Automatic enrolment is looming large on the horizon for hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the UK.
With many small firms unfamiliar with company pensions, tackling auto enrolment (AE) can feel daunting, so this guide has been designed to help small business owners get to grips with the subject.
It outlines they key issues for small businesses, including what auto enrolment is, what’s happening, the implications for you and your employees and the steps you need to take to ensure you comply with the new rules.
For every service business, ensuring your customers have a great experience is paramount. Whether you’re a small start-up cafe or a global hotel chain, customer satisfaction needs to be a top priority if you are to succeed.
To help you put in place the foundations for a thriving service business, we asked Michael Heppell, the author of, “5 Star Service – How to deliver exceptional customer service”, to reveal the key issues you need to get right, before you can start wowing your customers; Continue…
Being a business owner, and your own boss, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life, but it can come with some drawbacks such as long hours, stress and a poor work/life balance.
If you’re running your own business and want to stay on top of your game for the long-term, you need to look at the way you integrate work into your life. If you work too hard, you can run yourself into the ground and actually end up damaging the business, you so desperately want to succeed.
So here are 9 thing you can do to help strike the right work/life balance while running your own business; Continue…
It’s estimated that almost one in every three small businesses maintain their own website, and with that comes a whole host of potential challenges to overcome.
Alongside the usual cost of building a new website, getting the right designer and managing your hosting prices, there are other factors which many small business owners do not consider when managing or monitoring their website.
In fact, there are a number of common mistakes which SMEs often make, but which are easy enough to overcome.
Here are the seven errors we most often see with websites designed for startups and small businesses.
If you decide to recruit your first employee for your small business, one of your legal obligations is to present all staff members with a written statement of employment particulars.
A lot of thought goes into choosing the right company cars, or vehicles for your business. In finding the right vehicle for your needs, you need to take into account a whole host of factors, including, cost, availability, reliability, your brand image, and emissions.
In recent years electric cars have become more and more commonplace for environmentally aware drivers. Boasting zero emissions, a silent cockpit and advanced technology, they certainly possess some attractive qualities – but are they right for the day-to-day needs of you and your business?
If you’ve found yourself asking this question, these are some of the key issues for you to weigh up if you are considering buying an electric company vehicle: Continue…
Small business owners look to technology to help them achieve their goals and grow their business. They expect it to help them speed up the way they work, make operations more efficient, reduce costs and generally enable them to do more things better. Technology should and really does help achieve these things. However, on the flipside it can also be confusing, expensive, restrictive and require ongoing maintenance.
It’s a vexing problem for the small business owner or entrepreneur. They may not be an IT expert and may not want to be. This year’s DNA of an Entrepreneur survey revealed that Britain’s entrepreneurs are planning to spend much more on innovation over the coming year but, from the constantly evolving technology smorgasbord, how do they decide what to pick and what to leave? Continue…
The path from initial interest to confirmed sale hardly ever runs smoothly, especially in today’s tough marketplace.
When sales targets are high and prospects are scarce, it’s essential for salespeople to hone their skills and fine tune their approach for a successful close.
There are many organisational challenges facing salespeople, but most of these can be whittled down to three main root causes;
- A lack of sales staff motivation,
- Failure to maximise sales capability, and
- Inefficient management of the sales pipeline.
To help you close that sought-after sale, here are three key areas to focus on; Continue…
Working is a balancing act. Whether its deadlines or internal demands, we all have plates to spin. This is particularly so in small businesses where there are fewer resources to draw on when the pressure is on.
Being busy at work is the norm for most of us, and often leads to an imbalance between work and life. Letting this equilibrium tip more towards work is not good for our wellbeing and can have negative effects on health and performance at work.
With recent news reporting that 40% of employees are suffering from “brownout”, a milder form of burnout, and are consequently disengaged and demotivated at work, businesses need to think how they can get the best out of employees, including allowing them to re-energise themselves. Continue…
It’s fair to say that the digital landscape has given us all a platform to air every thought that warrants sharing, and also many that don’t!
Unfortunately for businesses, customers will often bypass customer services and immediately go online to air their views. While channels such as Facebook allow you to brush criticism under the carpet (not advised, angry customers will usually respond), reviews on sites such as Trip Advisor and Google can blemish your name on a longer-term basis.
While your customers will always have scope to poorly portray your business online, there are some simple ways to monitor and respond to criticism in a proactive and timely manner.
Here are 6 things you can do to protect your brand and enhance your business reputation on social media; Continue…
If you’re starting a business then chances are money is tight – so anything you can do to increase sales without spending a fortune is worth looking at.
It’s easy to imagine that you need to employ a crack sales team – but the truth is, if you’ve made one sale, then you already have one sales person – that customer. And more often than not, the best people to sell your products and services are your customers.
Customers have already gained benefit from you and because they are impartial, they can provide legitimate social proof. So how do you get your customers selling for you? Continue…
If you’re launching a new business, or looking to grow your existing business, then the chances are you’ll need to do some cold calling at some stage.
However, despite its importance within their business and the doors it can open, many business owners shy away from cold calling and find it extremely stressful. To help you overcome such cold-calling anxieties, here are six techniques that can help you become a more confident, far less stressed, and much more effective cold caller:
A change is afoot for the UK’s self-employed workers, and it’s good news for some 1.7million one-man bands!
From 1st October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then Health and Safety law will not apply to you.
So are you one of the sole traders that no longer has to worry about complying with Health & Safety legislation? Continue…
When you are starting a business, sitting down and grappling with Health & Safety legislation isn’t one of your top priorities. It’s fair to say that it’s not one of the more exciting parts of running your own business, and it doesn’t bring in any money.
However, with the average fine for Health & Safety prosecutions being over £30,000, it can be very costly if you don’t stay on the right side of the law. With so much at stake, we asked Louise Hosking of Hosking Associates to explain what small businesses need to do; Continue…