small business

Government Reveals Regulations For Late Payment Reporting Ahead of April Launch

Government Reveals Regulations For Late Payment Reporting Ahead of April Launch

The government has revealed new regulations to be induced for late payment reporting ahead of its April launch. Published by small business minister Margot James, the announcement has confirmed that from April 2017 large companies will have to publically report twice a year on their payment practices – including and the average time it takes them to pay supplier invoices. Companies who fail to adhere to the new regulation could be criminally prosecuted, and it’s hoped the new measures will help “shine a spotlight on bad payment practice and lead to improved standards.” Just last December it was revealed that just 51% of all small businesses are paid on time, with just 24% of all invoices settled within three days of being issued. James said: “The UK is home to a record five and a hal... »

Why Innovation is Crucial for Business Success

Why Innovation is Crucial for Business Success

In today’s fiercely competitive business climate, the importance of continuous innovation cannot be overstated. Quite simply, if you fail to innovate, you stand still – and others will leave you for dust. Innovation need not be a complete overhaul of your business, however; it can take more modest forms, like the refinement of your existing offering. Sometimes, though, it will be necessary to take a complete leap of faith. In this article, we examine the different forms innovation can take, as well as where to find inspiration for change; both within your own business and without. What opportunities for innovation in my business exist? There are always areas in which you can innovate, even if you think you are doing well as a business. Broadly, there are three areas you should look at when... »

Businesses with Too Many Rules Are Inhibiting Employee Productivity

Businesses with Too Many Rules Are Inhibiting Employee Productivity

Unnecessary rules and procedures, inefficient resources and office politics were named as the top three obstacles to productivity by UK employees, in a survey by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The research, which featured over 2,000 employees, found that unnecessary rules and a lack of resources were the two biggest barriers to productivity – each named by 28% of respondents. Office politics was named as the third biggest productivity obstacle by 24% of UK workers. Conversely, the main productivity stimulators named by employees were “interesting work” (40%), the ability to use their initiative (39%) and being matched with tasks that complement their skill set (25%). According to the survey, employee engagement plays a big part in keeping a business’ productivity ... »

UK Businesses Fail to Prioritise Auto-Enrolment

UK Businesses Fail to Prioritise Auto-Enrolment

Over a quarter (27%) of UK businesses completed their automatic enrolment (auto-enrolment) application within just one month of their staging date – with 10% doing so after the date had passed – new research by NOW: Pensions has found. While 31% of companies signed up to auto-enrolment at least six months before the staging date, the research has found that the majority of business owners have “continued to procrastinate” and are under-prepared for the long-term effects of a workplace pension too. Moreover, the report added that employers which are late to enrol not only cause themselves unnecessary stress but also limit their options in regards to pension providers. The latest auto-enrolment deadline – for companies with 30-49 employees – passed earlier this month (Oct 1). Thi... »

Inefficient Processes Are the Biggest Drain on Small Firms

Inefficient Processes Are the Biggest Drain on Small Firms

Inefficient processes are the biggest drain on small business time and have the biggest negative impact on customers and employees, a survey by Planview and Loudhouse has outlined. The report, which featured over 500 businesses, found that 44% of business leaders believe dealing with inefficient processes is their top time-waster, followed by administration (43%), meetings (41%) and a lack of strategic goals (28%). 57% of business owners said ineffective processes had a negative effect on employees and 48% said it had a detrimental impact on customers. Almost all (96%) of the small businesses surveyed said they think technology helps to improve productivity. Companies with tech driven processes were over three times more confident of success than those businesses that weren’t tech-enabled.... »

Company Directors: Why You Should be Making the Most of Tax Relief Allowances

Company Directors: Why You Should be Making the Most of Tax Relief Allowances

As a company director, you’ve already got your head round all the legally enforceable regulations that govern your role. You have taken on the responsibilities directorship entails and kept the interests of the company at the heart of your decision making. Your record keeping and company accounts are maintained through clear, scrupulous systems; and a crucial part of your financial management is the administration and payment of relevant taxation. As unpopular as it is inevitable, there is one upside to the tax system – allowances! Nobody wants to miss out on their entitlement so here we look at what you need to pay and what you can claim back… The main business taxes: What you need to be aware of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) establishes the rules and you are legally responsibl... »

A Guide to Managing Change in Your Business

A Guide to Managing Change in Your Business

Change is inevitable in business. Even if you are staunchly resistant to it your environment will change around you and you will be left behind. Driving and monitoring change in your business constantly is, therefore, essential. Making change before you are forced to can see you gain an advantage over your competitors, and bringing about a culture of constant innovation can take your business to an entirely new level. This article will give you a rundown of how to manage change in your business, including how to identify where change is needed, preparing for and implementing change, and creating a long-term culture of change in your business. How do I know what to change in my business? Rarely is change not needed in business, but it can be difficult to identify what needs changing and wha... »

A Guide to the Employment Tribunal Process

A Guide to the Employment Tribunal Process

It is a sad fact of business life that disputes between employees and employers are common. The majority of these disputes will play out at an employment tribunal. Even if you consider your relationship with your employees to be a harmonious one, and consider the likelihood of disputes to be low, it still pays to have a considered strategy for dealing with tribunals. Employment law is increasingly developing in favour of the needs of employees and with awards increasing, being unprepared for tribunals can see you losing out massively. A well-thought out plan will allow you to prepare and present the best possible defence of your actions, and prevent disgruntled employees from taking you to the cleaners. Here we cover the stages of the tribunal process, how to defend a case and prevent a di... »

National Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage sets out the hourly rates almost all UK workers are entitled to by law and every employer, no matter how small, must pay. Designed to provide employees with decent minimum standards and fairness in the workplace, the National Minimum Wage helps small businesses compete on the basis of the quality of goods and services provided rather than low prices based on low rates of pay. The law was first introduced on 1 April 1999 by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999. Set by government, the headline figure is based on guidance provided by the independent body the Low Pay Commission. What is the National Minimum Wage? The Minimum Wage is a legal right which covers almost all workers above compulsory school leaving age. There are... »

What Rights do Employers Have During Notice Periods?

What Rights do Employers Have During Notice Periods?

What are employers’ rights during notice periods? It can be a difficult question for smaller employers, with notice periods often feeling like employment ‘limbo’ for employers and employees alike. Here we identify some of the key rights you are entitled to as the employer once a notice period has been issued, either by you or the member of staff… When giving notice of dismissal or redundancy to staff First off, can an employer fire someone when they’ve already given notice? Or if the employer has already served them notice? It’s a question that many small business owners ask, as they are without the flexibility to manage or afford long notice periods. For example, if an employee has worked for five years they are entitled to statutory notice of five week... »

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