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

As the EU Referendum on 23 June draws closer, many small business owners are still unclear on how leaving or staying in the EU will affect their businesses. The UK200Group has therefore identified ten key events that are intended to provide further clarity ahead of the EU referendum.
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The issue of late payments to SMEs continues to be controversial. The UK government is quick to point out that it led the way in late payment legislation, yet many critics (and business owners) feel that the law is not robust enough to help them.
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Small businesses that have been turned down for finance elsewhere and are desperate for loans are at the mercy of dozens of untrustworthy new lenders charging as much as 5 per cent interest per month, and there are no rules in place to protect them from being swindled.
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We’re forever hearing about the death of the high street and how small business is being beaten by emerging internet giants. In many cases this has proven to be indisputably true; shops have closed; service providers have folded; their online counterparts have flourished. The true beauty of the most recently emerged digital tech however, is that it is genuinely universal.
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In light of new proposals from The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA), small businesses should find it easier to compare bank accounts to find the best service and price.
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Whether its clients “forgetting” to pay, stalling for time before settling their bill – or sometimes just deciding not to pay you at all – having to chase up money that’s rightfully yours is frustrating and time-consuming.
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SMEs are backing the Remain campaign, new data from Close Brothers reveals, but only by a small minority and with many firms still undecided. The research suggests that with just weeks remaining until Britons vote on continued membership of the EU, campaigners for and against Brexit still have much to play for.
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When you supply goods or services to other businesses, you’ll usually extend them some form of credit. Setting the right credit terms is essential if you are to protect your business from the risk of late payment.
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Were you aware that more consumers today use a portable Internet device like a smartphone or tablet to make purchases or locate new businesses to buy from than from a traditional desktop computer or laptop? This alone is ample reason to make your website mobile-friendly.
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Skills shortages have been a major concern for British business for many years now, and recent research by PeoplePerHour (PPH) has revealed that the problem has reached its peak, with almost two thirds of SMEs admitting that in the last three years they’ve abandoned the search for permanent staff members and have instead turned to freelance and remote workers.
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After last year’s event saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year, the nationwide event to support, inspire and promote small businesses is back for another year.
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According to new research by the CBI and international technology and consulting firm, IBM, a digital divide is opening up across the British Economy. Just over half of “pioneer” firms are adopting digital technologies, while the other half are falling behind.
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Yesterday’s announcement by the Electoral Commission saw ‘Vote Leave’ and ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ designated as the two official LEAVE and REMAIN EU referendum campaign groups.
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Many SMEs leverage the power of the internet to broaden their horizons and trade with companies overseas. It’s also allowed micro-businesses and freelancers to compete with much larger suppliers, both in the UK and elsewhere, without the costly fees associated with a traditional merchant account.
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Many people see the idea of using ‘big data’ in business as something that is exclusively for large businesses, says co-founder of The Good Till Co., Oliver Rowbory. Surely the ability to analyse and use such information requires not only expensive data, but also numerous staff to maintain, support and work on these platforms, before translating what the data is really saying to the management team, right?
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From April 2017, 600,000 small firms will not have to pay business rates, while some 250,000 will pay less in business rates. Osborne said that the 600,000 small businesses relieved of paying business rates from next April would see an annual saving of nearly £6,000.

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As work environments evolve, driven by the desire to realise company productivity and efficiency gains, offices or workspaces are now becoming increasingly activity-based rather than just somewhere you go to complete daily work tasks.

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Business Analysts are often perceived as being part of a bigger corporate structure.  However it is more common now for smaller businesses to utilise a Business Analyst skillset, whether that be permanent or contract – according to Matt Smith from BusinessAnalystjobs.co.uk.

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The way small businesses and sole traders operate is changing. Online apps are now essential tools for businesses across the board, but with developments coming thick and fast it is easy to get left behind.
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Every day and all over the world, there are countless meetings taking place to determine the online strategy of companies. Almost every company has asked itself what role it should be playing on social media at some point, and while it is already a key discussion point, its importance only increases with every passing day.
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