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Business News

Useful advice, tips and business news.

July 11, 2017
May 5, 2021


Will Freelancers be the Workers to Boost UK Businesses Post-Brexit?

Being able to fill a variety of roles ij multiple industries, freelancers carrying their existing knowledge and expertise are attractive for business owners

The main worry around Brexit for most business owners is seeing our strong bonds with Europe being severed and the possible loss of a valuable cross border workforce. Will Brexit make UK businesses less competitive and therefore less attractive in the global market? We simply don’t know yet.

Now that Article 50 has been triggered and we have begun negotiating our exit from the European Union, many businesses are looking at an uncertain future that is going to be hard to predict. We have no real idea how this will impact on us, from concerns about the demand for our exports to finding enough seasonal workers to pick fruit from our fields and orchards or to staff our hotels.

According to figures coming from the Office for National Statistics, migrant workers in Britain reached a record level of 2.15 million during 2016. These figures account for over half of all new workers, so who will fill the gaps in the market for these workers should they stop coming here? There are many businesses both small and large from all sectors that may suffer as a result.

Top bosses from the ever-growing tech industry in the UK says that there are insufficient numbers of home grown engineers to fill their needs, so they actively source talent from across Europe who come here on working visas. Most tech companies have to do this to remain competitive, and any reduction in overseas staff will mean they cannot grow as fast as they need to. This could leave the UK tech industry lagging behind its competitors.

Despite claims from the Prime Minister that she is making workers on EU visas in London a top priority, nothing as yet has been put in place and any failure to do so will be disastrous. Companies across all sectors who rely on European workers will struggle to fill essential roles and would find it hard to attract workers from the EU, especially those who may feel like they are no longer welcome to work in this country.

Could the solution to Brexit be the Freelance Economy?

The freelance economy has grown by 25% since 2009, and is now estimated to generate £109 billion per year in turnover. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, self-employment grew from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015, with around 2 million of those currently self-employed working in a freelance capacity.

Being able to fill a variety of roles across a wide range of industries and carry their existing knowledge, experience and expertise with them is looking like a very attractive option for business owners looking to fill the gaps left by missing EU workers.

Although freelancers are often seen as part of the ‘gig economy’, this isn’t strictly true! The ‘gig economy’ in it’s true sense is made up of quick tasks, and a gig worker is someone that may work for Uber or Deliveroo collecting and delivering things on your behalf for example. A freelancer on the other hand is able to offer businesses essential skills, talents and support no matter where they may reside in the world. They can provide employers with short or long-term flexible support for project developments and can often bring new skills to the table that the company don’t yet have.

Did you know for example that major brand names such as ASOS and Google hire freelancers that make up half of their UK based workforce? Many large organisations hire remotely based freelancers to make up their workforce and have done so for many years. The most obvious benefit of hiring a freelancer over an EU worker is that a freelancer doesn’t need a visa to be able to work for you. Freelancers are going to be far less susceptible to the outcomes of Article 50 and therefore are going to be a more reliable source of talent when making short term or long term plans for the future.

Employment Restrictions

With Brexit will come a whole new raft of restrictions regarding working visas for overseas workers, so business owners are going to have to think long and hard about how they are going to manage their talent with regard to geographical borders. Managers are now looking at ways they can use to attract and retain talented freelancers while still moving their plans for growth forward. A lot of this is going to be down to good management of their freelance pool and knowing which person is going to be the best fit for each new project or role as it arises.

Business forecasters are predicting a shift in focus for many hiring managers. This will involve moving away from bringing in overseas workers and helping them to find accommodation, fit in with the company culture and feel at home to a more hands-off approach with freelancers. Here they will need to put in place a system that makes on-boarding new freelancers more simple, and helping them to integrate smoothly without causing disruption to their current workflow. Focus must also be placed on ensuring that all freelance staff are treated well, paid fairly and most importantly, paid on time. If they want to retain the best workers, they cannot afford to neglect the basics that freelancers rely upon = good communications and regular pay.

Outsourcing tasks that can be done virtually anywhere to professional freelancers has been growing in popularity over recent years. Outsourcing jobs and hiring freelancers is also a great way of keeping business running costs to a minimum. With an unpredictable few years ahead, many small and medium enterprises in the UK are getting ahead by using professional freelancers, hiring virtual offices and personalised call handling services.

With so many uncertainties surrounding life in post-Article 50 Britain, it will pay business owners to embrace the professional freelance economy to support their plans for the future.

June 8, 2017
May 5, 2021


Important Changes that Small Businesses need to know about

Lets take a look at some recent changes that may affect your small business and what all small business owners must be aware of to stay updated to new norms.

