Seven Secrets About Business Tax That Nobody Will Tell You


As a business owner, your job is to make sure that your money goes as far as it can, and you can invest further money in your venture to continue growing. Nobody likes meeting the tax man, as they usually come around to find mistakes in our accounts or ask for more money. If you would like to know how to make the most out of your tax reliefs and get the best rates possible, read the below tips.

Business Trip Deductions

Not many business owners know that they can deduct their business trip expenses when submitting their taxation documents. How much you can claim will depend on the distance, your income, and other expenses, as well as your business type. You will need to check with your local tax office what the current rules, are, or get help with from a tax attorney and claim back your expenses to reduce your total payable tax bill. If you find recording and calculating your expenses too complicated, you might be able to take advantage of a cloud based accounting software that automatically works out your allowances.  


Most people assume that all meals are deductible as an expense, however, in reality, you can only claim back 50 percent. You can, however, include the cost of meals you paid for when you had a business dinner with a potential customer or partner. You should check the current regulations and make sure that you get the right format of receipt that can be submitted as a proof of purchase. You might need to prove that you were present at the location when the next tax account review is due.

Tax Reductions Depend On Your Books

You will need to have your accounts and books in order if you would like to make successful tax reduction claims. If you seem to be spending beyond your business profits, you might be questioned, and an audit is imminent. Make sure that you don’t show reckless spending on your books, and you have a good financial balance sheet before you start claiming tax reductions, or you might have to answer some serious questions by the tax man.

Tax Breaks and Credits Can Help You Out

In periods when your business is not doing so well, you can ask for tax breaks and tax credits. It is important that you check the small business tax regulations before you submit your application, and tick all the boxes to qualify. There are certain criteria for tax relief and credits that you need to satisfy, or your request will be declined. You can even get these tax credits and breaks if you don’t have to submit a federal income tax return. There are different forms of rebates, such as the American Opportunity Credit and the earned income tax credit.

Making Estimated Payments

In most cases, you cannot delay paying your taxes until after the tax year, and you will have to make estimated payments to the Inland Revenue Service. You cannot use the government’s money all year, therefore, you will be sent regular contribution bills. This law applies to landlords and self employed people, therefore, you must make sure you have a sound financial plan and a budget that covers the regular business tax contributions.

Return Deadlines

If you would like to minimize your taxes, the last thing you want to do is miss the filing deadlines. You will be surprised how fast the penalties and charges can build up, and increase your tax bill in just a few months. Even if you cannot pay your bill, you should submit your return on time. After your calculation is completed, you can pay with a credit card, or set up an IRS payment plan. If you don’t file your tax return, you will still be liable for the payments, and will be exempt from the statute of limitations, which mean that the IRS can chase you for the unpaid taxes forever

You Can Get Your Passport Seized

If you don’t pay your taxes on time, after a certain time, your passport can be seized or invalidated. Even if they allow you to travel, your bank account will not be safe from the IRS, and payments will be deducted whenever there is a positive balance. Make sure that you talk to the taxman and discuss your options, instead of burying your head in the sand.

Business taxes can be complicated, and challenging for most. If you are confused, or don’t trust your judgment, talk to a professional instead of ending up with huge fines and penalties.

Startup Safety 101


Safety isn’t exactly the most exciting aspect of starting a new business for the first time, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important.

Let’s face, it not only does no one want to work in a place that isn’t safe, but business owners don’t want to be faced with an employee who’s consulted a law firm for personal injury and is now on the hunt for compensation either. That’s why you need to take safety seriously from the very second that you start your business.

Obviously, you can’t 100 percent guarantee that no accidents will ever occur within your company, but if you take the following steps, you will cut the odds significantly…

Ensure Safety Rules are Easy to Access

There’s no point doing all kinds of risk assessments and setting up the best safety procedures you can think of to protect your employees, and your company from litigation, if you don’t make them accessible. Your employees need to be able to see a clear list of safety rules that have been explained in simple language that anyone can follow if they are to follow them. That’s why it never hurts to create an employee handbook and hang up safety rules around the workspace.

Invest in Employee Training and Encourage Your Staff

It’s much easier to keep your startup safe when all of your employees have undertaken safety training relevant to your line of work. It’s even easier when you’ve made it very clear to them how important safety is to all of you. It is for that reason that you might want to consider encouraging safety by, for example, offering small rewards and bonuses to any members of staff who identify potential dangers in the workplace. It’s a simple way of ensuring that everyone in the office is on the ball and always scouting for potential dangers.

