UKBusinessConnect.com: Blog UKBusinessConnect.com: Blog http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/ Copyright by UKBusinessConnect.com en UKBusinessConnect.com Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:57:57 -0400 5 Ways UK Businesses Are Using Virtual Offices To Benefit Their Startup Business

Your startup really can benefit from a plan that allows businesses to establish an online format. This can mean wonders for your business in the UK because it eliminates the costs that go along with procuring office space. Furthermore, professionals in some of the UK’s larger cities no longer have to worry about paying exorbitant rents because the virtual office virtually eliminates the physical office.

Businesses are no longer confined to physical boundaries to establish themselves, and the startup is one example of how a tech-savvy world has moved physical reality into an online format. The virtual office can do this because all a person needs to manage a business online is a reliable connection, a device, and a plan for devising business infrastructure. Click on Servcorp London’s virtual office at www.servcorp.co.uk/en/virtual-offices/ to see exactly what is needed to run your office in this format.

Continue reading to find out how startups in the UK are using the virtual office to their benefit.

Avoid Complicated Leasing

One of the major benefits to UK business is that the virtual office has one the least complicated leases available today. For one, the length of these contracts are much shorter with some being month-to-month, and the deposits usually are only one month’s rent, making coming with startup costs easy. Because the leases are uncomplicated, businesses will find when relocating to another office space, that the transition is much smoother, especially if the serviced office provider has offices in other locations.

Manage Employees Effectively

Past versions of the virtual office were antiquated, and while supervisors could communicate with their employees, the ability to fully interact with employees in a timely manner was somewhat inhibited. Today’s virtual office software has made it possible for managers to fully engage employees, even being able to track their progress and communicate in real time. In fact, through online business management systems, companies can manage an online office effectively regardless of where the employee works.

Hiring Employees

Another place where the virtual office has helped startups is related to attracting and hiring talent. The virtual office, in many ways, has levelled the playing field where smaller companies can choose from a variety of candidates when hiring. As opposed to being confined to a geographical location, startups can now take advantage of scouting possible hires from around the world.

Furthermore, the virtual office has also changed the way small businesses hire people. In the past, most businesses outside of the guilds relied on part-time or full-time help. Today, cash-strapped startups can easily hire contract workers online for a simple job to avoid payroll costs associated with hiring full-time and part-time help in the UK.

Increase Productivity

Another added benefit for the startup business is that your employees are actually more productive when not confined to a specific office space. Productivity levels rise because your employees complete their work around their schedules if permitted. Moreover, the amount of money you spend in office space in comparison to the time your employees actually work with the virtual office is more cost-effective because when you do meet on-site your employees are actually at work.

Professional Image

Finally, unlike remote-working, your virtual office provides you with a phone number, a dedicated address, and office support. For many, these offices are located in some of the finest business districts in the UK, areas that would normally cost thousands to lease yearly. Ultimately, the virtual office can help you reduce overhead while providing your business with a professional image.

Begin Your Startup With A Virtual Office

The flexibility of the virtual office can provide your startup with the tools needed to manage an office online. With your virtual office, you can hire and manage employees, increase business productivity and project a professional image all on a dime. More significantly, this flexibility lends itself to allowing your business to expand or move around the globe with only an internet connection and a device.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/5-ways-uk-businesses-are-using-virtual-offices-to-benefit-their-startup-business/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/5-ways-uk-businesses-are-using-virtual-offices-to-benefit-their-startup-business/ Editor Tue, 04 Sep 2018 03:43:53 -0400
Guide to commercial property insurance The value of commercial property in the UK has grown by an average 3% a year since the turn of the millennium, according to a report in Finance Monthly on the 12th of February 2018. Commercial property investments currently total an estimated £486 billion and, if you want to expand your portfolio, 2018 may be just the year to do it, says Finance Monthly.

The figures help to underscore the considerable sums invested in commercial property. With that scale of investment, every single property needs to be adequately protected against loss or damage – and the means for securing that protection lie in commercial property insurance.

What it covers

So how does commercial property insurance safeguard your investment – what does it cover?

Building and contents insurance

  • the principal concern of any commercial property insurance, of course, is to safeguard the structure and fabric of the building, and its contents, against a wide range of risks – including flooding, fire, explosions, storm damage, impacts from vehicles or falling objects, theft and vandalism;
  • your tenants or leaseholders remain responsible for arranging their own insurance for the contents they own;

Public liability insurance

  • more than any other type of property, perhaps, commercial property is more than usually vulnerable to the liabilities that come with being the owner and landlord of the property;
  • commercial buildings are likely to attract more than the usual number of visitors and accommodate your tenants and their staff – if any one of these, a neighbour, or a member of the public is injured or has their property damaged through some connection with the property, you may be held liable and ordered to pay compensation;
  • those claims may be substantial – especially if injuries or even death are involved – so the public liability indemnity insurance typically incorporated in commercial property insurance is usually no less than £1 million and is frequently £5 million or more if the building is large or especially prestigious;

Compensation for loss of rental income

  • you are likely to have invested in commercial property not only for the expected capital appreciation of the asset but also the steady income from the rents you receive from tenants and leaseholders;
  • if a serious insured event leaves the property temporarily unusable, that rental income is forfeit, so commercial property insurance also typically provides for compensation for the loss of income;

Buying commercial property insurance

  • given the size of your investment and the potential for severe losses through damage to the building, your liabilities as the landlord or loss of rental income, there is a lot at stake in the commercial property insurance you arrange;
  • therefore, you might want to draw on the expertise and advice of a specialist broker to help identify your needs and requirements for suitable cover at a competitive price;
  • a specialist broker’s knowledge of this sector of the insurance market helps to ensure that you are offered the most competitively priced products and also comes to the fore in assessing and managing the risks to which your commercial property is exposed.

If you are considering an investment in commercial property or planning to expand or diversify your current investment portfolio, therefore, you need to consider the safeguards and protection offered by commercial property insurance.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/guide-to-commercial-property-insurance/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/guide-to-commercial-property-insurance/ Editor Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:19:50 -0400
Is BYOD Beneficial for your Business Startup?  Despite a strained economic and geopolitical climate, UK-based SMEs continue to showcase almost indefatigable confidence. In fact, 65% of small and medium-sized firms in Britain predict growth of up to 40% during the next two years, against the uncertain backdrop of Brexit and a reported shortfall in available funding.

Much of this has to do with the technologies and opportunities now available to SMEs, many of which have the potential to minimise start-up and operational costs while also optimising growth potential.

Take the renowned concept of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), for example, through which entrepreneurs allow their employees to utilise their personal devices to complete core business tasks. But what are the benefits of this practice, and is it a viable option for your SME?

The Benefits of BYOD, and why They're Relevant to SMEs

One of the most compelling arguments for BYOD revolves around its natural advantages, which can be leveraged by SMEs to achieve a quicker and more cost-effective route to market.

In simple terms, deploying the principles of BYOD negates the need to invest in costly hardware such as smartphones, personal computers or PDAs, while it also transfers the cost of maintaining these devices directly to users. This taps into the increasingly prominent role that technology plans in the everyday lives of modern consumers and employees, with more than six million Brits now owning both a smartphone and a tablet in the modern age.

It's also possible to buy your phones smart for business use and identify ways in which users can make savings of their own, primarily by pairing a SIM-only contract with a carefully selected data plan to drive more cost-effective usage.

As a result, startups and burgeoning SMEs can invest more capital into strategic activities such as sales, marketing and operations, while contributing to a more efficient and agile business model.

