Run a Business
Some businesses will work on Christmas Eve but then close down until Thursday, 2nd January. It may feel as if everyone is off work and every office is closed (especially with many schools closed until the 6th or 7th of January as well) – but that’s not entirely accurate.
As a small business owner you don’t want to lose out on business over the Christmas period, so here are a few tips to help you get a festive break, without disappointing customers; (more…)
Office technology has developed rapidly in recent years resulting in new ways of working and doing business.
A growing number of companies rely on remote workers who operate outside the traditional office space and many UK-based businesses draw a significant percentage of their customer base from abroad. (more…)
As your business grows, your brand becomes an ever-increasingly important tool to drive your success. It’s importance means you’ll want to nurture and protect it, and part of this will be developing your brand style guidelines. (more…)
Transforming a start-up business into a scale-up is an incredibly challenging task, which can be difficult to plan and prepare for.
Although there is a lot to consider, moving from start-up through to the stages of rapid growth is practically impossible for any entrepreneur without having the right team or talent in place. (more…)
Black Friday 2019 is coming up, and consumers are getting ready for a frenzy of online deals. Last year, there were 194 million site visits on Black Friday alone, with over 1.2 billion visits across the whole of Cyber Week for the top 10 retailers. Clearly, this is an event that retailers should be taking part in and capitalising on. (more…)
It has long been an expectation for businesses to make physical spaces accessible for people of all abilities, and improvements have been made.
Now the onus is on online retailers, where there is still a lot of work to be done, so we asked Hilary Stephenson, MD at user experience (UX) design agency, Sigma to outline how small businesses can make their website more accessible. (more…)
Recruiting the right person is a challenge for any business. For startups and SMEs without an in-house HR team or even a single HR specialist, it can be especially daunting.
Hiring executive talent brings extra complexities and takes valuable time. But be warned, failure to do your homework on candidates for senior positions can be a risky business. (more…)
From flexible hours to an easier commute, working from home seems like an ideal option for many employees and it can have a lot of benefits for business owners too.
In this article, Peter Watton of matched betting start-up OddsMonkey, offers his advice to businesses who might be considering offering a working from home policy. (more…)
Take a close look at any business that has been thriving over the last few years, and there’s a very strong chance you’ll see it has a clear USP, or Unique Selling Point.
Your USP is something you need to develop as you start your own business. So here’s how you can work on your USP to help draw more customers to your business. (more…)
Regularly reviewing employee performance is vital for businesses, as it provides both employer and employee with important information about the employee’s progress, needs and skills.
It can also help improve employee productivity – but only if it’s done in the right way. (more…)
While a large corporation can absorb the damage of a handful of negative reviews, for startups and small businesses, negative reviews can often seriously harm your reputation.
By dealing with bad reviews in the right way, you will show that you care about customer service, and take feedback on board to improve your business as a whole. (more…)
As a small business owner, your legal responsibilities when taking on staff can be somewhat daunting but with a little help you can soon get your head around what’s needed.
One of your first duties as a new employer is to ensure you comply with employment contract law. To help you understand your legal obligations, here’s a guide to employment contracts for small business owners. (more…)
Building morale in teams is a key part of making them function better, with more motivation and with greater efficiency.
Of course, low morale is something that can impact negatively on both individual managers as well as team members, so it is something that needs to be addressed right across the board of a business structure. (more…)
As a start-up, every piece of data; whether it’s information about a new customer, a networking contact, your sales brochure or invoicing data, is hard won and valuable. As your business matures much of this can be re-purposed and re-used to save time, and cut costs – but only if you’ve kept it safe.
So, what happens if you have a critical failure and lose some, or all, of this data? (more…)
As a smaller business or startup, it is important to be economical in all of your actions and processes. That way, the money you save can be spent elsewhere to help expand your business.
However, sometimes it can be difficult to know in which areas it’s possible to save money; especially if they aren’t frequently talked about. (more…)
Loyalty programs have been around for decades and are still very popular with the public.
More than three-quarters of UK customers surveyed were a member of a loyalty program and roughly half agree that a loyalty program encouraged them to return to a particular brand. (more…)
Content is at the heart of every modern marketer’s toolkit. But aligning this material with sales departments is a common problem many organisations face.
Your marketing team might be well-armed with blog posts, case studies and whitepapers to generate leads and brand awareness, but you need a well-equipped and driven sales team to nurture leads over the finish line. (more…)
With the inevitable ups and downs a small business faces, there may be times when you need to lose some staff.
To stay on the right side of UK employment laws, employers must understand how to carry out the redundancy procedure correctly, so here’s a step-by-step guide to the redundancy process, and how to negotiate it safely. (more…)
Stress, business failure, differences of opinion and personal clashes can all contribute to SME businesses relationships breaking down. But where do you stand if you co-own a business with your partner and you are facing a shareholder dispute?
Louise Hebborn, Commercial Partner at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, looks at shareholder’s legal rights when the relationship between business owners breaks down. (more…)
Feedback is critical in every arena of life. For good or ill, it can permanently alter our self-perception, businesses and relationships.
Failing to take on board good feedback can lose companies customers, investors and revenue, whilst a preoccupation with negative feedback can do just as much damage. (more…)
When asked whether SME businesses need to protect themselves from cyber attacks, the response is easy: 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses.
If you are a small business and aren’t protecting yourself, you need to review this and put suitable protection in place. Mike Ianiri, Redsquid explains what you should do. (more…)
Everyone wants to get the best deal on their telecoms – but buying just on price, is unlikely to give you a great return. Not all telecoms solutions are the same; so, it’s important you ask the right questions to ensure you get the best deal.
We asked, telecoms specialist, Dave Millett to reveal the key questions to ask when getting broadband, lines, mobiles and VOIP solutions for your business. (more…)
“Let me tell you a story.” These are six very powerful words. Six powerful words which immediately invoke curiosity and anticipation. Six powerful words from which multi-billion-dollar industries have been built.
Beyond film, TV and books, storytelling has become an intentional tool in many of the most successful organisations. How can you use it in your business? (more…)
You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers.
However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while others seem to have crept from the depths just to torment you. (more…)
The Summer is half over but British weather means that you’re never actually sure when the warm weather will come and go.
Summer holidays can cause staffing problems for small businesses, so we asked Gary Young of Equinox to share some ways you can use technology smartly to keep staff and customers happy when the sun is shining. (more…)
There’s no denying telecommunications play an important role for businesses. Your telecoms facilitate interaction between you and your customers, as well as keeping your employees connected. So, when it comes to your telephone infrastructure, you want to make sure it’s strong and stress-free. (more…)
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? (more…)
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. (more…)
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…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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 decisions when it comes to IT and telecoms. (more…)
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 and postage. (more…)
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 speak the loudest. And if you do that effectively, you definitely don’t need to have the biggest office to have an impact. (more…)