robin Waite to reveal how to cut through […]

6 Facets of cybersecurity that small businesses need to be aware of in 2018

February 7, 2018

Every article on cybercrime makes alarming statements about the issue becoming more of a threat year after year. And sure enough, this was borne out in 2017 with some very high-profile cyber attacks, significantly impacting both the NHS and the UK government. So, as a small business owner, what are the key cybesecurity threats and […]

A Start-Up’s Guide to Co-working

February 6, 2018

Co-working spaces have grown in popularity over the last few years, and it is no surprise that many companies are now exploring the option of moving their business into the hub of a buzzing co-working environment. But what exactly is co-working, how does it differ from a typical office environment, and could it be a […]

Business telecoms in 2018 – Key factors, trends and questions

February 5, 2018

Technological developments are driving changes in all aspects of business. And business telecoms is no different. Startup and small businesses can reap the benefits the advances in technology are bringing, but they need to ask the right questions when it comes to the cloud, contracts, coverage and customers. So what are the key factors and […]

Having fun at work – Is it something your business should be aiming for?

February 2, 2018

What constitutes ‘fun’ at work, and why is ‘fun’ in the workplace deemed essential anyway? And more crucially for business owners, does having a fun workplace bring real benefits to the business? We asked change consultant, Philip Cox-Hynd to share his experience and reveal the 9 Do’s and Don’ts of building an open and honest […]

Motivating employees: How to energise your people to achieve great things

January 31, 2018

Your people are one of the most powerful forces available to you in realising your goals and ambitions, and the way you culturally think about your people strategy is critical to your commercial and business success. Getting the most out of your team is pivotal to a thriving business, so motivating your employees isn’t an […]

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 […]

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 […]