Your Duty as a Small Business-owner: The Importance of Health and Safety

- - Business

The prevailing level of sentiment among SME’s in the UK remains extremely positive at present, having fully rebounded from the impact of long-term recession and sluggish recovery. With more than two-thirds of independent ventures anticipating that they will recruit additional members of staff in 2014, there is ample evidence to suggest that the economy will continue its growth for the foreseeable future. This level of expansion brings considerable responsibility, however, as entrepreneurs must take steps to protect their employees and provide a suitable working environment.

How to Protect the Safety and Integrity of your Employees in the Workplace

With this in mind, what practical steps can entrepreneurs take to create a safe working environment and protect their employees? Consider the following: -

Make Allowances for All Individual Employee Requirements

Not all employees are created equal, which means that each will have a unique set of physical and mental requirements that demand your attention. As an equal opportunities employer, it is absolutely crucial that you make allowances for these and ensure that each employee is empowered to realise their full potential within the workplace. Failure to do this will not only hinder your businesses growth and the personal development of its staff, but it may also lead to discrimination lawsuits over a prolonged period of time.

Inspect your Properties and Maintain Safe Working Environments

Workplace injuries can also cost your firm thousands of pounds, and in some instances even exhaust the majority of your capital as an entrepreneur. To avoid this, it is imperative that you adopt a proactive approach towards inspecting your commercial properties and maintaining their long-term safety. A key aspect of this is adhering to contemporary regulations concerning asbestos, as this is a harmful material that can endanger the health and safety of your employees. If you require assistance with this, consider partnering with an industry professional such as Asbestos Management Services to find out more about your duties and requirements as an employer.

Have a Clearly Defined Process in Place for Workplace Accidents and Injuries

Even with the best intentions and procedures in place, accidents and injuries can easily occur within the workplace. This means that you must establish a clearly defined process for when these incidents do occur, as this will enable you to keep detailed notes and provide the afflicted employees with the best possible care and attention. You must also be willing to investigate the circumstances that lead to specific incidents, as this will help you to identify issues and implement long-term and viable solutions.

The Benefits of Offline Marketing for Business-owners

- - Marketing

Although controversy may continue to rage about the origin of the politics behind last week’s budget, it cannot be denied that George Osborne’s statement was received positively by SME’s and large businesses throughout the UK. With Britain itself experiencing significant growth and experts predicting that it will supersede Germany as Europe’s largest economy by 2030, there is little doubt that contemporary business-owners are looking forward to a prosperous decade ahead. This is forcing many firms to evaluate their existing business models, however, as they look to capitalise on this growth and use it in a productive manner.

The Benefits of Offline Marketing: 3 Advantages for Small Businesses to Consider

With this in mind, it is worth considering the concept of marketing and how offline techniques may help businesses to reach a wider target market. Consider the following: –

  1. Optimise Online Methods

Increasingly, there has been a fusion of offline and online marketing techniques. The reason for this is that while some marketers have become preoccupied with the impact of online promotional campaigns, others have realised that offline strategies can actively improve the application of technology. This is because offline methods and corporeal interaction with customers can add a personal touch to a primarily online campaign, and this meld of ideas is best embodied by the popularisation of digital treasure hunts that are conducted in physical locations.

  1. Create Consistent and Widespread Branding

Whenever you focus solely on prioritising online marketing techniques, you can unwittingly create a brand that is not universally recognised. In addition to this, this oversight can also lead to the development of an inconsistent branding message, which fails to translate across both virtual and corporeal mediums. By also investing in subtly branded and colour specific marketing materials from outlets such as All Colour Envelopes, however, you can strengthen the reach of your message and lay the foundations for a consistent campaign.

  1. Establish more Meaningful Relationships with Consumers

While the development of online media may have made it easier than ever to communicate with consumers, these mediums do not necessarily lend themselves to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. This is at odds with face-to-face communication, which retains the power to establish bonds and empower in-depth discussion. This can be a key weapon for your business, so it is important to adopt a proactive approach and look to advertise at physical events such as trade shows, exhibitions and others.