At the same time, they can empower their staff members, studies have also found that in excess of 70% of firms believe that BYOD improves employee productivity and subsequent customer response times. This has much to do with the fact that your teams have the flexibility to use devices outside of traditional work hours and in a way that best suits their preferred modes of operation, creating a sense of empowerment that can drive businesses forward.

Implementing a BYOD Policy – The Key Considerations

While the benefits of implementing a BYOD policy are easy to see, the success of this depends on effective implementation and your ability to consider aspects such as data protection, wireless network security and financial implications. These include:

  • Access Rights and Data Security: The EU is set to unveil a revised data protection regulation later this month, in the form of the GDPR. UK firms will need to adhere for the foreseeable future, and from the perspective of BYOD it's important that firms can guarantee relevant network accessibility while also protecting sensitive information. To achieve this, you'll need to empower IT as an enabler, ensuring that data is stored securely while also accessible across a safeguarded, wireless network.
  • User Accountability: One of the risks associated with BYOD is that users themselves bear a heavy responsibility when it comes to the secure handling and transfer of data. So, while you must never lose sight of your own responsibility for the security of your businesses network and data (particularly as your firm grows and more devices are brought into the workplace) it's imperative that you also create a culture of individual accountability among your employees.
  • Financial Management: As more devices are integrated into your businesses network, you're likely to encounter a higher proportion of support issues. This can incur additional costs, so you'll need to adopt a proactive approach to managing and negating these. More specifically, you should implement a strict and clear policy for employees who are reporting issues, as you look to optimise efficiency and correct issues as quickly as possible.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to employ BYOD into your SME is a personal one. With the right policy, however, there's no doubt that this can deliver huge benefits for your business in terms of cost, productivity and bottom line profitability. 

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/is-byod-beneficial-for-your-business-startup/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/is-byod-beneficial-for-your-business-startup/ Editor Fri, 18 May 2018 22:22:57 -0400
Top Ways to Build a Loyal Customer Base One of the most critical aspects of sustaining a successful business is by building a loyal customer base. Whether your base is in the B2B or B2C sector, both types of client are necessary for you to operate as a business in your chosen industry. Although they are vital to company success, this area can be one of the most difficult to grow especially with the amount of competition nipping at your heels. Building a strong and loyal customer base takes time, patience and a strong will to push it in the right direction. Quality often means so much more than quantity when it comes to this area too, as you can have a database of millions but if only a few are interested in what you’re selling, it could spell disaster for your company.

So how do you build a loyal customer base and convince them to trust your products and services? Take a look at some of the ways to do just that.

Find your niche

Establishing a client base in your niche is paramount to business success. This might seem like you are narrowing the market too tightly, but why waste your efforts on people that will not have any interest in what you have to offer. Building a quality portfolio that responds to your brand is vital for getting these customers to come back time and time again. This stage can also be one of the most time consuming especially for small businesses that have little time to spare. To make life easier, using an email address finder can ensure you have targeted information while saving time during the contact stage.

Treat customers as people, not a statistic

In today’s buying culture, it is essential for customers to feel part of the process. Both B2B and B2C consumers want something personalized to their needs and if they cannot find that in your company, they will not think twice about going elsewhere. As most consumers purchase goods and services through recommendation, it is vital to have a good reputation amongst people to prosper in a competitive climate.

Get feedback to improve

Feedback is a vital part of how your business adapts to customer demands. If you don’t take it onboard, you may fall behind against competitors who are striving to improve and get ahead. Asking for feedback should be a part of your processes, and you should not be afraid of what might be disclosed. Negative feedback has its place and can help your business make adjustments to do better in the future.

Reward loyalty

Everyone likes a freebie, and it can often be a draw for new customers or clients that come on-board. Although this is a useful tactic in most cases, ensuring you don’t forget about your existing customers is vital to sustaining good relationships. There are many ways to reward loyalty including discounts, offers and special prices for returning visitors.

Building your customer base can be a daunting task but utilizing the above points will help get you started. Remember, without your customer, your business wouldn’t be thriving like it is today, so make sure to treat them fairly.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/top-ways-to-build-a-loyal-customer-base/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/top-ways-to-build-a-loyal-customer-base/ Editor Sat, 05 May 2018 08:17:43 -0400
Outsourcing vs. Buying Equipment for your Landscaping Business Starting any business requires a substantial amount of capital that could bankrupt you if the business is unable to break even in the allocated time. At times, you may have to make a spousal RRSP withdrawal to pay off your bills or just to survive and especially when you spend too much of your capital on assets.

Naturally, a new business will require basic assets.

  • Truck and Utility Trailer

Lawn mowing equipment is heavy and will need a truck to get it to its destination. Relying on rentals at all times may be a bit expensive for our company and so you may one to buy one that you will use for our personal errands as well as the business. The more important thing is to remember how to apportion the expenses when doing your accounting.

Of you have lots of equipment that needs hoisting and holding down in place, a trailer is a good idea as it has restraints that will keep the movable items in place. A new trailer will cost $1,500 and above while side rails and a ramp gate could go for $800 and above.

  • Mower

A mower is our most important equipment as almost every activity in grounds maintenance relies on it. The prices for mowers depend on brand and power among other things. If you have enough capital, buying these would be more beneficial to leasing them but that would also depend on usage.

  • Safety Gear and Other Gardening Tools

Leaf blowers, helmets, earmuffs, and work boots are a must have in the industry as you will be working with potentially dangerous plants. The noise goes was about 95bB and so it needs muffling. Most of these items are quite small and reasonably priced and so there would be no need to lease them.

Why Lease?

If you are only getting started, then you may not have the capital required to get in the business. The cost could easily add up to over $200,000 but there are companies out there specializing in leasing these equipment.

  • Cheaper

If you need several mowers per week and for a limited time, it would cost less to lease than to buy them only to store them when you don’t need them. Also, storage cost that most people hardly consider adds up and makes the cost of doing business higher than necessary.

  • Access to Quality Equipment

The higher the quality of the equipment, the more it costs and the better job it will do, presumably. Since technology keeps changing, you may prefer to just lease equipment that promises to give you great results as opposed to buy one that gets overtaken by new technology.

  • Maintenance is out

Since you don’t own the equipment, you are not mandated to maintain it. Your only responsibility is to ensure that it gets back to the sourcing company in good condition. You will also not need to worry about its security as long as the equipment is not in your premises.

Do your homework

Always do your homework before deciding what works best for you. Both small and large companies benefit from leasing especially with the ever-changing technology.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/outsourcing-vs-buying-equipment-for-your-landscaping-business/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/outsourcing-vs-buying-equipment-for-your-landscaping-business/ Editor Mon, 23 Apr 2018 23:46:44 -0400
Business 101: How To Reduce Startup Costs When you first start your construction business, you need to find a way to reduce the initial startup costs to maintain a steady, sturdy return on investment. Initially, there won’t be a hugely significant return on investment because you do, in this particular case, need to spend money to make money. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just freely spend money. As any businessperson knows, you need to be, after the initial startup phase, spending less than you earn. If you don’t do that, then all of that spent money turns into debt which you may not be able to pay off. And this, of course, derails your chance to create a thriving and successful business.

One of the most important things you need to do when starting your business is to consider the cost of materials that you will need to purchase. Also, you’ll need to be able to recycle them, reuse them, and reduce your need for them. Around twelve-percent of construction materials are wasted when they don’t need to be. There are many inexpensive ways of recycling materials which will lessen the costs of disposing of those old materials. With the help of strong planning, you can get a good idea of all that you will need. That way, you aren’t forced to either buy a bunch of new materials or dispose materials you can no longer use. Remember, though, there are a lot of materials that you can reuse, provided you store them properly. This is imperative to remember, and you will have to put a bit of extra money upfront to do this, but the rewards of doing so are hugely valuable.

