Run a Business

From One-Click to No-Click: The Technology Behind Frictionless Retail

Amazon - frictionless retail

It may seem like yesterday, but Amazon first began disrupting the retail status quo nearly 25 years ago. As one of the world’s largest online retailers, it has set ecommerce standards. But it now has its sights set on stores.

With Amazon’s move into offline retail set to be a game-changer, we asked Retail Technology publisher, Miya Knights to look at the technology driving no click retailing. (more…)

Can You Dismiss an Employee for Posting a Negative Company Review?

Negative company review by employee

Company reviews left on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed can be a great way for your organisation to build a positive reputation and help in efforts to recruit new talent.

However, there is always the risk that staff may leave negative reviews on these websites, which can have a very different impact altogether. (more…)

A Small Business’s Guide to Disposing of E-Waste

WEEE - hoe to get rid of old electronics PC laptop

Many small businesses up and down the country have a corner or storeroom where dead or unused electronic kit sits, unused and gathering dust. Many of us keep it there because, hey you never know, it might come in handy for spares one day. But it never does and ends up sitting there for years.

In this guide, we look at everything small businesses need to know, including legal obligations, when it comes to disposing of their e-waste (however long it’s been sat in a cupboard). (more…)

6 Fun Apps to Help You Get Your Business Through Christmas

Christmas apps for business

Christmas is just around the corner; the high streets are flooding with people, the markets are springing up in town and city centres across the country, and the festivities are in full swing.

While it is a time of great celebration and merriment, Christmas can also be incredibly stressful with a stack of work to complete before the calendar makes its way to the 25th of December. So to help you negotiate the festive season, here are six great apps that will make things a little easier at the most wonderful time of the year. (more…)

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Avoid Losing Business Over the Christmas Period

How not to miss out on business over festive period

 Some businesses will work on Christmas Eve but then close down until Wednesday, 2nd January. It may feel as if everyone is off work and every office is closed (especially with many schools closed until 7th January as well) – but that’s not entirely accurate.

Many people are still working during the festivities. As a small business owner how can you ensure you don’t lose out on business over the Christmas period and still get a break? Here are a few tips: (more…)

5 Technologies That Can Supercharge Your Next Corporate Event

event management technologies

Today’s events offer the best of both worlds when the right technology is applied to the immediacy of the face-to-face experience.

Delegates can enjoy the impact of personal, immediate interactions, networking opportunities and cutting-edge talks – with the added benefits of VR experiences, social sharing, personalised follow-up experiences and automated check-ins. In this way, the beauty of the face-to-face event is only enhanced through smart tech deployment. (more…)

How to Use Digital PR to Build Links to Your Website

Gaining website backlinks with Digital PR

There are a whole range of ways that you can build backlinks to your business’s website, from guest posting to tactical link audits and on-site asset creation. However, the amount of time and effort it takes to get each link can become a barrier, particularly when you have limited resources. (more…)

How to Give Feedback When an Employee Does a Terrible Job

how to deal with staff errors

In a small business or start-up culture there is often limited time available for formal employee appraisals or structured feedback planning. However, developing a business culture where structured feedback is routinely given, received and acknowledged is essential for long-term growth. (more…)

Making a Contractual Job Offer to a New Employee

Making a contractual job offer to new employee

Following a successful recruitment and selection process, employers will be able to identify which candidates they wish to employ.

Making a job offer to the successful candidate appears to be a straightforward area of law, however, there are several factors that employers should consider to put themselves on the best path. (more…)

5 Ways to Implement Learning at Work

learning at work

The business landscape is constantly changing, and new technology is accelerating the pace of developments. These changing dynamics have redefined the ‘ability to learn’ as an essential skill, whatever your role in the organisation.

‘Learn something new today’ should not be just a lesson for when you are in school or university – it should be a life lesson; personally, and professionally, in or out of the workplace. (more…)

A Small Business Guide to Digital Signage

Guide to digital signage for small business

Imagine your smartphone or tablet scaled up and delivering information in the high street, restaurant or hospital. That’s what a digital signage system looks like and it’s an engaging way to transmit information to your audience, whatever the focus of your small business.

To help you take advantage of the opportunity it offers, here’s our small business guide to digital signage. (more…)

How to Hire Graduates for Your Small Business

Attracting graduates to SME

A recent study found that 48% of millenial graduates believe a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) to be the ideal sized business to work for as opposed to a larger organisation.

