How to set up and run a small business

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If your new business needs staff straight away, then you may find choosing the right office space difficult. In this guide, we look at the benefits a serviced office could provide and give some tips on things to watch out for when you’re trying to find an office.
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With rapid developments in technology many business owners can now choose to live in and work from locations all around the world. Some choose to work from somewhere with a better climate than the UK, while others are drawn to places that have more affordable property.

So if you’re fed up with grey skies or overpriced housing, is it feasible for you to relocate and run your own business from another country? Dave Millet of Equinox Comms, outlines what you need to consider;

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Of all the things you need to deal with when you start your business, two areas are particularly scary and will give you most hassle: recruitment and finding premises.

Get either of these wrong and you are facing big bills and a load of work to overcome early in the life of your new venture. Get them right, and you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about!
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If you’re about to launch your new business and need premises, or have started up successfully at home and now need space to expand, this is an exciting time!

Moving into an office or retail premises for the first time says something about a business. It can make your operation seem more “real”, meaning your dreams are actually happening.

But getting business premises brings a whole new set of pitfalls that you have to watch out for. You shouldn’t allow these to put you off; but you do need to be aware of these potential dangers so that they don’t sour the experience and hamper the growth of your new venture. Continue…

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One of the best things about starting a business in the internet age is that it’s perfectly acceptable, and easy to start up from home.

In fact, running a new business from a spare room in your own home removes a whole layer of cost and risk, and makes it a lot more likely that your new venture will properly get off the ground.
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The cost of printing, scanning, and copying can quietly mount up for small businesses. But by making some straightforward adjustments to the way your business approaches printing you can save money, reduce environmental impact and increase staff productivity.

Here are ten ways small businesses can save money by making a few simple changes. Continue…

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As a start-up or small business, you may feel that you don’t have the necessary funds to create a luxury office environment that fuels employee creativity and impresses your clients. However, instead of thinking from an interior design perspective, you should be working from a psychology angle to ensure you get the most from your office design.

The look and feel of your office can have a direct impact on the output of your employees, so here’s how to create a workspace that boosts efficiency and productivity without costing huge amounts of money. Continue…

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Your new venture might have first spread its wings in the comfort of your own home, but most start-ups need to fly the nest at some point.

Whilst sending emails from your sofa in your onesie undeniably has its charms, there comes a time when moving your business forward requires giving it its own four walls.

Moving into a proper office can make what you do seem a whole lot more real – but it’s a daunting move to make, and with more options available than ever before, it’s unsurprising that many small business owners make the wrong decisions, or delay the move from home entirely.

To help you choose the best route for your business, we compare the more traditional option of renting an office on a commercial lease and the serviced office option. We look at what each one gives you and highlight the benefits and drawbacks of both, so you can come to the right decision.

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For many small business owners and start ups energy is what you wish you had more of at the end of a long day! But, when it comes to utilities, then energy is also a key part of your overheads and can have a big impact on the bottom line.

A recent Censuswide survey found that three-quarters of SMEs believe they pay too much for their utilities. That equates to a whopping 3.9 million businesses across the UK.

However, there are a number of simple steps that can help you reduce your energy bills, these range from changing staff behaviour, through to finding a deal with a different supplier or using different tariffs.

The savings you make can be significant, so it’s worth a little of your valuable time and energy. To help you get started, here are 4 things you can do to save money on your energy bills right now; Continue…

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Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not just the big corporates who are offering their staff the chance to work away from the office. Savvy small business owners are now looking to enjoy the benefits it can bring to their ventures.

Recent changes in the law mean that employers are now legally obliged to consider flexible working requests from all employees. A flexible working request could, for example include, working from home or from different locations, working flexibly, or staggered hours.
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One of the main attractions of starting your own business is the freedom it offers. Nothing is more liberating than being able to plan your own work routine – when and where you plan the meteoric rise of your fledgling enterprise.
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When you take on a commercial property, you probably have a lot of things to worry about that don’t directly relate to the property itself – business plans, securing funding, and so on.
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Finding the right premises is one of the most crucial decisions when starting or growing your business.

Many firms are successfully started from home – that’s certainly the most cost effective place to base your business in the early years. But as you grow, or if you have a business which needs a lot of space early on, you will need to find premises.

Here are the main points to consider while weighing up the pros and cons of renting versus buying:
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With an estimated 2.1 million businesses based at home (a number which is growing fast), many of them operating in a family environment, more and more small business owners are torn between concentrating on a successful career and meeting the needs of a family.

Many small businesses are successfully started up from home, and there are huge advantages of doing this while you get your business off the ground.

The biggest benefit for a small business is that you do not have to fork out on the cost of premises in the early days. You also save huge amounts of time in looking for premises. Another advantage is that you can create more time to work on your business because your commute will be taking a few steps from the kitchen!

But the downsides are huge too. Continue…

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Working from home can seem like a dream come true – whether you’re self-employed, or are employed by a company that allows flexible working conditions, it’s a chance to cut out the commuting and work in your pyjamas.

However, you shouldn’t let that relaxed feeling spread too far into your working day – it’s easy to become distracted when there’s no manager looking over your shoulder.

Learn to benefit from the stress-free working conditions the home environment creates, without compromising your business integrity or productivity – and here are a few places you can start. Continue…

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As technological advances and work practices enable it, more and more small business owners are deciding to work from home.

Dedicated business premises can also be a big outlay for a cash-strapped startup and coupled with the long-term contracts often required, it’s not surprising so many startups are choosing to start their new business from home.
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The past decade has seen a massive increase in the number of small businesses working from home – driven by web technology, and a growing recognition of the overall benefits of ‘flexible working’.
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If you’re starting a business and need room to work outside the home without the permanence (and expense) of leasing office space, there are more and more flexible options open to you – from hiring meeting rooms, to ‘hotdesking’.
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More than 60 per cent of the UK’s new businesses are now started from home.

It’s a very sensible way to get going. You remove a lot of the financial risks by operating from premises you are already paying for. And it’s a lot easier to make the right decisions early in the life of your business if you’re not waking up each day wondering how you’re going to pay the bills.

As your new venture grows you may find your business has outgrown your spare bedroom. You might need extra space, or perhaps want to take on staff without them tramping around your house. Or maybe you have clients visiting your home and want to present a better image.
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The wonderful thing about starting your business in the 21st century is how inexpensive it is to get the ball rolling.

The internet has made marketing cheaper and more efficient than ever before, and technology has freed businesses from the need to have lots of staff.
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Virtual Offices for Small Businesses – What to look out for

December 14, 2008

A Virtual Office provides a business location and address for smaller businesses by accepting inbound communications on their behalf and forwarding them to other addresses/numbers. This enables smaller businesses to have many of the benefits of a permanent address and business presence, but with much lower costs and administration.