‘Most small businesses fail in their first year’. It’s a stark warning often cited by successful business leaders before they outline the secrets of their own success. But worryingly it is also a warning grounded in fact.
A study by leading insurer AXA has revealed that, despite the introduction of age discrimination legislation in 2006, ageism is still rife in today’s workplace, with thousands of retirees reporting experiencing pressure to quit their job by their employers. In addition, UK plc could face a collective compensation bill of over £45m if employers are taken to tribunal for age-related cases.
You may have heard about franchising but would you like to know more? Well, it does what it is says on the tin – franchising is being in business for yourself but not by yourself. What is inside the tin? What is a franchise? What is involved in researching the marketplace? What about the finances? What can franchising do for me?
Firstly, here are the key industry statistics taken from the latest NatWest/bfa Franchise Survey. (bfa stands for British Franchise Association – the voluntary self-regulating body for the franchise industry.) You may be surprised by the scale and scope of the industry.
More than 2.1 million people work from home and some 8 million spend at least some of their working week in the house instead of at the office, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Working from home offers many advantages and is an attractive option for today’s budding entrepreneur or teleworker. Being able to work at your own speed, in your own environment without the daily commute is encouraging an increase in home-working initiatives and “bedroom start-ups”.
If you, like many, had letter writing etiquette drilled into you from an early age then nothing screams from a page louder than the elementary error of “Dear Sir” followed by “Yours sincerely”; You may think it doesn’t matter but the impression it gives to the recipient can easily undermine confidence in a business.
Mentoring has long been a valuable tool in staff training. Typically, a junior member of staff is assigned a mentor – someone experienced from inside or outside the company – to guide them along the learning curve.And if it works so well for individuals, then why not for small businesses?
For many businesses, agreeing marketing budgets is an area fraught with difficulty as marketing departments struggle to justify and quantify the return on investment.
This is a particular issue for small enterprises, where margins are tight and ‘the bottom line’ is of utmost importance. It is possible for such businesses to look at large companies and bemoan the vast sums of money they can plunge into promoting their products and services and the lavish advertising campaigns that are beyond the reach of most organisations. However, there are valuable lessons small businesses can learn from their larger counterparts which aren’t reliant on breaking the bank.
As the Chinese economy continues to grow at over 10 per cent each year, an increasing number of SMEs are looking to set up a presence in China to take advantage of this growth. Although there are several forms of corporate vehicle available to SMEs, the two most popular are the equity joint venture (EJV) and the wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE).
Whether on the race track, on the web or in the boardroom, data leaks are invariably bad news. Just ask Ferrari and McLaren, the F1 giants embroiled in controversy over allegedly stolen technical documents. Or Facebook, who mistakenly exposed a slice of their own source code recently, and thereby possibly their own users. Or Monster.com, who made the monster mistake of losing over a million customer records to expert “phishers.”
When is a u-turn not a u-turn? Many members of the Forum of Private Business (FPB) would argue that the Government’s suggested £100,000 in tax relief when they sell up and retire certainly fits the bill, following, as it does, the much-vaunted proposals to change the Capital Gains Tax system.
Bank errors, delays and charges are costing UK businesses almost £100 million every year as companies are forced to waste time and money chasing lost or delayed international payments, according to new research.
Madonna and the Prince of Wales are two of an estimated 3000 select people who are being invited to join the world’s first private flight sharing club in an effort to reduce the environmental impact and cost of private jets that are currently flying empty 40% of the time.
The Flightshare Private Members Guild is the brainchild of Farnborough UK based David Lacy, an aviation veteran of 26 years who was the first to introduce carbon offsets to the European private jet industry last year.