Operations

Our operations section contains a range of articles to assist small and medium business owners with the day-to-day running of their enterprise; from choosing a business premises to managing company supplies we’ve got expert advice to help you run your business efficiently.

How to Purchase a Property Licence

How to Purchase a Property Licence

If your business is in search of premises that will be quick to occupy, a property license might be your best option as they are cheaper than leases, and allow you to move in more quickly and easily. They also offer you the flexibility to change your premises if you experience a rapid growth, or a change in your circumstances. This guide will help you understand the difference between a license and a lease, check the license agreement and anticipate potential difficulties. What is the difference between a license and a lease? There are a number of differences that a business owner should be aware of. One of the main ones is that licenses cover short periods; leases longer ones. Licenses are valid for up to two years, but leases may run for significantly longer. Other measures businesses sh... »

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 ... »

How to Hold an Effective Board Meeting

How to Hold an Effective Board Meeting

The time when key decisions are made about the future of the business, how a board meeting is conducted is often indicative of how someone runs a company as a whole. Get them right and they can be a key tool in developing smart business strategies. Although this article is most useful if you run a company large enough to have board meetings, small business owners can quite easily carry the lessons learned over to strategy and other general meetings. What are the objectives of a board meeting? Although board meetings can have many different topics, they broadly fall under five general objectives shared in common. If you are conducting board meetings that don’t cover any of the objectives below, it might be time to look at how effective they really are. Agree on a strategy The board must hav... »

Health and Safety Law: How to Carry Out a Risk Assessment for Your Business

Health and Safety Law: How to Carry Out a Risk Assessment for Your Business

If you are a business dealing with health and safety law for the first time, you will see the mysterious phrase ‘risk assessment’ pop up a lot. You will know that, as an employer, you must carry out a risk assessment in order to comply with the law – but does this just mean a cursory glance around the office looking for obvious dangers, or a forensic examination of all the fixtures and fittings? In this article, we cover all you need to know about carrying out a risk assessment as a business, along with practical tips to ensure you stay on the right side of the law. Identifying health and safety hazards in business A ‘hazard’ is anything that has the potential to harm someone. It isn’t just limited to the obvious things like heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals – even things such as kett... »

Insuring a fleet of vans: 5 things you need to know

Insuring a fleet of vans: 5 things you need to know

If you run a courier, manufacturing or construction company, having a fleet of vans will be essential to running your daily business. Whether your business owns Ford Transits, HGVS, lorries or minibuses, having commercial van insurance is essential to cover your fleet and your driver. Without insurance, the cost of replacing vehicles, repairs or compensation can run up huge costs for a company so today we look at the most important things you need to know about insuring a fleet of vans. 1. You can get one policy from one provider You can insure a fleet of up to 500 vans on one single policy with one insurance provider. There is no need to get van insurance with lots of different companies because there will be too much admin involved and you will have to worry about all the renewal dates w... »

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Utilise Customer Feedback

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Utilise Customer Feedback

We all know that lovely feeling when someone tells you you’ve done a good job – no matter your age, job title or experience, it gives you a warm glow every time. Now imagine being able to spread that feeling across an entire company; what would it do for morale, productivity and performance? The simple act of sharing customer feedback can act like a tonic for every employee at every level. It’s validation that the job they are doing is having a positive impact and shows that you recognise their hard work. Here’s four ways small and medium businesses owners can use customer feedback to improve their business… Share the good customer feedback For your staff that are on the front line, either your employees who handle customer calls and other communication channels, this is especi... »

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... »

The 6 Steps to Running an Effective Meeting

The 6 Steps to Running an Effective Meeting

Leadership can be thoroughly relentless. You long for some headspace and clarity, you are pulled in every direction imaginable and to top it all, you’ve become a slave to your calendar – attending far too many meetings that consume far too much of your time. It’s so frustrating when meetings interrupt your workflow and hamper productivity – especially when the meetings themselves lack purpose, focus and fail to move the company forward. But effective meetings can add tremendous value. Many of my mentees report feeling energised by the collaborative spirit that can be reignited by a well prepped and executed meeting. Others I support view them as a drag on productivity, a time waster that leads to frustration, low morale and reduced respect for company leadership. So when a meeting is... »

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