Latest Articles

10 Common Self-Assessment Tax Return Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

self assessment income tax return 2017/18

If you need to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR) it’s imperative you get it in on time and free of any mistakes. There are penalties for not submitting your tax return on time and you may have to pay a fine if HMRC deem you have not taken enough care in completing it.

This article explains how to get started with your tax return, and how to avoid common mistakes that people make on their self assessment tax return.
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Can You Dismiss an Employee if They Lied on their CV?

what to do when employee has lied on CV

It is common for individuals to exaggerate or embellish certain aspects of their CV when applying for a role, however employers can be faced with a serious problem if it turns out the person they hired does not have the experience or qualifications needed to carry out the job at hand.

So what can you do if after you’ve hired an employee, you subsequently find out they lied on their CV? (more…)

Becoming an Employer – Your Responsibilities When You Hire Staff

what you need to do when employing staff

No matter how successful your business has been with just you working in it, if you want to grow you’ll need to employ people.

There are innumerable benefits of having employees. The right people will ease the workload on you and allow you take holidays. Good staff keep your business running day to day, so you can focus on the most important part of your role as the leader: growing the business. (more…)

How Can Your Small Business Take Advantage of New Features on iOS 12 and Android Pie?

business features iOS12 Andriod Pie

Every year there is a new mobile operating system update, so businesses can be forgiven for not being aware of the vast array of new features that are made available.

In fact, it is usually the case that most users are not engaged enough to uncover the secrets that a new OS has to offer. So to help you benefit from the best new features on iOS 12 and Android Pie, we asked Anthony Main of The Distance to highlight the new features that businesses can take advantage of. (more…)

How NOT to Network – 7 Business Networking Mistakes to Avoid

How to network successfully

When you start your own business, one of the first things you need to do is to start promoting it and finding customers?

Depending on the type of business you are in, one age-old and sure-fire way to build relationships is through networking. However, if you are to enjoy the full rewards of networking you need to know what you are doing. (more…)

9 Ways You Can Use Props to Make Your Presentations More Impactful and Memorable

grab audience attention with prop

How much of what you say is actually remembered? As a business owner, communicating your vision and expectations is vital if your business is to succeed, so strong and effective communication skills are a pre-requisite for any business owner.

You need your presentations or speeches to be remembered and acted upon long after the staff or board meeting, but in reality, most presentations are forgotten after a few hours. Even less is remembered after a few days and many people will only remember about 5% of what you said after a month. So how can you make sure your presentations are memorable and impactful? (more…)

How Mediation Can Help Your Business Avoid Going to Court

commercial mediation to settle dispute

If you run a business it’s inevitable that disputes will arise. Whether it’s problems with suppliers failing to meet their obligations, employee issues or non-payment by customers, when a dispute arises it can be difficult knowing how best to resolve the problem with the minimum of disruption, time and expense.

Taking the matter to court to resolve is costly and takes a long time, so we asked Tim Bennett of Fairlead Mediation to explain how businesses can use mediation to resolve disputes more effectively. (more…)

On to a Winner? How to Tell if Your Product Idea is Really a Good One

business idea - success or failure

So, you have a great product idea, it’s exciting, you see the value and believe it could change your company’s future or launch your next new business. This idea may be a brand new product solving a problem, or a better way to address a market need than the competitors out there today.

Knowing that not all business ideas make it, jumping into your new idea can be a significant risk, requiring you to commit substantial resources. However, it doesn’t have to be, and there are a few questions to focus on early to test your idea’s potential. (more…)

6 Ways to Maintain IT Security for Your New Business

Starting a new business is a mixture of fun, fear and challenge. For many new business owners, the technology side of things can be particularly fearful. With so many things to think about, how do you know what you do and don’t need to be able to make a success of your new business, and […]

What I Learned from Going Bust

Every business owner can learn valuable lessons from studying how successful businesses are born and grow. Looking out for, and replicating, key drivers of success in other businesses, can help to drive our own business forward. However, vital insight can also be gained from business failures. In many cases, what we can learn from terminal […]

From One-Click to No-Click: The Technology Behind Frictionless Retail

It may seem like yesterday, but Amazon first began disrupting the retail status quo nearly 25 years ago. As one of the world’s largest online retailers, it has set ecommerce standards. But it now has its sights set on stores. With Amazon’s move into offline retail set to be a game-changer, we asked Retail Technology […]

Can You Dismiss an Employee for Posting a Negative Company Review?