The world of tax and business is an ever-changing place. Each year there seems to be a number of changes, both significant and small, that small business owners are obliged to keep up with and understand. Lets take a look at some recent changes that may affect your small business, or that you need to be aware of.

The National Living Wage

The National Living Wage for all employees aged 25 and over was increased by 30p an hour from April 1st to £7.50. The rates of pay for all age groups are now as follows: For 21-24 year olds it is now £7.05; for 18-20 year old it is now £5.60 and for under-18s the hourly rate is now £4.05.

It is law that every business owner pays their employees at the appropriate rate for their age, and you should pay particular attention to adjust pay rates for younger employees once they reach the next age bracket.

New Business Rates for 2017

From April 1st this year, the new Business Rates came in to force for England, Scotland and Wales. The new rates have been based on new commercial property valuations and many small businesses have seen a steep increase in their rates. For those businesses in England that are concerned about a rise in their business rates, you may be eligible for reduced rates for a period of time, but this will be at the discretion of your local council authority.

The government promised extra transition funds for local councils across England, so it may be worth checking to see if you can qualify. There are separate local and national rate relief schemes for Scotland and Wales too, and these can be applied for via the local council.

Changes to the appeal system

Should you wish to appeal for your Business Rates because you believe your business premises have been overvalued, the system you go through for appealing your rates has been changed in England. Small businesses wishing to appeal their new business rates must now pay an upfront fee of £150.00 before going through the three-stage appeal process. The £150.00 fee will only be refunded should your appeal be successful.

A change to the Code of conduct for Business Rates appeals firms

Many small business owners don’t particularly want to go through the business rates appeal process on their own. Many owners don’t want the hassle of the extra work involved so will hire consultancy agencies that will go through the appeals on their behalf – but often for a hefty fee! Should you choose to take this route then it is wise to hire a firm that is registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

There has been a new level of protection added to protect small businesses from bad practice from these agencies. The newly strengthened RICS code of conduct that agencies have to sign up to will help protect the small business owner from being overcharged or from receiving a sub-standard service.

The introduction of the new £1 coin

The new £1 coin was introduced into circulation on 28th March this year. The new 12-sided design replaces the old style round £1 coin, which can still be used as legal tender up to the 15th October 2017. Should you still have some old-style £1 coins after this date, you can take them to a bank or Post Office and they can still be used in deposits for a limited time. This will be up to the individual bank or Post Office, so it is best to check with them to find out if they have a cut-off date. Most banks are stating around a 6 month period after this date to allow businesses to deposit the old style coins.

As a business owner, you are under no obligation to accept old £1 coins after the 16th October. You can find out more information about the new £1 coin and how it affects business here.

No tie to one water provider

It used to be the case that businesses in England were tied to their regional water firm, but now are free to choose who they wish to supply their water services. Those eligible to change their supplier can now choose to have their water supply from one company and even go with a different one to handle their wastewater service. This sort of choice has been available to businesses in Scotland for quite a while now and has been working well.

New Lifetime ISA

The Government introduced a new lifetime ISA on April 6th 2017. This individual savings account has been particularly aimed at encouraging the self-employed to save. Following research published by the Federation of Small Business that showed only around 30% of self-employed workers are saving into a private pension, this has been introduced to encourage savings with a Government top up of 25%. To qualify for the top-up you need to be under the age of 40 and put up to £4,000 a year into the ISA.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme changes

A new flat rate VAT of 16.5% was announced at the Autumn Statement and was introduced on 1stApril 2017. The eligibility criteria to qualify for this rate has changed. Small businesses affected are those who are considered to be ‘limited costs traders’. This is where your VAT-inclusive expenditure only takes up a very small percent of your business turnover. This can be either:

  • less than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover in a prescribed accounting period
  • greater than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover but less than £1000 per annum if the prescribed accounting period is one year (if it is not one year, the figure is the relevant proportion of £1000)

More information about the new VAT flat rate changes can be found here.

Charges for hiring non-EU workers

The Government’s new Immigration Skills Charge to incentivise training of British workers was introduced in April 2017. This means that businesses seeking to employ new workers from outside the European Economic Area on a Tier 2 (skilled workers) visa will face paying a fee. The charge is £1,000 per employee per year, but there are reduced rates for qualifying small business of £364 per worker per year. The charges have been introduced to help cut down on the number of businesses taking on migrant workers, and instead hopes to incentivise them to train British staff to fill those jobs. More information about the introduction of the Immigration Skills charge can be found here.