Install Safety Officers

Even if you are a small business with very little money to spare, it is not a bad idea to designate a` safety officer for each floor of your company. That way, you can be sure that if there are unsafe practices going on, you will be notified of it. A safety officer doesn’t have to be a separate employee – just give one of your existing staff members some extra training and a slight pay rise and have them take on the role.

Don’t Cut Corners

So many workplace accidents happen when employees cut corners, often at the behest of their employers. If you don’t want to end up getting sued, you absolutely must not encourage or demand that your employees skip out on safety procedures, no matter how much pressure you’re under. Sure, it might speed things up and ensure that you don’t lose that contract, but if it means there’s an accident and you end up having to pay so much compensation that your business is bankrupt before it even gets off the ground or even worse one of your employees suffers life-changing injuries or even death as a result, is it really worth it?

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re doing it right, you should be training your employees in workplace safety as they join you, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. From time to time you are going to want to get the team together to refresh their memories of the correct safety procedures, work out new improved strategies for keeping everyone safe and do some refresher training where applicable.

Use Protective Equipment

If you work in a dangerous environment, you should always look up the rules and regulations on safety equipment and not only ensure that all staff are using it where necessary, but also that the equipment you use meets official standards. It’s so easy to go for the cheaper option, only to find that it isn’t quite as safe as it should be and end up in a whole lot of trouble. This is one area where, as a small business, you will want to pay more.

Get Insurance

Despite your best efforts, accidents can and do happen, which is why, as a small business owner, you should always make sure that you are insured for every eventuality. If you aren’t and one of your employees ends up getting hurt on your watch, you could be hit with a huge negligence suit that would ruin your company. That is the last thing you want to happen, and you can mitigate against it by having that all-important policy in place.

Stay safe!

The Different Search Result Types Your Business Must Be Aware Of


Business owners regularly think that there is just one type of search result they need to contend with; organic search. Others are aware that paid results exist, but this still doesn’t cover it all. You see, when a website looks to improve its search engine performance, it will often only contend with these two types of results. In reality, there are way more out there that you must focus on to make your site more visible online.

Below, we’re going to look at each search result type out there, and how your business website can optimize itself to do well in these results. It will lead to a website that’s seen by more people and regularly pops up at the top of all rankings

Standard Organic Results

These are the search results we often think about when we talk about improving SEO. They’re the natural results that everyone sees and no-one pays for. They appear in a list, with the websites ranked in order of authority.

Every business owner should know the benefits of having a website that ranks highly in organic searches. There’s simply no negative to this; it will directly influence your traffic, lead generation, and customer base. Many businesses see an increase in sales when their site ranks highly.

Getting your business to perform well in these results has been talked about many times before. Essentially, you have to make it search engine friendly. Ensure you; target the right keywords, include valuable content on your site, build backlinks, optimize your site for mobile, structure your pages properly, make the user experience good, and have fast loading times. There are plenty of other considerations too, but this article isn’t about SEO tips, it’s about the different search results your business needs to know about!

Paid Results

The paid results are also commonly known as many businesses pay for adverts to try and improve their search engine visibility. These results tend to appear before the organic ones, meaning you could potentially be seen before any of the organic sites. This leads to more clicks, more traffic, and possibly more sales for your business.

Paid search results all go through Google Adwords. You have to bid on certain keywords, and you’ll appear in the relevant search results. Although it’s beneficial to get into these results, it can be very costly. Some popular keywords will cost your business a lot of money to bid on, and you have to pay Google every time your link gets clicked on.

This is an investment you probably shouldn’t think about until your business is more established and you have the funds to allocate to it. Otherwise, you’re better off focusing on the natural approaches that won’t cost as much money.

Local Results

Next up we have the local search results, which are so beneficial for small businesses. These results are designed to point people in the direction of your company. Instead of only displaying your website, they’ll show your business name and location on a map. This allows users to click on the map, see if you’re close to them, check your opening times, and decide whether or not to proceed with any actions.

Your business needs to focus on ensuring you actually appear in these results. If you don’t, then you could miss out on loads of customers. The easiest way to get started is by setting up a Google My Business account and registering your company. Here, you can fill in lots of information about your business that will be displayed in the local results. This includes company info, location, opening times, and contact details. But, you can also use keywords to target certain searches and make sure you’re found by the right people.

Local results are perfect for small businesses with physical locations. Restaurants and retail stores are probably the two types of business with the most to gain from these search results.

Rich Results

Rich results are one of those things you’ve definitely encountered but weren’t aware they were a special thing. A lot of the time, when you search for a query, you’ll get a search result that appears before anything else. This is normally in a little box that provides the answer to your query without you needing to click on the page.