Negotiate your contracts and make sure that you take the time to work with your suppliers to build a relationship with them. If you don’t do this, it just doesn’t work. Relationships are the key to maintaining and sustaining a successful construction business, and this will save you money on startup costs, as well as allowing you to continue saving money as you continue to run your business.

Make the tools you have cost-efficient. As I’m sure you already know, things like backhoes and trucks are not cheap. However, you can rent these from a rental company, like Flex Fleet. This will allow you to rent trucks to transport materials and employees to the site. Rent what you need for that project then return them when you’re done. It’s that simple.

New technologies can be a little expensive at first, but a big part of reducing your startup costs has to do with making sure that your dollars go as far as they can.  Invest in software that will allow you to manage your finances and business in a more efficient and streamlined manner. Even free cloud software is greatly beneficial.

If you do those things, you’ll reduce a lot of your startup costs and you’ll save a lot of money down the line as you continue to run your business!

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/business-101-how-to-reduce-startup-costs/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/business-101-how-to-reduce-startup-costs/ Editor Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:27:34 -0400
UK Freezing Weather Impacts Economic Growth, Derails Previous Predictions The beginning of this month, the UK began to brace for more than snow and freezing weather. Experts warned that the bad weather would send a chill over Britain’s economy and lead to a short-term hit to growth. This is disappointing news after the encouraging expectations at the beginning of 2018.

Many economists had forecasted that the first three months of this year would experience a 0.4% GDP growth. Now, the weather is expected to impact sectors like retailing and construction. The retail industry will feel the effects of the harsh weather conditions as well. Supply chains of big businesses and restaurants and the travel sector will also be affected.

Retail expert Phil Dorrell says that the snow and ice could be a “disaster” for the high street, since more people will be staying home and doing their shopping online. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that many of high streets have been desolate during the severe weather conditions. The chairman of the FSB, Mike Cherry, stated that firms “will feel the pain of the temporary drop in trade.”

In fact, economist Howard Archer, chief adviser to the forecasting group EY Item Club, says the weather is going to cut the 0.4% GDP growth in half. He says if this weather persists for too long, it could reduce the first quarter GDP to 0.1% or 0.2%.

Archer went on to say, "There will obviously be a significant hit to UK economic activity.” However, he also stressed that it is "important to bear in mind that much of the lost activity will eventually be recouped".

In the coming weeks, these businesses may discover that they need a boost of cash to cover day-to-day costs, like paying their employees. Rent, utilities and other expenses may become a challenge as well. A merchant bank account may be the solution they are looking for, not just for payment processing services but for fast, flexible business funding.

"Even among those which have battled on, many have been affected by customers or supplies being unable to reach them. The financial cost of severe weather events on small firms averages at around £7,000 for each affected business.”

“It comes at a time when many have been affected by rises in business rates, increasing employment costs and the effects of the weak pound," Cherry explains.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Taylor Cole is a passionate entrepreneur who also enjoys to write, play guitar and camp. Bestpaymentproviders is UK's best merchant bank account company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/uk-freezing-weather-impacts-economic-growth-derails-previous-predictions/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/uk-freezing-weather-impacts-economic-growth-derails-previous-predictions/ Editor Fri, 06 Apr 2018 01:43:14 -0400
Tradesmen finance options Burgeoning demand for their services and a general shortage of the necessary skills mean that some tradesmen are able to earn six times the UK’s national average wage, according to a report by Simply Business on the 19th of September 2017.

Like any small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), however, the successful independent tradesman is from time to time likely to need access to additional external finance. It might be required for:

  • meeting a temporary shortfall in your cashflow;
  • purchasing additional tools and equipment;
  • advertising and marketing your skills and services;
  • seizing an order or commission that is too good to miss; or
  • expanding your business.

Faced with any of these or other opportunities, what are your options for tradesman finance?

Tradesman finance

As a busy and hardworking tradesman, when you want to borrow money for your business, you want to do so as simply and in as straightforward a way as possible, so that the requested funds are available to you as fast as possible.

To achieve that end result, you are likely to need a lender who goes out of their way to understand your business – a lender who may have been directly involved in running a small business themselves. That means a lender who is prepared to work with you in assessing the appropriate business loan to meet your current objectives, within your existing financial constraints.

Your options for tradesman finance then become a question of deciding how much you need to borrow over what period of time. Typically, business loans for tradesmen may be available from as little as £5,000 or so, right up to a maximum of £100,000. The critical issue of the cost of that credit also needs to be taken into account.

Some specialist lenders may be prepared to express that cost of credit as a single fixed sum, including all the interest and fees, together with the amount borrowed, repayable in equal instalments over the agreed term of the loan. That gives you the certainty an knowledge likely to make managing the repayments and your ongoing cashflow considerably more straightforward.

Nevertheless, you are still likely to appreciate flexibility in any schedule of repayments. If you encounter further cashflow or other temporary difficulties, for instance, you might need to delay or reschedule repayments. Some lenders are sufficiently sympathetic to such requests, discuss with you any alternative arrangements available and impose no financial penalty for the changes made.

On the other hand, if the tradesman finance you secured successfully boosts your business, you might want to clear the outstanding loan ahead of time and repay the balance early. You might want to choose a lender who allows that course of action without imposing any penalty.

Speed

As a tradesman, you are likely to be working in a challenging and fast-moving business environment – you want decisions about any borrowing to be made quickly.

To meet these demands, it is now possible to make an online enquiry about borrowing the amount you need, over a chosen period, and to receive a decision in principle almost immediately.

If your request for tradesman finance is approved in principle, this is followed by the lender’s consideration of a formal application, to which a decision may be given and the funds transferred electronically to your business within little more than 48 hours.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/tradesmen-finance-options/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/tradesmen-finance-options/ Editor Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:36:34 -0400
Motor trade insurance tips If you are a motor trader, the vehicles that come into your possession – for the services you offer or because you are buying and selling them – are exempt from the rules that apply to private cars under the so-called continuous insurance enforcement legislation.

Instead, you may register as a motor trader and have the right to use trade plates in place of separate tax and change of ownership each time a vehicle comes temporarily into your possession.

To register as a motor trader, however, you must provide evidence that you have motor trade insurance – which extends legally required insurance cover to any named driver, whatever the particular vehicle (already in trade use by you or owned by one of your customers).

Here are some tips, therefore, on what to look out for when arranging your motor trade insurance:

Your general approach

  • it matters little whether you are a large, franchised motor dealer or a one-workshop motor mechanic, whether you run a valeting service or are simply buying and selling cars on a part-time basis to earn a little extra cash – the principles of motor trade insurance are the same;

Road risks insurance

  • this is probably the heart of any motor trade insurance since it provides the legally required third-party cover, together with any additional accidental damage insurance – such as third-party, fire and theft or comprehensive cover you need;
  • this cover applies to any vehicle that comes into your possession, is used for trade purposes and is driven by a driver named on your trade insurance certificate;
  • when a potential buyer wants to test drive a car you have for sale, this is also the form of insurance that grants the necessary cover;

Tools, equipment and premises

  • whether you are preparing cars you have bought for resale, repairing, servicing or maintaining them for customers, or even providing a valeting service, you are likely to have invested in a range of tools, equipment and machinery;
  • to safeguard that investment, you might want to ensure that your motor trade insurance provides the necessary protection against theft, loss or damage;
  • if you are operating from premises that you either own or lease, you might also want to consider the – often optional – possibility of insuring the structure and fabric of the building against such major risks as fire, flooding, explosions, impacts, vandalism and theft;

Liability insurance

  • often overlooked by those setting up their first small business are the risks associated with your liabilities as the owner;
  • amongst these is your public liability in the event of a customer, a visitor to your premises, a neighbour or a member of the public suffering an injury or having their property damaged through some contact with your business, for which they hold you liable;
  • in the event of a successful claim, you might be ordered to pay a substantial sum in damages – especially if personal injuries are involved;
  • public liability insurance indemnifies you against such claims and the legal costs and expenses typically involved in defending them;
  • this is designed to ensure that you meet any claims raised by employees who may have been injured or who have contracted a longer-term medical condition through their work for you and the legislation requires you to hold at least £5 million of indemnity.

