Business Blog

Business As Usual – When “Usual” Changes

Business As Usual – When “Usual” Changes

Business today is in many ways different to business fifty years ago, ten years ago – even five years ago. Every business operating today is affected by the changes, and it amazes me how few people are aware of the impact these changes will make. There’s a definite shift in customers’ focus. No longer are they looking for the ‘cheapest’ or the (completely subjective) ‘best’. No longer will a customer stay with a firm just because they’ve been with them for years, or because they’ve looked after the past ten generations of the family. You can’t rely on blind loyalty, and today’s consumers won’t suffer bad service or minimal/insufficient provision. Today’s consumers are confident in their rights, and know their options. They’re hungry and expect much more than previous generations – and I th... »

Keeping An Eye On The Competition: How To Gauge Your Rival’s Success

Keeping An Eye On The Competition: How To Gauge Your Rival’s Success

Do you know who your main competitors are? Unless you are a brand new, niche business, it’s almost inevitable that you will have people offering similar things to you. This is obviously a challenge, but it can also bring out the best in your business. Successfully executed market research can massively sharpen your strategy and accelerate your business’s growth. But how do you do this? First things first, the main thing is to work out who your main competitors are. Are they definitely fighting for similar clients, offering a similar service to you? If you don’t compare like with like, market research is a completely fruitless exercise. Research should also be objective. So often, I see personal bias interfere here – business owners who genuinely cannot see that their vision is skewed... »

UK General Election 2017: The Impact Of The Pound For Small Businesses

UK General Election 2017: The Impact Of The Pound For Small Businesses

Volatility in the currency markets is a regular feature during and after a UK general election and unexpected volatility on the pound can cause headaches for small businesses. We can never guarantee the future performance of a currency and businesses need to be aware of the potential pitfalls that unexpected movements will have on their business, plus, what they can do to minimise these risks. What can we now expect on the currency markets as we learn more about the new government, and what can businesses do to mitigate the uncertainty, avoid any nasty surprises and keep plans on track? Elections are always important events for exchange rates Political uncertainty is one of the key drivers of the foreign exchange market with uncertainty usually translating into weakness for sterling. Once ... »

Is Your Business Covered Against a Cyber Attack or a Data Breach? Here’s What Insurance You Need

Is Your Business Covered Against a Cyber Attack or a Data Breach? Here’s What Insurance You Need

As we can see from the recent cyber attack on the NHS and other businesses across the world, cybercrime is on the increase and experts predict that attacks like these are set to become even more common place, affecting businesses of all sizes, across all industries. Staggeringly, over half of all British businesses experienced a cyber-attack in 2016, costing as much as £30bn. Once a cyber attack has occurred it is often financially damaging for a business and can damage business reputations, with ongoing disruptions affecting the day to day running of a business. This is not just an issue for big businesses. A recent study from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reported that two thirds (66%) of small businesses have been a victim of cybercrime in the last two years, with those affec... »

These Are THE Most Annoying Business Buzzwords

These Are THE Most Annoying Business Buzzwords

Buzzwords continue to hold sway in workplaces across the UK. Chances are you’ve heard them being bandied around your company from time to time. However, recent research from the UK’s largest independent job board, CV-Library, has found that buzzwords aren’t all that popular in the workplace. The research, which surveyed over 1,000 UK workers, found that only 34.7% of employees admitted to using buzzwords. Alongside this, almost three quarters (74.1%) of workers felt that buzzwords were only used to make individuals sound professional or intelligent. Is there a need for buzzwords? It may be that buzzwords are the norm in your company; you’ll likely hear terms such as “circle back”, “hit the ground running” or “win-win” used across your workplace on a daily basis. This could be used in an ef... »

A Small Business’s Secret Weapon: An EAP

A Small Business’s Secret Weapon: An EAP

What is EAP? It stands for Employee Assistance Programme, and it could be a small business’s secret weapon. An EAP is a range of online and in-person support services that help staff through both personal and professional problems while promoting general wellbeing. They give confidential advice in several ways: over the phone, online, via apps or in person, as well as referring people on to other professionals like counsellors. When businesses offer such care to their staff, they get the best out of them. And that helps business get better. Here’s how… 1. Saves businesses money Many think that it isn’t easy to measure how much you can save through intangible gains like improved morale, wellbeing and a more harmonious working environment. But with fewer days lost to sickness, smaller staff ... »

What Those In Generation Z Are Expecting From The Workplace

What Those In Generation Z Are Expecting From The Workplace

Over the past decade, millennials have been high on the agenda. Not only as a key consumer demographic but also in terms of talent acquisition. After all, companies want to hire the best and there has certainly been an outstanding pool of millennial talent. Despite this, millennials have unfortunately developed a reputation of being ‘job-hopers’. Their lack of loyalty has certainly brought displeasure to many companies, who often spend a lot of time training and developing their human resource. With generation Z coming of age and on the verge of entering the workforce, are companies at the apparent risk of facing the same conundrum as they have been with the millennials? Early indications seem to suggest that is certainly going to be the case, as 83% of those classified as generation Z see... »

The Business Owner: Elliot Castle, We Buy Any Home

The Business Owner: Elliot Castle, We Buy Any Home

Founder: Elliot Castle Company: We Buy Any Home Location: London Proposition: We Buy Any Home aims to benefit homeowners who are struggling to sell their property and need to sell quickly Website: www.webuyanyhome.com How is your business different from what’s already out there? We Buy Any Home is the UK’s leading home buying company and one of the only genuine cash buying companies around. We help people who are looking to sell a property fast, and offer them a hassle-free service to sell their home. How did you finance your business? We Buy Any Home is a cash-buying company, so we have significant cash reserves to ensure sales can be completed quickly. What is the most important thing to keep track of in business and why? For us, it is ensuring our customers are our main priority, and th... »

Managing Cashflow: What The Latest Reports Tell Us

Managing Cashflow: What The Latest Reports Tell Us

A raft of new reports on small businesses and cashflow last month has underlined the unnecessary time and money being spent on managing company cash flow. While technology has enabled businesses to simplify many aspects of their day-to-day operations, daily cashflow management is still a challenge for UK small businesses. A recent survey found that small firms are collectively losing over £8.72bn every year as a result of the time taken to complete weekly finance related tasks. Another study revealed that more than six out of 10 business owners regularly, or occasionally, draw upon personal finances like a personal credit card to support their business. And with 15% of small firms also saying that they found this to be an issue, what can we do to avoid unnecessary cashflow volatility and b... »

The Business Owner: Simon Schnieders, Blue Array

The Business Owner: Simon Schnieders, Blue Array

Founder: Simon Schnieders Company: Blue Array Location: Reading, Berkshire Proposition: Blue Array is a boutique search marketing agency that specialises in large scale SEO,giving their clients an unfair advantage in search by providing a consultancy style service with the scale of an agency. Size: 12 Website: www.bluearray.co.uk How is your business different from what’s already out there? Customer service and communication needs are at the beating heart of what we do. Most SEO agencies are known for their lack of transparency, direction or strategy. Which has caused uncertainty, a lack of communication and misinformation to become a common problem within the industry. Blue Array takes a different approach. Not only do we deliver qualified results for clients, but we do so with regular co... »

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