Found an infographic which I thought was interesting...
Found an infographic which I thought was interesting...
Running a small business can be fraught with legal landmines – and if you don’t have the right team on your side then you’re running the risk of ruining the reputation of your company.
Issues such as health and safety, copyright law and employment law are areas where most business owners’ expertise is limited. Given that there are numerous regulations to comply with – along with the day-to-day running of the company – it’s little wonder that many owners are feeling the strain.
Protecting your employees should be a priority, but safeguarding your OWN interests by investing in expert legal advice should also be of great importance.
Employees in the unfortunate position of having an accident at work are, understandably, going to look to you for guidance – but if your support network is lacking then health and safety concerns can seriously impact on future operations of your business.
If your company does happen to face a tribunal or other issues with employees – making someone redundant for example – then the guidance of an experienced barrister is priceless when pursuing an amicable solution.
Companies such as Stobart Barristers are the specialists when it comes to professional advice on employment law – and their prompt service ensures you can rapidly get back to being with your business. Their service is quick, frank and fixed-cost, and you’ll deal with a specialist in the area where you need help.
Seek advice early and avoid the worst case scenario – prevention is better than cure! Don’t fall foul of bad practice due to complacency – get in touch with the experts and avoid any nasty surprises.
For the past ten years, the price of oil has continued to increase dramatically. This has directly impacted how much a business will spend on gas and other energy prices. While this could put a significant financial strain on all businesses, there are many ways that a business could save money on gas prices. One of the best ways to save money would be to compare commercial gas prices.
All businesses have a few different options for their gas service. Since each of these gas service providers are hoping to build business and gain a profit, they each may offer a different rate than their competitors. Through a website such as powerexperts.co.uk, you can compare a number of different quotes from all the major gas service providers in the area.
To get the most accurate quote possible, it would be important to provide as much detailed information about your business and usage as possible. This will include the age of the property that you operate out of, the size, the hours of operations, and how much gas you have typically used in the past. Based on this information, you should get a number of accurate offers.
When comparing quotes provided by the gas service providers, it is important to consider a few different factors. One factor to consider is whether the quotes are for a short-term promotion, of if it will be a long-term rate that you will receive. If the offer is simply a promotion to get your business, be sure to understand what your eventual rate will be and how long you will be locked into the contract. Beyond that, you should also compare the installation and activation fees. Gas service providers frequently have very expensive activation fees, which can easily offset the cost savings of receiving a lower rate. Be sure factor any of those fees into your total cost structure.
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about simple business ideas; this week I've been floored with revelations that a horse hired for its ability to run fast – and its fertility – is set to make its owners £100,000 a pop.
Excuse the pun.
Frankel and Black Caviar, two of the highest-rated horses in the world, are set to meet in the breeding sheds in the hope their offspring grows into something of a superhorse.
Nope, not a stud that can fight crime, save the world from destruction by evil warlords and maintain its anonymity by donning a pair of spectacles, but rather a turbocharged racehorse equipped with the finest genetic material courtesy of two legends of the sport.
I’ll openly admit I'm envious of Frankel.
I mean, not only does he have this reputation as a wonder horse that is revered around the globe, but he gets the girls AND gets paid for it.
I bet he doesn't even buy her a drink first.
But what does this have to do with business and why am I blethering about horses?
Well, the first thing I have to say is, imagine what their offspring will be worth! It genuinely seems like a great investment, and I've been looking at sites such as Horse Deals to see if there are a couple of likely candidates I should be splashing the cash on.
To be honest, if I was Frankel’s owner and receiving £100,000 a time for my horse to “get romantic” I would be ecstatic. But if I owned Black Caviar, and she fell pregnant, I would be positively frothing at the mouth visualising the amount of cash I could flog the horsey prodigy for.
I know how terrible that sounds, separating a mother from her child, but conservative estimates reckon the new born could be worth up to £100 million…
That’s a lot of hay!
Business is business, though, and when they’re bred for that purpose there can be no qualms about the morality of such a decision.
All I need to do now is find myself two horses with a talent for running fast, share similar interests – long walks on the beach? – and are willing to shack up in order to make me my fortune.
I'm having fun exploring the options open to me and I'm a few steps closer to finding the right couple.
Failing that, I’ll concentrate my efforts on breeding a crime fighting unicorn plagued with an alcohol problem combined with bouts of violent depression.
I’ll let you know how it goes…
Y’know what the business world is like these days - "e-this" and "e-that" as companies strive to keep up with the latest technological trends; spending six and seven figure sums in the hope their message will be absorbed by inattentive internet users.
Are you listening?
In my opinion, though, plenty of firms are missing a trick.
Yes the internet is very useful for boosting your brand and ensuring your message goes global – but what about some old fashioned methods designed to target customers directly? What about something tangible they can hold with their hands, smell with their nose and really connect with?
Sound impossible? It’s not.
Companies like TNT Post are spearheading the resurgence of direct marketing campaigns and offering a cost effective door drop operations. Their service delivers a powerful message, ensuring your leaflets, coupons or brochures stand out from the crowd.
Employing a company with the expertise to carry your advertising campaign is crucial. After all, you wouldn’t trust your dog to drive you to work, so why should your marketing efforts suffer from an amateurish approach?
Trust me, in the increasingly competitive business environment your company should be doing everything in its powers to improve its share of the marketplace.
And that’s the bottom line!
I’m a simple kind of guy. What do you mean that’s obvious? You lot are so judgmental. What did I say in my last blog? Huh? Don’t discriminate!
Well, recently I’ve been thinking about simple business ideas.
Y’know, concepts that are so mind-blowingly sophisticated in their straightforwardness that you can’t help but wonder why it took so long for some genius to implement it!
