General Advice

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

Corporate Responsibility: Adopting an Effective Strategy

The rhetoric surrounding Corporate Responsibility can be off-putting to companies with many small businesses assuming they can never live up to such grand claims. But taken in achievable steps, every company can adopt an effective CR strategy. Patrick Jelly, managing director of Pitney Bowes UK, assesses the reality of CR adoption and outlines how businesses of all sizes can adopt an effective and relevant strategy. CR and CSR sit among those sets of initials – like B2B, CRM, SME – that have simply become assimilated into everyday business speak. CR is a broader term for CSR. To understand what these initials literally stand for is the easy part but, as a casual trawl of the web will reveal, to define what CR (Corporate Responsibility) or the older term CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility... »

Coaching Entrepreneurial Spirit into Business Success

The economic turbulence in the last couple of years has meant that there has been a lot of focus on ‘entrepreneurs’ in the media and ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ has increasingly become something which society greatly admires and is a word often associated with success. However, there is a big difference between being an entrepreneur and being a successful entrepreneur. There are many people out there who can be described as having entrepreneurial spirit, who have some or all of the attributes of being an entrepreneur but have not been able to harness these qualities and become a success. So what are these ‘entrepreneurial attributes’ and how does one take these attributes and turn them into success? How to Spot an Entrepreneur If someone has the following qualities, then they can be considere... »

UK the Best Place for Business

A worthy aspiration but is it achievable? Conservatives: “Our goal is simple: to make Britain the easiest and the best place in the world to set up and grow a business.” Labour: “Labour’s aim is to make the UK the best country in the G20 in which to set up and run a business, and become one of the most attractive places in the world to invest.” Liberal Democrats: “Our vision is simple we want Britain to be the location of choice for business.” The three main political parties have ‘making the UK the best place/location for business’ as either a ‘goal’, ‘aim’ of ‘vision’. These aspirations will no doubt be shared by other nations around the world, with the UK competing to be the best place to set up, l... »

Cost-efficient Communications

Every business uses the mail to communicate with customers and prospects. But, for many, the process remains a time-consuming and inefficient exercise. Phil Hutchison, Tactical Marketing Director at mail and messaging technology firm Pitney Bowes, explains how the Royal Mail’s latest postage rate change can lead to significant cost-savings for those businesses choosing to automate their mailings. On April 6th Royal Mail’s rate change will mean that users of franking machine technology can save up to 7p on every mailed item (5p on first-class items) compared with using stamps. Royal Mail is able to offer this kind of discount because franked mail is more efficient to handle and process. For small businesses there has never been a bigger incentive to reassess mailing practices and inve... »

Save Your Self Time, Energy and Money!

According to Robert Kiyosaki in his book, Retire Young, Retire Rich "An Entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity, puts together a team, and builds a business that profits from the opportunity." As an entrepreneur, you saw an opportunity or realized a gap in the market and felt you had something unique to offer. This gave you the confidence to set up shop. As an entrepreneur myself, it is our passion, self-belief and sheer determination that carries us through in the first few years of starting up. But as any business grows, its requirements tend to be entirely different than from the start up days. I want to share a simple word that could turn your business into not only well oiled machine, but also one that can roar through periods of growth and change. The word is SYSTEM... »

Scores on the Doors

Scores on the Doors – Food Hygiene FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about Scores on the Doors. What are Scores on the Doors schemes? Local authority enforcement officers are responsible for inspecting food businesses to ensure they meet the legal requirements on food hygiene. Under the Scores on the Doors schemes, each food outlet is given a hygiene rating or score that reflects the inspection findings and may display this in their premises where consumers can see it. Scores are also available via websites where consumers can see the scores for all the participating businesses in the local area. What is the purpose of Scores on the Doors schemes? The primary purpose of these ‘scores on the doors’ schemes is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places in which they eat out and from which the... »

Companies Act 2006 – Update

The new Companies Act, passed in 2006, is being implemented on a phased basis. Two points to note, which came into effect on 6th April 2008, are the new rules applying to a change of auditor and the removal of the legal requirement for a company to have a company secretary. One of the main changes to the new auditor rules is that if the auditor is removed before the expiration of his appointment, a statement of circumstances (or a statement that there are no circumstances) should now be sent by the company to the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) as well as to the company’s registered office. If the statement explains that there are no circumstances that need to be brought to the attention of members and creditors, then the auditors and also the company ... »

Motoring – Driving Tips

Saving Fuel With fuel prices escalating, it makes sense to use your fuel more efficiently. The following tips will help you save money by saving fuel. Short journeys Save fuel by walking, cycling or using public transport for short journeys. Combine several short trips to avoid multiple cold starts. Fuel consumption is much higher when the engine is cold. Saving fuel with good car maintenance Service regularly. A badly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 15%. Change engine oil once a year or every 7500 miles for a petrol car, and every six months or 3000 miles for a diesel. Check your tyres. RAC research shows that 20% under–inflation (typically 6psi) can increase fuel consumption by 3 %. Check tyres regularly when they are cold, since driving the car warms up th... »

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Motoring – Ten Tips for Greener Fleet Management

There are a lot of ways for making your fleet greener. Not only is this better for the environment, but cost effective for you as a business. It’s all about the bigger picture for businesses today. Commitment to your social and environmental impact is more important than ever. Through greener fleet management, you can be kinder to the environment, earn brownie points for “doing your bit” and make savings that ultimately improve your bottom line. Below are our top ten tips to a greener way of managing your fleet. Promote cars with low CO2 emissions to reduce employee car tax and National Insurance. Evaluate alternative fuel cars to see if they might benefit your fleet. Ensure vehicles are regularly serviced – poorly maintained vehicles have higher toxic emissions and... »

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Motoring – Check Your Employees Driving Licences

Procedure for Checking Employees’ Driving Licences and Entitlement to Drive A Guide This guide provides guidance on policy and procedures for driving licence verification within a fleet environment, and reflects current best practice risk management. It is not intended to provide a simple ‘fit and forget’ policy amendment and should be used to ensure the on-going management and monitoring of employees’ eligibility to drive specific vehicles on company business. The guidance is applicable to any size and form of fleet. However, all fleets operate under different conditions, with different driver profiles and locations. The advice, therefore, requires tailoring and adapting to meet the specific needs of your individual fleet. This guide is intended to be used in conju... »

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