Hiring Your First Employee

James Caan | Posted 27.03.2014 | UK
James Caan

There are many important decisions SME owners have to take in the early stages of their business, and one of the most important is making that first hire. Depending on the individual company, this could be done immediately, within a few months, or even a year after starting up. There is no singular approach, but it must be the right decision at the right time. The key question to ask yourself is whether you can justify making a new hire, in terms of cost and workload. I experienced this when I started my first recruitment business - it was four months before I had enough money in the bank to be able to take someone on.

Bank Financing Isn't the Be All and End All for Your Start Up

Nick Tolley | Posted 26.03.2014 | UK
Nick Tolley

Britain is renowned for its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. More businesses start up here than anywhere else in Europe and encouraging enterprise has long been a top priority for the UK government.

The Budget: Let's Look to the Future Makers - the Makers of Ideas

Caroline Norbury | Posted 20.03.2014 | UK Politics
Caroline Norbury

While creativity is thriving in the UK, many businesses struggle to make the step from executing successful projects to becoming fully-fledged, sustainable creative businesses. Investing and lending to many creative businesses is still a minority activity, but that may change as a result of some of the measures George Osborne introduced.

Reduce Diesel Duty to Fuel Economic Recovery

Charlie Mullins | Posted 14.03.2014 | UK Politics
Charlie Mullins

Next week George Osborne will announce his budget plans, and with the recovery gaining momentum I'm expecting great things. However, if we want to reap the benefits, provisions need to be made for the SMEs who pulled this country through the recession, starting with a targeted cut to the duty on diesel fuel.

It's Much Harder to Set Up a Successful Small Business Than Become a Politician

Simon Danczuk | Posted 27.02.2014 | UK Politics
Simon Danczuk

Today the Commons will debate diversity in Parliament. We all know an effective democracy is one that represents all walks of life. Small businessmen and women are the lifeblood of every community. But there are far too few of them in politics.

The Big Benefits of Working for a Small Business

James Caan | Posted 26.02.2014 | UK
James Caan

I am a firm believer that there is no more exciting place to work than a new and developing firm. If you are somebody who enjoys a challenge and are capable of adapting, moving to an SME can be a terrific opportunity at any stage of your career.

The Rise of the Entrepreneur

Doug Richard | Posted 21.04.2014 | UK
Doug Richard

Entrepreneurs across the country are playing a vital role in driving the UK's economic recovery. Out of the mess caused by the worst financial crisis in living memory, Britain has found itself a new identity as the land of the startup.

Turning to the Bank of Friends & Family to Fund Your Start-up

Xenios Thrasyvoulou | Posted 16.04.2014 | UK
Xenios Thrasyvoulou

In the last year alone one in five small business owners has turned to the bank of 'friends and family' for start-up capital, and almost three quarters launched their new business ventures with working capital of £2,000 or less.

Convert Empty Garages Into Affordable Studios and Workshops for Start-Ups

Steve O'Connell | Posted 18.03.2014 | UK Politics
Steve O'Connell

Thousands of garages are estimated to be lying empty in London alone. My report, From Lock Up to Start Up has identified 3,275 empty garages owned between just ten housing associations across the Capital. Converting some of these empty garages into basic standard, affordable studios, workshops and commercial space could provide the much needed affordable space that London's start-ups and micro businesses so desperately need.

British Businesses Are Hoarding Billions That Could Be Invested in SMEs

Mark Mills | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK
Mark Mills

According to recent figures from the ONS UK Economic Accounts over £334billionn is currently being hoarded by British businesses. This staggering amount of money is effectively laying dormant in the bank accounts of major corporations, rather than being invested in British businesses and SMEs.

Time for SMEs to Switch on Small Business Saturday

Adrian Kamellard | Posted 10.02.2014 | UK
Adrian Kamellard

The significantly increased talk in recent years about how small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy has surprised me. It is as if the recessionary years suddenly made this so and they were somehow not the very same lifeblood before.

2014 - An Exciting Year Ahead for Entrepreneurs?

Elizabeth Assaf | Posted 10.02.2014 | UK
Elizabeth Assaf

A recurring theme in the rest of the talks was 'Taking Action' - stop talking and just do! Shaa Wasmund, founder of Smarta, explained that 'running a business is like a rollercoaster' and that she believes 2014 will be the year of video, where You Tube could drive your sales and create 'action'.

