How to set up and run a small business

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Purpose, values and goals: The 3 Key ingredients for a successful business

April 10, 2017

Striving to find a meaning in life is the most powerful driving force in humans. Acknowledging this as the key motivator for everyone involved in your business will help you to nurture the best achievements and results. Neuroscientific research taking place around the world is beginning to piece together connections between the brain and behaviour, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How happy employees can boost your bottom line – 5 Happiness strategy stories

November 8, 2016

Today, more young professionals are making alternative choices to the standard roles assumed by their parents’ generation. As a result, the landscape of work has changed dramatically for this generation, and for generations to follow. Why? It’s simple. We want more from our jobs than just a salary. We also want to be happy in […]

A small business guide to carrying out effective staff appraisals

November 7, 2016

When staff appraisal or review time rolls around, many small business owners view this as a waste of their valuable time. This is not the case, however, and employers who spend the time and effort to make these meetings are a success will often get much more out of staff appraisals than they put into […]

Learning to lead your leaders

November 1, 2016

As a business owner, you’re also a business leader. And therefore, in order for your start-up to grow and develop beyond a one-man-band, there will come a time when you need to be able to lead other leaders within your business. To do this successfully, you’ll need to develop a whole new set of skills […]

How to lead inclusively

October 25, 2016

Your ability to be your most effective and successful is fueled by how inclusive you are as a leader in all aspects of your business – your supply chain, your workforce and how you take your products and services to market. It’s likely that you have based your success to date on your intuitive grasp […]

Work Experience & Internships – A Guide for small businesses

October 18, 2016

Many companies are enthusiastic about creating opportunities for younger people to gain business experience and skills in shorter placements, often labeling these as work experience or internships. While larger businesses frequently put internship schemes in place, many smaller businesses can be put off offering these opportunities because they view them as an extra administrative burden. […]

6 common team challenges – How to overcome them and grow your team

October 17, 2016

As a business owner, you will no doubt, face some of the common team challenges experienced by many businesses today. When you do face these problems, you will need to know how to overcome them if you want your team to deliver. We all know that dysfunctional teams are not successful. They will become de-motivated […]

Training and developing staff on a tight budget

October 6, 2016

‘If you think training is expensive, try ignorance’ This oft-quoted phrase, attributed to Peter Drucker, is frequently used when businesses say they ‘can’t afford’ to train or develop their staff. So it’s worth asking yourself how much ‘untrained ‘or ‘undeveloped’ staff are costing your business – now and, potentially, in the future?

Health & Safety in Europe: which country is safest?

September 28, 2016

PROMOTED GUIDE – From QA International Certification. QAIC is an accredited certification body issuing internationally recognised accredited certificates across a wide range of manufacturing and service industries.   In our modern society, safeguarding employees is a priority. Despite the health and safety horror stories we hear, it’s fair to say that a large proportion of […]

Respecting equality and diversity in leadership

September 21, 2016

In years gone by, equality and diversity haven’t always been at the forefront of business owners’ minds. However, in recent years more and more business leaders are recognising that respecting equality and diversity make good business sense. So, what makes equality and diversity increasingly vital when you are setting up and running a business? We […]

How small business owners can tackle difficult conversations with employees

September 20, 2016

Having to carry out difficult conversations is an inevitable consequence of owning a business and being an employer. When most business owners start employing staff they often haven’t thought of the reality of becoming an employer and having to tackle workplace issues as they arise. Employers often don’t have the confidence to successfully carry out […]

What is workplace diversity, why is it important, and what are the benefits to businesses?

September 2, 2016

Workplace diversity is a term which relates to the people who work for an organisation. It is often spoken about with reference to equal opportunities, and the two are intrinsically linked, but have varying perspectives. Providing equal opportunities means ensuring that no individual is treated less favourably on the basis of who they are – […]

How to design an effective incentive scheme for your small business

August 30, 2016

An effective incentive scheme is an important way for small businesses to motivate their staff in order to improve performance and boost profits. Responding to incentives is part of human nature and employees like (and deserve) to be rewarded for their hard work. For startups and small businesses who have a limited budget, designing a […]

Making sure staff know their position and purpose within your business

July 5, 2016

Red tape… compliance… ticking boxes… costly… time consuming… frustrating… not my job! Be honest, when you think about HR (Human Resources) in your business, are these the kind of phrases that first spring to mind? If you ask any small business owner what frustrates them in their company, most will include HR and talk about […]

Leaders tell people what to do – don’t they?