Faster payments for small businesses

A requirement for better payment practices has been introduced. This means that larger companies have to give details of how promptly they will pay smaller businesses upfront for their goods and services. Larger firms will now have to specify the proportion of invoiced cleared within 30 days, between 31 and 60 days, and above 60 days.

Small business owners have long faced a struggle where they are financially stretched while waiting to be paid by larger firms holding off payment for an overly long time. This has sometimes resulted in smaller firms going under or failing to re-invest in the business due to a lack of circulating funds and payments being withheld. The Government considers a delay of 60 or more days before payment as poor payment practice, so it wants to encourage more transparency over payment arrangements and for invoices to be paid more quickly to benefit smaller businesses.

May 3, 2017
May 5, 2021


Making Tax Digital is Unknown to 20% of Micro-Businesses

Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme is designed for making the reporting of your business’s financial data to HMRC more straightforward and appropriate.

A new study by FreeAgent has shown that around 20% or one-fifth of micro businesses have no idea about the government’s Making Tax Digital scheme, despite the government publishing further information about the plan at the end of January.

Lack of information

According to the research, some 84% of respondents thought that the government had not provided enough information about either the digital tax plans or how this new legislation would affect business owners around the UK. But on the positive side, 41% said they were aware of the plans and that they felt positive about them. A further 27% thought that the legislation would make running a business easier than before.

Changing tax system

According to Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, the Making Tax Digital scheme will see one of the biggest changes to the UK’s tax system for generations. Businesses could also see the start of the changes as early as next year.

Yet despite positive responses from some micro-businesses, it is also clear that others have little idea about what the scheme involves. And even those who are aware of it don’t fully understand how it will affect their business. He went on to add that the Making Tax Digital scheme is a great way for businesses to gain clarity over their financial position as well as being better equipped to calculate and pay tax bills.

For the micro-businesses surveyed who did know about the scheme, there was generally a positive attitude to the changes with only a small number saying that they felt the changes would make things harder. But FreeAgent also urges the government to keep these businesses up to date with the changes and ensure they were fully aware when the changes are implemented.

The scheme

The scheme was announced in the March Budget in 2015 but the 2017 Budget saw the government give small businesses another year to institute the changes. It will involve keeping digital records and sending HMRC quarterly updates with every business having their own personalised digital tax account.

What does Making Tax Digital for Business really mean?

For SMEs, entrepreneurs and sole traders, there are a few major changes that they need to be aware of that will be introduced over the next few years. Here we take a look at the most relevant changes that are planned to happen:

The end of annual tax returns

The Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme is designed to make the reporting of your business’s financial data to HMRC more straightforward through eliminating the need for an annual tax return. Instead, you will be required to send your financial updates to HMRC digitally via your online tax account on a quarterly basis. Rather than being asked to complete a new tax return four times per year, you will only need to submit financial data online without the need for any complicated paper form filling.

MTD has already begun

The initial consultation period for Making Tax Digital has already ended and we can expect to see the new legislation being announced at some point this year. The new MTD requirements will be operated through your existing digital tax account that you will already have with HMRC.

The MTD pilot scheme has already started with volunteers who have signed up to test the system. We can expect changes and tweaks to the system as their feedback is received. Hopefully this will make the system as user-friendly as possible to take into account those with minimal computer skills.

From July to December 2017, the online digital tax accounts will be able to give taxpayers an overview of their standing and what tax they will be liable for.

In 2018 it is expected that all businesses, landlords and self-employed people that have a turnover above the current VAT registration threshold will be able to start updating HMRC for income tax and NI on a quarterly basis using simple accounting software.

If the roll out continues to be successful, it is then hoped that in 2019 all businesses with a turnover falling between the current minimum threshold and the VAT registration threshold will also start to update HMRC on a quarterly basis too. This will also be done through their accounting software and submitted online.

Possible Software Issues

While it will be necessary to keep HMRC updated with your business finances digitally, HMRC have so far been pretty vague about the details. They will expect you to use a form of accounting software to submit your figures and have said that using spreadsheets is fine as long as the spreadsheet package you use will be able to connect to your digital tax account. This may be possible through some sort of software, but looking ahead it may be easier to simply use a digital accounting software package to compile your figures rather than rely on spreadsheets alone.

Real-Time Tax Information

By going digital, HMRC say that your business tax position will be reported to you in ‘as close to real-time as possible’. This will help to avoid you having to wait until the end of the year before knowing exactly how much tax you have to pay. This can help you to budget and set aside money over the year to pay your tax liabilities without the worry of being landed with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.

At the moment, the threshold for meeting the MTD requirements currently stands at £10,000. However, for those who are exempt because their annual sales fall below this figure, there is an option for them to opt in if they so choose. There are other groups that will be exempt from MTD and these will include charities and those deemed to be 'digitally excluded' for whatever reason.