Secrets of the Mid-market - Forgotten Army or Stealth Warriors?

Michael Bernd Bayer | Posted 27.01.2014 | UK Tech
Michael Bernd Bayer

Across the world medium-sized businesses have been fueling the economic recovery. In Germany, the core groups of around 1,400 Mittelstand firms have become the main 'stokers' of its economic firepower. In the UK, mid-sized firms grew 5% over the past five years, outperforming both small companies and large corporations.

10,000 Businesses Started!

Yasmina Siadatan | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
Yasmina Siadatan

What a long way we have come. I can remember when we administered the first £1million. It seemed like a huge milestone. It seems like only yesterday we had provided loans to 5,000 businesses and now we have passed the 10,000th milestone. We should be very proud of what we have achieved, but there is still a long way to go...

From Job Takers to Job Makers: How The Next Generation Of Young Entrepreneurs Might Just Save The World

Lynn Shepherd | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
Lynn Shepherd

Sometimes having two hats throws up some interesting juxtapositions. Ten days ago, with my novelist hat on, I was in Dublin for the Bram Stoker festiv...

Tech Start-ups Are the Last Businesses That Need Government Help

Christian Nellemann | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Tech
Christian Nellemann

Twenty five million pounds of government money has been poured into a venture capital fund for tech start-ups. With the Episode 1 fund they are, they say, "determined to give entrepreneurs the financial support they need to grow".

IT Outsourcing: Who's Calling the Shots?

Ashish Kumar Gupta | Posted 09.12.2013 | UK Tech
Ashish Kumar Gupta

There's no doubt that the balance of power in IT outsourcing engagements has shifted considerably in recent years. Enterprises across Europe are increasingly finding themselves having to come to terms with a new world order.

The Current Government Needs to Start Backing SMEs

James Hardy | Posted 04.10.2013 | UK Politics
James Hardy

It's clear that small businesses are disproportionately impacted by legislation designed for much larger businesses, and the government could help alleviate this burden.

Government Does Good Thing - Nobody Cares

Nigel Cannings | Posted 18.11.2013 | UK
Nigel Cannings

First up, a declaration - I hate the Coalition. I hold George Osborne personally responsible for plunging the country into a worse crisis than necess...

Let's Help Small Businesses to Grow by 10%

Emma L. Jones | Posted 28.10.2013 | UK
Emma L. Jones

The 10% Growth Campaign seeks to find out how micro businesses are funding their own growth, what help they think would improve or speed up that process and where their long-term expectations lie.

The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Small Businesses

Reno Charlton | Posted 16.10.2013 | UK
Reno Charlton

Having a good digital footprint for your small business is absolutely essential in the modern age of information technology. Your company's digital fo...

Sorry Matt Cutts, This Summer is Not 'A Lot of Fun'

Jonathan Guy | Posted 07.10.2013 | UK Tech
Jonathan Guy

From an economic point of view this is hugely beneficial as the firm with the number one ranking on Google can easily get 50% or more of ALL the traffic looking for a particular item. The revenues generated from this make achieving that top slot a compelling goal.

Managing the Customer Experience: Is It Enough?

Glen Manchester | Posted 02.10.2013 | UK
Glen Manchester

Engaging the customer will serve to increase customer retention. It is vital to create engaged customers who will refer, remain loyal to your brand and, as a result, spend more - leading to revenue growth and a healthier business.

How Starting a Business Is Like Having a Baby

Tom Raffe | Posted 30.09.2013 | UK
Tom Raffe

Nine months ago I left my perfectly reasonable job in online advertising to start my own business. Starting a blog nine months into a startup seems particularly appropriate because in that time, as I'm sure you're aware, a baby can be made. There are many many similarities between having a baby and forming your own start-up.

Why We Can All Celebrate Croatia's EU Succession

Phil Couchman | Posted 25.09.2013 | UK
Phil Couchman

Croatia's recent accession to the EU has given exporters cause to celebrate too, as the path to international trading with this exciting European market has never been smoother. As the EU's 28th member state, entry into the EU means an increase in the free circulation of goods, services and people between Croatia and the UK, as well as removing some of the existing barriers to trade.