Software Packages that can Transform your Business

- - Business, Innovation

All businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve customer retention, increase the spending their customers make and increase referrals for new customers. Knowing how to achieve this can be difficult. There are ways in which you could attempt to do this yourself such as promotions, loyalty rewards or high quality advertising campaigns to name a few methods. But you should know that there is now a much easier and more straightforward way to do this. Technology has aided businesses massively in recent years, and now it can help to boost your business and make the running of it smooth and simple as well.


There are applications that have been developed to manage and help run stores, and they can also be used to get clients to spend more money when they visit. Salons are a good example of a business type that have benefited greatly from these applications. Retention marketing is one of the most important as it is proven to be more profitable to keep your existing customers than constantly recruit new ones, so creating loyalty is key to your success. This can be achieved through utilising popular social media channels, having a scheme to reward customers for any referrals and getting them to try out new products, sending out SMS reminders and a few other clever techniques.


Applications to Assist in the Day to Day Running of your Business


A lot of these applications that have been developed for salons and other similar establishments can even be used to book appointments, make sales, check statistics and stock levels. Management software packages, including ones available from Phorest and other similar developers, can be used on your iPad and iPhone which makes them easy to implement as well. This also allows you to use these packages remotely, and this brings advantages for both you and your clients as it effectively keeps your business open even when you are not at work yourself.


An application like this could transform your business and help to improve profit through customer retention, higher spending and more customers through referrals. The software can also be used to assist in the daily running of a salon or similar establishment, so it is clear why so many business owners are now implementing them into their own organisations and reaping the rewards.

Your Guide to Setting Up a Recruitment Agency

- - Business

You’ve dreamed of owning your own company for a few years now; if you have ample experience in the business perhaps it’s time you founded your own company and began your trek toward financial freedom. Let’s take a look at the guidelines you should use to determine if this is the right time for you to make your debut into the corporate world.

 agency Your Guide to Setting Up a Recruitment Agency

Get All the Experience That You Can

Knowing the ins and outs of your business can be an advantage when you are managing employees who work for you. You’ll be familiar with their challenges, the tasks that they are required to do, and the job satisfaction that comes from working at your optimum level of performance. You’ll learn a few tricks and can share tips with your staff when they need a boost. You will also have made many important contacts throughout your career that can help you as you start your own company.

Know the Law

If you’ve never before owned a business, you may not be familiar with the laws that regulate your new business. You will need to know the rules and be in compliance with them at all times; as a business owner now you must strive to know everything because you’re responsible for all business-related issues.

Develop Goals and Objectives

As with any business that you start, you’ll want to have a detailed business plan that includes your goals and objectives and a timetable for reaching them. No matter how small they are, you should write them down; this is the heart of your company so having them recorded reminds you of their importance to the success that you want to experience.

Be Organised

From the way that you set up your personal working space and office area to the way that you conduct business, you must be organised. You should research about how to set up a dynamic office, how to use your own workspace effectively, and how to organise your daily schedule. You will have challenges that arise each day but if you have properly planned and organised your day, you can handle these issues effectively. Take care of details on a regular basis and set the right example for a strong work ethic for your employees.

Secure Your Funding

To be successful you must be financially sound and be able to pay your staff and your vendors on time without fail; this keeps your business reputation solid and your staff satisfied with their job. You should take some time to plan out about six months in advance the capital that you’ll need and the projections that you anticipate for revenue. Starting a recruitment business that becomes successful will need financial stability and a positive cash flow.

If you need to know some of the bespoke options that are available to you and the professional advice upon which you can rely, you should visit the Startupsimply recruitment business website to gain valuable information. It can be the lifeline that keeps you afloat with exceptional knowledge about how to get off to the right start.

Image courtesy of: adamr

Should You Seek Legal Help As A Victim Of Personal Injury?

