22nd September 2015

4 Easy Ways to Update Your Website

As all of us who have websites know, your website is never finished or completed! It is an on going job to keep it up to date, and one that most of us don’t dedicate enough time to. However, here are 4 easy ways to update your website that won’t take up a lot of your time. 1. Update your information: Are your prices still correct? Are any dates on there still valid? Do you still sell the products or […]
18th September 2015

Smartphones now the preferred option over laptops for connecting online

In the latest study by Ofcom, two thirds of people own a smartphone, and they use it for around two hours a day to browse the internet, shop, carry out their online banking and access social media. You may even be reading this post on your phone! The study has shown that a 33% of people who use the internet see their smartphone as their main device for surfing the web, compared to 30% who prefer to use their laptops. […]
15th September 2015

Web Marketing Trends to Help Improve your Strategy in 2015

The field of digital marketing is ever changing and evolving. Therefore, to keep up and get the most out of it, you need to find the ideal balance – identify any trends in the market, have a strategy you can action and make successful steps forward. Here is a tip to help you with your marketing to boost your strategy: 1. Stop relying on Google. Don’t worry, Google is not on on it’s way out, but we’re just saying that […]
2nd September 2015

Dividend Tax – How it Affects You

There was a very important change in the recent budget that affects small limited companies. The introduction of the dividend tax and dividend allowance. Up to now, business owners have been able to take out between £28-31k without incurring any personal tax (depending on the level of salary they have used). However, from April 2016 this will all change. From April 2016, the first £5k of dividends will be tax free, but you will then pay tax of 7.5% up […]
10th August 2015

Where are your Customers Hanging out Online?

Can you believe that Facebook has existed for over 11 years – doesn’t that make you feel old?! It may seem that social media is still the reserve of the young, however the reality is very different. In fact, it can be argued that Facebook is where the middle-aged hang out, and the youth of today spend most of their time documenting their time in short 10 second bursts on Snapchat. So,where do your demographic hang out these days? To […]
4th August 2015

The Year for Video Marketing

Imagine how powerful your marketing campaign could be if you utilised both words and images to get your message across. Video marketing has been on the edge of brilliance for a few years, but 2015 is set to be the year that it changes the way we communicate with our customers. Of all the data shared in the world, approximately 60% of it is video content, and 36% of that 60% is adverts. Marketeers are also taking advantage of this, […]
28th July 2015

Using your brand to engage with consumers online

Two of the biggest trends in digital marketing during the next year are set to be content marketing and customer experience. It is estimated that 78% of consumers prefer to build a relationship with brands that create unique and personalised content – that is a huge percentage. Companies can use blogs, social media, news stories and much more to get their message across to their consumers and potential customers. This way they can explain their brand identity and ideology. To […]
14th July 2015

Top 5 Reasons to Outsource your Work

very small business owner I meet has a passion and focus for what they are doing, but often I also notice there are times when they struggle to really drive their business forward because the day to day stuff is getting in the way.  Outsourcing the things which are essential to your business, but don’t need handling by you personally, could offer a perfect solution and open up new possibilities for concentrating your efforts on developing new clients. To read […]
23rd June 2015

What are you known for?

Your brand can be defined as what people say about you and your company when you’re not there? So, try asking yourself this question ‘what would people say about my brand?’ Unfortunately, what people want to be known for isn’t always what they actually are know for. Some companies spend thousands of pounds on re-brands, and then allow a members of staff to answer the phone in a rude or sullen manner. Thus totally ruining their brand and what they are […]
16th June 2015

You are what you think, so think positively…..

Have you ever thought about whether the thoughts that you think can impact on the moods you have and the way you behave? Studies undertaken by the Universities of Hull, Parma and St Louis suggest that this is the case, although it seems that there are two different areas to consider – what you’re born with, ans what you do with what you’re born with. Just as we’re all born with a certain body type, the researchers have found that […]
10th June 2015

What should be on my business card?

I do a lot of networking, so I receive and view a lot of business cards. Some business cards really have the ‘wow’ factor and others just make me cringe! Your business card is very important, and if you go networking, it is the first impression that you give to people. It needs to provide basic information, and it also should have something on it that people will remember you by. So, read on for what you should include on […]
5th June 2015

Forget the grades – find a graduate that fits your culture

Small companies (generally owner managed) have a unique culture which is heavily influenced by you as the owner. It is an extension of the way you work, your interests and your skills and experience. Your staff will have moulded themselves to fit within the way you operate. If they don’t get on with you a small business owner, there is only going to be one loser. However, taking on a graduate is a bit different. They can bring a new […]
1st June 2015

Why bother with your brand and marketing?

I  work  with  a  lot  of  small  businesses.  And  I’m  always  struck  by  how  much  they   (we)  are all  master  jugglers  -­‐  with  so  much  to think about  to  run  a  small  business,  it’s   easy  to  prioritise  immediate  concerns  –  we  all  have  constant  and  important   deadlines. But  this  isn’t  another  one  of  those  lectures  about  ‘separating  the  important  from  the urgent’…  my  intention  is  to  make  you  think about  why  your  brand  and  your   marketing […]
27th May 2015

Generating new business for your creative agency using the power of referrals (part 1)

When I have asked the owner of a creative agency what is their greatest source of new business, the answer is always ‘referrals’. Generating a constant stream of good introductions is vital if you want to grow your agency. Here’s one way of looking at it: Imagine you only had 2 customers. If, at the start of the year, they each referred two potential customers to you, and you converted 50% of those, then at the end of the January, […]
22nd May 2015

