business news

Recession Fails to Deter Start-ups

The number of newly established business owners and those trying to start a business increased between 2002 and 2009, despite the recession, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has found. The report from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University, which surveyed 170,000 adults globally, found that 5.8% of UK adults were either starting a business or running a firm less than 42 months old in mid-2009. This compared with 5.5% in 2007 and 5.4% in 2002. “It’s surprising that new business has been maintained, but in the recession a lot of people lost their jobs and took the chance to create their own business,” said report author, Jonathan Levie.  “Another factor is that resources are relatively cheap, so there are buildings available at low rental costs ... »

Eurozone Crisis puts UK Recovery at Risk

The UK economy will grow at a faster rate than expected this year, but the Europe-wide debt crisis may inhibit recovery in 2011, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned. There is even still a risk of a double-dip recession if the coalition Government does not take strong measures to reduce UK debt and create helpful conditions for businesses, BCC spokesman Sam Turvey said this week. The caution came as the BCC revised its March GDP growth forecast from 1% to 1.3% following better than expected performance in the UK’s manufacturing sector and an increase in exports. At the same time, however, the BCC reduced its growth prediction for 2011 from 2.1% to two%. The chief threat to UK trade is the debt crisis in the eurozone, which is liable to hamper the UK’s exports. Unde... »

Employers Guide to World Cup Launched

A new guide to help employers deal with staff absence during the World Cup has been launched by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The guide, Employment and the FIFA 2010 World Cup, produced in association with Abbey Legal Protection, is split into two categories: how to handle both authorised staff absence and situations where employees may simply fail to turn up to work on match or post-match days. The FSB said it had designed the guide to help employers avoid tricky employment issues arising from unplanned absences during the month-long tournament, which starts on 11 June. “Sorting out these issues before the first game kicks off means everyone can relax and enjoy the matches, while making sure jobs still get done in the workplace,” said Mike Cherry, FSB policy chairm... »

They Think Work’s All Over: It is Now!

More than half of UK employees vow to watch the World Cup on their work computers. 54 per cent of Britons risk causing computer chaos by logging on to watch World Cup games online while at work, according to research released today. Millions are planning to tune into games when they are streamed live but experts warn this could play havoc by slowing down – or in extreme cases – crashing office computer systems. However, a survey of 2,000 workers nationwide by Eclipse, an Internet Services Provider for small businesses and home users, found that 58% had given no thought to the possible consequences on their own workplace IT networks. Clodagh Murphy, director of Eclipse, said: “UK workers clearly want to watch World Cup matches live on their PCs. However, we advise all busi... »

7 out of 10 Firms Seek Face-to-face Advice

Small firms are turning to trusted sources for advice as the economic climate, cashflow and bad debt become their dominant problems according to the 100th Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain released today by The Open University Business School, association with Barclays Bank and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Most (71%) want face-to-face contact for new advice and information and are turning to their accountants (55%) and business trading partners (51%) such as customers, stockists, and suppliers. Previous years saw an increase in the use of electronic media such as email (64%) and websites (62%). Use of hard copy publications like pamphlets, directories and guides has declined (down to 27%, from 54% in 2002 and 45% in 2007). Professor Robin Jarvis, h... »

Business confidence up for south east retailers

South East Retailers Confident despite Recession

Findings from Business Link South East indicate that the region’s retailers are pretty confident despite the recent economic downturn. According to the figures retailers account for 83,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the south east of England, including sole traders, motor traders and wholesalers. Of the retailers surveyed by Business Link for the South East Business Monitor, 50% have been negatively affected by the economic downturn but 78% are confident that they will survive the recession. Retailers with a website and a loyal customer base were particularly confident in an upturn in business. Other findings from the survey were: 24% had seen a drop in customer numbers over the past 12 months 44% reported lower spend per customer 53% adopted discounting Retailers t... »

Young entrepreneurs

EU work experience for Young Entrepreneurs

> A new scheme designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs work experience in Europe has been launched by the European Commission. Open to entrepreneurs who are either planning their own business startup, or those who have been running their own venture for less than three years, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme aims to equip participants with business skills by spending time working in an EU country. Possible activities available under the scheme include shadowing an experienced entrepreneur, developing new business opportunities for the host entrepreneur’s company, working on branding or sales, or assisting on specific projects in a designated firm. Monthly grants of up to £1,000 are available to suitable candidates to cover travel and accommodation costs. Those inte... »

Outdated management styles force employee resignations

Outdated management styles force employee resignations

> The way people want to work is changing fast, and managers who fail to listen to the needs of their staff are courting disaster Nearly half of employees (42%) who quit their jobs do so because of disagreements with management styles that they see as outdated and unhelpful, according to a new survey. The report by BT Business is a wake-up call for managers who still insist on practising ‘presenteeism’ – i.e, standing over workers and monitoring their work in situ. In ignoring the power of modern communications technology to make personal working styles more flexible and attuned to individual needs, this old school approach is not seen as helpful by today’s workers. Most importantly, 25% of employees say that it has no bearing whatsoever on their career prospects or... »

Reduce Business Waste

Small Business News – 20 th August 2008 The Government needs to do more to reduce the amount of waste from business, according to a parliamentary committee.  The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has just released a report targeting business waste generated in the UK. The report, Waste Reduction (628k PDF), acknowledges previous and ongoing waste management efforts but finds that most of the government’s focus has been on pressuring households to reduce their waste where UK households only account for 9% of the country’s waste! The construction & demolition sector produces about a third of the UK’s waste as does the mining & quarrying industry. The report now suggests that business waste needs to be reduced with big business leading by e... »

Late Payments

Chase Late Payments to stay Competitive

Small firms should practice better cashflow management by chasing late payments diligently and carry out credit checks on customers to maintain income without raising prices, say business groups. The advice comes in the wake of a survey showing that almost half of small businesses are increasing their prices to customers as they pass on their own rising costs from fuel & energy price hikes. The research, published by telecoms company Unicom, found that 44% of 350 small businesses polled said they felt they had no choice but to raise prices. “Unfortunately, small businesses are no different from any other firms and in these difficult times are having to raise prices to make ends meet,” said Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) chairman John Wright. However, he advised member... »

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