- - Legal

Untitled78 300x131 Should You Seek Legal Help As A Victim Of Personal Injury?Suffering a serious injury after an accident, owing to no fault of yourself can itself turn out to be a traumatizing experience for you. Besides, the physical and emotional injuries suffered, you also stand to lose a considerable part of your earning if the injury is too serious. You need to ensure that you’re rightly compensated for your sufferings. The rewards should include the medical bills paid by you as well as the loss of income you’ve had to suffer owing to your absence from work during the period of recuperation. No matter, how much emotionally drained you are, you have to make sure that you’re leaving no stone unturned to get what you rightly deserve. The battle ahead is tough and the skills of a lawyer might be required to make the road smoother for you.

You might as well decide to do it all without an attorney’s help, but in that case, your efforts would be mired by “indefinite” delays in payment and risks of under payment. In an ideal situation, the insurance company of the offender should pay you every dime you deserve but that doesn’t really happen in reality. These companies, in a bid to push their profit margins, turn to every trick in the book to ensure that victim is not rewarded with what he deserves. It’s during these times that you feel the need to hire a lawyer who can study and present your case aggressively on court to ensure due compensation. Here’s more on ways in which hiring new jersey personal injury lawyer*- would benefit you.

Why Would You Seek Legal Help?

He has the due skills to negotiate with the insurance company. If your claims are backed by legal support, it becomes difficult for them to minimize the value of your claim.

There are many people who seek the help of these attorneys when they pursue a dispute claim. For instance, you might as well be offered a settlement that you believe is unfair. The lawyer, in this case, would help you to challenge this settlement in the court of law.

The personal injury laws are subject to several variations in accordance with states. Until and unless you yourself are a student of law it becomes difficult for you to understand the complexities.


Most of the attorneys generally work on a contingency fee basis which means that you won’t be charged anything before compensation recovery. So, securing legal help for settling these issues actually proves beneficial as well.

Make sure that you’re conducting due research before zeroing in on a lawyer. Do find out about his experience of dealing with cases like that of yours. Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask him for determining whether at all you would avail his services or not. Some of the possible questions that you might ask him are:

  • Does my case have any merit?
  • Do you charge any consultation fee? Do I have to pay you even if I lose the case?
  • Would I be able to reach out to you as and when required?
  • Can you tell me about some of the cases that you have handled?
  • Please tell me about your clientele?
  • What kind of participation do you expect from me?
  • How can you promise me a better compensation recovery than others?


Consult at least five to six law firms before making a choice. Make sure that you’re asking these questions to each and every attorney before settling for a choice. Thus, keep your chin up and fight your way to victory.


Safety Basics for Working Near Electricity

- - Safety

It’s not necessary to be an electrically competent person to work near electricity. Construction workers, plumbers, plasterers, mechanics and manufacturers are all exposed to electricity and electrical wiring as part of their daily routines. If you’re a business owner, you’ll be aware of the importance of carrying out a risk assessment before you allow your employees to carry out a new project or task. More details on conducting a thorough risk assessment are available from the Health and Safety Executive’s website.

Correct Signage

If there are signs warning of electrical danger, it’s very important that these are taken seriously. It’s not necessary to touch a high voltage cable to get an electric shock. Low voltage cables can also be dangerous. In some cases, signage may not be easy to see or may have been removed, so don’t assume there are no cables nearby.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wires, like the correct signage, are not always readily apparent. Don’t assume that electrical wires are not present, just because you can’t see them. Before you begin drilling or cutting into any surface, look carefully for electrical wires and ask to see plans of electrical installation. You should be wary of disturbing other hazards, including asbestos. It’s important to check for nearby electrical installations or equipment and find out where the wiring for these is hidden. Electrically competent persons can use a cable detector, but otherwise you should familiarize yourself with the common colours attributed to different wires. Remember that these standards were officially altered in 2004. Fibreglass trench, duct and gully covers are often used to allow ease of access to electrical cables and wiring when it is contained underground. If you work in the construction industry, covers like Dura Slab are definitely worth considering for added electrical safety and convenient maintenance.