March 29, 2017
May 5, 2021


Foreign Spending in British Shops After Brexit Side-Effect

After the side effects of the Brexit vote, foreign spending in British shops has increased since the vote, as buyers make the most of the currency fluctuations.

While many of the businesses around the country have been studying the negative side effects of the Brexit vote and the looming lengthy discussions around the separation process, some have noticed a positive side effect. Foreign spending in British shops has increased since the vote, as buyers make the most of the currency fluctuations.

Surprising numbers

Foreign card spending volumes saw a 3.4% increase in the month after the Brexit vote was announced and non-UK card spending is particular strong online, with a growth in the volume of 5.3% while the average transaction value has increased by almost 9%. Even offline bricks and mortar stores saw an increase of around 3% after the vote.Worldpay’s UK Managing Director Dave Hobday said that the rich mix of large and independent retailers has always meant that foreign shoppers were attracted to the UK market and the recent fluctuations in the currency have also made the prospect of ‘buying British’ even more enticing.The data has given a boost to the retail sector having been through a lengthy period of uncertainty and change. This boost in overseas trade has also encourages retailers to seriously consider their e-commerce strategies and how this can let them fully make the most of the international markets now available and taking a keen interest in UK business.

More visitors

The data goes on to show that is isn’t just the volume of non-UK card transactions that have been on the rise – visitors are also spending more when they come to the UK to shop and spend money. An 8.8% increase in basket value just after the Brexit vote announcement has now been bettered by an 11% rise in in-store transactions for non-UK cards since the vote, rising from an average of £39.88 to £44.28 since the UK decided to leave the EU.The figures from online retailers show a similar trend with the Worldpay data showing an average transaction of £126.79, an increase of 10.9% on the previous year and 8.6% in the period before the June referendum.

Spreading the good news

While the biggest boost is unsurprisingly to London based businesses, the good news is that the boost has also spread around other areas of the UK too. Non-UK card transactions in the capital had increased by 4.6% and the average value had increased by 14% after the Brexit vote.Around the UK, growth has also been seen. In the Midlands, the figures were 7.4% and 5.7% respectively while the Yorkshire area saw a large 7.2% increase. Figures were more modest in Wales and Scotland did see a slight decrease in the same period.This shows that while tourist hot-spots such as London have been the biggest beneficiary of the change, all areas of the country are seeing some increase in non-UK based customers. It has prompted many businesses to look to continue their innovation and investment with the aim of attracting and getting more customers from outside the country.


While many businesses continue to be concerned about the impact that leaving the EU will have on their company, it seems that non-UK shoppers are already embracing everything the UK has to offer and continue to show no signs that the decision to leave the EU has in any way put them off from spending their cash here.

January 28, 2017
May 5, 2021


Why Entrepreneurship Has Taken Off in the UK

With large number of people setting up home or office-based small enterprises locally, the entrepreneurship has rapidly taken off in the UK. Find out more.

If you go back ten or fifteen years or so, everyone used to talk about being their own boss, shedding the 9-5 lifestyle and answering to no-one. And sure, there were people who did just this, but sadly they were the minority. Fast forward to 2017 and there are now huge numbers of people starting their own business from home or setting up a small enterprise locally and becoming successful entrepreneurs. So why has entrepreneurship taken off so rapidly in the UK?

Helping hand

When a person is looking to make a big change in their life and go self-employed, one of the things they need is a helping hand. Whether this is in the form of inspiration or encouragement from someone famous, or comes in the form of actual monetary assistance from the government depends on the individual and their particular circumstances, but here in the UK, there seems to be plenty of both.One system in place from the government is called the Help to Grow scheme. This pledged £1 billion to help companies cut red tape and find the funding they need to get started. The idea is that the small and medium sized businesses are the heart of the UK economy and also boost exports that make the government more money. So they wanted to provide a boost to start these small businesses and schemes such as Funding for Lending has done just that.