Any motor trader has the requirement for specialist motor trade insurance to avoid the need for separate cover for each vehicle that comes into his possession. By following these tips and suggestions, you may be certain of arranging the insurance appropriate to your individual needs and circumstances.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/motor-trade-insurance-tips/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/motor-trade-insurance-tips/ Editor Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:30:27 -0500
Finding the right travel website designers Back in the 1970s, the Internet and travel websites didn’t exist.

In those days, finding someone to generate a software solution usually involved finding a programmer. The more eccentric the individual was and the more incomprehensible techno-speak they used, the more in demand they typically were!

Business knowledge

It is only over the last 20 years that sponsoring companies have started to deemphasise the need for perceived technical genius in the sense of coding. That is an important change driven by the realisation that automating (programming) a bad business process on a website doesn’t give you a good process – it simply gives you a faster bad one.

Therefore, today one of the chief criteria when looking for travel website designers might be organisations or individuals who, at the outset, have an excellent understanding of the basic travel industry.

They also need to understand the end customer and peer-to-peer business processes within the travel industry because if they don’t, then technical skills alone may not compensate for their naivety and you may be back to fast bad processes.

Graphics knowledge

Another huge change in the selection criteria applied to travel website designers over the last 10 to 15 years has come about as a result of the increased display capabilities of technology.

The explosion of graphics and intuitive customer engagement models, such as touch screens, has meant that graphic design has become an exceptionally important skill for travel website designers. An extensive and demonstrable track record in that is important, as you may know if you have ever seen sites where such skills were presumably absent.

Customer interface psychology

This is closely linked to the above-mentioned business process skills but with some differences.

Perhaps the easiest way to envisage this is to consider those websites you might have visited, where you find yourself looking at a screen containing no clear indication as to what you need to do next to progress further. Other examples include screens asking for information which is highly ambiguous.

Website designers need to bring skills to the table that allow them to empathise with the customer engagement experience, so as to ensure that everything required is visible when needed and presented in a logical sequence.

Technical skills

Having earlier slightly downplayed this area, such skills are, of course, as important today as they have ever been.

Examples of what happens when a website designer is unable to deploy such skills, can regularly be seen on websites when clicking buttons that do nothing or which generate only technical error messages.

A commitment to quality

If you have ever used a website which failed to function correctly, you should be questioning not the programming error but why it was not picked up in the website developer’s testing regime.

It is essential that travel website designers have a total cultural commitment to quality inspections before they release their products to you for final testing and acceptance. This should not be a role that they somehow delegate to you.

Post implementation support capabilities

Even the best-engineered websites will occasionally encounter some form of technical problem.

In such situations, your business may come to a grinding halt until it is fixed. That is not the time you’ll want to find that there is nobody available in your designer’s office to assist or that they can’t get back to you for a couple of weeks because they’re too busy.

Be absolutely certain that you understand what support they will be able to provide you with and under what response time circumstances. Don’t wait to have that discussion for the first time in the context of a live technical crisis!

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/finding-the-right-travel-website-designers/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/finding-the-right-travel-website-designers/ Editor Mon, 05 Feb 2018 10:55:43 -0500
Insurance requirements for your manufacturing business The term “manufacturing business” can mean different things to different people.

It might conjure up images of a vast site producing enormous quantities of goods and/or materials but in practice, significant numbers of manufacturers are relatively small-scale operations. In some instances, it might even be a sole-trader manufacturing specialist antique machine parts from a unit in their own garden.

Whatever the size of your business though, it might benefit from manufacturers’ insurance.

The risks

Some risks might be self-evident, such as damage to your premises through natural events such as storms, floods, subsidence and fire etc.

In other cases, the risks might be less obvious, possibly including things such as:

  • product liability. If you’re selling something you’ve manufactured then potentially you may be held accountable under law should it subsequently be proven to have been faulty and have led to problems as a result;
  • Your ongoing existence is put at risk by a customer who has failed to pay your bills when due;
  • professional liability. This might be an issue if you’re offering advice and guidance as part of your manufacturing business and such advice is subsequently shown to have been incorrect leading to material losses for the customer concerned;
  • cyber liability. If you accidentally infect or unintentionally provide an unauthorised gateway into another company’s IT systems, you may be sued for compensation. Cyber-attacks are a growing risk, as this BBC report published 23rd January 2017 indicates;
  • errors and omissions. The reality of life is that some of your customers and perhaps even suppliers, might not simply be prepared to forgive and forget errors or omissions on your part that have caused them negative consequences;
  • loss in transit. That might happen when your finished products outbound or raw materials inbound, are lost or damaged in transit.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the risks faced by a manufacturing business. The list might illustrate though why it could be important to have appropriate manufacturing business insurance in place.

Customise your cover

Of course, not all of the above risks apply equally to all manufacturing businesses.

For example, if your business is operating as a sole trader, you typically won’t need employers’ liability insurance. If you only ship your finished product based on payment in advance, then credit risk insurance perhaps won’t be necessary either.

That’s why it’s important to think carefully about the exact operational nature of your business and the risks it faces. From that, you’ll be able to consider what sort of cover you need and what sort you find to be either inapplicable or not really necessary in your situation.

Seek advice

That sort of analysis isn’t always easy and it will need to be matched against an understanding of what policies are available and how they can be adjusted to accurately reflect your requirements.

Should that be the case, it might be advisable to discuss your situation with an experienced provider of manufacturers’ insurance. They should be able to outline the cover that’s available and your options for finding suitable cover at a cost-effective price.  

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/insurance-requirements-for-your-manufacturing-business/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/insurance-requirements-for-your-manufacturing-business/ Editor Thu, 25 Jan 2018 23:15:43 -0500
The step by step guide to VAT and tax loans Well within living memory, some businesses regarded tax bills as things that had to be taken seriously but which could, typically, be put onto the back burner in payment terms.

That was because the government’s tax collection regimes of the time were relaxed and broadly speaking, often erratic. As a result, if a business simply didn’t have the funds to pay when the amount was due, it was tempting and actually possible to simply delay payment – typically without effect.

Today, those times are now consigned to history and the study of “how things used to be”. In the modern business world, the collection regimes of HMRC and other government departments are typically very efficient and focussed.

If you pay your tax late in the 21st century, you run the risk of penalty charges and potential fast recovery action.

Funding challenges

For all that evolution, one thing hasn’t changed for many businesses. Tax bills can still arrive at a bad time in terms of having the funds available to pay them!

There might be many reasons for that. Perhaps:

  • a major investment programme you’ve undertaken is over-running and you’re experiencing delays in the revenue generation you expected as a result;
  • a misfortune has led to some short-term business losses; etc.

It doesn’t matter what the reason, it’s possible you might suddenly find a substantial tax bill on your desk and not have the working capital to pay it when due.

Your options

If you find yourself in such a position, you may find that you’re facing relatively few options:

  • it might be possible to raise the required sum by disposing of an asset. That, however, might inhibit your business going forward;
  • in some cases, your bank might be willing to assist through a loan, however, you may not wish to advertise to your bank that you have such a funding challenge if they’re also providing you with other business banking facilities at the same time;
  • theoretically, you could discuss an extension with HMRC but their ability to help may be limited as typically will be their patience. You should most certainly NOT simply ignore the bill;

Tax loans – how they work

VAT and tax loans are specially designed to help you bridge funding gaps where tax bills are the problem.

VAT and Tax loans are generally unsecured. VAT loans are normally a 3-4 month term and Tax loans can be up to a 12-month term.

In order to obtain such a loan, you’ll typically need:

  • some evidence, usually via official accounts, that your business is broadly healthy – in other words, that your cash flow problem is a temporary and a typical problem rather than an indication that your business isn’t viable;
  • proof of the sums required (usually HMRC demands or similar etc.).

The mechanics of the funding solution that’s appropriate for you may vary depending on your individual situation because not all VAT and tax loans are equally suitable for all businesses.

Your options might include:

  • release of equity through loans against existing assets;
  • personal loans;
  • factoring/invoice discounting – to free capital you have trapped in your credit control operations;
  • short term business loans.

In fact, there are many different approaches to finding a solution for those tax bills that you’re worrying might be unpayable from your own daily working capital.

Rather than fret or even worse, allow an unpaid debt to arise with HMRC, why not take advice now on the options that might be suitable for you?

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/the-step-by-step-guide-to-vat-and-tax-loans-24/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/the-step-by-step-guide-to-vat-and-tax-loans-24/ Editor Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:17:20 -0500
Guide to property renovation insurance If you are a construction company or a property developer, you are probably aware of the handsome profits to be made in renovation works. If you were in any doubt, you might want to take a look at an article written by a property developer and published in Home Building magazine on the 15th of July 2017.

The author’s tips on renovating for profit may appeal to any builder, construction company or developer.

Property renovation insurance

With your eye on the prize of attractive profits, however, these also need to be guarded through the cover provided by property renovation insurance.

What is this likely to cover and how does it protect your proposed building works?

Contractors’ “all risks” insurance

  • just as the title suggests, this is an element of insurance cover that forms part of many construction insurance policies;
  • it does very much as it says, by providing cover against the twin risks normally associated with any building project – loss or damage to the structure and fabric of the building itself and, claims from third parties alleging injury or financial loss, as described by Investopedia;
  • its goal is to protect the interests of all parties to a construction project – both contractors and owners of the property;

Engineering “all risks” insurance

  • similarly, engineering all risks cover provides protection for both contractor and customer against engineering design or works which result in injury or financial loss to third parties – and, so, forms an integral part of many construction insurance policies;

Public liability insurance

  • this is typically an important component of property renovation insurance, because of the potential for such claims to assume very significant proportions if a visitor to the site, one of your suppliers, a neighbour or a member of the public is injured or has their own property damaged as a result of the building works;
  • typically, public liability insurance provides a minimum of £1 million against such claims – but this may be varied according to the size and nature of the building works;

Employers’ liability insurance

  • an essential part of most forms of construction insurance is one that is required by law;
  • any employer has a legal obligation to hold at least £5 million of employers’ liability insurance to ensure that claims made by (current or former) employees who have been injured or who have contracted a longer-term medical condition may be met by the employer;

Professional indemnity insurance

  • as a builder, construction company or developer, your customers are entitled to expect an appropriate level of professionalism and competence in the property renovation projects you take on;
  • if you fail to demonstrate that appropriate level of competence and your customer suffers a financial loss as a result, you may be sued for damages;
  • professional indemnity insurance provides indemnity against such claims.

Additional cover

While property renovation insurance is an important consideration, don’t forget your fleet or van insurance as part of your overall project protection.

Whatever size or complexity your operations, you are almost certain to run one or more vehicles – to transport personnel, supplies and materials from one building site to another.

The law requires that an appropriate form of motor insurance or fleet insurance is in force, so many construction insurance policies may also make provision for the necessary cover.

Construction and property renovation insurance may cover a number of important headings, all of which help to safeguard you against the risks in construction projects such as these.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/guide-to-property-renovation-insurance-23/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/guide-to-property-renovation-insurance-23/ Editor Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:32:34 -0500
How to Put a Value on Your SaaS Business For many business owners, the thought of selling a business they’ve worked so hard to build may never even come up.

However, for many SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS entrepreneurs, the business was built with the intentions of selling it one day and letting an investor pick up where the entrepreneur left off.

That means they’re going to need to figure out how much their business is actually worth to a buyer.

Often, sellers look toward the figure other businesses have sold for, which can create a variety of problems. Businesses tend to sell on a wide spectrum of values, and one business may be significantly different than the next.

Some businesses will have a full team of people with 10 years of consistent growth, while others may be 1 or 2-person operations with a couple of years of rapid growth. Each of these businesses will have different values to different investors.

All this means is that to understand how much your own business may be worth, you’re going to need to look at the factors that buyers are going to be looking at, and then make sure your own business can stand up against other businesses should you decide to sell it. Even if you don’t wish to sell, it’s always good to see where your business fits in the current marketplace.

Your Value Has a Lot to Do with Your Growth

As investors look at your business, one of the first factors they’re going to dig into is the business’ growth and how consistent that has been since you started building it.

They want to see how you are generating new leads for the business, how you’re converting those leads into new customers, which products and services you’re offering, and how long you are able to keep a customer.

The best businesses are able to show investors how they are performing in these key areas.

If your revenue rises and falls, investors may be less willing to offer a higher asking price than they would if the business has grown consistently from year to year. If there is still potential left in the business, their offers may go up, as well.

If your sales are constantly going up and down, or if you’re heavily reliant on a single large contract for the bulk of the business’ revenue, buyers could see the business as risky and not want to submit an offer.

Your Marketing Will Affect Your Valuation

You will also need to show the marketing strategies you have used to grow the business.

Buyers want to see the traffic sources that you’re relying on, and how well you’re able to generate new leads through content marketing and search engine optimization. These two strategies can generate incredibly targeted high-quality leads.

Unfortunately, many SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS business owners do not place enough emphasis on search engine optimization or content marketing, and end up leaving a lot of money on the table during the sales negotiations because of it.

Clients may have been flocking to you, lapping up your innovative offering but that’s unlikely to last forever. There is always someone else with a similar and maybe better idea waiting to open up shop. Investing in marketing is important for the long term positioning of your brand and growth of your business.

Investors Do Not Want a New Job

The amount of time your buyer needs to put into the business once they acquire it also plays a role in how much they’re willing to pay for it.

To give you an example, if you are currently putting in 40 to 60 hours a week just to maintain your business, and if you fail to put in those hours the business will begin to slide, it’s going to be seen as risky by investors.

On the other hand, if you have a completely hands-off business, investors may also devalue the business because they believe it may be being neglected in some way.

The real value lies in the fact that investors do not want to buy a job for themselves but they do understand that maintaining a high-end business does require some sort of effort on their part.

ARPUs Aren’t Always Reliable

Most business owners will want to rely on their ARPUs, or average revenues per user, to figure out how much their business is worth.

Investors do know that your APRUs will eventually be used in the valuation, but comparing the APRUs from one business to the ARPUs of another business can be incredibly misleading.

To help you understand this concept, let’s take a look at two different SaaS businesses. One sells directly to consumers and has lower APRUs as a result, while another has higher APRUs but sells directly to large corporations. Each business will be worth a significantly different amount.

How Quickly You’ve Grown Is Important

When it comes to SaaS / PaaS / IaaS businesses, how long you’ve been in business isn’t nearly as important as how well you have grown, and whether the growth you’ve experienced is able to be sustained.

