Latest Articles

How to Get Your Pitching Right at the First Attempt

“Put that coffee down. Coffee’s for closers only”. Alec Baldwin delivered this iconic line in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. It may sound harsh but that is the reality. Pitching an idea and closing a deal can be a nerve-wracking process. Even successful business greats like Richard Branson found the skill of pitching hard to […]

11 Tech Time-Savers to Boost Productivity

A productive business is a profitable business. A simple, but very true statement. But, according to a Close Brothers report (PDF), the UK lags behind the rest of the G7 countries by 16%. So what is holding back productivity, and what can British businesses do to become more productive?

Business Energy Switching Myths

If you run a business and you’ve never switched to a new energy contract, you could be paying as much as 40% more than you need to for gas and electricity. A recent study carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that a staggering £7 billion is being wasted by small and […]

5 Top Tips for Creating a Foolproof Mileage Policy

9 out of 10 company car drivers in the UK admit to having submitted inaccurate mileage claims in the past, according to a recent survey by Flexed. Inaccurate mileage claims can cost businesses in inflated expenses claims and also bring the potential for fines from HMRC. So how can businesses ensure mileage records are accurate?

The Do’s and Don’ts of Successful Entrepreneurs

We can all learn from studying successful business people. How do some individuals seem to have the knack of succeeding? Are they lucky, or do they have certain skills or traits that help them to achieve? Paul Bassi CBE, a successful business owner himself, looks at what successful entrepreneurs have in common.

6 Things You’ll Need To Launch a Thriving Food or Drink Product

Small businesses have a tougher time than their larger and better-established competitors. Unlike the big brands, who enjoy plentiful resources and instant recognition in their industry, SMEs have plenty of hurdles to overcome, so we asked Craig Sams and William Fugard, co-founders of Gusto Organic drinks to share what they have learned from launching Gusto, […]

Where to Locate Your Business? The Best UK Cities for StartUps

Entrepreneurship is on the rise in the UK, and one of the first decisions you will need to make when starting a business is where to locate your venture. Even today, the era of the digital nomad, the place you choose to set up shop – figuratively or literally – can have an effect on […]

A Guide to Business Signage Best Practice

If your business has a physical presence of any kind, or you exhibit or attend branded events, it’s imperative to invest in quality business signage that stands out from the crowd. The right signage and logo design will help build brand recognition, both offline and online, and ultimately increase footfall and conversions.

Getting Started with Google AdWords – A Step-by-Step Guide

A lot of small businesses start using Google AdWords in the hope that it will help them increase sales with small investment. This isn’t true. Yes, AdWords can help you increase sales but only with the right investment. To get the return on investment you’re hoping for, you will need to set up your account […]

Secured v Unsecured Business Loans – The Key Differences

If you need finance for your business, one route you can take is a business loan. Business loans now come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to choose the loan that’s best suited to your situation. One of the main options you’ll have is whether to take out a secured, […]

Staff Performance Reviews – How to Get the Most Out of Them

As a business owner, it’s likely that you struggle to find time to do the performance appraisals for your team. You are not the only one. Surveys have indicated that owners and managers hate doing performance reviews and as many as 58% think it is a waste of time.

4 IT Security Best Practices SMBs Need To Adopt Immediately

While cyberattacks on companies that are household names are often highly publicised and reported on, attacks on small businesses often go unnoticed by the media despite accounting for 43% of targeted attacks. These attacks might not hit the front page, but they are having a significant impact on small businesses across the globe.

How to Manage Staff Holidays

All workers are entitled to receive a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave. Whilst this is a benefit for staff, employers can find themselves struggling to manage staff holidays around their business needs. To help make sure your business runs smoothly, here is an overview of how to successfully manage staff holidays.

Cut Your Costs With an Insurance Policy Tailored for Your Line of Work

When you are running a business, it can often feel as though your margins are being squeezed year after year. Seeing the costs of your supplies, subscriptions and other essentials rising while the prices you charge are being forced down is an understandable cause for frustration.

Is it Safe to Switch to a Smaller Business Energy Supplier?

In the latest results from the Which? annual survey of the ‘best and worst energy suppliers’ survey, smaller suppliers come out well on top, while the Big Six languish at the foot of the table. But, given the recent spate of small energy suppliers going to the wall, is it safe to switch to a […]

The FinTech Companies Helping You To Remortgage

Remortgaging is a popular way to save money on your mortgage – with lower rates available to those that switch. Introductory rates are often available for the first few years of your mortgage deal, but once you get to year 3 or 5, the standard variable rate (SVR) kicks in.