Like gardening, for example. Genius! Rock up to some rich looking neighbourhood and promise to trim their bush, or whatever, and they give you cash for it! OK, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
Something along the same lines – and a business you can start from home – is selling stuff on eBay. I mean, what could be an easier job that that? Digging out your gran’s old fur coat and flogging it for a huge profit? Simple! People literally buy anything these days – except old Kajagoogoo records, that’s still not acceptable.
Even going on holiday has become an exercise in effortlessness as many businesses are cashing in on travellers feeling the pressure of time as they sprint to make it to the check-in before the pilot gives them the finger from the cockpit.
A fine example of an innovative approach to supplying goods to keep up with the demand of holidaymakers comes in the guise of airport parking. Basically, those heading off on holiday screech up to the airport terminal, grab their bags from the car and sprint to the desk. The meet and greet firm will sort the car out and park it in a secure compound, waiting the bronzed sunseekers’ arrival back home.
See, it’s so simple.
And, being a simple kind of guy, surely I can come up with an unassuming idea that will eventually make my millions…
I'll keep you posted!
In all walks of life you will to discover someone who differs from you. Whether it’s age, religion, sexuality or political affiliation, no two humans are the same – and in business it’s no different.
Now I’m not here to preach about morality – there are plenty of other sources on the internet to find that kind of stuff – but I do feel there are simple guidelines we can all live by to ensure we can co-exist peacefully with our colleagues.
Whether your business is a multinational conglomerate or a local corner shop, the rules are the same: don’t discriminate!
It seems simple, doesn’t it?
Evidently it’s not.
I’ve often been discriminated against for the state of my hair; comments stating that it resembles a mop or that I look like a girl or that I should go back to the 60s have all been bellowed in my direction over the years. It doesn’t bother me but I’m a bit more thick-skinned than most.
But should employees have to suffer in silence if they are at the centre of some ‘playful banter’? The problem here, of course, is who decides what is banter and what is discrimination or harassment?
My advice would be to contact the professionals, Ashby Cohen for example, if you feel your situation has gotten out of hand and you need an expert opinion on whether being called a ‘coffin dodger’ is a spirited attempt at humour, or whether they feel you’re incapable of doing your job due to your age.
And that’s as much as I’m getting involved in this issue!
In the beginning God created Earth. Then he created man. Then he created the internet... at least I THINK that’s how it went, I’m not the greatest with history.
Anyway, the importance the World Wide Web has made on our lives cannot be understated.
In fact, most people I know open their eyes in the morning and reach for their smartphones to check Facebook or Twitter as if it was the daily paper.
The evolution of the web into the social animal we know it as today means businesses around the globe can glean bucketful’s of statistics to paint a realistic picture of their customers.
“But what does this mean for MY business, Elmer?!” I hear you scream.
Well, let me start by telling you that the portrait you’ve painted of your consumer’s means you can target advertising and messages to push the products and service you believe will be beneficial to them based on your research.
And it doesn’t end there.
The personal data captured from sites such as Facebook and Twitter means that it’s worth its weight in gold to businesses and advertisers around the globe – and given that there are over 3 billion searches on Google every DAY and over 48 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE, there are millions of reasons to be getting involved!
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Go out there and conduct your own research. Make use of Google and add to the amount of searches conducted daily – but I bet you’ll still reach the same result: internet marketing is king!
Look at my hair. Look at it! Lovely, isn't it? I bet you’re thinking “mmm, it looks so spongy and probably smells like wild flowers and all that other good stuff!”
Well, you’d be correct.
But the springiness of my mop isn't the point I'm trying to make.
The point is, most beautiful things (ahem!) take time to grow – and your business is no different.
As the owner of a company you can’t expect to turn up at 1pm, take three hours for lunch then clock out at five. No, it requires an investment of time, money and the retention of valuable members of staff.
You have to remember that a business is NOTHING without loyal, hardworking employees.
Training your personnel to reach their true potential is crucial if your business is to expand beyond its current capacity and contest with competitors in the marketplace.
Institutions such as Anglia Ruskin University have been helping businesses develop with innovative initiatives such as knowledge transfers and educating employees to degree-level while they work.
Surprisingly, many companies are blissfully unaware that these services even EXIST, and then they have the cheek to cry about their attrition levels being so HIGH while staff morale is so LOW.
Your hair needs washed, conditioned, brushed and styled to look its best. Treat your employees with the same level of care and watch them develop.
I'm not suggesting you wash your staff – that’s a lawsuit right there – but hopefully the analogy hits home.
Don't underestimate the power of a highly motivated and liberated worker! Treat them with the respect they deserve and, eventually, you’ll reap what you sow…
Other useful links:
Businesses around the UK are increasing their expenditure on digital advertising as the rise of the smartphone drives sales.
Despite being in the midst of a double-dip recession, spending on internet advertisements has grown to a massive £2.6bn in the first six months of 2012 with mobile phone promotion accounting for around 7% of all digital advertising expenditure.
The evolution of digital technology has resulted in consumers having easy access to a variety of different platforms. It’s little wonder that advertisers are blowing open the budget to accommodate this massive market.
Around 60% of people in the UK own a smartphone; combined with snowballing broadband speeds - and the explosion of social media throwing open the doors for ads aimed at an increasingly mobile population - the sheer volume of information thrown our way is staggering.
In addition, paid-for search has increased by 15.9% to a whopping £1.53bn as companies scramble to increase their visibility at the top of the search engines.
An upside for businesses and consumers alike is the easy access to this multitude of information – but protecting your personal or your company’s safety online has become paramount in recent years. No firm can afford to allow a virus to upset their operations, and many homes have become reliant on the internet.
Making sure your hardware is protected by comprehensive security software is a smart move. Rumour has it ESET are the best around.
Your business really can’t afford to be left behind as the competition for consumer attention heats up.
Other useful links: