Business Blog

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... »

How to Test your Business Ideas with Minimum Risk: 5 Tips

How to Test your Business Ideas with Minimum Risk: 5 Tips

Small businesses need to work a little harder than businesses that have already established themselves, and risks are generally greater towards these entities. Small businesses often lack a failsafe, and they can’t afford to waste funds or have an idea plummet in a big way. This can pose challenges when a small businesses wants to grow, rebrand, or innovate. They need to be able to test their ideas, but they can’t afford to flop. It’s always possible to take a cautious approach that reduces the impact a potential failure may have on the future of your business. 1. Look at your competitors By checking out your competitors, you’ll be getting a good idea regarding how businesses like yours have successfully rolled out ideas or changes in the past. Did they start temporary, or give it their al... »

7 Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

7 Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

One of the most important things to assess is a candidate’s cultural fit. They could be great at what they do, but if they don’t mesh well with your company, they may not stick around for very long. You need to make sure the person you hire is going to form the right kind of professional bonds in your office and feel rewarded by the work that they’re doing. Culture counts for everything. 1. What are you passionate about? Most companies hold certain causes near and dear to their foundations. This includes charities and perspectives on what they’d like to achieve. Companies need passionate people to help them reach their goals, and even if the candidate’s passion isn’t exactly the same, you need to know that the passion is there. Conflicting passions can be problematic down the road, so it’s... »

Changes To Employment Law In April Your Small Business Needs To Know

Changes To Employment Law In April Your Small Business Needs To Know

1. Gender pay gap reporting A new law introduced on 6 April will require private sector employers with 250 or more employees to report on their gender pay gap each year. Employers are required to take a data snapshot of their pay data on the 5 April 2017 and report on specific calculations by the 4 April 2018. The report needs to be published on the company’s website and uploaded to a government website. Similar provisions are being introduced for public sector employers with a snapshot date of the 31 March each year 2. Apprenticeship levy From the 6 April, large employers with an annual playbill of more than £3m are required to pay an apprenticeship levy. This is set at a value of 0.5% of the total paybill with a £15,000 allowance from the government to offset against the payment. The lev... »

The Business Owner: Vanessa O’Shea, Culture Shapers

The Business Owner: Vanessa O’Shea, Culture Shapers

Founder: Vanessa O’Shea Company: Culture Shapers Location: Brighton, Sussex Proposition: Would you like to shape your workplace culture into one where your values are evidently outworked in your people? Lots of people are talking about culture at the moment, but it can be a nebulous and vague concept that is difficult to understand, never mind shape. I have developed a unique programme of shaping culture by embedding values, helping businesses to create a positive, productive and authentic business culture. Size: 1-3 Website: www.cultureshapers.co.uk Describe your business model: To sell the culture shape programme, initially through my consultation, over a series of workshops, and in time, as a standalone model which will be online. How is your business different from what’s already out t... »

Religious Symbols In The Workplace: Still Safer To Allow Them

Religious Symbols In The Workplace: Still Safer To Allow Them

As you may be aware, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given a ruling on wearing religious clothing, such as Islamic headscarves, at work. Before explaining the ruling, I’ll say this – it remains safer to allow your workers to wear religious clothing or symbols. Banning such symbols may result in a finding of indirect discrimination. But what this ruling says is that if you do wish to project neutral corporate image, and you apply the same rule to every religious and political viewpoint, it might not be direct discrimination, and in some circumstances, it might be possible to justify the rule. The context The ruling relates to two cases. Both cases concern private employers and female Muslim employees. In both cases, there were rules against the wearing of visible religious symbols i... »

The Law Cannot Keep Up With Technology, Can You?

The Law Cannot Keep Up With Technology, Can You?

Technology is big business for the UK and despite scary tales I believe following Brexit the UK will continue to thrive. London continues to be a hub of excitement for investment and advanced technology development. So now the UK law must evolve to respond to these advances and changes in society and business, but we all know it’s not likely to keep up very easily. A perfect example is the current data protection law which is based on a piece of law from 1998. Whilst the law has recently been updated (2016) this will only take effect from 2018. As we all know technology is barely recognisable from 1998 and you have to wonder is it going to be out of date before its even implemented? So, what faces business owners, investors and technology creators? Artificial intelligence Autonomous cars a... »

The Business Owner: Dr Seth Rankin, London Doctors Clinic

The Business Owner: Dr Seth Rankin, London Doctors Clinic

Founder: Dr Seth Rankin Company: London Doctors Clinic Location: London Proposition: A convenient and affordable chain of private GP practices Size: 9 clinics in central London. Nearly 20,000 patients so far and growing by over 20% a month. Website: www.londondoctorsclinic.co.uk How is your business different from what’s already out there? “If you want to see a doctor at 10 o’clock today London Doctor Clinic is your only choice”. The uniqueness of this selling point cannot be overemphasised. There is probably not a single Londoner that has not on occasions needed an appointment at certain time to fit in with their schedule. We provide that appointment for the very many Londoners for whom a convenient time is their priority and choose to use us. We offer a very easy direct online booking sy... »

Negotiating The Workers’ Rights Minefield

Negotiating The Workers’ Rights Minefield

With so many businesses coming under scrutiny over the employment rights of their staff, small business owners would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed and confused by the sheer volume of employer do’s and don’ts. The recent Pimlico Plumbers v Smith case is yet another interesting development, and will be viewed with much interest by small business owners. The ruling The Court of Appeal ruled that plumber Gary Smith was entitled to basic workers’ rights despite his contract with Pimlico Plumbers describing him as self-employed. He was considered to be employed for Equality Act purposes, meaning he was entitled to complain about discrimination towards his disability, and he was considered to be a worker with regards to receiving holiday pay and unauthorised deductions from wages. It was co... »

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Female Business Owners Share Their Thoughts

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Female Business Owners Share Their Thoughts

It’s International Women’s Day! So we thought, what better way to mark the occasion than to speak to some of the UK’s most inspiring female business owners – and get them to offer some pearls of wisdom for you to enjoy… Believe in yourself Claire Lister, managing director of Pitman Training Group: “Know your rights and be realistic but confident of your abilities.  Make sure that you know what your rights are legally, and don’t let others make you question your abilities.  Have more confidence in your opinions. We all know that when we’re tired and under pressure, probably the first thing to take a knock is our confidence. “If this happens, give yourself a pep talk, and develop a support network that will give you a good kicking if you don’t manage to pick up ... »

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