General Advice

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

Just-In-Time Working

By ordering only the materials they need to complete an order, businesses can use JIT to work more efficiently. Introduction to Just In Time Working Just-in-time working (JIT) is also known as “lean manufacturing”. The term comes from quality management theory and the goal is to produce high quality products in the most efficient and economical way. Businesses of all sizes are using Just In Time to tighten up production. The goal is to; reduce delivery lead times, cut inventory, reduce the amount of defects, improve staff productivity and make sure products are delivered on time. JIT is based on the idea that holding too much stock or too many finished goods is a waste of money, and that a manufacturing business can work more efficiently by ordering only the materials it needs ... »

A Small Business Guide to Leadership

A Small Business Guide to Leadership

Achieving best practice in your small business is a key theme within any approach to business support solutions, providing ideas and insights into how you can improve performance across your business. Seeing what works in other businesses can help you see what can help you, and then support you in implementation. This small business guide focuses on these solutions. An inspired and motivated workforce is essential for any small business that hopes to stay ahead of the competition. But just how do you motivate people? What kind of leadership do people respond to? And how can you improve the quality of leadership in your business? This small business advice article looks at examples of best practice in leadership and how businesses can apply the lessons to their own organisations. What makes... »

Limited Liability Partnerships

Introduction This guide is about requirements for the incorporation of limited liability partnerships. It applies to limited liability partnerships formed and registered in England, Wales and Scotland. It covers the formation documents, limited liability partnership members, and the controls applied to the use of certain limited liability partnership names. This includes: the rules and restrictions on the choice of limited liability partnership names both when a limited liability partnership is formed and when it changes its name; how to change a limited liability partnership name. when Companies House will not register a limited liability partnership name and when the use of sensitive words or expressions will need to be justified or need prior approval from a recognised authority; and wh... »

Patent FAQs

What is a Patent? A patent is an exclusive right given by law to inventors to make use of, and exploit, their inventions for a limited period of time. By granting the inventor a temporary monopoly in exchange for a full description of how to perform the invention, patents play a key role in developing industry around the world. Once the owner of an invention has been granted a patent in any particular country, they then have the legal authority to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention in that country without their consent, for a fixed period of time. In this way, inventors can prevent others from benefiting from their ingenuity and, ultimately, sharing in profits from the invention, without their permission. In return for these ownership rights, the applicant ... »

Quality Management Guide

How does your business work? How well does it work? And are your staff and customers happy? This quality management guide provides insights into proven quality management tools and techniques that could help your business performance. A successful business does not just achieve minimum standards for market entry, it continually improves every aspect of the way it works. This quality management guide is for any business that wants to improve the way it works. It covers practical, introductory guidance on the steps involved in quality management and process improvement. »

Small Firms Consultation Database

What is the Small Firms Consultation Database? The Small Firms Consultation Database offers small firms the opportunity to influence new regulations at an early stage to take account of the impact they may have on them. It holds details of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that have agreed to be contacted. Small firms wishing to be consulted on regulatory issues affecting them should submit their details through the online form. Why was the Small Firms Consultation database created? It was created following a recommendation made by the Small Business Council (an independent group of active entrepreneurs) in their 2002 annual report. The database itself allows the Small Business Service (SBS) to contact SMEs on behalf of policy officials to gauge the potential impact of proposed new... »

Postage from your desktop with Royal Mail SmartStamp®

You can now print postage straight onto envelopes or labels from your PC, using your existing printer. Royal Mail’s SmartStamp™ software is easy to use and it not only saves you time, trouble and money but can also enhance your company’s image, through the smart appearance of your mail Bring the mailroom to you Why be tied down by standard office opening hours, when you can buy your office postage online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SmartStamp™ enables you to prepare all your mail from the comfort of your desk, in a fraction of the normal time. At the touch of a button, you can print large batches of stamped addressed envelopes using mail merge Stay in control of your budget As every postage is recorded in your account, its easy to keep track of how much your comp... »

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is an analytical tool which is predominately used in corporate appraisal, as part of a strategic planing exercise. In a performance management scenario, the SWOT analysis can be used to analyse the effectiveness of the small business in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors and relate to your business. Opportunities and Threats are external factors relating to other businesses. Strengths can then be built upon and consolidated, strategies to strengthen any weaknesses can be drawn up, strategies to capitalise open any opportunities can be formulated and contingencies can be made for any identified threats. SWOT Analysis Form   Enter your comments Strengths Identifying your strengths will help you d... »

Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector

Introduction This guide covers the main areas of legislation that are of particular importance to businesses in the transport, storage and distribution sector. Some of the areas that are covered by special legislation include: drivers’ working hours taxi licensing storing fuel As a starting point for finding out more information about general legislation that may affect your business, use Business Link’s interactive regulation checklist to create a personalised list of regulations that affect your business. This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011 »

Energy & Communications – Are You Buying Wisely?

Most companies have had that Telesales call from some energy salesman promising saving on their Gas and Electricity. With all the new Telecoms discount schemes that are being released, keeping your business buying effectively for energy and communications can seem daunting. This article will give you an insight into the markets but more importantly will give you the information you need to make a decision about where to buy your energy and communication requirement from. If you are interested in seeing the opportunities for savings on energy then you need to know your bill! »

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