Power = Off

Before attempting any kind of maintenance work, the electrical power must be off. If you’re not sure, ask an electrically competent person to check for you. They should make sure that the device being used is suitable for isolation, the isolator being used to turn off the power is working reliably and the switch being used is the only way the circuit can be given electrical power. The switch should also be locked in the off position, and it should not be easy to trip the switch back on again. Taking these precautions can save lives, as live circuits and unreliable voltage readings can lead to serious injuries and death. Make sure you know whether the electrical system or equipment you’re working near needs to be earthed. If it does, this must also be done using a careful and reliable method.


How to make a Good Impression in Business

- - Business

Untitled 300x201 How to make a Good Impression in BusinessWhen it comes to business, first impressions count. Here we take a look at some simple steps you can take in order to make a good impression on potential clients or future partners.


If you are showing potential clients around your site, your factory for example, then make sure it is tidy and presentable. Make your staff aware that some important visitors are coming in and tell them to be on their best behaviour. Make sure everyone is busy, or at least looks busy.

If you don’t have a smart office in which to meet, then hiring a meeting room City based can be a great idea. While you have the room, make the most of it and hold as many meetings as you can.


Know your stuff inside out. Your potential business partners won’t have all day and will be looking to get a deal done quickly and efficiently. Make sure you know all the relevant information, such as pricing structures, turnovers and such, off by heart. In addition, learn as much about the people you are meeting as you possibly can. Try to put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourself questions such as ‘what are they trying to achieve from this meeting?’ and ‘what are their motivations’?

Be smart

Always be smart and presentable but dress appropriately. It sounds simple but if you’re a hands-on manager it can be tempting to meet new clients in your scruffy work gear. This can be appropriate for some meetings so you will have to decide for yourself. But if in doubt, a smart suit and tie never hurt anyone. If needed, make sure that the appropriate safety clothing is made available to your visitors.

Speak well and drop the jargon

If you have a very strong accent it may be worth toning it down a bit, especially when addressing international visitors. Try not to use any jargon that your potential partners may not follow. This can be alienating and time wasting. Explain yourself simply and concisely.


A business discussion should never be a monologue. It should always be a conversation. Well-prepared speeches are okay but a series of short statements punctuated by questions is much better. Listen carefully to what is being said and concentrate on answering questions in a straight forward manner. Being a good listener is not as complicated as most individual think it is. When having a conversation with someone, be sure to let him realize in a subtle manner that you are paying attention to what is being said. Finally, do not interrupt when someone else is speaking. Obstructing someone in mid is extremely rude and will count as one strike against you in just about any social situation. Real etiquette is suggested at all times.

Make use of person’s name

Take a minute to think of some people you met recently. If you experienced someone who applied your name on the get-go, you will probably agree that the idea made the conversation much more personal.

Moreover, it shows the other person that you were focusing from the very beginning and that you allow them to have enough importance to be able to memorize their label. A bonus is that by using their name immediately, you will be more prone to remember it in addition to impress them a lot more should you face them a next time.

Be positive

Keep a positive, ‘can do’ attitude at all times. Potential customers can be demanding and they have a knack of asking for something that you hadn’t planned for. If this happens, take a deep breath and consider how you might meet their needs. If it really isn’t possible then explain this and try to find a compromise or an alternative solution.

Hold off on the jokes

Injecting humour into a business meeting can be a great icebreaker but it is fraught with danger. It can appear flippant or your sense of humour might be different to others in the meeting and fall flat. Jokes are fine in their place but may be best left for the future when you have gotten to know your new colleagues a little better.


