Shane Donnelly's Posts

Businesses Owners Potentially Signing Their Lives Away, As Many Misunderstand Personal Guarantees

Businesses Owners Potentially Signing Their Lives Away, As Many Misunderstand Personal Guarantees

55% of business owners don’t know what a personal guarantee is, according to new research by Wirefund. The survey of 510 senior decision makers revealed that many misinterpret the clause, with 21% believing it only means that money should be paid back on time and to the best of one’s ability. Enterprise owners’ apparent ignorance could have consequences reaching beyond their business, as 61% of respondents don’t realise that personal assets are included as collateral. Just 8% are aware of how inescapable a personal guarantee is and that high-street banks always require them when offering finance. Despite the risk involved, business owners appear unfazed with 79% stating they had not been put off a loan because it included a personal guarantee. Amit Sankey, CEO of Wirefund said: “Personal g... »

Shoppers Suffer From Black Friday Regret As Return Rates Snowball

Shoppers Suffer From Black Friday Regret As Return Rates Snowball

UK retailers are being asked to brace themselves for a surge of returned goods, as shoppers regret their Black Friday purchases – according to a report by Worldpay. Their analysis of transaction data processed between 19 November 2015 and 19 January 2016, revealed that the total number of refunds processed by shops increased by 40% following the discount period – with businesses told to expect the same this year. Despite shopkeepers’ reluctancy to offer a return for reasons of change of mind, they are highly advised to – as a survey of 1,999 consumers suggests that 63% of shoppers are more likely to buy from retailers who have a no quibbles returns policy. UK high street stores received a 32% boost in retail spending on Black Friday alone, with the level of discounting 77% higher than last... »

Delayed Start To Meetings Sees Businesses Fall Behind

Delayed Start To Meetings Sees Businesses Fall Behind

Businesses are losing two working days a year by starting their weekly meetings late, according to a survey by Barco. Their survey of 1,000 office workers revealed that 59% attend meetings “a few times a week” with meetings beginning, on average, six minutes late. This equates to 864 minutes lost each year, provided an employee attends four meetings per week If a business employs 50 people, it’s calculated they will lose 950 hours every year – an important consideration for firms with billable hours. When the cause of a delayed start was investigated, team members struggling with technology was cited as the main offender, with this accounting for 31% of all get-togethers that lacked punctuality – while 16% was due to adaptor problems. Overall, the research also shows that the causes ... »

UK Productivity Council Created Following Autumn Statement Promise

UK Productivity Council Created Following Autumn Statement Promise

A UK Productivity Council has been created to help support small businesses and drive the country’s productivity rate – following last week’s announcement that a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund was to be established. The proposal to create a such a council has been spearheaded by several UK business leaders in conjunction with leading industry bodies including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Institute of Directors (IoD). The council will be private sector led and will receive £13m in seed funding from the government, phased over three years. The council will have an advisory board, a chief executive and a leadership team of around five people, be supported by up to 15 staff, and draw on the industry knowledge and expertise of business leaders who have ... »

This is Why Your Business Has to Strike the Right Employee Work/Life Balance at Christmas

This is Why Your Business Has to Strike the Right Employee Work/Life Balance at Christmas

UK small businesses are being warned they risk the wrath of angry workers if they overwork employees during the festive period. According to a report by Kronos, 51% of UK workers cite ‘job demands’ as the main reason they’re unable to get into the Christmas spirit, with 20% working either Christmas or New Year’s Day – while 37.4% don’t even have a choice what days they work. Businesses are advised to give employees short-term, flexi-hours (such as allowing them start early/leave early and start late/leave late) as this will allow them balance their job with shopping, parties and being with their family in the run up to Christmas. Not surprisingly, workers in the retail and healthcare sector work the most over Christmas – and are the most worried about being caught understaffed over t... »

Government Contracts Available, But Many Small Businesses Failing To Crack Public Sector

Government Contracts Available, But Many Small Businesses Failing To Crack Public Sector

UK small businesses are struggling to win public sector contracts despite government attempts to make the process easier, according to a report by techUK. The survey of 171 small firms revealed that 94% don’t believe civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how smaller enterprises can meet their needs – suggesting more engagement between businesses and the government earlier in the commissioning process is needed. A lack of accessibility to existing services was also hinted at, with 86% admitting they hadn’t used the government’s Mystery Shopper Service – while 65% think the government’s Contracts Finder hasn’t open up any further opportunities. Naureen Khan, director of public services, said: “There is no doubt that British based small businesses have a key role in driving ... »

Entrepreneurs Going Solo Risk Illness That Could Close Their Business

Entrepreneurs Going Solo Risk Illness That Could Close Their Business

44% of UK small businesses would lose income and be forced to shut their doors if the owner was stuck by illness or had an accident, according to a report by AXA. Of the UK’s five and a half million small firms, just under four and a half million are run by just one person – suggesting a business’s day-to-day running rests solely on the health of this individual. 31% of enterprise owners admitted their business could continue to operate if they were sick, but only if their family stepped in to ease the burden, with 5% admitting they’d rely on their parents to help out. Just 28% said they could afford professional help if they suddenly were unable to complete their job, with the average business owner saying they could only afford to keep their business afloat for three months on their curr... »

Disgruntled Customers Left Waiting At The End Of The Line, As Businesses Don’t Pick Up The Phone

Disgruntled Customers Left Waiting At The End Of The Line, As Businesses Don’t Pick Up The Phone

33% of UK businesses don’t pick up the phone to potential customers, according to a report by Moneypenny. The survey of over 300 small businesses revealed that 29% simply let the phone ring out while 71% leave the call go through to voicemail – despite the fact that 69% of callers don’t leave a message. Just 33% of those surveyed use a tailored voicemail message referencing their business, with 13% making no reference to their business name at all. When reviewing its call data of over 10,000 businesses, Moneypenny found that 19% of surveyed callers wouldn’t do business with a company based on first impressions from their phone call – with 31% feeling their call wasn’t valued. When dived by sector, the services industry is cited as the most likely to leave the phone ring out, with 69%... »

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Return Tuesday: Businesses Warned To Expect Refunds

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Return Tuesday: Businesses Warned To Expect Refunds

UK small businesses awaiting increased custom during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can also expect a surge of returns – according to a report by Barclaycard. Data from Barclaycard Spend revealed that 30% of UK shoppers identify as a ‘serial returner’ –  someone who deliberately purchases and then returns unwanted items, with 19% admitting they purchase multiple versions of the same item online, only to decide on one at home. Online spending rocketed by 15.1% on Black Friday last year compared to 2014, suggesting that more custom will mean more returns. 57% of retailers say this ‘return culture’ has an ultimately negative impact on their business, as the items they get back are often unsellable. Of all items returned that can’t be re-sold, 48% had been visibly used, 29% had been mark... »

Top 10 Essential IT Security Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Top 10 Essential IT Security Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Your business will be attacked by cybercriminals, that’s a given – but there are things you can do to prevent your data being compromised. Adam Harling, director of managed services provider, Netitude, explains how to check your company’s IT security is in order and if it’s not, what you need to do about it. 1. Do you let staff choose their own secure passwords? Your staff should have passwords they set themselves, which are known only to the account holder and your systems should be configured to force a complex passwords of a suitable length (eight characters or more) to prevent ‘brute force’ hacking attempts. 2. Have you bought computers but not installed any virus protection software? Get advice on the best computer anti-virus and anti-malware software available for your environment. D... »

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