You’re going to need to be able to show investors your churn rates, lead conversion rates, and any growth trends that you’ve identified as still remaining in the market.

You’ll also need to look at how much your business depends on annualized subscriptions and monthly subscriptions. Businesses that are more reliant on annual subscriptions will take longer for an investor to see an ROI.

Your Business Should Be Transferrable

Some businesses, while incredibly profitable, are almost impossible to sell because they cannot be easily transferred to a new owner.

To give you another example, if the code in your service is undocumented and full of bugs, you have financials that are hard to understand, or there are agreements in place that the business relies on that cannot be transferred to a new owner, obtaining a high valuation may be impossible to do.

Digging even deeper, you may have used a payment processing company that investors cannot use -- such as PayPal, that cannot be used in certain countries around the world.

To obtain a high valuation, you need to make sure that an investor can easily step into your role as the new owner without worrying about the business dropping in revenue or having to deal with putting out fires you should have put out before you listed the business for sale.

How Much Is Your SaaS Business Worth?

This isn’t a simple question with a simple answer. As a broad range, SaaS businesses sell from 2.5x annual profit SDE on the lower end to 4.0x their annual profit SDE on the higher side.

The range is huge but for good reason, there are so many variables. Looking at those outlined above will give you an idea of value and also give you an idea where you might want to make some improvements or investments in your SaaS business.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/how-to-put-a-value-on-your-saas-business-22/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/how-to-put-a-value-on-your-saas-business-22/ Editor Tue, 07 Nov 2017 22:36:27 -0500
5 Ways Restaurants Can Cut Costs

Whether you are struggling with the after-effects of a particularly dull sales period or looking to revamp your restaurant business, budgeting and cost-cutting are the top-most priorities of the restaurant owners to make their business profitable.

Small profit margins and high completion in restaurant industry further make cost-cutting an essential aspect of any food business. Right from choosing the best yet affordable restaurant supplies, optimizing the inventory to reformulating the menus & recipes restaurants do everything to save some bucks.

If you’re in the restaurant business and looking for smart and efficient ways to cut costs, here we are discussing the top 5 ways restaurants can cut costs and make their businesses more profitable in long-run-

1.     Make the right choice of restaurant supplies

Choosing the most efficient piece of restaurant supplies is a great way to start cutting down the restaurant costs. In fact, having the right tools and supplies means the world in any food or restaurant business. The restaurant kitchens are heavily dependent on high-quality equipment and restaurant supplies such as ovens, fryers, blenders, steamers, grills, garland range etc.

These restaurant supplies make a large part of the restaurant's utility bills and overall cost head. The first and foremost thing to do is replacing the outdated appliances and equipment with energy-efficient restaurant supplies models from a qualified service provider such as Nella Cutlery. Not only it will help you save money on the utility bills, the high-quality restaurant supplies will also maintain the proper ventilation system in the restaurant kitchen, saving further can cost on electricity bills.

Below are few tips to choose right restaurant supplies and cut cost:

  • Pick as per the theme: There are plenty of options available to choose from when it comes to restaurant supplies of different make, models, and varieties. However, it is essential to use discretion and find the equipment, cutlery, and other restaurant supplies that match the theme of your restaurant instead of wasting money on assorted buying.
  • Consider maintenance: While choosing the restaurant supplies, remember to go for something that is of high-quality, easy to clean, and maintain so that you don’t end up spending on replacement costs every now and then.
  • Don’t splurge on limited edition cutlery: Although it is tempting to splurge on the limited-edition cutlery and other restaurant supplies by premium brands, it can make a huge dent to your overall restaurant budget. If the objective is to cut down the cost, it is essential to prioritize functionality and quality over other things.

2.     Hire the right set of people

Staff & employees are, undoubtedly, the largest expense for most businesses including the restaurant business. In order to cut costs, it is essential to retain the most qualified and competent employees long enough to capitalize on this up-front investment the restaurants make in hiring them. Remember that the longer the staff or employee stays with the restaurant, the less money they cost. The right combination of talent and experience in the employees working for you can make a great difference and help you cut cost in long-run.

3.     Save on the supplies

Other than using the energy-efficient and cost-saving restaurant supplies, another area where the restaurants can cut cost is on delivery supplies. In most of the restaurants, the delivery supplies eat up a large portion of the restaurant budget and disrupting the entire costing. Some of the ways the restaurants can cut cost on delivery supplies are-

  • By making systematic changes to the supply buying routine such changing the deliveries to a weekly mode instead of daily or if few vendors doing the different supplies can consolidate their operations, it will also help in cut down cost.
  • Streamlining the buying process and cut cost on overhead expenses such as transportation cost etc.
  • By making strategic decisions such as placing larger orders less frequently etc.

4.     Cut down on unnecessary ingredients

The general rule in the restaurant industry is that 20 percent of the overall menu represents 80 percent of the food budget. To effectively cut the costs, it is essential that restaurants make sure that the unnecessary ingredients and menu items aren’t eating the budget more than essential.

5.     Optimize the Inventory

The wastage of food is one of the leading costs in food businesses and restaurants. To cut down on this unnecessary expense, it is essential to optimize the inventory. Although in the food business, especially restaurants, there is a general perception that having an overstock of inventory is the sigh off preparedness, but it leads to a lot of wastage and food spoilage at the same time.

If you are looking to cut down the cost, start with optimizing your inventory. Not only it will save wastage but will also minimize the chances of theft, misplacement or wastage of the inventory.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/5-ways-restaurants-can-cut-costs-21/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/5-ways-restaurants-can-cut-costs-21/ Editor Mon, 06 Nov 2017 23:04:24 -0500
10 Misconceptions about CRMs Debunked

“Customers may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”, says Brain Tracy, Author and Motivation speaker. Customers are the real assets of a company, you need to manage and analyze them throughout the customer life cycle if you want to improve the business. This is why Customer Relationship Management is considered as an effective approach to achieve this. However, there are several myths regarding CRM you need to understand. Here are 10 misconceptions about CRM:

1.     It is Expensive

Something looks expensive only when it is not worthy. You can easily pay $10 for a delicious burger, but you will feel regret if you pay even $5 for an unpalatable burger. On the other hand, CRM costs less than you pay for your lunch when you consider monthly subscription. Additionally, you will be surprised by the extent of profit once you go for Customer Relationship Management.

2.     No connection with Social Media

Social Media is the best way to build relationships with your customers as well as clients. Hence it is important that the CRM integrates with social media. In today’s best real estate CRMs, you can get instant access to the social media info for your clients in your contact with a single click only. Moreover, it helps in the adaptation of your relationship with them.

3.     No support on your Mobile

In today’s world, everything is wrapped in your cell phones. You check your phone upwards of 100 times per day on an approx. It is necessary your CRM has its feet to your cell phone, because it is an effective way to provide your customers an ease for the interaction. Eventually, it includes a Mobile app through which responding has become an easy task for all.

4.     Ultimately its you, who will work

This is a thing of the past. Previously, even for newsletters, they used to provide a blank sheet and you had to write and create designs yourself. However, things have evolved to a better extent. Now they provide professionally designed and written e-Newsletter. Moreover, the e-Newsletter they provide are completely automated.

5.     Limitation in Automation

You live in a world where no one wants to work, but everyone wants outcome. In other words, automation has become a need nowadays. You can say automation is like a magic. Hence, in CRM also, people expect a complete automation. It is not stupid even, if you are paying much, you deserve automation. However, it is a myth that you don’t get. Most of the Customer relationship management softwares allow you to automate your lead capture, mass assigned automated keep-in-touch call reminders, drip email campaigns and send e-Newsletters in your database.

