The is4profit team, Author at Business advice from is4profit | Page 2 of 375's Posts

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... »

National Living Wage Placing Financial Strain on 60,000 Businesses

National Living Wage Placing Financial Strain on 60,000 Businesses

Almost 60,000 UK companies that had to introduce the National Living Wage (NLW) on April 1 were already in a “dire” financial state before the new regulation was introduced, research from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor has reported. The new NLW requirement sets a higher minimum income level for employees aged over 25, now set at £7.20 an hour. According to its Red Flag research, 59,608 businesses in industries most impacted by the new NLW – predominantly those in retail and leisure – ended the first quarter of 2016 in “significant financial distress”; a 20% increase on the same period last year. Begbies Traynor have warned that the date could indicate a rise in business closures over the coming months as companies struggle to afford the higher staff cos... »

How to Negotiate a Good Value Purchase From a Supplier

How to Negotiate a Good Value Purchase From a Supplier

The process of purchasing from a supplier can be a complex one. Especially if you are dealing with a supplier for the first time, it can be difficult to know what a good deal looks like, putting you at a disadvantage in negotiations. This article will help you with the all-important process of negotiating with a supplier. We cover how to work out your respective bargaining positions, then move on to how you can put together a clear strategy for getting the best deal. Finally, you will learn how to ensure the resulting contract reflects what you agreed, and how to build relationships with suppliers going forward. How do I work out what I want from the deal? If you are very clear on your objectives, you will be in a much stronger position during the negotiating process. To set your objective... »

Third of Small Businesses Turn to Personal Funds in Favour of External Finance

Third of Small Businesses Turn to Personal Funds in Favour of External Finance

One in three small businesses are “digging into their own pockets” and rejecting external finance to grow their business, research from Hitachi Capital has indicated. The study of 1,000 small business owners found that, while 30% of businesses have used their own savings to fund growth in the last 12 months, 16% have opted to use overdrafts, and 7% have taken money from family and friends. In contrast, only 21% of small and medium-sized business owners have used external finance solutions such as loans, peer-to-peer lending, and invoice finance in the last year, despite the fact that cashflow was named as the biggest worry by those businesses surveyed. The research also highlighted some alarming findings for growth prospects among small business owners. Just 6% said they expect... »

How to Create Long-Term Value in Your Business

How to Create Long-Term Value in Your Business

When running a business, it can often feel like you spend all of your time on day-to-day tasks, focusing on making instant decisions to deal with problems as they arise. However, to truly add value in your business, you need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and assess what you can do to achieve real growth. Of course, this is easier said than done; but this article should give you an idea of where to start. What is a valuable business? A truly valuable business is normally a perfect combination of three elements; Growth Profitability Security To achieve this ‘holy trinity’, it is normally necessary to plan a medium- or long-term strategy; creating value in the short term will usually need outside investment. However, despite these three elements providing the cornerstone of... »

A Quick Introduction to Recruitment and Interviewing

A Quick Introduction to Recruitment and Interviewing

As the owner of a small business, you will often have to deal with a huge initial volume of work, and you may have already decided the time is right to take on a new employee. Setting up a proper recruitment and selection process is a tricky and time-consuming process, but if you conduct the process in a structured way you maximise your chances of finding a truly excellent candidate. This article is a quick introduction to the process of recruitment from a small business’s point of view. For more in-depth guides on various aspects of the process, check out: Recruitment Graduate recruitment Interviewing Discrimination How do I work out whether I need an employee? As a small business, hiring an employee will represent an important and significant expense that you could be tied into for many ... »

The Art of Negotiation: Why it Pays to Haggle in Business

The Art of Negotiation: Why it Pays to Haggle in Business

Haggling can seem like a petty and embarrassing practice to many business people, but it certainly pays. Learning how to negotiate well can help save your business thousands on purchases, and stop you cutting too much from your sales prices. This guide will help you establish a strong negotiating position by using proven negotiating tactics so you can buy low and sell high. What should my objectives be when negotiating? Every negotiation is conducted with the aim of achieving at least one of the following four objectives. 1. Price  You will have both a price you are aiming to secure, and a lowest possible price you are willing to settle for. The buyer will be trying to achieve the lowest price possible. 2. Timing  You will be trying to negotiate a deal to secure business in a quiet period.... »

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