The is4profit team, Author at Business advice to help you run your business's Posts

74% of UK Businesses Have Inadequate Cyber Security Measures

74% of UK Businesses Have Inadequate Cyber Security Measures

74% of UK businesses are not doing enough to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches, according to a survey of 500 IT managers by business solutions provider Office Depot. Skills shortages and poor allocation of resources seem to be major factors, with 81% of managers of the view that their businesses would benefit from having more time and resources to address cyber security problems. IT managers have claimed that over 33% of their time is spent dealing with low level issues such as fixing printers and document recovery, leaving little time for more complex tasks such as data security. See also: How to arm your business against cyber security attacks The allocation of these low level tasks to senior IT professionals is estimated to cost companies more than £4.2bn every year – mone... »

Just 42% of Employees Feel Encouraged to Drive Innovation in the Workplace 

Just 42% of Employees Feel Encouraged to Drive Innovation in the Workplace 

Only 42% of UK workers feel they have a voice in driving change and innovation in the workplace, significantly less than workers in France (63%) and Spain (57%), according to new research from BMC Software. The survey of 1,206 employees across Europe found that just 54% of UK employees feel inspired in their jobs, compared to 74% of workers in Spain, 73% in France and 66% in Germany. It would appear that many businesses are failing to capitalise on the creativity of their staff, with 67% of the employees surveyed unable to offer ideas at work, and 57% of the view that management are not receptive to new ideas. Just 56% of employees cited a formal process for submitting ideas to management. A lack of collaboration in the workplace was cited as a key factor in innovation deficiency – 29% of ... »

2018 Could See UK Small Businesses Hit with £52bn in Cybersecurity Fines

2018 Could See UK Small Businesses Hit with £52bn in Cybersecurity Fines

The UK’s small businesses could face up to £52bn in regulatory fines for breaches of cyber security at the mercy of incoming EU legislation, according to findings from the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). In 2018, regulatory fines will be set at 4% of global turnover, up to a maximum of €20m – a huge increase on the current level of £500,000. Last year, 74% of small and medium businesses reported a security breach, resulting in an estimated £908m in fines to the European regulator. If breaches remain at 2015 levels, fines could multiply 57 times to £52bn – an average of £13,000 per company. The report warns that fines are just one impact for small firms, alongside damage to reputation, disruption to business and loss of revenue. Jeremy King, international director at PCI SSC... »

Lack of Workplace Benefits Puts Employees off Small Businesses

Lack of Workplace Benefits Puts Employees off Small Businesses

An estimated six million employees are missing out on employee benefits, new research from Grass Roots Employee Solutions has revealed. The study revealed that 39% of small businesses do not receive any form of employee benefit compared to 24% in larger companies. As 82% of employees said benefits would encourage them to stay in their jobs, this shortfall could hinder staff retention and even put employees off accepting job offers at small and medium enterprises. Although one in five small companies were found to offer some kind of employee benefit, a third of businesses surveyed said they had no benefits strategy in place to retain employees. 54% of small companies currently rely on financial rewards like cash bonuses and high salaries to attract talent yet this doesn’treflect the benefit... »

National Living Wage is Dampening Small Business Profits

National Living Wage is Dampening Small Business Profits

The latest report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has raised concerns that the National Living Wage (NLW) is having a negative effect on the UK’s small businesses. Since the introduction of the NLW wage increase to a minimum of £7.20 an hour in April, 59% of small business owners said they have had to absorb the costs by taking a loss in profits. Although many small businesses are managing under the pressure to pay higher wages, 32% of small businesses have reported increased wage costs as a direct result of the NLW, whilst 19% say wage costs went up significantly. Some small business owners are having to take more drastic action in order to ensure they can meet NLW requirements with 35% increasing their prices, 24% reducing staff hours, 23% cutting investment, and 16% recruiti... »

Entrepreneurs Using Apps in Record Numbers

Entrepreneurs Using Apps in Record Numbers

The majority of small businesses are using apps to run their business, according to a study released by Intuit Inc this week. The study, which included 2,000 small business owners in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, revealed that 68% of small businesses regularly use technology such as apps and cloud-based tools to operate more efficiently, freeing up time to focus on growth. Despite the increased use of apps and the cloud, there were a number of business owners who cited issues with the current technology available. Around two-in-five business owners said there were too many business-related apps to choose from, 41% were unsure of which apps were best for their business, and 39% were concerned about the cost of integration and training staff to use apps. Nevertheless, the increased u... »

Third of UK Businesses Could Close by 2021 if They Don’t Adapt

Third of UK Businesses Could Close by 2021 if They Don’t Adapt

Small businesses across the UK need to adapt and keep up with tech advancements or risk having to close up shop; that’s according to Exact’s 2016 SME Barometer. Polling 2,500 small and medium firms across Europe and the US, the study found that, in the UK, 38% of businesses believe if they don’t adapt their business models they will go out of business by 2021 – yet only 2% said they had put strategies in place to stop this from happening. 64% of all UK small business owners also said that they are facing competition from new digital players in their market, but again a mere 6% said they were investing in new tech in order to retain their market share. Business owners identified key areas where they need to ‘keep up and adapt’, these included embracing cl... »

Small Businesses Ignorant of Available Tax Relief

Small Businesses Ignorant of Available Tax Relief

An estimated 3.5 million UK small business owners have a “very poor” awareness of the tax relief on offer to them from the government, Direct Line for Business has reported today. Direct Line found that 18% of small and medium-sized enterprises had a “below average” understanding of the tax relief measures available to them, just a mere 6% said they had a “good understanding” of the incentives on offer. Over a third (36%) of the small businesses surveyed said they didn’t think, or didn’t know if, they were eligible for any business tax relief. Direct Line for Business’ Nick Breton discussed the findings: “This research highlights that there is a lack of awareness of the benefits available to small business owners which can ultimat... »

How to Use Databases to Help Your Marketing

How to Use Databases to Help Your Marketing

When marketing, databases are your best friend. They allow you to store and manage information crucial to your marketing easily and at relatively little cost. A well-managed database puts the details of your customers and prospects at your fingertips, allowing you to communicate with them (via mailshots, telemarketing, and customer service activities) much more effectively, as well as helping you keep track of your communications. This guide will help you run and manage your database as a crucial marketing tool. It covers: How to use your database to achieve marketing objectives. How to select and enter information. How to design it with marketing purposes in mind. How to manage and maintain its effectiveness. Why build a marketing database? Marketing databases are a great way to collate a... »

How to Negotiate a Sale by Understanding Your Customer’s Needs

How to Negotiate a Sale by Understanding Your Customer’s Needs

Negotiating a sale is always tough, whether you are doing it for the first or the thousandth time. However, every negotiation offers an opportunity to learn something new, and with practice, you can train yourself to rise to and accept the challenge with relish. This guide will help you to understand the wants and needs of the customer and help develop your negotiating strategy allowing you to take control of the process. You will then be able to recognise when to set a high price and when to make concessions so you can reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. How can I understand what the customer wants? The more you know about a customer, the better negotiating position you will put yourself in. Aim to understand a number of things. Their wants. What exactly are they asking for? Do they w... »

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