Handheld Computers Liberate the Worker

As the cost of rugged handhelds has reduced and mobile communications have improved, you see them deployed in more and more applications across different industries. By giving the worker direct access to pertinent information and allowing them to conduct business at the point of a transaction or information capture, you increase efficiency and liberate your staff. What’s exciting is that the future of mobile computing is exploding before our very eyes. For instance, the recent introduction of Google’s Android will spur many hitherto unheard of applications. There is an Android application that lets you input barcode information into your phone in order to obtain information about products. So if you are in a shop and you see something that you like, but want some more informati... »

The SME Owner Manager Juggling with Technology

Picture this scenario, a small business that makes things, takes orders, packs them and ships them; usually starts out with quite basic processes and for a while, they fulfil the purpose albeit just adequately. The owner manager feels in control as he oversees the orders, adjusts his stock position and then coordinates delivery to the customer; he instructs his dedicated staff every step of the way. But what happens as his company grows? Enter technology. Many small companies start by putting in a system for this and a system in for that. The result being that instead of having an end to end integrated management system, they end up with a disparate technology environment with point solutions that do not communicate and often turns out to be a false economy. Today more than ever it’s... »

Charities Have Smartened Up

Not so long ago charity shops tended to be no more than glorified jumble sale outlets, so the fact that they have survived so long was more to do with the efforts of the persistent bargain hunter and charity supporter rather than smart merchandising. To think that the first charity shop or second hand clothing shop was set up by the Salvation Army in the 19th century. However, modern charity shops did not appear until after world war two with the first of these being operated by Oxfam in 1947. One of the main advantages the charity shop has is that many are located in the town centre high streets, taking prime positions along side mainstream retail outlets. Over the years the high street has experienced a major overhaul as shops and cafes modernised to cater to the increasingly sophisticat... »

Rates of pay

Acas Fair Wage Guidance

Employment advisory service Acas has published a free guide to help employers evaluate job roles and provide an appropriate rate of pay. The guide, Job evaluation: considerations and risks, advises employers how to assess the relative importance of the various jobs within their business, taking into account skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. It then shows businesses how to use these factors to implement a fair pay system. Acas Scotland director Frank Blair said: “Employers sometimes find it hard to justify their grading and pay systems. Putting in place a job evaluation scheme can remedy this and can also help prevent equality and HR–related problems from arising. “A good number of the difficulties encountered by businesses will be avoided by adequate p... »


SMEs Unaware of Capital Allowances

Just one in three small businesses are aware that they can reduce their tax bill by claiming allowances for outlay on new equipment, according to research from Cambridge University’s Centre for Business Research (CBR). The CBR survey of 2,500 small firms also revealed that of the third of small firms that were aware of capital allowances, just 5% were taking advantage of them. The report blames the Government’s failure to promote capital allowances and has prompted calls for a change to the system. Stephen Sklaroff director general at the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), which sponsored the research said: “The survey shows that HM Treasury needs to rethink the current capital allowance regime. More needs to be done to spread awareness among SMEs, and the same allowa... »

Entrepreneurs start again after Business Failure

Almost nine out of ten British business owners would set up a new venture of their current business failed – in spite of the economic climate. A Barclays Local Business poll of 503 business owners revealed that 87% said they would be keen to start another business should their existing enterprise go under. The poll revealed that the majority would also only wait an average of only four months before getting started with their new venture. Recent research from credit ratings firm Equifax found that the number of UK businesses going bust increased by nearly a third (29%) in July, compared with the same month last year. Barclays Local Business marketing director John Davis said: “The UK’s small business owners are operating in more difficult conditions at the moment and, unf... »

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Highly Targeted & Cost-effective Campaigns is a long established and leading niche UK SME/Small Business site which offers qualitative and relevant information and advice for directors. managers and influencers from the SME/Small Business sector Launched in 2001 Market Position A leading niche, independent UK SME/Small Business website Key Marketing Strategies Provide clear, jargon free and unpatronising information and advice for UK SME/Small Businesses Positioning/differentiation Niche, independent resource focusing on UK SME/Small Businesses No waste in targeting SME/Small Business sector Differentiates from Mass Media publishers Audience Relevance Users of are owners, directors, managers and influencers from the difficult to reach SME/Small... »

Finance and Money

What Types of Finance are available to you and what best suits your business now? Getting the right type of funding can make a big difference to the success of your business. This section takes you through some of the main types including: Grants Loans & Overdrafts Venture Capital Using FAQs to help answer some common questions and resources for more in depth information will help equip you to manage your finances successfully, ensure your bills are paid on time and find out what help is available if you suffer from cash flow problems. If you want to talk through your specific situation with an experienced adviser then contact your local Business Link . How will the Chancellor’s 2002 Budget Report affect small businesses? How do I go about obtaining a bank loan? How do I qualify ... »

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About is4profit

Launched in 2001, is4profit is an independent, internet-based business offering information and business advice for UK SME/Small businesses. Whether you are a new or an established business we bring relevant information and services to you by way of articles, guides, plans and factsheets, a small business directory and small business news. The Business Advice topics covered on the site include: Business Law Business Strategy Employment Finance and Money General Advice Green Business IT and Telecoms Personal Finance Sales and Marketing Starting Up Small Business eNewsletter Subscribers to the free Small Business Newsletter receive weekly updates on the latest developments and changes in the business world that impact on their businesses activities. To subscribe just enter your email address... »