Blog

Six Things you need to know about Bank Holidays

Posted 14th June 2019 at 7:42 am

bank holidays

England and Wales have eight permanent bank holidays per year: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Late Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Bank holidays are slightly different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.   Employees do not have a statutory right to take bank holidays off work. Employees can be expected to work on bank holidays, can have these designated as part of their annual leave entitlement, as additional paid holiday over and above their holiday entitlement, or any other arrangement as dictated by their contract of employment.   Similarly, employees have... Read more

Managing staff summer holidays

Posted 6th June 2019 at 2:20 pm

holiday

If you’re an SME or Micro-Business, the next few months can prove a real headache as a large proportion of your staff want to jet off for a well-earned summer holiday. This problem is of course compounded if the majority of your employees are parents, as they will all be needing to go away within the same 6 week period to avoid a hefty fine for school absence!   Factors to consider The most obvious consideration is ensuring that you are not understaffed by letting everyone go off on holiday at once. You should also be careful that anyone who... Read more

Business Awards – Are they worth the bother?

Posted 31st May 2019 at 10:30 am

business awards

The business awards season is in full swing, with photos of beaming finalists shared all over social media, giving attention at least temporarily, to their companies. But are these awards really worth it? Do they do anything for you as a company or an individual long term, or are they all about making money for the organisers? Well the obvious answer is that the organisers of any event-based awards are always going to get a lot more out of it financially than you are! With tables regularly charged at £1000 each (and considerably more in London), there is significant money... Read more

Protecting your State Pension

Posted 24th May 2019 at 9:47 am

state pension

Did you know that you could protect your entitlement to the State Pension by making a claim for Child Benefit? Child Benefit is a universal benefit payable to a person who is responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if in approved education or training), as a contribution from the government towards the cost of raising the child. It entitles you to £20.70 for the first child, and £13.70 for each additional child per week. Child benefit received for children under 12 also entitles you to National Insurance credits, which can help protect your entitlement to a State... Read more

Is that email REALLY from HMRC?

Posted 17th May 2019 at 10:48 am

phishing

Fake, fraudulent, or phishing emails are an unfortunate side-effect of the digital age. With fraudsters using ever more sophisticated technology to make their emails look legitimate, how can we tell genuine HMRC emails from the fakes? You might think that you just need to look at the email address to see if an email is from a legitimate source. This used to be the case, but now fraudsters have the ability to spoof email addresses, so they can make it look like their phishing email is from a legitimate HMRC email address. This means we have to look for other... Read more

Professional Development: Finding the Perfect Fit

Posted 10th May 2019 at 9:58 am

professional development

We all want our staff (including ourselves!) to be up to date with the latest skills, knowledge and understanding that enable us to do our jobs effectively. But how do we ensure that the professional development opportunities we access aren’t just an expensive time-wasting exercise?   Find the ‘hook’ You can only professionally develop someone if they want to engage in the process. This means finding a ‘hook’ that shows them the benefit of getting involved. That might be a payrise, a qualification, a promotion, or just the prospect of not getting sacked for being terrible at their job! The... Read more

Share Incentives: Reward your most talented employees

Posted 3rd May 2019 at 7:20 am

Are you keen to recruit, motivate and retain the most talented employees for your business? Many companies offer ‘extras’ as part of their employee benefits package such as health insurance, a discount perks scheme with national retailers, cash bonuses or sales commission. Some companies even offer free music lessons, or an in-house subsidised bar! While these can help to attract employees to the company initially, will they make them stay if they get a better offer elsewhere? The answer is, probably not! So if you’re looking to attract and keep your most talented workers, then it might be worth considering... Read more

How will the Clean Air Zone affect you?

Posted 26th April 2019 at 8:14 am

Due to their concerns about rising pollution rates, and the associated health risks, the government has tasked major cities across the UK, including Birmingham, to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) from January 2020.    What is a Clean Air Zone?  A Clean Air Zone is a targeted approach to improve air quality, by discouraging high-polluting vehicles from entering a certain area. There is no outright ban on vehicles entering the zone, but those that are not deemed to have clean enough engines will have to pay a daily charge to travel in that area.   Where are the Clean... Read more

Planning your Exit Strategy

Posted 18th April 2019 at 8:42 am

However enthusiastic you are about your business, no-one wants to run theirs forever! At the very least, business owners will want to enjoy some years of retirement after all their hard work, and some people may want to cut ties with their business well before that stage. Some may prefer to go back into employment, or decide that they want to explore a new venture and start their entrepreneurial journey all over again. Whatever your reason for leaving your business, you will need a suitable exit strategy, which will be closely linked to your motivation for leaving. If it is... Read more

Choosing the right business strategy

Posted 12th April 2019 at 1:10 am

When preparing to grow your company, you need to consider which business strategy will best fit your needs, and the aims within your business plan. Some strategies are linked to cost & pricing, while others are linked to innovation and adaptation, and some emphasise quality and excellence, but all of them have the potential to grow your business if applied correctly.   Cost & Pricing Strategies Some of the cost strategies that businesses might employ include undercutting their competitors – delivering an equivalent quality but at a reduced price – or offering a no-frills version of their competitors’ products and... Read more