How to set up and run a small business

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Restrictive covenants and contracts of employment – Advice for employers

March 15, 2017

For most employers, setting in place rules and responsibilities for employees during their time with the company is their most important consideration. This can be achieved through having effective contracts of employment, alongside employee handbooks. Employers should, however, be putting thought in to what happens once employment ends to ensure that they are protecting their […]

Telecoms mistakes to avoid when starting a business in 2017

March 14, 2017

Over 600,000 business were started in the UK in 2016, and that number is expected to be exceeded in 2017. There are many challenges for every one of these business start-ups, but some new businesses make it harder for themselves by making basic mistakes with their telecoms.

“Can you do it cheaper?” – Giving great answers to tough questions about your prices

March 10, 2017

“Will you give us a discount on that figure?” “Can you match the lower price I can get down the street?” “Can’t you do it cheaper?” These are the kind of questions people running start-ups and small businesses get asked an awful lot. But what are the best answers to give? Here, we look at […]

Why “Artificial Intelligence first” is replacing the “mobile first” approach in 2017

March 2, 2017

You don’t have to think back very far to remember the time when disruptive start-ups and forward thinking businesses were championing a “digital first” strategy. Digital technology had been adopted by mainstream consumers and companies that failed to recognise it were being left behind. More recently, that slogan has been replaced for many businesses by […]

Can dual sim phones solve a common problem for small business owners?

February 28, 2017

As the name suggests, a dual sim phone allows you to have two sims in a single phone. There are a variety of reasons why people may want access to two different phone numbers on a single device. A dual sim phone could be of particular use to self employed people, freelancers and business owners […]

How start-ups can get the most from digital marketing

February 24, 2017

Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few. The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small […]

Why trust-based selling will accelerate your business growth

February 23, 2017
Thumbnail image for Why trust-based selling will accelerate your business growth

We live in incredible times of change; there’s no disputing that. Old business models are dying out, new business models and disrupting technologies are being born every day that are turning industries on their head. At the same time, trust is at its lowest level ever. We no longer trust politicians, we no longer trust […]

A step by step guide to auto enrolment for small employers staging in 2017

February 21, 2017

The roll-out of auto enrolment is well into its fifth year. Having started with the largest organisations back in October 2012, it’s now the turn of small and micro sized employers. If you’re one of these, you’re in good company. During 2017, hundreds of thousands of organisations just like yours will need to get to […]

How to minimise non-billable time

February 17, 2017

“Time is money” isn’t just an adage when running a small business, it’s a way of life. When your business model is to sell your time and expertise, it’s important to monetise every moment of every working day. There are plenty of hacks to help freelancers and contractors get more and more efficient with reducing […]

Why 95% of your website visitors don’t buy, and what YOU can do about it

February 9, 2017

If you’ve been involved in running a website, you’ll know that it’s relatively “easy” to get eyeballs on your site. Throw money at it and they will come. But, it’s getting those visitors to take action, to buy from you – that’s the hard part. So it’s no wonder that a website’s ‘Conversion Rate’ is […]

Understanding fixed term employment contracts – what business owners need to know

February 8, 2017

Fixed term employment contracts are generally seen by employers as those which “plug the gap” when their normal, permanent employees are absent for a period of time. Fixed term contracts are useful tools for businesses who need to employ staff to cover short term peaks in business demands. But before employing staff on a fixed […]

Embracing technological opportunities – how SMEs can adopt new technologies without being overtaken by them

February 7, 2017

Technological innovation is happening ever more rapidly and the changes will transform every industry. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from these innovative technologies but must strike a balance between using technology and being overwhelmed by it. To help business owners embrace the potential of new technologies we asked Rohit Talwar, editor of, […]

How to be a successful freelancer in the gig economy

January 31, 2017

The gig economy is one of the UK’s fastest growing ways of working. According to IPSE, the body representing UK freelancers, there are now around 1.9 million freelancers in the UK alone. And the global figure is upwards of 50 million people earning a living from freelancing. The rise in popularity of freelance working is […]

Is my business data safer in the cloud? A guide for small businesses

January 26, 2017

IT security has never been a bigger issue for startups and SMEs, with 3 in 5 digital firms likely to experience service failures by 2020 due to improper mitigation of risk. It comes at a time when small businesses are increasingly being targeted by hackers keen to exploit network vulnerabilities, and access their data. Ensuring the security […]

Build a Brand, Build a Business

January 24, 2017

If you’re starting a new business you’ll, no doubt, want to establish and build a strong brand. Doing so will bring huge benefits over the long-term, helping you to stand out from the crowd, generate more customers and ultimately build a more valuable business. But how do you build a brand, and where do you […]

Build a brand, build a business – Part 2

January 24, 2017

…continued from Part 1 of Build a Brand, Build a Business

5 Tips for small businesses setting up an auto enrolment pension scheme in 2017

January 23, 2017

Figures from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) reveal that more than 95 per cent of the small employers required to put their staff into a workplace pension by June 2016 had complied with the law. To the end of September, almost 257,000 employers had completed their automatic enrolment duties and enrolled over 6.7 million workers on […]

How to defend your small business from ‘Insider Threats’

January 19, 2017

As a small business, one of the biggest threats to your information assets resides within your operatin. The insider threat, intentional or otherwise, is now one of the major concerns in cybersecurity, and with good cause. So what exactly are the insider threats to small businesses, and how can you mitigate the dangers? We asked […]

Statutory & Contractual Notice Periods: Advice for small businesses

January 17, 2017

Once a contract of employment is in place, notice has to be given by either party to the contract to end it. There are two types of notice periods; statutory notice and contractual notice. As an employer, if you fail to give the correct notice when terminating an employment contract, you are in breach of […]

7 cybersecurity issues small businesses need to understand in 2017

January 16, 2017

Security breaches and cybercrime incidents hit the headlines in 2016, as high-profile news of data breaches, malware, DDoS attacks and compromised systems became mainstream news. The news reports inevitably focused on cyber-attacks on major corporations, such as the data thefts from TalkTalk, Three and Tesco Bank, as well as the extraordinary autumn story of the […]

What are the compulsory fire safety regulations for UK businesses?