Company reviews left on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed can be a great way for your organisation to build a positive reputation and help in efforts to recruit new talent. However, there is always the risk that staff may leave negative reviews on these websites, which can have a very different impact altogether.

A Small Business’s Guide to Disposing of E-Waste

Many small businesses up and down the country have a corner or storeroom where dead or unused electronic kit sits, unused and gathering dust. Many of us keep it there because, hey you never know, it might come in handy for spares one day. But it never does and ends up sitting there for years. […]

4 Elements to Consider When Designing Product Packaging

“You should never judge a book by its cover”, or so runs the popular advice. But there’s a reason that these words are so often-repeated; we often need to remind ourselves that first impressions aren’t everything. Whether we’re meeting a new person for the first time, or picking up an unfamiliar product, our natural drive […]

6 Fun Apps to Help You Get Your Business Through Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner; the high streets are flooding with people, the markets are springing up in town and city centres across the country, and the festivities are in full swing. While it is a time of great celebration and merriment, Christmas can also be incredibly stressful with a stack of work to […]

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Avoid Losing Business Over the Christmas Period

 Some businesses will work on Christmas Eve but then close down until Wednesday, 2nd January. It may feel as if everyone is off work and every office is closed (especially with many schools closed until 7th January as well) – but that’s not entirely accurate. Many people are still working during the festivities. As a […]

How to Get Funding Fast: The Quickest Routes to Finance for SMEs

When you need to find business funding fast, what are your options and what are the quickest ways for you to secure more finance? We talk you through the most viable fast funding options for SMEs who need finance in a hurry, and include practical tips on how to ensure your funding application goes as […]

9 Ways to Make Christmas Tax Deductible

It’s Christmas! Well, nearly – and that means festive gifts and the goodwill. If you’re smart, your generosity can be tax deductible, so we asked Jonathan Amponsah of The Tax Guys to explain how you can claim some Christmas tax reliefs, and reduce your tax bill whilst still keeping the taxman happy.

5 Technologies That Can Supercharge Your Next Corporate Event

Today’s events offer the best of both worlds when the right technology is applied to the immediacy of the face-to-face experience. Delegates can enjoy the impact of personal, immediate interactions, networking opportunities and cutting-edge talks – with the added benefits of VR experiences, social sharing, personalised follow-up experiences and automated check-ins. In this way, the […]

How to Build the Perfect Pitch Deck for Raising Funds

Most entrepreneurs really struggle to bring in investment without the proper tools to bolster their proposition. An engaging pitch deck is a key part of any successful fundraising strategy, so it’s vital to get it right. With no clear consensus on what a great pitch deck for raising funds looks like, we asked funding expert, […]

How to Use Digital PR to Build Links to Your Website

There are a whole range of ways that you can build backlinks to your business’s website, from guest posting to tactical link audits and on-site asset creation. However, the amount of time and effort it takes to get each link can become a barrier, particularly when you have limited resources.

How to Give Feedback When an Employee Does a Terrible Job

In a small business or start-up culture there is often limited time available for formal employee appraisals or structured feedback planning. However, developing a business culture where structured feedback is routinely given, received and acknowledged is essential for long-term growth.

5 Factors to Consider When Expanding Your Business Overseas

According to a study by Elements Global Services, 69 percent of UK businesses are planning to expand internationally in the next three years. At the same time, 58 percent of businesses described hiring and onboarding overseas staff as challenging. Problems identified in the research include setting up global payroll, benefits programs and other HR essentials; […]

7 Strategies for Building a Valuable and Enjoyable Business

When I first discovered entrepreneurship, I was a blind optimist and believed that most entrepreneurs were succeeding, earning big money, enjoying freedom and making an impact. I knew there was work involved, but I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t choose to be an entrepreneur – success was a sure thing if you were ambitious, tenacious […]

Making a Contractual Job Offer to a New Employee

Following a successful recruitment and selection process, employers will be able to identify which candidates they wish to employ. Making a job offer to the successful candidate appears to be a straightforward area of law, however, there are several factors that employers should consider to put themselves on the best path.

Can Employers Decline an Employee’s Annual Leave Request?

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employees are entitled to take a minimum of 5.6 times their normal working week as paid annual leave each year. As employees typically place great significance on their holiday entitlement, the act of declining an annual leave request can often be met with annoyance.

5 Ways to Implement Learning at Work

The business landscape is constantly changing, and new technology is accelerating the pace of developments. These changing dynamics have redefined the ‘ability to learn’ as an essential skill, whatever your role in the organisation. ‘Learn something new today’ should not be just a lesson for when you are in school or university – it should […]