Shane Donnelly's Posts

More than Half of Small Businesses at “Huge Risk”  of Security Breach

More than Half of Small Businesses at “Huge Risk” of Security Breach

59% of UK small businesses are not taking their security seriously enough and are at huge risk of a security breach, according to new research. A survey conducted by Digital ID found 23% of small and medium companies have very little visitor security and 36% have no visitor security processes at all. When asked what security measures they did have in place, of the 59% most said they had locks or security lights at their offices, with nearly two-thirds admitting that these security devices were not in use during working hours. Only 41% of the small firms surveyed had more complex security measures in place with ID cards and restrictive access gates being the most popular. Despite one in five small businesses experiencing a security breach in the past year, the research suggested that small ... »

Modern-Day Mentorship: How it Can Help Your Small Business

Modern-Day Mentorship: How it Can Help Your Small Business

Once deemed as necessary to achieve successful career growth, the concept of a mentoring programme hasn’t really changed over the years; yet still we find many businesses no longer using them. In the past, a hierarchy system was the norm; however, in this day and age, our approach to forming new relationships with other business professionals has changed. Be that as it may, at CV-Library, our recent survey revealed that 94.1% of UK workers still believe that having someone they can receive guidance from is beneficial to career progression. Yet, less than a quarter of employees have actually been offered any form of mentoring by their employer, indicating this is no longer a priority to businesses. So if mentorships aren’t what they used to be, why are they still relevant in today’s world? ... »

Scottish Small Business Confidence Lowest in Three Years

Scottish Small Business Confidence Lowest in Three Years

Small business confidence in Scotland is at a three year low as the UK’s North-South divide worsens, according to a new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) The study of 3,000 small businesses, conducted over the last three months of 2015, found that the fall in confidence was due, in part, to a downturn in the oil and gas sector and adds to growing concerns over the impact of the falling oil price on the broader Scottish economy. The report also hints that small businesses in the North East, Scotland and Wales are being “left behind” in terms of job creation, increasing revenues and improved productivity. Issues of concern for small businesses in the North include the recent flooding and the introduction of the National Living Wage this April. FSB Scottish policy... »

27% of Consumers will Only Buy from Green Thinking Businesses

27% of Consumers will Only Buy from Green Thinking Businesses

Some 27% of consumers say that any business they deal with needs to have strong corporate social responsibility policies, a study by Direct365 has found. Over one quarter (26%) of the consumers surveyed said that the health and safety policies of businesses are most important to them, with 25% naming cleanliness as the most significant factor when buying from a business. Additionally, the report found that 26% of employees want to see more environmentally-friendly processes being introduced by their employers, with some 10% of employees calling for stricter health and safety policies. 21% of employees would also like to see cleaner, more hygienic washrooms in their workplace. Emma Gilroy, brand development manager at Direct365, said: ‘’Our research shows that businesses simply must take th... »

Small Businesses Charged £4bn in Hidden EU Money Transfers

Small Businesses Charged £4bn in Hidden EU Money Transfers

UK banks charge small and medium sized businesses nearly £4bn in hidden EU transfer fees each year, a new study conducted by Accourt and commissioned by Money Mover has claimed. The report, which surveyed six of the country’s biggest banks to find out the costs of making a euro transfer, alleges that 96% of bank revenues from foreign currency transactions are hidden from small business customers. The report claims there is a lack of transparency between banks and small businesses with the average total transaction cost charged by a bank to a small business customer on a transfer of £75,000 being 2.43%, or £1,822. Of this cost, £1,807 is based on the ‘spread’ – a margin added which is hidden from the customer. Overall, small businesses will pay between 1.12% and 3.68% of the transfer ... »

Majority of Small Businesses Struggle to Monitor Basic Finances

Majority of Small Businesses Struggle to Monitor Basic Finances

The majority of UK small and medium businesses will go through 2016 without accurate revenue records or sales information a new report by Worldpay has found. The report suggests that small business owners are struggling to plan for the year ahead because they are unable to monitor even the most basic numbers including revenue, profit and top-selling items – with one in five using just a pen and paper for business admin. Nearly half (48%) of small business owners cannot identify their top 10 customers or their ordering habits while 40% cannot provide up-to-date monitoring or forecast of revenue and profit. A further 57% unable to pinpoint their busiest trading day of the month while 62% of the small businesses surveyed were unaware of their top three selling items. Worldpay UK managing dire... »

Less than Two in Five Small Firms Expect to Grow in First Quarter of 2016

Less than Two in Five Small Firms Expect to Grow in First Quarter of 2016

Only 36% of UK small businesses expect to grow in January to March 2016, according to business funder Bibby Financial Services (BFS). BFS’ latest confidence tracker shows that growth expectations have plummeted with 35% of small firms not planning to invest in their business at all in the first quarter of this year, while one in five expect declining sales. The survey suggests that increased competition, lack of domestic demand and late payments from customers are the top challenges facing small businesses today, with almost a third of respondents having stated that the uncertain UK economic environment is holding them back from future investment. Of all parts of the UK, Scotland appears to be worst hit for business confidence with only 29% of Scottish business owners and decision-makers e... »

Small Businesses Reject Banks in Favour of Alternative Finance

Small Businesses Reject Banks in Favour of Alternative Finance

New research has found that London-based small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly looking towards alternative finance with traditional bank lending plummeting. Research conducted by the British Bankers’ Association show that the value of all newly approved loans and overdrafts to small businesses in the third quarter of 2015 was down 40% on 2014 totals, from £1.7bn to just over £1bn. Instead, companies are looking towards alternative sources such as crowdfunding or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending to raise finance. Businesses in the capital raised an estimated £350m through peer-to-peer lending in 2015 with the average loan value approved for smaller businesses rising to over £86,000 across July to September 2015. The average value for medium-sized businesses was £366,000. Roz O’Brien,... »

Scottish Business Owners Will Be Hit Hardest by Living Wage Hike

Scottish Business Owners Will Be Hit Hardest by Living Wage Hike

The upcoming introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) will create problems for business owners in lower-paying areas, particularly those based outside major UK cities, a new  report by think tank Resolution Foundation has found. The study suggests that the new NLW rate of £7.20 an hour for over 25s – which will come into effect this April will impact 23% of all employees by 2020. The report also claims that the new rates will hit businesses outside of London and other major UK cities the most, with Scotland set to be the hardest hit. In Scotland, 33% of Clackmannanshire employees will be affected, followed by employees in Dumfries and Galloway (32%), and East Renfrewshire (31%). However, employees based in the city are expected to be less affected, such as Dundee (18%), Edinburgh (17... »

UK Small E-commerce  Businesses Set to Expand in 2016

UK Small E-commerce Businesses Set to Expand in 2016

49% of the UK’s small online businesses are confident about their prospects in the New Year, according to a study carried out by eBay in conjunction with YouGov. The Small Business Optimism Index, which surveyed over 400 online retailers, found that one in 10(13%) small e-commerce companies expect to employ more staff over the next 12 months while 40% plan to expand their product offering in 2016. Only 22% of the small businesses surveyed were pessimistic about the UK economy and their own trading forecasts. These encouraging statistics point to the continued growth of the UK’s e-commerce sector, which last year generated £573bn in sales, up from £561bn in 2013. Kit Glover, director of professional selling for eBay UK, said: “The business community should be very encouraged by the findings... »

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