Rise in entrepreneurs

There’s no doubt that the numbers leading by example have also had a big impact on others who want to go down the road to entrepreneurship but were a little hesitant or unsure. There has been a steady rise in the number of companies being registered with Companies House and this shows that the urge for more of us to have our own business is getting stronger:2011 – 440,0002012 – 482,0002013 – 502,0682014 – 581,1732015 – 609,100

The urge to be entrepreneurs

According to surveys conducted at the end of 2016 by the TUC, around 50% of British people aged 25-34 are considering starting their own business in 2017 and one of the reasons for this is the wealth of online opportunities available. Many of these will take a hobby and create a business from it.An analysis of official figures by the TUC to mark National Work From Home Day reveals that nearly a quarter of a million (241,000) more people work from home than a decade ago.The most popular areas for potential new company formations were in cooking (19%), baking (18%), photography (18%) and sports (16%). Shows such as the Great British Bake Off and The Apprentice are often cited as inspiring people to get out there and find a niche that suits their interests and passions. Co-working spaces also allow people to have a small dedicated working space without the major investment of a dedicated premises but also not taking over part of their own home.Businesses that live entirely online are also a huge growth area as these don’t require the same commitments for physical premises, lots of technical equipment or associated costs and overheads. According to figures from the TUC, there are now around 1.5 million people working from home, a rise of a fifth in the last ten years. Factors such as high speed internet connections and cloud based systems have made this possible, alongside the growth of freelance industries where businesses hire someone to do a specific job rather than employ them full-time.

Inspiring figures

As well as popular reality TV shows, many real world people offer inspiration to become entrepreneurs and show what can be done with dedication and hard work, such as Richard Branson and James Dyson. From former famous footballers who have become career management business owners and restauranteurs to musicians making cheese (Alex James of Blur fame), there are lots of examples of people famous for doing or being one thing who have turned their skills to form a completely new successful business.Larger than life rap star Will.i.Am is a perfect example – he has built on a successful music career to become an entrepreneur. He has designed his own digital camera as well as an iPhone case that enhances the smartphone’s camera function, making it better for sharing images across social media. There are many more examples out there of artist-turned-entrepreneur, but far too many to list here.


It is easier than ever to start your own company – you can use a company formation service, such as ours, to create the company and ensure everything is done correctly. This ensures that you fulfil all the legal requirements and means that more people with that entrepreneurial spirit will be able to take the first steps to fulfilling their dream of owning their own business.

September 23, 2016
May 5, 2021


The Top 10 Startups of 2016

There are many startups investors should be looking at in 2016. But these are the top 10 startups to for investors to put their money over the next 12 months.

There are many startups investors should be looking at in 2016. On both sides of the Atlantic there are a number of startups to watch. Investors should consider the following big players when they are thinking about where to put their money over the next twelve months.Have you heard of any of these startups before?


Based in the UK, CityFALCON is a fintech startup that has received awards and acknowledgements from a host of different organizations. These include the Ministry of Ontario, UBS, and Standard Bank. The goal of this company is to democratise the process of gaining access to the latest financial news.They’re seeking to disrupt the investment industry through helping people to avoid the high subscription fees. CityFALCON has made the same investment news free to retail investors. It hopes to offer their widgets and API to businesses as its main way of generating revenue.


Established in the Bay Area, Inverse is a media company that covers the latest news. The difference is it does it from a millennial male point of view. It has already formed partnerships with Crosslink Capital and Rothenberg Ventures in an attempt to ditch the reporting policies of current news outlets.


The Mobcrush organisation is a mobile live game streaming platform. It also provides a community where mobile gamers can get in touch with each other. It has already managed to raise $15 million in its attempts at gaining some traction. The hope is that it will be able to take full advantage of the live streaming revolution.

Product Hunt

There are many ways companies can lose a customer. The idea behind Product Hunt is to present a ranking of the best new products in each industry. Venture capitalists are already using this tool in order to find out more about the best new startups in specific niches.It already has a lot of investors, including Greylock Partners and SV Angel.


Patreon is another company that has managed to raise huge amounts in funding. Patreon allows content creators to promote themselves and reach out to their fans. It’s geared towards YouTubers, authors, writers, photographers, and a variety of other artists.There are already over 2,000 people with full profiles on this site. The whole idea is to help people keep up with the latest trends in social following. This is a specialist social media platform.


Whichit is a startup that provides a way for businesses to make their content more interactive. Customer engagement has always been a major topic of discussion and now this aggregation platform is making it easy. They provide content like visual polls to make things easier.


Onfido is a startup specialising in background checks. It works with some of the biggest companies in the UK to make it easier for people to verify the authenticity of the self-employed. For example, a company could easily verify that a cleaner on a jobs platform is genuine.


HeySuccess is another startup taking advantage of smart computing. They’re in the business of helping students and graduates find positions abroad. It’s also going to serve as a way for companies to find the best international talent to fill their positions.It brings together thousands of international student platforms.


Zeek helps people to get rid of their unwanted gift cards. With an estimated 47% of UK citizens receiving more than one gift card every year a huge portion of this credit goes unused. Zeek provides a marketplace where people can get rid of their unwanted gift cards through cashing them in or exchanging them.