Automatically Capturing your Mileage with Tripcatcher

So, how does Tripcatcher work and what is it? It is a programme that makes it easier to record mileage expenses. It links with Google maps to calculate the distance you have travelled in seconds. Once you have the distance, you can decide how much you set per mile for business trips. Tripcatcher then put together an expenses report that can be printed, sent to Xero or sent to Receipt Bank. Tripcatcher also accurately calculates the VAT, which again saves […]
20th May 2015

How not to do networking

You usually start networking either because you have started your business and you hear that networking is a great way of meeting potential customers, or you are the sales person in your office and your boss wants you to do more networking to meet some new prospects. Either way, you turn up at one of these events, and the only pointers you have had is someone telling you to take a pile of business cards, hand them out to everyone and […]
15th May 2015

Why You Might Not Love Your Job

Some people may be very luck to be able to say that they love what they do. However, for others, they may dislike their job, or even hate it and find getting to work in the morning a real struggle. A survey has been carried out across 142 countries, that has stated that the proportion of employees who feel engaged at work is just 13%. Many people find work to be a dispiriting and depleting experience, and it may be […]
11th May 2015

TLC Loves…..Making Keeping Track of your Expenses Easier

The dreaded receipts are the scourge of every business owner. We all leave them until the end of the month or even the end of the year before looking at them don’t we? So, what if there was a way to automate the collection of the receipts so you don’t have to deal with the huge pile at the end of the month? Well, there is and it’s called Receipt Bank. To read more of this post click here
6th May 2015

Did you get my email about the order?

Have you ever placed an order with someone and then had to chase up at a later date as to whether they ever received it? Or, have you as the supplier been on the receiving end of the same email? If a person doesn’t acknowledge that you want to spend money with them, it makes you, as the paying customer, feel undervalued. It is also more likely to happen with a long term supplier, rather than a new one. With […]
30th April 2015

Why ‘Taking Part’ is Good for your Business

Have you noticed that every week there is a National Something day, or an Awareness day of some sort or another? In your area there will be promotional events such as food festivals, music festivals, book weeks etc. These events have increased in the last 10 years or so for several reasons, such as they raise awareness of a cause or issue and they often tie in with raising money for charity. As a business owner, you should really try […]
27th April 2015

Improve Employee Engagement with 6 Easy Steps

There are only a small percentage of employees who actually feel truly engaged and satisfied at work. Here is our list of 6 easy cost-effective things that you can do as a leader to change that: 1. Don’t forget, you are there for THEM. It is your job to lead/manage your employees effectively, so ask yourself, are you doing this? Take a look at yourself before you start assessing others. 2. Show some respect for your employees To read more […]
20th April 2015

Are you ready for Google’s April 21st Mobile Friendly Deadline?

Are you aware of the bog changes Google is going making? From 21st April, your top spot on the Google rankings maybe in jeopardy if your website is not built for mobile devices. Mobile friendly sites will gain the top spots over those businesses that are not mobile friendly. So, what exactly do these changes mean for you and your website? Simply, it means that if your website of not mobile friendly then it will appear lower down the rankings […]
13th April 2015

Music on Hold

Anyone who has even been placed on hold whilst on the telephone, has probably at some point listened to music on hold (MOH). However, finding the right music to play can be difficult, and therefore, research has been carried out to find out what waiting callers would prefer to listen to. The research showed that callers would most like to listen to well-known music, with 11% saying that they may wait a little longer on the phone if they listened […]
9th April 2015

Saving you time with Xero

Xero is an accounting programme that is now the fastest growing in its sector. Whilst it is similar to Sage, it is much simpler, without the complications and jargon that came along with Sage, and is also very easy to use. Xero can do almost everything to help you with your accounts – from basic sales invoices to creating an expense claim for you. Here are some of the great features associated with Xero:  – Integrate your bank account – […]
2nd April 2015

Google to Change the Way it Ranks Search Results

If you don’t have a website that is responsive or mobile friendly, now is the time to bite the bullet and go mobile. This is because Google has announced changes to the way it will be ranking search results in the future – in particular when searching on mobile devices. The number of users accessing sites on mobile devices is growing, and therefore, Google has announced that it believes changes are needed to optimise the end user’s experience by generating […]
30th March 2015

Why Updating Websites is Important

If you run a business, you need to ensure that you keep your website up to date. If you run any kind of event, course or workshop, you need to make sure it is on your website, otherwise you risk losing potential business. The same goes for those people who sell products at craft fairs or in art galleries. So, apart from missing potential customers, why is this so important? Well, as a starter, out of date information gives a […]
24th March 2015

Zero Hours Contracts

A zero hours contract does not provide any guaranteed hours for an employee. However, there are no obligations for a person to accept the hours that are offered to them, allowing them greater flexibility. This can often suit those people wanting part time work, or students or retired people who want to pick and choose their working hours around the other things they do. It really can be  a win-win situation for all concerned in the the circumstances. To read […]
20th March 2015

10 Good Reasons to Pay into a Pension Before April

There are big changes ahead on the pension front as of April 2015. So, read these top ten tips to ensure you make the most of your pension savings: 1.Immediate access to your pension savings for over 55’s – the changes to the legislation mean that the over 55’s will now be able to access their pension savings like they can with any other savings accounts. Generally, due to the combination of tax relief and tax free cash, pensions will […]
18th March 2015

5 Steps to Successfully Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Most businesses assume that their competitors are always trying to steal their customers. The reason for that is that in a large part, it’s true! A lot of businesses choose to stay in a bubble, where they refuse to welcome technology and innovation, which would lead to them having a competitive edge. Whilst you need to be aware of your competitors and what they are doing elsewhere to take your customers away, you also need to be self-aware about your […]