The scene is set

Andy Lopata talks to Warren Cass about the success of his online business networking and events company Business Scene

With so many opportunities to network in the UK many business people are more than spoilt for choice; they are becoming increasingly confused by the range of choices available to them.

Once they have decided whether it is more convenient to network locally or regionally, they then have a range of events to choose from at all times of the day, with the opportunity to network over breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Absenteeism – problem or symptom?

I have recently read a number of articles on the problem of absenteeism and was struck by how most of them completely ignored the causes of the problem, and instead focused solely on the measures organisations were taking to ensure that persistent offenders are deterred from taking time off.

Credit crunch boosts home business start-ups

Spare room start-ups have increased by 16% during the past 12 months taking the number of UK home businesses to 2.5m, the report by BT and Enterprise Nation showed.

Released as part of Small Business Week, the study said home based entrepreneurs are also bucking the trend when it comes to confidence in their prospects during the financial crisis.

Do you speak your prospect’s language?

We all think of typical sales people as being great communicators. We say that they have ‘the gift of the gab’. But what if you are not a born sales person but regularly need to find new clients? Business development expert Richard White discusses one of the areas that can make a big difference on results – how we communicate with our prospects and clients.

Flexible Working: If you don’t ask you don’t get

The second annual survey from jobsite has found that women who ask about flexible working before they go on maternity leave are likely to get it.  However, a large percentage of women are still not making that request.
The survey of over 1,100 respondents found that:

  • 57% of mothers who discussed the possibility of flexible working either got what they wanted or were able to reach a compromise with their employers
  • 70% of these mothers felt that their job ranged from flexible to extremely flexible

The value of a sounding board

In times of Change, people feel much more secure with strong and clear leadership, but they need considered action and decisions from their leaders. The trouble is, with the pace of business today, the pressure has never been higher and consequently there is always a temptation to act just for the sakes of moving things off the pending pile and appearing decisive.

Change specialist Richard Derwent Cooke suggests that sometimes, the best way forward is infact to stand still for a moment a lend some quality time to a spot of good old fashioned conversation.

Fact or fiction, how far should you go when writing your CV?

This year’s winner of ‘The Apprentice’, sales manager, Lee McQueen, was caught out during the interview stage for lying on his CV about how long he had been at university.’

Despite this, he was still hired, but, as Victoria Band from The One Group explains, real life isn’t like that and lying or even exaggerating to a prospective employer is never a good idea.

“All of us want to make a good impression,” said Victoria. “And it’s only natural that we’re occasionally tempted to tweak the truth to make us seem more suited to a particular job.

Small business decision-makers spend over two months a year out of office

Research highlights need for mobile communications as senior staff spend a minimum of 11.5 weeks away from team members every year.

  • 60pc of small business senior decision makers that we spoke to spend a minimum of five hours out of the office a week – equivalent to 32.5 working days a year.
  • 42pc of small businesses consider they pay too much for their mobile communications plan and yet 77pc do not have a plan that balances the cost of phone calls, mobile emails and text messages.
  • 65pc also do not have the means to control the cost of international calls from mobile phones.