Business Risk Levels Low but Two-Thirds of Businesses Still Concerned about Revenue and Future Profitably

Regulatory challenges still causing business headaches, with employment regulation biggest challenge for small and medium firms Business risk levels are at a two year low, down from 43.16 to 39.50 points, yet 62% of small and mid-sized firms are concerned over revenue streams and 58% are worried about profitability, according to insurance company Zurich’s 2015 risk index. The research unveiled participants’ confidence in the economy’s future growth has increased (up from 34% to 49%), coinciding with the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) figures which revealed that 2014’s economy witnessed the fastest pace growth since 2007 at 2.6%. However, while more companies now attribute a strong economy to a firm’s performance, with 22% naming the economic environment as a top opportunity for busin... »

Measure the Profitability of Apprentices

Employers who take on apprentices can now measure their return on investment (ROI), following the launch of a free online calculator by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). The Return on Investment Calculator works by estimating the average costs of employing and training an apprentice, against the gains that come when the apprentice’s productivity starts to make an impact on the business. While it does not give specific costs for each employer, the calculator is designed to help firms work out the costs and benefits of hiring an apprentice by asking a series of questions about pay and industry sector. It is based on research and case studies of employers in six sectors, including hospitality, engineering and retail. “Apprenticeships are an investment with lasting rewards... »

IT Service Providers: Profitability is Key Challenge

Profitability is the key challenge facing UK IT service providers in 2010, according to a new research report published today by Kaseya. In the survey of 450 IT service providers, 48% cited being profitable as their number one focus, followed by differentiating their services from the competition (20%) and completing the volume of work with limited staff (16%). The report into the UK IT service provider market also explores the steps IT service providers have taken in 2009 to maintain profitability. Increasing sales efforts was a key focus for 60%, while 37% turned to automating IT tasks to drive efficiencies into their operation. Other tactics included reducing staff numbers (32%) and reducing billing rates (15%). The research also uncovers a startling correlation between IT service provi... »