Kazooloo is a startup that takes advantage of the rise in virtual reality technology. Strictly speaking, this is about taking advantage of augmented reality, but it’s a major step forward in the world of entertainment. Young people can enjoy playing games with the Kazooloo system and experience something they’ve never come across before.

Conclusion – Startups to Watch

These startups to watch represent major disruptions for multiple industries. It’s an exciting time for investors who want to see the future of investing in these organizations themselves. Which of these startups do you think is going to hit it big in the next twelve months?

July 29, 2016
May 5, 2021


How Microsoft's Acquisition of LinkedIn Impacts Marketers

Many had difficulty understanding why Microsoft would want this company and why LinkedIn wanted to sell. But it’s a great opportunity for marketers. Know how.

Much of the world was confused with the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. Many had difficulty understanding why Microsoft would want this company and why LinkedIn wanted to sell. LinkedIn was at a standstill in its business growth/strategy. In order for the brand to move forward, it needed a fresh perspective, which is something that Microsoft can offer. It is a great opportunity for marketers, as you will learn from the information below.

Better Networking Capabilities

Microsoft was rather interested in the fact that LinkedIn had over 433 billion business-driven users, with at least 2 billion of those users having paid memberships. The tools available to those with paid memberships are far more advanced than what free users have available. The availability of these tools allows marketers to network more, build a name for themselves, and make new connections to further their careers.

Increased Skill Learning Potential

LinkedIn has the ability to help users increase their skill sets. This means that marketers can use new tools, new methods, and new approaches to making those cold email campaigns work. Some of the published content on LinkedIn is helpful for marketers as they learn how to use the platform to make sales and market to the right audiences.

Social Media Exposure

LinkedIn is considered a social media website. Given that it is a social media networking site; marketers have the ability to help increase advertising potential to a more diverse audience. Connections can be made, messages can be exchanged, and meetings can be set all from this platform. The ability to use a single platform for communications, promotion, and having social media presence is invaluable to some marketers.

Larger Customer Base Potential

Customers have the ability to leave commentary in the form of a review on LinkedIn content. Your marketing department will have access to a larger customer base by being present on LinkedIn, and with that comes the requirement to market to the multiple demographic groups within that customer base. It is best to develop an online presence, build a reputation, and work on building relationships with your customer base to learn what marketing approaches are going to work best for that specific platform.

Improved Technology Platform

Microsoft plans to improve the technological aids available to LinkedIn users to progress the platform. LinkedIn was at a standstill, it was stuck – new technology and software tools will help grow the membership at LinkedIn and will help marketers keep better records from new connections, campaign performance, and learn what tools will help them in their everyday life.

Better Business Structure

From viewing some of the content and business descriptions of successful industry leaders, marketers can learn how to develop a better business structure. Marketers can also learn the importance of marketing in a way that fits a business’ structure. It makes for more successful marketers because the marketer needs to learn how a business creates a budget, how it determines what it will pay for a product/service, and what types of brands/products it wants to be associated with.LinkedIn offers businesses the opportunity to create a detailed business profile within the platform. This outlines the brand’s goals, preferences, and direction. Marketers should be able to read between the lines to determine whether to proceed with client gaining or work on obtaining a different client.

Recruiting Marketing Team Members

Marketers will often post a resume, along with previous job skills online. When a major corporation is looking for someone new in their marketing department, LinkedIn is one of the places that they look. It is important to make sure that your contact information is up-to-date and that you highlight any special skills. When you are looking to be recruited, consider offering a sample pitch on your LinkedIn profile so that potential employers can see that your pitch is optimized for the web, has substance and includes a good teaser.

Final Say

With the increased potential for creating stronger, bigger networks, marketers stand the chance to make a name for themselves. Marketers also have the means available to access larger vendor/client pools to further their careers. It is important for marketers in all avenues of the industry to embrace the acquisition of LinkedIn as a step in a forward direction with advanced technology, better sales tools, and an easier way of communicating with clients.

July 8, 2016
May 5, 2021


How to Lose a Customer in 10 Ways

It is important to listen to the feedback given by your customers to make improvements and avoid losing your customer to other competitors in the market.

Your customers are what helps a business survive. When customers spend money, your business can keep its doors open for another day. It is important to listen to the feedback given by customers to make improvements to slow down the frequency of customers buying from the competition.

Poor Customer Service

Poor customer service is at the top of the list when it comes to customer retention. When customers feel like a number or as “just as sale”, it does not make them want to continue to do business with your brand. Customers should be made to feel important and their questions should never be a bother to any of your employees.

Not Trending

Is your business following the current business trends? If not, your customers may be discontent with your brand. Consumers like brands that can change and evolve with advanced technology, buying trends, and consumer needs. Consumers are more attracted to brands that stay up-to-date on industry and society trends. The use of advanced technology will help your business become up-to-date and able to compete by being trendy.

Defective Products

Repeated reports of defective products makes customers leave and seek a substitute with a competitor. It is important to fully test products for safety, function, and practicality prior to releasing them for sale. When consumers see multiple product recalls from one company, their impression of the company suffers.

Poor Website Performance

When a website is slow, freezes, or does not have a properly working search function it drives traffic away. If a consumer cannot easily find what he or she is looking for, frustration sets in and additional options are sought. Ensure that your brand’s website is mobile-friendly, optimized, and organized.

Poor Brand Reputation

All it takes is one bad review being posted to start an ambush of negativity for a brand. The negative reputation can be difficult to overcome, but persistence pays off. Begin interacting with your audience, posting reviews, and reacting professionally to negativity to bring customers back.


Inconsistencies in content display, and even shipping, confuses customers. A recent trend is the demand for same day delivery, businesses not offering this option are losing customers. Society has become impatient. With advanced technology and logistics options, society expects brands to be consistent with the rest of the industry. Consumers also expect brands to deliver consistent content on a regular basis for communications purposes.

Toxic Employees

Employees that are not focused on their jobs are easily detectable by customers. When customers see employees checking cell phones, chatting in corners or are seemingly distracted, it is a big turn off. Not only does it reduce productivity, it tells customers that employees do not care about their employer or the customer.In some cases, a toxic employee may be bringing their personal issues to work, which sabotages the productivity of the entire staff.

Pricey Products

If the products manufactured by your brand are too expensive for the target audience, customers will seek out more cost effective items. It is difficult to regain customers when your prices drive them away. It is important to be competitive while still making a profit, but this cannot be at the expense of losing your customer base.

Behind Technology

Customers want to work with brands that are up-to-date on technology and features. It tells the audience that the company pays attention to society’s evolution and technology. Advanced technology enhances consumer experiences and increases brand efficiency.

Boring Marketing

If your brand’s marketing attempts are not performing, your consumer base either is bored or is unable to connect with the product. This big marketing issue needs to be fixed immediately. When marketing campaigns fail to capture the intended audience, customers will go to a competitor that has marketing campaigns that do grab their attention. To reel in new customers or keep those on the fence around, consider a few promotions.

Final Thoughts

If you make a few changes to your business strategy and standard practices, your customers will stay loyal for a longer period. With that being said, consumer experience should be a priority for your business. The customer may not always be right, but their words should act as insight regarding their unique experience with your business.

June 22, 2016
May 5, 2021


Is your Business Up-to-Date with Trends and Technology?

In order for a business to remain relevant today, it has to be up-to-date with trends. It also has to be in-tune with technology to stay ahead from rivals.

In order for a business to remain relevant in today’s world, it has to be up-to-date with trends. It also has to be in-tune with technology. Brands that use the latest technology to improve customer experiences are dominating their respective industries. To become a driving force in your specific industry, it may be time to make some upgrades to your business’ methods, tools, and strategies.

Use Video Marketing

Video marketing is trending in 2016. It is important to learn the tricks to creating a compelling video-marketing campaign that displays the brand’s ability to adapt to change. When creating video advertisements, make sure to only include text that is relevant. Society wants to watch and listen rather than read. Show examples of how a product or service works while explaining simply why a consumer or business needs the product/service. Simple is the best approach with video marketing.

Telecommuting Employees

Telecommuting (virtual) employees are ideal for growing businesses. Not only are virtual offices and virtual employees becoming more popular, it is a better way to keep overhead costs down for businesses. Employees that have the ability to work remotely are more productive, have better work ethics, and are more relaxed. They also have less sick days and require less vacation time than traditional employees. Going virtual is trending in 2016 as more businesses see the advantages of a virtual workforce and the need to cut spending on traditional office spaces.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

In 2016, much of the world has gone mobile. This means that your business needs to be able to go with them. More people are accessing the Internet from wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. Google has also made changes to its policies requiring businesses to be mobile-friendly.Your mobile users should be able to access the same features as your web-users. When consumers have to go to a computer to place an order rather than right from their mobile device, it is seen as an inconvenience.

Increased Demand for Faster Service

Consumers do not like to wait for ordered items to arrive in the mail or via parcel delivery. More are demanding same-day service for goods, services, and consultations. If your business has multiple locations, it may be a great marketing strategy to advertise same-day delivery for local customers. This will increase your client base and allow for the business to expand to more areas around the world with the same business model, operations, and delivery practices.Those that are not local should be offered the option of overnight delivery, at their cost for shipping. Companies have to be able to cater to customer demand in order to have longevity in their industries.