Tips for Shopping for Office Furniture in Melbourne

- - Business

If you are shopping for office furniture in Melbourne, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are a lot of different pieces of furniture to consider, as well as a lot of choices. In addition to selecting the perfect pieces for your office space, budget is also usually at the forefront of your mind when shopping for office furniture in Melbourne. Getting the right look for your office can also be tricky. Depending on what type of office you have, you want your atmosphere to appear comfortable and welcoming, yet professional. There is a delicate balance to be upheld when picking furniture for your office. I found the perfect office furniture in Melbourne for my business using the following tips:


Make a List


It is not advised to go to the grocery store without a list and the same applies when you go shopping for office furniture in Melbourne. Before going out to shop, sit down and make a list of everything you need to outfit your office. Consider what you absolutely need and make a necessities list. Then also make a wish list of items that would be nice to have, but that you can function without. In addition to knowing what types of pieces you need and how many, consider the qualities you need in your furniture; such as comfort, stain-resistance, and durability.




I also took measurements of my spaces before my shopping trip. This is a very important step to make sure the furniture you choose will fit in the spaces that you need it to fit into. If you are shopping for office furniture and find a must-have piece that won’t fit, you can consider rearranging your space.




I took pictures so that I could coordinate and match colours when I needed to while I was out shopping for office furniture in Melbourne. You also must take into account how the pieces will look together in your office space. You may find several pieces that look stunning alone, but when combined with other furniture or placed in your office may clash or look out of place. Don’t forget to look at the big picture when selecting your pieces.


Remember Your Budget


It can be quite tempting to let your budget go by the wayside when shopping for furniture in Melbourne, especially when you see so many pieces that would work well with your space or colour palette. However, disregarding your budget is not wise, especially in business. Go back to the list that you made prior to your shopping trip and remember to differentiate between wanted pieces and needed pieces. You can always add more pieces later when you have more funds.


Shop Around


To compare prices, selection, and quality, shop around before making any decisions and purchasing office furniture in Melbourne. It is good to get the full picture of what is available for purchase before making a final choice. You want to be sure you are getting the best furniture for your office at the best price. Even though this will require some time and effort, it will be worth it in the end. To get a great deal on quality office furniture, check out Progressive furniture in Melbourne. I highly recommend them for all your office needs.


Protecting your business with the right structure

- - Business

When setting up your own company, probably the most important consideration (after deciding what your business will do!) is making sure you set it up using the most appropriate structure for you.

The three most common types are: Sole Trader, Partnership and Limited Company. Each has its own merits and benefits, so it is important you understand what these are.

You can carry out someonline business structure research to get a better understanding of how each structure works and its pros and cons etc. You may also wish to contact a specialist company for some free advice.

However keen you are to get your business set up and trading, it is important that you don’t make a rash decision as to how your company will be structured. Understanding what each type of structure means, as well as any financial implications (as well as how your clients may perceive you) will influence how your business operates as well as could affect your own personal finances (in certain situations).

For example, if you anticipate earning less than £50,000 a year, registering as a sole trader or as a partnership (if you are going in to business with someone) may be appropriate. Typically, you’ll pay less tax and will have fewer legal responsibilities.

On the downside, however, these types of structures, you (and any business partner you may have) are personally financially responsible for any debt in the business.

If, on the other hand, you expect to be earning over £50k annually, setting yourself up as a Limited company may be the most appropriate solution. Yes, there are a lot more legal responsibilities you need to adhere to, you may feel however, that the pros of being a Limited company outweigh these. If you’re in this bracket then you are doing very well for yourself, so keep your business safe from a number of modern threats, check out Thruinc, a secure file transfer service that could protect your company’s data.

To other businesses potentially looking to work with you, a Ltd. company is a more credible proposition than a sole trader, for example. And on a personal, financial level, your own finances are protected in the event that your company goes bankrupt or faces a lawsuit etc.

Setting up a charity or a voluntary not-for-profit group?

This is a completely different scenario and there are different options available. The Government website has a very easy to understandguide to legal structures that helps explain this a bit more in depth both for traditional businesses as well as other types of organisation (such as charities).

While this article may have left you feeling overwhelmed with what structure is most suitable for you, it really is not as confusing as it may seem. There are millions of businesses across the UK – and they all started in the same way you are about to.

There are plenty of resources both online and offline, as well as free advice from specialist companies, as mentioned before. So, take advantage of what is out there, weigh up your options, and then you can make an educated decision as to the way forward.