January 12, 2017

It is vitally important for business owners and managers to understand their duty to comply with UK fire safety regulations, as the consequences are potentially very serious. All legislation regarding fire safety in business (non-domestic) premises in England and Wales are incorporated in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, 2005. It provides clear guidance for […]

What creativity can do for your bottom line

January 10, 2017

If you’re running your own small business, or thinking about starting one, then chances are that you’re already creative and putting your ideas into practice. But as any business owner knows that your initial idea is often just the start. Ongoing creativity is also not an optional extra for companies. It is a crucial component […]

Why you must build on your strengths, NOT focus on trying to fix weaknesses

January 9, 2017

Business owners and leaders looking to get the best out of themselves and their team will frequently spend a lot of time and effort searching for, and trying to improve on their weaknesses. However, this is a completely counter-productive approach that can lower employee engagement and ultimately damage a business’ chance of success. Here Jan […]

Auto enrolment – What should be at the top of your 2017 ‘to do’ list?

January 5, 2017

As smaller businesses prepare to put their plans for 2017 into practice, there’s one thing that should be on almost every small employer’s radar. I’d say auto enrolment is one of the most important things that employers right around the UK must deal with in 2017, it’s both a legal duty and an important staff […]

What is the purpose of your business?

December 22, 2016

When you are starting a business, you will need to answer many questions. However, one of the most fundamental questions any business owner will be asked is, what is the purpose of your business? So what would your answer be? How you answer the question, has a significant bearing on whether your business is likely […]

Leased or serviced office space – which is the best fit for your business?

December 16, 2016

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 […]

A small business guide to employee handbooks

December 15, 2016

Nearly all employers are aware of the legal requirement to give new employees a statement of their main terms once they start working for you. For some small businesses this may be the only documentation they give staff, after all this meets their legal requirements. However, many employers can find that well-drafted and implemented employee […]

When to get SEO for your website, and when not to

December 13, 2016

SEO has become an integral part of online marketing. If you want your business to be seen online, the general consensus is that SEO is absolutely essential. Committing to a high quality SEO campaign can take up a lot of time and make demands on a startup’s budget that not everyone can meet. But seeking […]

Why small businesses must stay on top of web application security

December 9, 2016

Nearly 6,000 retail sites were recently compromised by credit-card theft, after attackers injected malicious JavaScript code into their e-commerce websites to steal payment card data. While compared to the 500 million user details breached at Yahoo it may seem but a small number, however this hack has highlighted the significant risk that cybercrime poses to […]

5 Questions to ask before you stand up and deliver a presentation

December 8, 2016

As a business owner you are your own best marketing tool. Presenting in public not only highlights your business, it also establishes your credibility, makes your listeners trust you (and people prefer to do business with those they trust) and generates leads. But, even if you have a stunning presentation with fabulous visuals, you can […]

How to plan and implement a successful email marketing campaign

December 5, 2016

For a small business, email marketing offers an inexpensive but effective and efficient way to engage with your customers, and attract new ones – so long as the right planning has been put in place first. It creates and maintains communication, helping to keep your brand front of mind and build customer loyalty. Campaigns can […]

Becoming an employer – Your responsibilities when you hire staff

December 2, 2016

No matter how successful your business has been with just you working in it, if you want to grow you will need to take on employees. There are innumerable benefits of having employees. The right people will ease the workload on you and allow you take holidays. Good staff keep your business running day to […]

Getting your IT right as your startup grows

November 29, 2016

Small businesses often begin when an entrepreneur brings an idea to life on a laptop at the kitchen table. At this point, the entire IT infrastructure of the business is likely to be the computer and the software it’s running. But things can grow very quickly. As your startup grows, the size and complexity of […]

The 10 things you’re doing wrong in your presentations (and how to fix them)

November 24, 2016

It doesn’t matter how many presentation skills training courses we’ve been on or how many truly terrible presentations we’ve seen, we all end up falling into the same old traps when we present, pitch or speak in public. To help you avoid making yawn-inducing presentation mistakes we asked Steve Bustin, author of The Authority Guide to […]

How the lines between online and offline retail are blurring, and how to capitalise on this trend

November 23, 2016

Let’s start with a sobering statistic: Retailers opened the lowest number of new stores in the last 5 years in the first half of 2016. What’s more, 15 stores pulled down their shutters for the last time every day. Altogether, that means nearly 2000 more stores were closed than opened in that six-month period. Today, […]

How to master your inbox in five simple steps

November 21, 2016

The inbox has changed from an exciting place where anyone from anywhere in the world can reach you within seconds to a daily burden where tasks disappear under the onslaught of new emails coming in. Email productivity experts agree that dealing with emails instantly as they appear in our inboxes, decreases productivity. New emails can […]