If your business website starts appearing in these results, it will only benefit you. First off, you will be seen before all of the generic organic list results. This gives you more exposure and can direct more people to your website. One of the key ways in which you can get yourself in these results is by creating SEO structured data markup code. This code allows your site to display its content in a format that’s very easy for search engines to digest. As a result, their bots can crawl through your pages and find the relevant content for any specific queries. This allows it to present your content in the form of a rich result snippet.

This is something that’s becoming more and more popular and competitive nowadays. Google realizes that users often don’t want to go through the annoyance of clicking on a website and scrolling through paragraphs of content before they find the answer they wanted. Instead, they can just see it on the search results page and be done. While it can still help you gain more traffic, the main purpose is to help make your business more of an authority in your line of work. If you keep popping up in the rich results for queries relating to your industry, then it makes you look professional and respectful!


Mobile Results

Lastly, we have mobile results. Now, these search results pretty much cover all the results we’ve spoken about, only the mobile versions of them. When someone searches for the exact same keyword or phrase on their phone, they could see completely different results to the ones they see on their desktop computer. This is because Google specifically orders mobile results to display mobile-friendly sites first and foremost.

As a consequence, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, then you could well miss out on loads of mobile traffic and visibility. It’s found that over half of all internet users are on their mobile devices more than their desktops. So, you could say that half of the people searching for your business are using their phone or tablet. If you don’t cater to their needs, they won’t find you.

Thankfully, it’s very easy to improve your mobile search performance. All you have to do is design a website that’s responsive. This way, your business won’t miss out on valuable mobile web traffic.

Why is all of this important? Because search is still the number one way for a consumer to find a business online. Yes, social media is powerful, but search remains at the top. It’s not good enough to optimize your small business for one type of search result. If you have good organic results, it will generally benefit you, but you can take things to new levels by getting rich results, paid ones, local, and mobile too. Everything is brought together, and you start to see your business more and more in search results. It becomes impossible for people not to notice you, which should lead to financial benefits down the line. The more people that find you via searches, the more traffic you gain and the more potential leads you have. This lets you convert more leads and end up with a handful of paying customers. At the end of the day, all the money you put into search engine marketing will be repaid with the results.

Cash For Your Company: Getting Your Finances Right as a Bootstrapped Business


When you’re starting up a business, money matters. As the old adage goes, you need to spend money to make money- but when you don’t have a whole lot of it to begin with you need to be careful. If you overspend and get into the red early on, you could go bust and it be game over for your business before you’ve even really started. Here are some things to consider when it comes to your finances.

Start on a Smaller Scale

Instead of throwing everything you have into your venture and hoping that it does well, why not start on a smaller scale? This way you can see that it actually works and let it expand and grow organically. You could start in a small office hiring just a couple of staff members and focusing on providing an excellent service to the customers you get. This way you’re not overstretched, and if you find you do well and are getting more custom than your small setup can handle, you can use profits to move to bigger premises and hire more people. That way you’re not sinking a load of cash into your business and losing the lot if doesn’t do as well as you thought. Renting equipment instead of buying is another good way to keep it small and avoid large upfront costs. Once you know your business is doing well, you can buy this equipment for yourself.


You might be under the impression that outsourcing is something that larger businesses do, and maybe is something to consider later down the line. However it can be a lifesaver for smaller businesses. While you will pay for the services of a third party company, you’re able to reduce upfront costs as you don’t need to buy additional equipment or hire more staff. Recruiting and training can be expensive, if you hire a specialist company to deal with certain areas of your business then you don’t have to worry about this.

Attract Investors

If you have a great business idea but really need a cash injection to get started, one option would be to seek out an investor. Here you will be offered cash for a share in your business, and your investor will also act as a mentor in many cases. There’s a lot of competition for this kind of help so you will need to stand out. An interactive annual report with all of your figures, earnings and projections is a smart move. Be ready to answer any difficult questions and practice your pitch until it’s spot on.

Expect The Unexpected

No matter how well prepared you are in business, something could go wrong. For this reason it’s well worth having an emergency fund as a buffer that you can fall back on just in case. Anything from a burglary, a fire, a flood could occur, or a crucial piece of equipment to your businesses could stop working. Give yourself some funds to fall back on, and take out the right insurances too just in case.

If You Want A Successful Startup, It’s Time To Embrace Outsourcing!


One of the most tempting things about setting up any kind of business is the idea that you no longer have to answer to anyone else. Rather than taking orders from your boss every day, you get to be the boss and be in charge of guiding the direction that a business takes. Because of this, the idea of handing over any aspect of a business can be incredibly unpleasant for many business owners. However, the truth is that without reaching out to others for help and support, your startup is never going to be able to succeed. With that in mind, here are three ways in which your business needs to embrace outsource in order to be truly successful.


The organisation and delivery of your products is something that is not only incredibly complicated but can also be well out of the scope of possibility for many small startups. That’s why working with trucking and logistics companies can be so valuable. You’re able to hand this incredibly important aspect of your business over to companies with a much better understanding of the process. That way you can make sure that customers receive your products in as timely a manner as possible while keeping your products completely safe and secure in transit.


Marketing is something that far too many business owners seem to assume is simple enough for them to deal with themselves. However, the reality is that, especially in the modern era, it’s an incredibly complex and multi-faceted aspect of your business. This is particularly true when it comes to your digital marketing. Because of that, it really does pay to hand things over to a company that knows how to make the most of all of the marketing options that are available to you.


Accounting is one of those things that is simultaneously incredibly important for the success of your business, and incredibly boring and frustrating to deal with. This can lead many business owners to ignore it for as long as possible, with disastrous consequences. Ignoring your finances is a sure fire way to end up in some incredibly serious legal hot water. It’s far better to hire an accountant who can deal with your accounts for you. That way you can be sure that your business is in a secure financial position, while also allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business that you find more interesting and engaging.

Of course, it’s important to remember that one of the best things about outsourcing is that you still get to be in charge of the way in which your business shapes out as a whole. Sure, you’re handing things over to other businesses in order to get some specialized expertise, but you’re still going to be the one directing the business and instructing them on how you want things to be done. Just because you’re handing things over to an outside organisation, that doesn’t mean that you’re losing control of your business.

Can You Really Build A Site Without Any Code


Across the web, there are loads of different services which promise to give you the power to build your own website without any code. The allure of this sort of promise is very strong, as a lot of small businesses simply don’t have the resources to go any other way. Of course, though, building a website is a complicated job, and the idea of doing it without code can seem too good to be true. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring this area to give you an idea of the ease you’ll find in doing it for yourself.

What Do You Need?

To begin this journey, you first have to consider exactly what your website is going to need. Building an ecommerce site which can sell products, for example, is a lot harder than putting together a simple blog, and will be more likely to require coding skills. As someone new to the game, it could be hard to know what might be possible or not. So, you might have to do some research at this stage, especially if you want to achieve some good results.

Understanding exactly what you’re going to need might take a little bit of time. To start, it can help to write a list of the features you’d like your site to have, being as specific and detailed as possible. From here, you can figure out exactly what will need to be used to make each feature work, along with the skills you’ll need to do it. After a short while, you will find yourself getting to grips with exactly what you’ll need.

Choosing A Platform

With a good idea of what you’re going to have to build, you’ll be ready to choose the best platform for the job. There are three different levels to this sort of tool, and you can find some examples of them below. In some cases, the best platform will simply be the one you feel most comfortable with.

  • Wix/Other Builders: The most commonly chosen tool for this sort of job is a handy DIY tool, like Wix. While limiting your scope, this sort of tool makes it very easy to put together something beautiful, without having to know anything about web design. Of course, though, they will make it hard to achieve large jobs like ecommerce sites.
  • WordPress/Bootstrap: Next, options like Bootstrap and WordPress are often the very best for this work. Enabling you to build a site with all of the normal features you’d have access to, while also making it nice and simple, this sort of tool is perfect for beginners. With over 75% of the world’s websites using platforms like this, you can always find support and documentation to help you.
  • Starting Fresh: In the past, all websites were built from the same basic pieces; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Of course, though, this sort of method is often very hard, and a lot of people will struggle a lot more than they have to if they choose to go with it. In most cases, professional companies won’t go down this route, so it makes sense for you to try and avoid it.

Finding Alternatives To Code

The only option out of the ones above which will completely limit the need for code is a service like Wix. Unfortunately, though, this sort of site is rarely enough, and most businesses will need something more to power their work. To help you with this, you can find some alternatives to programming which can be used with platforms like WordPress and Bootstrap.


  • Plugins: With platforms which are so widely used, you can almost always find a plugin for the job you have to do. Finding options like this is a simple matter of doing some searching. Once you find some options which work for you, though, it will be a lot easier to use them than trying to start fresh.


  • APIs/Shortcode: In some cases, you may not be able to find a plugin or add-on to do your job for you, but this doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. Instead, you just need to find a company like Plivo to provide you with easy to use APIs which can do loads of different jobs. There are loads of guides and other resources around the web which are dedicated to helping new users with these sorts of tools.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your website building dreams. For a lot of people, being able to put together a website without any code seems very far-fetched. In reality, though, this will be nice and easy, as long as you put the time into your research at the beginning.