A Guide to Merchant Cash Advances

If you need an injection of cash for your business, there are now many different and increasingly flexible alternative finance products available to suit your unique requirements. One of the more recent and most innovative among them is the merchant cash advance. So what exactly is a merchant cash advance, and is it a suitable […]

What the New Right for Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Means for Businesses

In April 2020 the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, is due to come into force. This will place legal requirements on businesses to give employees who have suffered a bereavement time off work so we asked HR Consultant, Kirsten Cluer, to explain what businesses should do to prepare for the new legislation.

A Practical Guide to IT, Telecoms & Connectivity for Small Businesses

Virtually every business now relies on technology to trade successfully so need to invest in the right technology. For large businesses, this is rarely an issue, but for early stage and small businesses, these can be big decisions and the wrong ones can cause real problems. This guide aims to help you make the right […]

7 Common Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

Even in an age of digital marketing, the use of direct mail as a way of attracting and converting new customers as well as touching base with previous clients remains a tried and tested technique. However, if you make any of these common direct mail mistakes, you will almost certainly be wasting time, paper, ink […]

Your Making Tax Digital for VAT Questions Answered

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is arguably the biggest change to the UK’s tax system for a generation, so here’s a quick walkthrough of what MTD means for small businesses, together with five practical steps to help you tackle the changes.

4 Ways to Make Your Crowdfunding Campaign Stand Above the Rest

Equity crowdfunding has flourished as a key form of alternative finance for early and growth stage businesses. It’s become a great alternative to bank loans and other traditional funding sources, allowing entrepreneurs to engage a crowd of passionate investors for financial backing. However, the popularity of equity crowdfunding has left platforms, like Crowdcube and Seedrs, […]

Why Real Leaders Don’t Need a Corner Office

For some people, power (and therefore impact) sits in symbols of power such as a corner office, a nice company car or an executive assistant. Symbols can, at times, play an impactful role but real and lasting impact is so much bigger than that. It’s how you conduct yourself, your actions and behaviours, that will […]

The Future of Fundraising

As a small business owner fundraising can be a daunting prospect but digital technology is changing this. You can now raise the funds you need to develop and expand your business in a way which you’ll find more user-friendly and which puts you in control of the process.

Alternative Finance – New Funding Options for Small Businesses

Young businesses and start-ups that are looking to raise funding have a dizzying array of choices nowadays. In fact, there has probably never been a bigger range of places to go for early-stage finance, from crowdfunding and angel investors through to government-backed start-up loans and P2P lenders.

How 5G Will Benefit Businesses

5G is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment, with the UK recently taking strides to develop its network infrastructure. The technology is expected to be rolled out properly by 2020 and hit over one billion connections by 2025. The fifth generation of mobile networks promises even faster download speeds, less lag and a […]

How to Build the Perfect Pitch Deck for Raising Funds

Most entrepreneurs really struggle to bring in investment without the proper tools to bolster their proposition. An engaging pitch deck is a key part of any successful fundraising strategy, so it’s vital to get it right. With no clear consensus on what a great pitch deck for raising funds looks like, we asked funding expert, […]

How to Hook Your Audience in Seconds

Whether you are pitching for new business, updating a client on their project or doing some face-to-face business networking, you need to act fast. As Lyn Roseaman of Toastmasters International explains, you have less than 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, and show them you’re going to talk about something they’ll value or that […]

How AI Within Telecoms Can Help Your Business

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) play a part in improving your business telecoms? Will it impact landline, VoIP, Mobile or fibre/copper broadband services? Mike Ianiri, of Equinox looks at where developments in AI can benefit business telecoms.

Trade Body Tells Customers ‘To Be Careful’ of Claims Companies

The highly controversial payday loans industry is under further criticism, but this time it is not towards the lenders, but the claims companies. With the window to claim for PPI coming to a close in August this year, many claims providers are turning their attention to the potentially lucrative mis-sold payday loans industry.

No Pay Rise – 5 Alternative Ways to Reward Your Staff

In a competitive marketplace you can’t always give staff cash bonuses or pay rises. Rewarding employees with other forms of incentives can help you to overcome this and also lead to a more productive workplace where people want to work.

4 Ways to Show Your Authority as a Business

Is your company an authority in its chosen market? If it’s not — it should be. Being seen as an authority in your line of work is a key part of attracting customers, so here are 4 ways you can build your authority and get yourself ahead of the competition.