Upgrade Computer Networks

Upgraded computer networks using an individual business server, cloud networks and integrated applications, makes working easier for your employees. Advanced technology is designed to make performing tasks, staying productive, and reaching co-workers with questions easier. It is important to include a central location for employee chatter for employees to decompress, joke a bit, and take some of their work-related stress off.Consider implementing the use of tablets, mobile inventory counters and mobile conferencing technology, to keep all employees on the same page. Outdated technology tends to fail over time, and this can result in a huge loss of company data. It is vital that you stay up-to-date with technology.

Use Digital Tools

Digital tools help keep all of your employees on the same page. Tools like Dropbox, Slack, Trello and Evernote, are ideal for keeping files in a specific location while allowing access to them by all employees. Some of these tools can be used with additional integrated apps to create time lines, have productivity reminders, and deadline reminders. Anything that helps employees stay on-track, upbeat and happy at work, is a good addition to your digital tools. The tools should be available to all employees so that none are working at a disadvantage.

Final Word

Working to get your company up-to-date may cost a bit up-front but will be worth it. It will also provide a better overall experience for your customers. The increased revenues from happy customers that continually come back, gives you more to re-invest into the company for further technological improvements to your everyday operations.

June 17, 2016
May 5, 2021


The Benefits of Using Virtual Office Spaces for Small Businesses

A virtual office space is beneficial for small businesses and online companies, as they don’t have to worry about paying building repairs, malfunctions, etc.

A virtual office space is beneficial for small businesses and solely online companies. Business owners do not have the worries of paying for building repairs, dealing with building malfunctions, or paying for the cost of a company location. Instead, employees have a centralized location to refer to while working from anywhere in the world. Productivity increases when employees have the option to work remotely either regularly or from time-to-time.

Low Company Overhead

When there is not a need for a physical office location, you can cut a lot of overhead costs out by going virtual. You will not have to worry about paying for utilities, cleaning services, or renting office space. The lower overhead means that you can put that money right back into your business or work on the next phase of growth.

Lower Business Start-Up Costs

There are dozens of costs associated with setting up a new business. That comes with finding and securing a building, creating office space for administrative purposes, and paying for proper licensing fees. Physical locations also require equipment, furnishings, and sanitary restroom spaces. There are building codes to adhere to and they often come with hefty maintenance bills. Avoiding all of this when you are just starting your small business is less of a financial burden right from the start.

Physical Location Information

A virtual office does have a physical address and real phone number. It is provided as a means for mail delivery, global mail forwarding, and access to a receptionist. If you have a board of directors or high-profile positions, the personal information of the directors can be kept private as well. Their data would show as the company location for security purposes.

Happier Employees

Employees that can work from any location and have access to a virtual office set-up are happier. Their work is of higher-quality and their productivity remains high. Since employees have the option to design their personal workspace and access virtual offices, they are more likely to stay on-schedule, complete more work, and stay with an employer for a longer period of time.

Advantages for Internet-Based Businesses

Internet-based businesses do not need a physical office location for its employees. It may be a good idea to create a hybrid business model situation here as a small group of executives could work together in one space. If you require a physical meeting space for a conference or potential industry-changing meeting, you can use office space that is available through the entity that you set up your virtual office with. Most have meeting spaces available for client use in their packages along with the ability to provide materials to use during presentations as well.

Potential for a Hybrid Business Model

In some business situations, having a small workforce in one dedicated space is necessary for operations purposes. The rest of the employees can be virtual employees, working from any location in the world. Integrate a cloud networking system and communications tools for your workforce to communicate with. The workforce should also have a dedicated means of contacting superiors and department leads.

Higher Attendance Rates

When you create a virtual office network for your business, you have a higher attendance rate and less employees calling in sick or requesting time off. As employees can work from anywhere, their work can also go anywhere. If an employee is under the weather but still able to perform their job duties, having the ability to do so from the comfort of their bed or home office will allow them to still complete your expected tasks for the day without affecting their work performance.

Global Telecommunications

With the increased technology of the Internet, you can have a workforce that is located anywhere. The use of VoIP services, video conferencing technology and cloud networks helps a virtual office work as a traditional office would. Teleworkers are able to work on flexible schedules in any time zone and adapt their working times accordingly.

Final Word

Consider if the benefits of a virtual office are ideal for your small business. As a start-up, it can cut down some of your immediate spending and allow the business to build and become successful. A virtual office location is convenient and allows for safe communications between employees and customers.

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