Even with this encouraging statistic, graduate recruitment can be difficult for small businesses. If you are to succeed you need to take a multi-faceted approach to gain interest from students and graduates alike. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure your graduate hiring process delivers. (more…)

Everything You Need to Know About Unfair Dismissal

Advice on Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal can cause big issues for any type of small business. Even business owners with the best intentions and excellent hiring abilities might be faced with dismissing an employee one day.

Here, we look at what classifies as unfair dismissal and explain how to prevent legal action in the face of a dismissal within your business. (more…)

How to do Link Building the White Hat Way

Ethical link-building for SEO

Google regards links as a principal ranking signal and there is no evidence to suggest that this is set to change in the future. It therefore goes without saying that building the right links to your website will help you to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). (more…)

How to measure your social media performance

Boost your business throughSocial Media

Continuous testing, benchmarking and learning is a cornerstone of all social media activity. It will help you identify areas of relative under-performance, potential risks and opportunities to generate better results. (more…)

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 properly and invest the right amount of money. (more…)

How to help make sure your business survives a marriage breakdown

Ensure your business survives a divorce

Being a business owner ultimately means you will face tough times, whether that be the loss of a key staff member, a dip in revenue or an untimely economic recession. However, one of the greatest – and most unsuspecting – challenges to a business owner, is a divorce.

To help ensure you don’t lose your business if you get divorced, we asked Matrimonial Consultant and Family Lawyer Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart to share her advice on how to ensure business survival in the event of a marriage breakdown. (more…)

How the Employment Tribunal works

Employment Tribunal - details and procedures

Are you an employer that is being taken to the Employment Tribunal by an employee for alleged sexual harassment or racial discrimination or for unfair dismissal?

Are you an employee that feels your job situation is untenable? If so, then here’s what to do. (more…)

How to build a company culture where everyone likes to sell

all employees enjoying selling

The saying goes we hate to be sold but love to buy. However, the same can be said for how people feel about being involved in selling. We all love to help people buy but only a few feel comfortable with being seen to sell to someone.

In the past, this worked well, as the “sales” team were primarily responsible for doing the legwork knocking on doors and finding people to sell to. The trade-off for the company culture was that some individuals in the sales team then behaved like minor gods expecting all to fall before them. (more…)

A 6 Step Marketing Process to Accelerate your Startup Growth

Marketing process for scale up businesses

For business founders, the “To Do” list is never ending, especially when faced with external demands from investors and stakeholders.

The need to increase revenue becomes an all-encompassing obsession, and it’s easy to forget “secondary” tasks – like marketing – that help to fill the sales pipeline.

But failing to build an effective marketing strategy will cause your growth plans to stall. And if you cannot demonstrate ongoing, increasing sales, it becomes harder than ever to secure subsequent rounds of funding. Miss your growth targets and stakeholders are often less than forgiving. (more…)

5 Strategies for dealing with office politics

tackling office politics

Office politics, workplace politics, corporate politics… You may refer to ‘politics at work’ by a different name, but, they all mean the same thing.

The danger for a business where office politics take hold is that everybody involved becomes distracted and loses sight of the common purpose that galvanizes a team. (more…)

The Dos and Don’ts of Filming in public spaces

Advice on filming in public spaces

More and more small businesses coming round to the power of using video to establish their brand presence and promote their products or services.

With the technology to make professional looking brand film, becoming increasingly affordable, a little bit of production knowledge and know-how can go a long way.

Of course it’s not just a case of grabbing a camera and shooting. A proper video strategy is essential but so too is an understanding of the logistical, technical and legal hurdles you’ll need to overcome, especially if you’re going to be filming outside a studio. (more…)

5 Ways you can use emotion to connect with customers and get more from your marketing

marketing psychology - using emotion to connect with customers

The more people feel, the more people buy. That’s the clear conclusion from the last decade of work by two of Britain’s top marketing analysts, Les Binet and Peter Field.

They delved into the IPA DataMine – a huge database of ad effectiveness case studies – to find out how advertising really leads to meaningful business effects, going beyond short-term sales spikes to look at profit growth and market share gain.

So what is the key to effective marketing, and how can businesses apply this to their marketing techniques to boost sales and grow profits? We asked Tom Ewing to explain;

(more…)

Science of Success – How to Apply Team GB’s Gold Medal Winning Techniques to Your Business

Team GB golds - business lessons

In 1996, Britain’s team of athletes returned from the Olympic Games in Atlanta with one solitary gold medal from rowing. This was a low point in British international sporting achievement and was the subject of a good deal of national self-flagellation in the media.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Team GB had completed an incredible turnaround in performance, securing over 20 gold medals. So what was behind the change in fortunes? And what lessons can you take and apply to boost your business? (more…)

Improve your business profitability with the 3C approach to employees

I should put on the invoice

Can you say that you and the people in your business form a dynamic team?

When geese fly in V formation, I see a dynamic team at work. This level of cooperation benefits each goose and the overall team. They reach their destination quicker and use far less energy.

Let me share an effective approach for translating this into the small business environment – the V is a great example of employee engagement. (more…)

A Guide to getting started with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for small businesses

Tips on choosing CRM software

Are you struggling to get your sales and marketing processes clear, consistent and measureable?

If so, it may be time to invest in a CRM system. If used correctly such a platform can benefit fast-growing businesses and allow them to build their customer base whilst maintaining that personalised relationship which is essential for both B2B and B2C companies in today’s world.

To help you understand how CRM software can help you to boost sales, and what to look out for when choosing a CRM system, we asked Robert Stead of The Marketing Centre to share his insight; (more…)

What is Google’s RankBrain and why should you care?

WHat Google Rankbrain is and how it can help your website succeed

 

Google RankBrain first rolled out in 2015. Unlike Google’s many previous updates it uses machine-learning and AI for the first time, in order to help better refine search results, especially in cases of rare, ambiguous or one-of-a-kind queries.

Understanding more about Rankbrain can help your website succeed, so we asked digital marketing expert, Paul Morris of Superb Digital, to explain what Google’s RankBrain is, how it works, where it’s going and why, as a small business owner, you should care. (more…)

The Do’s & Don’ts of giving gifts at work

workplace gifts - what employers need to consider

The practice of giving gifts to colleagues and clients is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence in the workplace.

Although this activity is predominately centred around the Christmas holiday period, it is also common to see gifts distributed at other times of the year in celebration of birthdays, work anniversaries or the closing of an important business deal.

With this in mind, there are several factors employers must think about the next time they consider giving a gift to someone at work. (more…)

SME Secret Weapons – How Smaller Businesses Can Take On and Beat Bigger Competitors

how small business beat big business

In its 50 years, business book publisher Kogan Page has remained buoyant in a sector that is dominated by much larger companies.

The fact that its business is still prospering is testament to a few basic concepts that are as true today as when the company started in 1967. We asked Managing Director, Helen Kogan to share her experiences of how a smaller business can gain competitive advantage over bigger, dominant competitors. (more…)

7 Top Tips to help your small business find success online

eCommerce success tips for small businesses

Ecommerce now accounts for 17% of all UK consumer sales and it’s only going to keep growing. Yet, despite this growth, it is still hard to make it in the online marketplace.

Competition is tough, it requires both technical and business savvy, and you need to work much harder to gain trust.

Simply having a great idea for a business isn’t enough. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many poorly reviewed retailers on Trustpilot, so many horror stories of poor products and services, and so many rubbish websites.

To help you succeed online, we asked entrepreneur Stuart Maclaren, to share his 7 top tips for ecommerce success. (more…)

How to improve company culture by enlisting your ‘Culture Champions’

Growing your company culture

Why does your company do what it does?

If you’ve thoughtfully identified this motive, you have probably embedded it in statements of your business mission, vision, and values.

These documents are akin to the ten commandments – guidelines that suggest how to act in the course of delivering your products or services. They are foundational to any corporate culture. (more…)

5 Principles to cut your meetings in half and still make them more productive

organising worthwhile meetings

Many businesses, organisations and leaders have created a ‘meeting culture’ whereby they need a meeting to decide what they are going to be meeting about and then another meeting to prepare for the meeting itself and another to de-brief after the meeting.

Wow, that’s a whole lot of meetings going on.

Meetings are the killer of productivity and part of being a ‘productivity ninja’ is centred on valuing your time and the time of others. Small businesses tend to understand this better than big business, simply because resources are tight and time is scarce, but I have no doubt we’ve all fallen into the ‘meeting for meeting sake’ trap.

Now, if you’re in this trap and not sure how to get out of it follow these five simple, but effective, guiding principles on how you can halve your meetings AND reduce the time they take whilst still making them productive. (more…)