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.

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... »

How to Make Your Business’ Relocation Easy on Your Employees

How to Make Your Business’ Relocation Easy on Your Employees

Whether your business is relocating elsewhere in the UK or moving abroad, it’s usually an interesting time and can open up a whole new world of opportunities and benefits for your firm. However, although relocating is an exciting prospect for a business, it can be very difficult on employees as it often requires them to move away from their home, not only putting stress on their own lifestyle but also their families and friends. Therefore, it is important, as a business owner, that you don’t neglect the needs of the employee or their family and it is essential that they suffer as little stress as possible during the relocation process. Here are a few tips on how to go about achieving this… Hire specialised services There are lots of services that you can use to ensure that the reloca... »

How to Save Money on Vehicle Leasing Rates

How to Save Money on Vehicle Leasing Rates

Leasing a fleet of vehicles is often one of the largest expenses a business has to bear. Whether it’s company cars for your sales team, or a contract hire agreement for work vans, the costs involved soon add up. However, there are ways to save money on your leasing rates – especially in today’s busy and thriving marketplace. Think carefully about which vehicles to offer staff For many businesses the fleet of cars or vans is as much about status as it is about cost saving and practicality. Of course you want to attract the best staff and display the best company image, but that doesn’t mean you need to offer a huge selection of top of the range cars. Being more conservative about the types of vehicles you choose is a sure fire way of saving money on your leasing costs. You can make substant... »

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