• 16 things you must do before you start a new business

There may be times when you need access to extra funds to help with your business cashflow, or simply to know that a short-term lending facility is in place should you need it.
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With most workers now able to ask their employers for flexible working arrangements, what should small owners do when they receive a request?
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Limited company or sole trader?

by James Leckie ·May 18, 2015

One of the first things you need to consider before starting up is whether to register as a sole trader (or partnership), or set up a limited company. There are significant differences between the two types of business structure.
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Practical steps to get paid on time

by James Leckie ·May 15, 2015

At any given time, the nation’s smaller businesses are owed over £30 billion. Given that running out of cash is the leading reason why firms go under, what measures can you take to keep your cash flow running?
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Rapid advances in web technology over the past decade have made it easier than ever for small companies to compete on a more level playing field with their larger competitors. Here, we look at some of the cost-effective things you can put in place to make your small enterprise look like a larger business.
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If you’re self-employed (a sole trader) in the UK and carry out some of your work from your own home, then there’s good news for you: you’re likely entitled to include part of the running costs of your home in your accounts.
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One of the main components of any small business owner’s PR armoury is the trusty press release. If used successfully, they can generate lots of free publicity for your firm. Unfortunately, most press releases are consigned to the bin within seconds. So, how do you ensure that your releases are eye-catching?
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How do you switch business bank accounts?

by James Leckie ·May 7, 2015

Many small business owners are reluctant to move banking providers, even if they can get a better deal elsewhere. The perceived ‘hassle’ associated with a switch is the main reason. However, since 2013, the major banks have all guaranteed to complete a business bank account switch within 7 days.
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Limited company insurance – a concise guide

by James Leckie ·May 6, 2015

Given the number of potential misfortunes a typical limited company owner may encounter during the lifetime of a business, it will come as little surprise that insurance companies can provide dozens of different types of policy to cover pretty much any eventuality.
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If you work from commercial premises – either as a tenant or owner, you will probably have to pay business rates to your local council. Here we look at what business rates are, how much you have to pay, and the wide range of ‘relief’ schemes which are available to small businesses.
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How many directors must a limited company have?

by James Leckie ·April 29, 2015

Company law determines how many officials must be appointed to run private and public companies in the UK.
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Why discounting isn’t the best way to boost sales

by James Leckie ·April 27, 2015

If your sales figures are down, and you want a quick-fix solution, offering your customers a discount may seem your only option. However, this isn’t necessarily the best solution. Here we look at some alternatives to discounting.
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Almost every businessperson is looking to build their businesses and make more money – whether it’s more clients or selling more products. So why do some businesses make it so difficult to buy from them? Are you guilty of stopping people buying from you?
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Commercial solicitor Leigh Ellis explains what happens when a breach of contract occurs in business. Typically the injured party can either terminate or affirm (continue) with the terms. But, what happens if delays occur?
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PR on a budget – 10 tips for small businesses

by James Leckie ·April 21, 2015

You need to let the world know about your new business, but what if you have a small PR budget, or no budget at all? Here we look at how you can spread the word about your business for a minimal outlay.
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Flexible working guide for employers

by James Leckie ·April 20, 2015

2014 saw a change in the law that might signal a significant change in the working practices of businesses and individuals all over the UK, as the government rubber-stamped plans for flexible working for all employees.
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Capital allowances, the AIA, and your business

by James Leckie ·April 16, 2015

If you purchase an asset through your company (such as a new PC), the cost of the asset is written off over a period of time, unlike a business expense. So, how are capital assets treated in the company accounts?, and what are capital allowances used for?
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Commercial solicitor Leigh Ellis explains why business owners who import goods into the UK should perform crucial due diligence on VAT paid by suppliers in order to ensure there has been no fraudulent evasion – with particular reference to ‘carousel fraud’.
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How to be a confident presenter – essential tips

by James Leckie ·April 14, 2015

If you need to deliver presentations to your clients as part of your job, but find the whole prospect of public speaking daunting, try these essential tips from Paul Carroll of Toastmasters International on how to gain confidence as a presenter.
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In order to understand the reason for this, you need to understand the different types of rights that shares give their owners. Ordinary shares will generally have all of these rights but that doesn’t have to be the case and it’s this that gives rise to the benefit of different share classes.
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