Why Storytelling is Such a Powerful Tool for Brand Creators


Stories are ingrained in the lifeblood of human civilization, from primitive cave paintings, to the Epic of Gilgamesh; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, all the way to the modern development of film and television. We’ve always been compelled to relate and intake, cultural wisdom in the form of stories, myths and legends.

To prove this point researchers at the University of Washington in St. Louis, studied levels of brain activity in the minds of participants who listening to excerpts read from a children’s picture book. Researchers found that, rather than just passively consuming the events of the story, areas of participants’ brains that corresponded to the movements of the story’s main character actually lit up. Showing that, when we listen to stories we actually see, and feel the experiences they evoke as if they were real.

For a company looking to create a unique brand, in a crowded marketplace; establishing this sort of a connection with customers is a much sought after advantage. Here’s what you have to gain, from using story telling in your brand creation.

Set Yourself Apart

In 2007, companies like Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry ruled the roost when it came to mobile technology. While Apple had gained some public attention with its wildly successfully portable iPod music player; the company was still considered a lightweight when it came to actual mobile phones.

Then, early in February 2007; Steve Jobs and co dropped this advertisement and shortly followed with a formal introduction at their Macworld Expo, later that year. Within 2 months Apple had sold a staggering 1 million iPhones, and the product was well on its way to dominating the mobile phone market for years to come.

Yet, the iPhone was not the first smartphone on the market; nor did it come from an established name in the industry; so what led to this overwhelming success? Watch that video again, and you’ll see that the answer is storytelling.  From the beginning Apple had a clear story to tell about their product and through simple advertisements and on-message branding they made customers believe it.

Subtle Call to Action

At marketing firms like, differentiating a product isn’t enough; companies their marketing efforts to actually pay off through direct conversions. Without storytelling, creating that motivation within customers can seem awkward and aggressive, but with it you can organically motivate customers to take action.

Every good story has a moral at the end, as listeners we’re trained to listen for one. So when a brand takes you through an emotional journey where they lead an audience surrogate through obstacles and problems; customers have their ears pricked for the solution. Of course those solutions are offered by your company’s offerings.

Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers are less expensive and time-consuming to retain; and they actually spend more on your products. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that customer’s actually spend more on their 6th purchase from a company than on their first, and even more on their 8th. Spend less, and earn more, who wouldn’t want to get those benefits?

Storytelling helps you create a brand that customers can relate back to their own values and experiences, and once you’re successful in forging that kind of bond, it lasts!


Top Tips to Open a Successful Coffee Shop


The world’s thirst for coffee only seems to keep getting greater and greater. Coffee shops are springing up all over the place to meet this growing demand, and for many budding entrepreneurs, this seems like the ideal enterprise to start themselves. Of course, it is a highly competitive field and you need to be prepared for various challenges that lie in front of you. In this article, we are going to give you a few top tips to help you in your endeavours.

Create a Solid Business Plan

Every business starts with a strong business plan and setting up a coffee shop is no different. Essentially, you need to include all the key information about your plans including how it will be profitable, your plans for growth, and any competitor analysis that you have done. With so many businesses wanting to do exactly the same thing as you, it is important that you find a few ways that you can stand out from the crowd.

Choose the Right Building

Once you have your initial plan in place, the time has come to choose a location. Ideally, you want something which is centrally located so you have a good passing trade of customers. Be warned that finding your dream spot isn’t something that will happen overnight and you need to be prepared to be a little patient in your quest. When you inspect potential premises, take the time to envisage how your business will run there and how you will lay it out.

Create Your Floor Plan

Once you have your viable coffee shop space, the time has come to create your floor plan. You need to have enough room for a counter and a number of chairs and tables which have been adequately spaced out. Nobody likes a coffee shop which feels cluttered and crowded. Imagine that you are a customer and think about the details that you would be looking for. You also need to consider details like toilets and bathroom partitions. There are plenty of online tools that you may find helpful that help you to map out your floor plan digitally.

Hire an Accountant

If there is one area of your business that is worth outsourcing, it is the accounts. As well as freeing up some of your valuable time, a good accountant will save you money so you can run your coffee shop more effectively. Many accountants also double up as small business consultants as they have worked on so many projects in the past and can spot the common pitfalls and problems. Try to get a personal recommendation from someone you trust so you know you are hiring a high-quality professional.

Shop Around for Everything

Keeping a close eye on your finances is so important when you are starting a business, so don’t just accept the first offer on everything. Search online, visit different suppliers and generally get a range of quotes and be prepared to negotiate. On a similar note, make sure that you have a clear budget in mind of what you can spend on everything. Many small businesses fail simply because they have not put enough thought into financial planning.