6.     CRMs don’t provide content

As stated earlier, there are many things that belong to the past. Technology has been evolved with time. A very common myth is “CRMS don’t provide content, they are just software”. If you had said this few years back then it would have been true, but now it is just a misconception. Now, it provides content according to the need and demand.

7.     You cannot determine your Return on Investment

This is another misconception which is a thing of the past. The best CRMs provide you special tools you need to see exactly what ROI (Return on Investment) you’re getting. You get the ability to check if your customers are opening your email or not. It helps you in determining the key-performance indicators as it relates to your business goals. Moreover, you get to see how CRM is improving your business through its tools.

8.     Old school ways were easier to keep in touch

Remember the sticky notes spread all above your table and bulletin board to remind you for particular reasons? Those were really effective. However, it doesn’t mean you don’t get these options in CRMs. It provides you mass assigned automatic keep in touch, reminders, birthday reminders and automated reminders for anniversaries. You don’t have to use those antiquated methods of sticky notes all around your office.

9.     You can’t create video content

When it comes to marketing, video contents are considered as the most effective way. People expect video content from marketers. Gradually it has become an innovative way to connect with the audiences. It provides you with a video recorder and video library to create video content for your customers.

10.  Setup is too complicated and lengthy

Gone are the days when technicians or guides used to take sessions weekly for the proper setup. Now you get end to end setup helps, you need not to worry about the configuration. The onboard team works closely with you to get every aspect of the system.

There are other myths and misconceptions too, which really confuses you while integrating with CRM. All you need is to debunk those misconceptions and go for it. In a few days you will see the change because it will improve your marketing strategy and you can offer more services to your customers. Eventually, customer service is the new marketing!

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/10-misconceptions-about-crms-debunked-20/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/10-misconceptions-about-crms-debunked-20/ Editor Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:29:54 -0400
4 Tips to Improve Project Management Success

There can be multiple challenges to keep a project on track within a budget when it comes to project management. There are many factors that you must consider because there can be various internal and external elements that can cause a project to derail. The success of the project also relies on the ability of the project manager and the methodical approach that he uses to execute project. The approach should be aligned with the needs of the clients and with the strengths of the team. Although most of the project managers know how to manage the work flow and how to measure the success of the project but how to do it right is the actual task. The best project management tips and tricks are learned with time and experience but we will list 4 tips in this article that can help you to improve the project management success. All you need to do is to have an excellent plan and few precautions and you can lead your project to success.

1.    Nail down the project details and identify the requirements

Before stating any project, you should make sure that your project is based on a solid foundation and you have the buy in from all the stake holders. Do your research and understand their interests and what they expect. This will help you to determine whether the project will get successful or not. Make sure that the scope of the project is also identified and every team member of the project knows it role and responsibilities. After doing that, create a project plan and check whether the goals of the elements are defined or not. They should be aligned as well because only then you can measure the success criteria of the project. Create a schedule for the tasks, a target budget and confirm that the customer is satisfied with the functionality. One thing that is very important is to make sure that the project meets the government and industry’s regulation or not. Making a complete plan can make a huge difference in the success of the project.

Now that is all about planning the project and once you have a strong plan the next you must do is to implement it with the help of your team. Your team will be a unit of individuals that will work towards a common goal and being a project manager, you should structure a team whose combined skills can help you to achieve your goal effectively. To build a successive team assemble and organize your available resources and make them to work together. Increase the capabilities of the team by integrating the individual skills and talents. You must align skills according to the needs of the project. Let every individual know about the task that he must perform and let them know that what would they provide at the completion of the project.

2.    Lead them by creating milestones

As you will be leading the team in the project so you must cultivate good and positive team dynamics. Be the mentor for all the team members and get the input from the project team and stake holders. You should inspire the team as well in the time turbulence and the best way to do it is to lead from the front. An effective leader ship can make a huge difference in the success of the project. Also, identify the defining moments of the project. You don’t need a project management certification to identify it. After identifying them create a life cycle based on the four phases that are initiation, planning, execution and closure. Creating a life cycle will help you to evaluate the situation at the end of each phase. Now examine all the deliverables and make sure that it is according to the expected quality and it is according to the customer requirement or not. This will eliminate the risk because you can monitor the project effectively. Tackling problems at the time of development is a key to the success.

3.    Keep in communication with the stake holders

You must keep your communication lines open and this goes for the team and for the stake holders as well. Being a project manager, you should create a communication plan and to stick with it. Be consistent, clear and open with your team members and stake holders and stay in contact throughout the process. Provide them with the information that they can use to plan. By providing information and updates you can keep your stake holders and team members on a same page and you will increase your chances of project management success.

Also, work as a professional. Before the initiation of a milestone, get documents signed by the stake holders. This methodology will ensure that the project team is covered in terms of expectations. Even with the best project management, it is not possible at times to complete a project in time and within a budget. Don’t complicate the process with over documentation but keep appropriate documentation ready for the stakeholders and plan for any unseen event.

4.    Avoid scope creeps and minimize the risk

Scope creeps happens when a new element is added to a project that is already approved and there is no consideration of increasing the budget, resources or time. Managing this scope creep is an essential task in the success of the project management success. To avoid this, you should come up with the proper documentation and those documents must be signed by the stake holders. You will experience risks at different phases of the projects and there are very few projects with no risks. A guide to the success is to foresee the risks and to take proper actions that are needed. This is only possible when you communicate. Because then you understand what risks are approaching and how you can manage them before they get out of your hand. Controlling a risk before time is easy rather than to wait it to turn in to a problem. This is one of the best practices in the project management process and this risk management can play a big role in success.

Project management can be difficult at times but keeping these basic tips in mind can help you to make things easy for yourself and for your team. The more it gets easy the more you will enhance the chances of getting success. Work as a professional and always keep in contact with your team and stakeholder. Achieve small milestones effectively and get collective success at the end.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/4-tips-to-improve-project-management-success-19/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/4-tips-to-improve-project-management-success-19/ Editor Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:11:51 -0400
How Do Millennial Entrepreneurs Run a Business

Millennial entrepreneurs are gradually dominating the world of business today, with more and more of them becoming notable and appearing in global rich lists. With the fast and furious pace that they run their businesses, which range from traditional ones to high-technology, young entrepreneurs are slowly becoming the new frontrunners of their industries.  

Technology has greatly paved a way for budding young entrepreneurs, enabling them to create start-up businesses swiftly and affordably. It takes even less than 20 minutes to set up an e-commerce page on a social media site. While millennials are already an interesting bunch as they are, millennial entrepreneurs take the game to another level. Here’s how they approach the battlefield of enterprise in many ways.

An Edge on Entrepreneurship

One major difference to note between past generations and millennials is that the former often envision climbing up the corporate ladder, whereas the latter faces enterprising endeavours head on. Inspired to pave their own paths, young entrepreneurs want to break from the norm of the corporate world by idolizing actual successful entrepreneurs of today instead of business tycoons of the past. So many businesses have crumbled by themselves with corporate scandals, and young entrepreneurs just don’t want anything to do with that.

Collaboration is Key

Millennials are noted to be highly collaborative when it comes to running their business and more open to new ideas. This is highly unlikely among older generations, which tend to keep their ideas close to their chest. With younger entrepreneurs, they play their cards by pitching ideas and gathering feedback from peers to ensure a positive response from their market. For millennials, a business is run through group effort, just as Mark Zuckerberg treats his workforce at Facebook. His massive open floor plan allows healthy communication with every employee.

Using Technology as an Advantage

It is during the time of Gen Y when digital revolution came to its peak. Although Gen Z-ers are the most exposed to today’s technological advancements, it is the millennials who have developed a rich understanding of how devices work. Having to use the clunkiest of computers through trial and error, millennials gained an intimate inclination to technology over the years.

