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Business advice on everything from fire safety regulations to basic copyright matters.

When Did Your Business Last Carry Out A Safety Audit?

When Did Your Business Last Carry Out A Safety Audit?

It is easier than many employers realise to manage workplace health and safety effectively. The right health and safety procedure for your business need not be difficult, time-consuming or expensive to manage. This article considers how to conduct an effective safety audit and the importance of regular safety inspections. Responsibilities for staff A key player in the safety inspection process is the health and safety officer (or officers), who is/are responsible for helping the business meet its health and safety obligations to staff, visitors and members of the public. The officer must be a ‘competent person’ possessing the knowledge and experience needed for the job. Together with the safety officer, and other relevant staff or union reps, you need to draw up a plan for the conduct of n... »

A Guide to Help You Solve The Problems Associated With Relocating Your IT

A Guide to Help You Solve The Problems Associated With Relocating Your IT

Planning an office move can be a logistical nightmare. Uprooting all of your staff, assets and infrastructure and moving them across the country without interrupting business functions is a task fraught with hazards. One of the biggest challenges is moving your IT and making sure it’s ready to go at the new site. Good IT relocation requires specialist skills to ensure all business-critical equipment is moved quickly and safely, while ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum. At LeadingEdge we’re specialists in providing a comprehensive IT relocation service. Over the years, we’ve picked up a thing or two. Hazards of IT relocation Staff needs When considering an office relocation, you should be mindful of how this will affect your employees’ commute to work. Will your ... »

A Guide to Buying Business Premises

A Guide to Buying Business Premises

One of the largest investments your business is likely to make, buying premises is a huge step, but one which can carry significant advantages for the right kind of business. If you have the capital to back it up and are reasonably confident of your firm’s ongoing success, buying a premises can provide you with security of tenure, a lucrative return on your investment, unparalleled flexibility, and more. There are various aspects to consider when looking to purchase a commercial property, and this article will give you the lowdown on what to think about. We cover the advantages and drawbacks of purchasing, how to shortlist and choose the perfect building for you, how to use a chartered surveyor, and more. What are the pros and cons of buying business premises? Before you take the plunge, i... »

Networking and Your Small Business

Networking and Your Small Business

Networking with other businesses, customers and peers is an invaluable part of running a successful business; you won’t get very far if you go it alone. However, many businesses shirk the concept of ‘networking’ due, in part, to a lack of understanding of the concept. Networking can take many different forms, from participation in online forums all the way to international trade missions, and can take place for an almost limitless variety of purposes. This article is intended to shine a light into the murky concept of networking – explaining exactly what it is, the different forms it can take, and how you and your business can network successfully. How does networking work? At its heart, networking is just the process of building mutually beneficial personal relationships. Good networking ... »

Setting Up a Business: The Project Plan

Setting Up a Business: The Project Plan

The business plan is the recognised document that outlines the results of your research, analysis and planning, and points out how your business will be set up and run. But depending on the intended audience, it may not be sufficiently detailed to assist in the management of the launch. Furthermore it often doesn’t always outline time/resources needed throughout all the pre and post-launch stages. Here we look at the additional planning which will help you to create an effective business plan and assist you with launching and running your business. Setting up a business is a project Setting up a business is a project. For the purpose of this article let’s agree that this just means it needs to be managed effectively in order to minimise the time taken to reach a successful launch (time is ... »

5 Tips for Entering Your Business into Awards

5 Tips for Entering Your Business into Awards

Awards can offer businesses industry recognition and endorsement, national and local press, personal validation, and benefit your business’ brand and reputation. They can also introduce you to important contacts and networks that will contribute to your business later down the line. After all the hard work you and your team have contributed in order to build a creditable and profitable business, it’s now time for its potential to be recognized and for your staff to be filled with pride and for your firm to have an award to impress and attract customers. But before you can start basking in the recognition, you must convince the judging panel that you deserve it. And before your name comes out of the golden envelope on awards night, you’ve got to get it somewhere else – the shortlist. Here’s... »

How to Undertake a Risk Assessment for New Premises

How to Undertake a Risk Assessment for New Premises

Undertaking a detailed risk assessment is an absolutely vital consideration when taking on new premises. Failure to do so could result in you buying or leasing a property which does not adhere to legal requirements, with the potential to create safety issues and legal repercussions. This guide will give you an insight into how you can conduct a risk assessment of your prospective property. Equipment, devices and systems The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 state that equipment, devices and systems are subject to a suitable maintenance programme. It is important that you obtain in-date inspection certificates or maintenance reports for electrical, gas, lifts and fire safety systems. Inspect the electrics Electrical inspection i... »

Curbing Business Travel Costs Without Compromising Quality

Without adequate controls, business travel can grow into an expensive and bloated overhead, while putting pressure on the environment. With most businesses now operating sustainability functions or environmental policies, streamlining business travel is now a top priority. This guide will give you some ideas on how you can curb travel costs without sacrificing quality: Reduce trip frequency and duration Re-evaluate the requirement of business travel by forging closer relationships with clients: can you utilise technology to eradicate the requirement of frequent face-to-face meetings? Utilise video-conferencing facilities and communicate with suppliers, clients and customers electronically, rather than personally. Limit the number of staff members travelling at any one time and use teleconf... »

The Top 8 Tendering Mistakes

Around 70% of procurement exercises begin with a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). Because of the ‘triple dip’ recession, buying authorities have seen significant increases – up to four-fold – in the amount of potential suppliers bidding for contracts. Consequently, putting together the perfect PQQ response is the only way to win a contract. With the aim of procurement teams being to find reasons to exclude you, in this article we cover the most common mistakes so you don’t fall over at the first hurdle. The scatter-gun approach With the above in mind, bidding for every tender which vaguely fits under your portfolio could prove a huge waste of time. If you’re bidding against 20 other competitors it’s important to meet all of the criteria, not just some of it! Remember, the procu... »

The New ISO 9001: All You Need to Know

What is ISO 9001? ISO 9001 is an internationally renowned standard used in 175 countries and over one million organisations. It enables your business to implement a Quality Management System (QMS). A QMS relates to any procedures that manage or create the products and services you offer. It ensures that you are performing these actions in the most efficient way possible. When becoming ISO 9001 certified you are required to have procedures in place that make sure you regularly assess the protocols of your QMS. This will mean that you are consistently reviewing your practices and finding ways to optimise them – assisting continual improvement. What are the benefits of ISO 9001? It can help give you a competitive advantage over other businesses, as Michelle Murdoch, Marketing Manager at qmsuk... »

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