Start Marketing Before You Open

The time to start marketing for your coffee shop is a decent amount of time before you open. On the opening day, you want people to have already heard about your business and know a decent amount about it. Make sure that you utilise online marketing channels and set up social media accounts to generate a following. Get in contact with the local press to ensure that they are on hand to cover the launch of your business.

Don’t Just Focus on the Interior

Of course, the interior of your coffee shop is hugely important, but you also need to consider how it looks from the exterior as well. After all, you want people to walk past and feel compelled to go inside. The landscaping, signage, and general exterior appearance are all things that you will need to consider closely.

Hire Slowly

Good-quality baristas with excellent customer service skills are worth their weight in gold, so make sure that you take the time to hire people who are right for your business. The whole point of a coffee shop is that it is a place where customers can relax and feel happy. The staff will go a long way towards achieving this for your coffee shop.

How To Get People Offline & Into Your Store


Although many retailers are focusing their attentions on their online sales and their website presence, for many of us our businesses are all in bricks and mortar. Having a retail startup in the digital age comes with its own set of challenges. Whilst online retail is all about getting traffic to the site, physical retail outlets are all about increasing foot traffic into the store.

With the continual rise of online shopping it has never been more important to be looking at unique and creative ways to make our retail stores thrive. So today we are sharing our top tips on how retailer startups can boost foot traffic by using different approaches to garner attention in-store.

USB Chargers

This is a bit of a new development when it comes to the sorts of things that shoppers are looking for. Providing USB outlets within your store is a great new way to keep people in your store for longer than they would usually stay. Have you noticed people gathering around USB portals in train stations and airports? We have such a dependence on our mobiles now that keeping them charged has become really important.

So whilst it might seem like an unnecessary detail just think about all that extra time shoppers will be spending browsing as they wait for their phones to charge. It is a super simple strategy to creating a solution to the age old problem of how to keep shoppers in your store for longer periods of time.

Free Wi-Fi

This again is tapping into our love of mobile phones. With many mobile phone providers no longer offering unlimited data, people are now turning to more and more places and areas that offer free wi-fi. Advertising in your store window that you offer free wi-fi can seriously boost the foot traffic to your store. A recent study revealed that over 60% of shoppers spend more time in-store after they have tapped in wi-fi details. So again this is a simple trick to getting more people inside your store and keeping them there for longer periods of time.

Your Entrance

If your entrance looks shabby and old then you are going to struggle to get people through the door. Think of design features such as aluminum canopies to offer shelter to customers coming in and out, whilst also offering an attractive design feature. Focus on your window displays in order to best show off your products and keep these fresh by changing things around every month or so. You can even ensure you bring in dog lovers, by offering somewhere for people to tie up their dogs with a bowl of water (and even biscuits, if you want to show that you really, really love dogs). You’d be surprised how much custom is lost by customers not being able to find anywhere to tie up their dogs, so use little tricks like this to your advantage.

In-Store Events

All store owners should be looking at ways to promote their company and ways to peak interest in the local community. In-store events and clubs, depending on the type of products you sell, are one of the best ways to do that. Look at your store as a way of being a key member of your community, a company that pulls people together and a company that thrives to connect the local people through the products that you stock.

You can also think about sponsoring and co-hosting local events, again to raise your profile and to have a bigger and more well respected presence in your local community and stronger relationships with your customers.

So, as you can see, it only takes a few simple details and a bit of strategic thinking to get more foot traffic to your store and to increase the profile of your store in your local area. So get thinking about the different ways you can ensure the success and future growth of your retail business.

The Big Move: Taking Your Home-Based Business Into Premises


A huge number of businesses start on very little. They start with an idea in the mind of a wannabe entrepreneur, who often has nothing but a laptop to help get them started. The idea begins to progress; a business website is built, a strategy developed, a business plan written– all done from the comfort of the entrepreneur’s own home. These businesses are home-based, a wing and a prayer, someone trying to see if they can turn their idea into reality.

If you’re lucky and aren’t afraid of hard work, a home-based business can begin to take off. It generates a supplemental income; then it’s generating enough money to make it your entire income. The work comes thick and fast, and still that entrepreneur is huddled on their sofa, conducting an ever-growing business. It becomes clear the business idea is strong enough to require a move away from the comforts of home and into official, professional premises.

How Is It Done?

If you find yourself contemplating a move from your home into premises, then here’s the key point: Don’t panic. It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s a leap that your business needs to take so it can grow. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how it’s done.