Many entrepreneurs today use the internet to sell online, regardless of service or product – whether wedding-related products or medical accessories. Significantly, this gained millennial entrepreneurs the advantage of easily starting their businesses through technology. Aside from this, young entrepreneurs can now start and operate their businesses in their homes, saving them from painful costs that older generations may have struggled with in the past.

Motivated by Passion and Purpose

Millennials are known to be the most passionate and creative, and they have integrated these traits in entrepreneurship. While money is an integral aspect in a business, young entrepreneurs are not solely motivated by their earnings but also by a bigger purpose. With more and more businesses today that are achieving success all while supporting a bigger cause, more and more budding entrepreneurs have set this as a goal—making sure that they leave some positive impact on the world. Some medically inclined businesses do their part by providing quality O2 sensors and cables at a reasonable rate.

Get Creative with the Quest to Learn

Graduating during the recession, many young entrepreneurs have struggled early on with student loans and finding jobs. In the end, they came out of the financial mess more creative and resourceful, constantly finding new ways to do things more efficiently. Furthermore, their consistent quest to learn has fueled their motivation to run their own companies and apply their newly acquired knowledge.

Driven in Every Way

It’s no surprise why millennial entrepreneurs are slowly making names in the world of enterprise. The young generation aims to build awesome companies, manage a compact team, and take advantage of technology. They are driven by their eagerness to learn as well as by their failures. Of course, millennials also learn from the mistakes of others, seeking advice from more experienced mentors and strong networks.

With a mixture of creativity and purpose, they are able to start up businesses that beg to create a difference to the world. It’s no wonder how millennial entrepreneurs gain significant experience that will push them farther in the competitive industry.

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Elements of Good User Experience Many Online Businesses Still Neglect The term ‘user experience’ may seem like overused jargon, but it is an important element to focus on in today’s market. If your business relies on a digital interface in any way, whether it is an app for accessing information, an online store that sells products and services, or a website that acts as an anchor for your online presence, then good user experience is a must.

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UK customers are more sensitive to UX, especially when making online purchases. Unfortunately, many online businesses still make UX mistakes that are both costly and catastrophic to the business’ future. To help you, and your business, avoid making the same mistakes, we are going to take a closer look at those common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

The Checkout Process

In an attempt to learn as much as possible about customers, a lot of online stores use long forms and multiple steps as part of their checkout process. Customer details and additional information are indeed valuable, but making customers complete forms and having them go through several steps to finalize their purchases are definitely not good for business.

Over 80% of dropped carts are caused by this type of approach. An overly complicated checkout process will simply drive customers away before they complete their purchases. If your online store is losing customers during the checkout process, it is time to take a second look at the process itself.

Instead of using multiple steps and long forms, simplify the checkout process as much as possible. A single-page checkout where customers can complete their purchases easily is always the way to go. What about collecting customer information? The details you don’t need for processing orders can be acquired later. That brings us to the second element, which is….

Streamlined Customer Relationship Building

Don’t try to do everything at the same time. Instead, take the time to build a genuine relationship with every customer. You can deliver a much better user experience when every part of the flow is designed to be personalized and sincere.

When trying to learn more about a customer, for example, a follow up email asking about their experiences with your products or a customer satisfaction survey delivered through a personalized email is far more effective than jamming the checkout page with more fields or multiple forms.

You have all the time in the world to connect with your customers. Use that time wisely and provide them with a streamlined experience. This approach will also lead to higher customer loyalty and better customer value in the long run.

Consistency

The last element to pay close attention to is consistency. You can’t deliver a positive user experience when a customer’s journey is littered with inconsistencies. Even the simplest things, such as having different colour schemes on your social media pages, can seriously damage UX.

Consistency is an important thing to add to the ecommerce web site design. Every page must create the same, seamless experience. Different sections of the site must be kept consistent for a more fluid browsing experience. More importantly, consistency will tie the ecommerce site together with your company’s branding and key messages.

Unless you start paying attention to these elements and avoiding common mistakes when handling them, it would be difficult to complete in a competitive market like the UK’s ecommerce landscape we have today. Get these things right, however, and you will have no trouble taking your online business to success.

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The Importance of Writing a Will as A Business Owner A will has always been a job that you think you’ll only have to tend to when you reach a specific age, certainly when you’re much older anyway. Planning on what will happen if you pass is hardly the most cheerful of subjects but if you do run your own business that it is something you definitely need to be thinking about getting draw up. The reason for this is because without one, all of your assets may not be distributed in the way you would want them to be. A business is a whole different story when people pass compared with an ordinary death, it’s not as simple as a certain possession not going to the right family member.

Whilst the majority of people believe that all of their assets and possessions will automatically be divided up between their loved ones, this is often not the case. With no set will in place, the reality is that the law takes control of your belongings and they ultimately dictate how they are divided, so it’s worth thinking about not just for you but your family.

It is not unheard of to have your family home sold after your death to cover your business expenses and that reason alone is a worrying concept. Things become even more complex if you own a business and also have business assets. According to a recent study, It’s currently estimated that almost 1 in 10 business owners believe that their business would have to cease trading should one of the key individuals in the business pass away. This is a result that could affect the tens to hundreds you may employ, which seems highly unnecessary when your business can be easily mitigated if the circumstance occurred. All it needs it some calculated planning. Say for example you’re the head of an owner-dependent business, your unfortunate death could have significant consequences to the business that you’ve spent years growing.

What is worse is that an increasing amount of businesses have sadly had to stop due to a legal battle following a passing. If you took the case of a family business, that employs the owner’s children and they were to die – currently the law states that without the presence of a will, the business would then be equally divided out between all the owner’s kids. As a result, the child (the only one who actually worked at the company) would have to buy out their brothers or sisters in order to take control of the business, an eventuality that causes messy and draw out will disputes and severe emotional stress on your loved ones.

If you do own a family company and it isn’t in your wishes to pass on your business to your family - maybe because you have partners or other separate critical figure heads within your setup - arranging for each business owner to take out a life policy in trust for the other business can protect that scenario. By doing this, any set funds will be paid out straight to the surviving owners in the case of a death, so that they can buy out your share of the business.

When it comes to writing a will, you should look closely into succession planning. The reason behind this is to maximize the benefits of Business Property Relief. This gives relief from inheritance tax for businesses, for which you will need to be extra careful and accurate about when it comes to your planning. As an example, if your spouse were to gain control over your business and then they decided to sell it on, the profits from the sale will then be counted as part of the estate and it will be subjected to inheritance tax when they die. From a financial standpoint, it makes more sense to hold onto the shares but pass over the company to a trust. Your spouse will still benefit from the trust but it simply means that they won’t be hit with inheritance tax.

To summarize, you can easily see that running a business comes with its complications before and after you die. Too often people wait till they become ill or grow old but that is an organized way of operating a business in the modern world we live in. Having a will in place is there to cover you for the possibility of an unfortunate sudden or early passing, not to mention its necessity if you’ve just been recently married or have children. It’s always a smart idea to be prepared for any circumstance should the worst happen so it is more beneficial to start thinking now about how your business could be divided up. If you’re unsure on how to proceed, it’s crucial to seek help from dispute resolution solicitors to ensure you’re clear on what to do and also completely covered whatever the outcome.

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Uncategorized http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/the-importance-of-writing-a-will-as-a-business-owner-16/ http://www.ukbusinessconnect.com/blog/the-importance-of-writing-a-will-as-a-business-owner-16/ Editor Thu, 11 May 2017 22:53:22 -0400