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Business Strategy

Getting Your Small Business Set For Christmas

Getting Your Small Business Set For Christmas

For many, Christmas is a fantastic time of year. It gives people an opportunity to forget about their day-to-day stresses, relax and spend some well-deserved time with their family. However, in order to fully relax, you need to rest knowing that your business is all set up and prepared for the festive period. It would be lovely if come 5pm on our last working day in December we could all just get up from our desks, go home and forget about our jobs until early January. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. The Christmas period takes preparation and planning. It’s imperative that each business puts the correct procedures in place before employees abandon the workplace and venture home to spend a prolonged period of time with their loved ones. There are a number of things to take into account ... »

Autumn Statement 2016: A Small Business Perspective

Autumn Statement 2016: A Small Business Perspective

The Autumn Statement 2016 was announced by the chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, with the Runnymede and Weybridge MP claiming that “Britain is open for business.” – despite some uncertainty caused by Brexit. Coming as a slight shock, Hammond announced that his first Autumn statement would also be his last – with the government committing to just one budget a year and the introduction of a spring statement in 2018. Until then, small business owners have plenty to mull over from this year’s Autumn Statement. We take a look at the most important policies here: £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund announced A new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) will provide additional spending to transport, digital communications, research and development (R&D), and housing – ... »

How to Create a Good Media-Ready Case Study Every Time

How to Create a Good Media-Ready Case Study Every Time

When it comes to building reputation, nothing beats the voice of your satisfied customer. A good quality case study can increase your chances of press coverage especially when it is written in a way that attracts journalists. Aside from actually talking to potential customers, case studies are a great way of showing off what you do well and getting your business noticed. They can be used on your website, newsletter or brochure. But getting your case study printed in a magazine or newspaper or posted on an influential website is a sure-fire way to build brand awareness, generate new leads and secure a perceived level of industry endorsement. We know that journalists find case studies extremely useful to illustrate how businesses have successfully overcome certain challenges or achieved cert... »

How Important is Sustainable Packaging to Millennials?

How Important is Sustainable Packaging to Millennials?

It is true that sustainability and business, have not always worked together hand in hand, as it can be extremely difficult for small businesses to implement sustainability measures due to costs. However, customers are now becoming more aware of the need for sustainable business practices and pressure is building in the small business world – with many feeling forced to combine sustainability with good business practice. The benefits to sustainable businesses The investment in eco-friendly business practices may seem daunting right now, but the rise in consumer demand for sustainability improvements has led businesses of all sizes to tackle wasteful practices in their workplace. Sustainability experts argue that many businesses are improving this aspect of their business to improve t... »

Trump and Brexit: A Small Business Survival Guide

Trump and Brexit: A Small Business Survival Guide

As an American living in the UK, I went to bed last night confident that I would wake up to the first female US president. Instead, my alarm clock found me shaking in my bed, trying to come to grips with how the unthinkable could have happened. Like so many others around the globe, I started the week hopeful that we’d finally be able to put some of this uncertainty of the last year behind us. Instead, Donald Trump has been elected and the world at large is facing an unexpected and unpredictable future. The financial and currency markets are plummeting in response and all of us are left wondering what this will mean to us, especially as we’re all still trying to find our footing after the reaction to the Brexit vote. The easy choice was to stay in bed, pull the covers up over my head and pr... »

The LGBT Community: A Possible Target Market?

The LGBT Community: A Possible Target Market?

Below I have outlined some reasons for targeting the ‘pink pound’, and as an owner of a gay-focused business myself, some key considerations that should be taken into account when doing so. Purchasing power It’s estimated that in the UK alone the ‘pink pound’ purchasing power is around £6bn every year. That’s a substantial market and one that certainly shouldn’t be ignored by businesses. Over the past few years there has been a considerable investment into the drive for equality and diversity. The pink pound isn’t just about appealing to a more diverse audience though. It’s about appealing to an audience with a higher than average disposable income, a highly trend-conscious audience and perhaps most importantly of all, a growing audience. The number of people who identify as LGBT (lesbian,... »

Boomerang Employees: Could They Be GOOD For Your Business?

Boomerang Employees: Could They Be GOOD For Your Business?

When an employee chooses to leave a business and move on elsewhere, it’s understandable that many employers assume that this will be the last they see of them. Whether they’re parting on a positive note, due to a change in personal circumstances, or simply to advance their career, the rule of thumb has always tended to be that former employees aren’t rehired further down the line. However, in a trend that’s becoming more popular in organisations across the UK, ex-employees are earning themselves the new title of ‘boomerang employee’. This comes as workers are increasingly returning to their former places of work, with reignited enthusiasm for their previous employer and a developed set of skills and experiences. Of course, when you’re looking at rehiring an old employee, there are certain ... »

The Uber Case: The Background, The Ruling,  The Implications and The Reaction

The Uber Case: The Background, The Ruling, The Implications and The Reaction

Last Friday October 30, the Employment Tribunal made the landmark decision that the drivers of taxi giant Uber are to be classed as workers and not self-employed. The test case, brought forward by James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, forms one of the first proper legal reviews of job status in this part of the gig economy, and has the potential to form a new paradigm. Background Two drivers brought a claim against the renowned company, insisting that the terms and conditions of the arrangement they had with Uber meant that they should be classified as workers rather than self-employed and, as such, were entitled to national minimum wage, holiday pay, rest breaks and the protection of the whistleblowing legislation. Kevin Gibson, specialist HR consultant at Croner, states: “This is a seminal case... »

Ownership of IP Assets: Making Your Small Business Fit For The Future

Ownership of IP Assets: Making Your Small Business Fit For The Future

Intellectual property (IP) is one of the key drivers to success for a small business. IP rights can be used to protect a business from competition, allowing it to carve out a distinctive position in a market. By protecting your brand through trade mark registrations, for example, you can stop competitors from using similar branding to produce copycat or counterfeit goods or services. Similarly, patent and design protection can put a brake on competing products which do the same job or look the same as yours. Why it’s important for smaller businesses This is particularly important for early stage businesses, as getting a toehold in a market, before perhaps larger competitors enter, is vital to establishing a revenue stream. Additionally,  your IP is often highly influential in securin... »

Should Your Small Business Work With A Marketing Agency?

Should Your Small Business Work With A Marketing Agency?

The phrase ‘content is king’ may be an outdated one but if we’re speaking in terms of just what marketing can do for your business, then it’s unquestionably true. I may be slightly biased here but I truly believe that working with the right marketing agency, can and does, improve your business tenfold. Your business is your baby and you’re rightly protective of it. If any of us were to hand over the reins on anything we loved we’d undoubtedly have our reservations. But, it’s important to remember that marketing agencies are the experts, just like you’re the expert in your industry. If you fail as a business, then the marketing agency has failed too. And if they don’t want to fail then you aren’t going to either. Taking a step outside of your business comfort zone is a scary one, but for ev... »

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