Step 1: Locate Premises

Ideally, you want something within a reasonable commute from your home. You can scan business listings for yourself, or contact a commercial realtor to assist.

Step 2: Furnish Your Premises

With your premises found, you’re going to need to turn your thoughts to furniture, fixtures, and equipment– commonly known as FF & E. You don’t have to think through an entire office space design for yourself; there are plenty of companies that excel in delivering FF & E on behalf of business owners like yourself. Hire a company to kit your office out with everything you need and save yourself some stress.

Step 3: Focus On Your Contracts

Spend a few days going through all the contracts you will need at your premises. These should include:

  • Phone lines
  • Broadband
  • Electricity, and other utilities if you have them
  • Mail redirection if you have been using your home as your business address

Get these set up and set on a direct debit from your bank account, so you don’t have to worry about them.

Step 4: Move In

You might be thinking of how you need staff — at the very least, a personal assistant — before you move in, but there’s no rush. For a week or so, move yourself into the office and get back into the habit of commuting. This also gives you a chance to iron out any problems you have with the office until you introduce staff into the mix.

Step 5: Recruitment

If you’re going to be recruiting, begin when you’re relatively settled into your new space. It’s advisable to only begin to assemble your team when you can offer them a functional working environment, so your solo week trial is necessary to meet this need.

Step 6: Get Down To Business

The above may simplify a little, but for the most part, it’s an accurate reflection of the process of moving from home to office. Use a company to help, spend a few days working through the bureaucracy, and hold off staffing until you’re settled– if you keep these in mind, your move will be as seamless as possible.

Bringing Reliable Community Transport to Residents in Need


Transportation is a major concern for many communities. Everybody has the need for transportation whether it is commuting to and from work, visiting the supermarket or for socialising. Whilst a large percentage of people drive, there are still those that do not or unable to. Public transportation is often expensive, unreliable and does not get you to where you need to go.

Residents in Need

This creates an issue for many people, but particularly the older generation, those that have a physical disability or mobility problem and those with learning or mental health difficulties. Whilst some residents may have a support network that can help them to get around, there are those that do not. The solution to the issue is community transport schemes. In addition to mobilising residents and helping them with daily life, these schemes can engage communities and provide social opportunities.

Helpful Transport Schemes

So, what makes a good community transport scheme? You should offer a range of services, including door to door transportation, door to store trips, transport to and from centers for older people and social excursions. There should be assistance for those that require it, the vehicles should be comfortable and spacious and it should be an affordable service (usually there is a membership charge and small fee for each trip). It should encourage social inclusion and be a service that residents of the community can rely on.

Getting Started

To get started, you need a determined group that works together to identify the flaws in the community’s transportation system. This knowledge will allow you to develop a plan and create a new system that will address these issues and benefit the community. Costs need to be drawn up and this will include vehicle cost, permits, insurance, fuel, salaries, marketing, utilities etc. You should then secure funding so that the operation can be properly financed and you can determine how to turn profit.

Suitable Vehicles

As a provider of community transportation, the key investment will be the vehicles. The type that you purchase will depend on the services you plan to provide, but they should have space for multiple passengers, have wheelchair accessibility and plenty of storage space. Specialists like Allied Fleet Mobility have adapted and specialist vehicles designed for social transport. Companies like this will help you to identify exactly what you need and help to get you up and running.


Much like any new business, publicity and marketing will be vital to get you off the ground. A website and social media presence is important, but keep in mind that the target audience may not be users of these mediums. Therefore, traditional marketing such as flyers, posters and radio adverts are crucial. If possible, advertise your community transport in relevant social spaces. This could include care homes, supermarkets, hospitals, social clubs and other key community spaces. As with any new business, word of mouth can be extremely powerful.

Transportation within the community is essential, yet there are many that struggle to get where they need to go. A community travel scheme should help those that need it most and address gaps in public transportation. This will bring long-term social benefits to residents.

6 Rules for a Next Level Company Party


A lot of good things can come from throwing a first-rate company party, so if you’re in the planning stages then make sure you dig deep and make it worth your while. A company party can no longer just be good; it has to be great. By following the six golden rules we’ve outlined below, you can rest assured that it’ll go down in the memory books for all the right reasons.

For The Team, By The Team

This party is about your previous clients, prospective clients, and your staff. Your clients will just have to suck it up and enjoy the day because they’re not getting a say in what the party will be like, but your staff? They should be the ones who are coming up with all the ideas. This is not the type of thing where you should be arranging everything yourself. Have everyone on your team come up with ideas, and then actually use them. It’ll be a crazy mish-mash of ideas, but boy will it be fun!