June 30, 2016

As a leader, it’s your job to decide what kind of behaviour you would like in your organisation. But, how do you find your own style as a leader and set the tone for everybody who works with you? Here, Kate Mercer, author of ‘A Buzz in the Building – how to build and lead […]

A Guide to calculating holiday pay

June 6, 2016

When you employ staff you must give them a certain amount of annual leave, and pay them during this time. If your employees work a set amount of hours, and received a fixed salary, calculating their annual leave entitlement and holiday pay is straightforward. However, if staff have irregular hours, work overtime, or receive commissions […]

First aid training at work: Why is it so important?

June 2, 2016

When it comes to first aid in the workplace, the same principles apply to small businesses with only a few employees, as they do to companies with a bigger workforce spread across multiple locations. In both instances, there must be plans in place to ensure the day-to-day working operation complies with health and safety regulations, […]

Why a healthier workplace is good for a small business, and simple ways to achieve it

May 26, 2016

Small businesses and start-ups are particularly vulnerable to staff health issues. If you’re a small business of five staff when suddenly one of the team is off sick with a chronic back complaint, then the business is trying to operate with only 80% of the workforce. The increased workload this pushes on to other staff […]

A small business guide to annual leave entitlement for employees

May 25, 2016

As an employer you are required by law to give your employees a certain number of days holiday during the year. The amount of annual leave employees are entitled to depends on several factors. This guide to leave entitlement for small business owners explains the amount of holiday you are required by UK law to […]

Why business owners must embrace co-creation to create real value in their business

May 19, 2016

Co-creation is the joining together of people to produce a mutually valued outcome. In business, it is the cultivation of win-win solutions where efficiency, success, and staff fulfilment march hand in hand. Co-creation brings many benefits to businesses, such as; Team members feel respected and honoured, and they know their contributions make a difference. Job […]

What every business owner needs to know about stress

May 6, 2016

People who run their own business have a multitude of priorities to contend with every day. When you’re in the thick of it, it can be easy to lose sight of the simple truth that the people you depend upon for your business’ success are, like you, only human. But they are, and it’s well […]

Making staff redundant – how to do it and stay on the right side of the law

April 28, 2016

Nobody goes into business to make staff redundant. However, it is a task that many business owners will need to undertake at some point Redundancy is a potentially fair reason to dismiss an employee, but it is vital that you get this procedure right as failure to do so could result in an unfair dismissal […]

A practical guide to flexible working rights for small businesses

April 19, 2016

Statutory flexible working rights become available widely to all employees when they complete 26 weeks of continuous employment. Previously, a request to work flexibly had to be made for the purposes of taking care of dependents e.g. children, however, this requirement has now been removed, giving all employees the right to request flexible working regardless […]

Team Building – The best way to train your staff to really work as a team

April 14, 2016

Who do you call if a pipe is leaking? A plumber, right? You don’t call an electrician. And when he turns up, you don’t expect him to build a hypothetical model of the structure of your pipework and work on that, leaving you to sort out the actual problem yourself. You expect him to get […]

A few small changes that can really boost your productivity

April 13, 2016

Technology is the modern day malaise. On the one hand it has helped businesses become more efficient, but on the other it often means people are switched on 24/7 – something business owners need to overcome to improve productivity. The Chartered Institute of Management (CIM) suggested in a report called the, ‘The Quality of Working […]

Your business isn’t ‘yours’, and your problems aren’t all about ‘them’

March 31, 2016

When you start and run your own business, your company inevitably means more to you than anybody else. As a business owner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything and become frustrated with staff that don’t understand ‘your’ business like you do. This mindset can lead to you spending too much time and effort […]

Why “Change Management” is the most overlooked driver for executive success

March 30, 2016

Uber has a new logo. And many people don’t like it. There are things we don’t mind changing – seasons, governments, underpants – but most of the time, most of us resist change. For every innovation, from skinny jeans to a black Bond, there are plenty of us instinctively asking why? Why change? Why do […]

How to handle disciplinary issues in the workplace

March 22, 2016

Despite every effort, even the best-run businesses may encounter disciplinary problems with employees from time to time. Although it is always best to focus on effective management practice and preventative measures, having clear and fair disciplinary procedures is a good first step in avoiding difficult employment tribunals. Here’s what you need to consider, the procedures […]

How employers can help change attitudes to mental health in the workplace

March 18, 2016

A recent survey about mental resilience of almost 2,000 workers found that nearly a third of UK employees feel unsure about who to talk to or where to find help or support regarding mental health. And, nearly 40% of people find it hard to talk to or open up about their mental health to anyone. […]

5 Ways you could be stifling staff, and 5 Steps to harnessing their full potential

March 10, 2016

It can be exasperating when staff don’t use their initiative, or they go about solving problems in a seemingly baffling way, but often workers donning their stupid hats as they clock-in can be because of how you act as their boss. If you regularly find yourself cursing the stupidity of your employees, then you really […]