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In the business world today, the competition is becoming more serious. This is why it is crucial for business owners to pay attention to the latest trends to get ahead, especially for small businesses. Getting ahead means accessing new knowledge, skills, resources, and tools. And you can only learn these things when you break away from your comfort zone.

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Noel McDermott, a psychotherapist states that: “If you want to be a progressive business leader, now is the time to invest in the emotional and mental health of your team, they are after all your most valuable resource. Most organisations now understand fundamentally the link between a healthy workforce and increased productivity and most of us understand that health and wellness includes mental wellness.”

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Cybersecurity should be a top concern for small companies whether you do business primarily in the UK or in other countries as well. Even though news headlines usually focus on data breaches that happen to large companies and government organisations, it’s the small business that’s even more at risk. Why? Hackers are counting on small businesses to spend less on their cybersecurity budget and have weaker security than larger companies.

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Most people think that the whole point of SEO is that it makes your business more visible to customers. However, SEO can also help your visibility to other businesses. It can help you increase your customer base, yes, but it can also help you to improve your business relationships.

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The success of any business establishment is dependent on the mental and physical health of its employees. If they are demotivated or their morale damaged, chances are that they will not be efficient in their day-to-day duties. Being physically unhealthy also means employee absenteeism and an acute dip in productivity.

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There is a range of expenses you can claim for whilst running your business. You will incur a wide number of limited company expenses during the course of your work, ranging from printing and postage costs to purchasing computer equipment.
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SMEs generally need the capability to juggle many different tasks at any given moment. If you’re a new SME business your focus might be on finding suitable premises, financing your operation, strengthening your team or simply staying afloat. With a plethora of moving parts to consider, digital risk management can get left by the wayside. The risks, however, can be severe and are more prevalent in smaller businesses than they are in larger ones.

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It’s very easy for businesses to fall into the “just-in-case” trap. They keep paperwork (or its digital counterpart) to the extent that they are legally permitted “just in case” and as a result, bit by bit, they become overwhelmed by (digital) “stuff”, which is not really needed and certainly not wanted.

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 Reader’s question: As the sole director of my own company, if I pay myself £200 per week does this mean my corporation tax will be less? And what amount of dividends can I take?

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Social media can play a huge role in increasing the reach of your brand and business. Businesses of all sizes have taken advantage of what social media can offer, which is the direct connection with consumers worldwide. Social media is a prominent part of today’s society, it is widely used and most people use social media platforms on a daily basis, from tweeting about the latest political turmoil to posting a picture of an aesthetically pleasing hot chocolate on Instagram.
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Readers question: I own a limited company that is solvent and, due to medical issues, I wish to close it.  My question is, as the MD of the company, can I close it and receive a tax-free redundancy payment of £30,000?

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We look at the tax treatment of entertaining clients and employees – including the rules governing staff parties and taking potential clients out for lunch.
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Going to court is not something any business owner savours. It can also be a costly exercise, which can hit a small business hard.

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The idea of collecting loyalty points and getting rewards continues to be popular with customers. This is demonstrated by the fact that in the UK 77% of the population are members of a loyalty programme of some kind. Nearly half believe that loyalty programmes encourage their brand loyalty.

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Whether you are a small business or a big one, business trade shows are the perfect opportunity for your company to showcase what they do best. However, a lot of work needs to be put into making your trade show attendance successful for your business.

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If you’re looking for lucrative ways to raise capital for your startup business you have some options to consider. The good news is that it’s never been easier to raise startup funds than right now. You have a range of resources available at your fingertips, you just need to know where to look and the risks involved before making a decision.

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With the rise of e-commerce, the retail industry, and in particular the high-street retailers, has suffered hugely. Coupled with this, running a business always requires some risk, and the economic uncertainty only makes it tougher.

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Salary aside, most limited company directors (and shareholders) typically draw down most of their income in the form of dividends. Dividends are distributed by companies of all types in order to return a proportion of company profits back to their shareholders. Here we look at what are company dividends and how to calculate them.
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Sophie Hainsworth, Co-founder of LoyalFree, features in our latest success story to discuss everything from the inspiration for their app business to the process of developing it.

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You’re not a designer. You’re not a psychologist. But you started a small catering company, or you have decided to become a professional gardener or pet groomer. And like most small business owners, you don’t have the resources (yet) to hire an all-out professional design company to create the perfect brand identity, or to analyse the market for you. You have to make do.

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