An Eclectic Bunch

There’s a lot of different types of people connected to your company. The money men at the top, the creative clients you work with, the young, twenty-something band of employees who are always doing fun things. You should invite them all. The best parties are always when there are as many different types of people as possible. This can be a party that showcases just how eclectic your company is.

Unique Venue

Don’t even think about having in the office. Even those smart, swanky city-center venues are off-limits now. For a party to be memorable, it needs to be held in a unique venue. Look around: there are interesting places everywhere, and many will be capable of hosting parties! With heater and chiller rental options, you can turn any space into a comfortable party setting. Take a look at things like old tube stations, old stately homes, warehouses on the edge of town, and the like. You’re showing off how cool your company is as well as how good it is!

Killer Taste

You’ve got the guest list, you’ve bagged that one of a kind venue. What’s next? The food and drink, of course. Again, this type of party is a chance to do something different, so don’t just go for the tried and tested champagne. Break new ground. Get in touch with local beer and food producers, and have them provide your party with refreshments.


On the day itself, you’ll want to encourage everyone to get involved. It can get a bit tiresome playing cringe-worthy icebreaker games, but people will happily get their phones out and get involved that way. Have people taking photos, and upload them to your social media accounts using a special hashtag.

Ditch the Job For a Day

Finally, remember it’s a party and that you’re not in work. Ditch the corporate responsibility for the day and have a good time. Work can always begin again on Monday!

How To Survive A Cash Flow Crisis


Cash flow is the total amount of money going in and out of your business and is a big problem for most small business owners. If your sales projections weren’t quite what you expected, or you have a customer or client that hasn’t paid you on time, it could mean that you don’t have enough money to cover the day to day expenses of running your business. This, of course, is a big issue and could result in your business going under. If you want to avoid this possibility, then ensure you read the tips below.

Cut Down On Non-Essentials

One of the first things that you should do when you have little money coming into your company is to cut down on expenses that aren’t bringing in profit. If you have a business landline but always have customers and suppliers calling your cell, why not consider having it cut off? It won’t save you massive amounts of money, but it’s money that could be better spent elsewhere. The same goes for any services that you may be subscribed to.

Push Back Bills

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to put off paying for things like your rent or mortgage, but you may be able to negotiate an extension with your suppliers, especially if you have a good relationship and have always paid on time before. In fact, if you seem to be having a cash flow issue the same time every month, you may want to ask them to push back you due date permanently, and pay a couple of weeks later from now on instead.

Consider Increasing Prices

We live in a world where everything is slowly getting more expensive, and that should include your products and services too, especially if you’re having cash flow issues. However, you don’t want to just raise prices on a whim; You need to be strategic about it. Don’t increase your prices by massive amounts, and try to keep them below the prices of your competitors. If you increase your prices by too much, you’ll risk losing customers to cheaper competitors. Visit for advice on how to raise your prices.

Give Them Incentive

If your cash flow issues are caused by customers making late-payments, you may want to consider offering a discount to customers who make their payments early. However, you may find that this costs you more money that you’d like, so you could also consider doing the opposite, and make your customers aware that they’ll be charged extra for making a late payment.

Get Some Credit

If you’re really strapped for cash, then you may want to consider applying for a business credit card or a working capital loan, to help you cover the day to day expenses of running your business, as well as payroll and marketing. compares some of the best working capital loans, to help you find the best one for your business.

Once you manage to get out of your cash flow crisis, you need to make sure to come up with a plan on how to avoid any future financial problems.

Don’t Fear the Future: Using Tech in Your Business


Technology is impossible to ignore if you own a business. You might as well be living in the Stone Age if you’re not taking advantage of all the things tech can do for you. Some people are unsure about where to start with using tech in their business, though. If you need a bit of help to get started, try these ideas.

Get Organized in Your Office

Keeping your office running smoothly takes a lot of work. Most businesses start off using various pieces of software to make office tasks and organization easier. The tools you use could range from accounting software to productivity tools.

Try Telecommuting and Mobile Tech

If you want to run a business these days, you don’t even need to have an office big enough for all your employees. Many businesses don’t rely on full-time employees either. With remote working and mobile technology, you can have people working for you all around the world – or just on the other side of town.

Boost Communication and Collaboration

Collaborative and communication tools are some of the best ways to use tech for your business. Getting everyone working better together produces better results for your business. Tools ranging from cloud storage to instant messaging can help you.

Use Tech in Your Customer Service

Your customers expect you to use technology to keep up with them. There are several ways that using tech to enhance your customer service experience can help you improve things for your business. For example, a chatbot can help your customers get the help they need faster.

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