Season’s warnings

Every year, thousands of people close up their businesses and homes for the Christmas break without fully considering the disasters that could happen in their absence. According to the Fire Statistics Monitor Q3 2008-09, 10% of the 33,000 house fires that occurred in 2008 happened over Christmas – largely due to poor quality Christmas lights and flammable decorations.

SMEs have their say about bad management practices & cost-cutting initiatives

A recent survey of small to medium sized businesses reveals that the three worst qualities an employer can exhibit during difficult times to their staff are ‘hiding the extent of problems’, ‘making the problems appear worse than they are’ and ‘being distant with staff’ – indicating that SME employees want honesty and straight talk from their employers about the state of the business.

John Cleese helps make video learning affordable for SMEs

Video Arts, the training company started in 1972 by John Cleese and Sir Anthony Jay, who wrote the Yes, Minister TV series and is renowned for entertaining films that use humour and well-known actors to deliver essential training messages has created a new licence that lets small and medium-sized companies cost effectively use digital versions of its best-selling titles.

Preparing for the seasonal rush

The run up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses. Tens of thousands of seasonal jobs are being created on the high street alone with many of the big retailers recruiting thousands of staff to cope with the Christmas rush, and for ‘specialist’ jobs such as the 10,000 Santas that are reportedly needed. However, the surge in demand from customers doesn’t just have an impact on retailers, many other businesses are affected.

British innovation shines at the iawards

Lord Drayson and James Caan joined industry leaders in celebrating companies at the leading edge of science, technology and innovation. The iawards ceremony at the Science Museum saw the teams behind this year’s best British innovations rewarded for developing practical solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges.

The Pitch 2009 Final

This summer, the search began for the UK’s most exciting and innovative small companies.

Competing in The Pitch 2009, entrepreneurs in five regions presented their product or service to panels of leading business experts.

Five winners plus a wildcard entry will now compete in a live grand final in London where a victorious entrepreneur will walk away with a package of business support prizes worth £50,000 including coverage in a forthcoming edition of Business Matters, and our sister magazine Angels, as well as business research services from our research division Trends Research.