Welcome to my site, I hope to be able to share with you some of what I have learnt over the years running my own business. It can be really tough but by persevering and sticking to the plan, you can really make it work. Make sure that your business is known locally, word of mouth is so valuable and if you can promote your company in this way, you will be well on your way. Local businesses are welcome to submit guest posts to share their expertise with others.
Prince2 a.k.a. Projects in Controlled Environments Version 2 is a project management process. The process involves high level management, organization and control of a project without the low level activities such as scheduling. Prince2 is used as a training in order to accredit authorized practitioners of the process. Such personnel should obtain accredited qualifications in order to become an expert of the Projects in Controlled Environments process. This article will provide an overview of the Prince2 training process.
Prince2 is an amalgamation of PRINCE project-management method and PROMPT, which was first developed by the CCTA or the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency of UK in the year of 1989. Even though it was initially developed for IT project management, Prince2 was repeatedly applied outside of the IT field in the UK government and private sectors worldwide.
In 1996, Prince2 was released worldwide as a generic project management method. It became extremely popular worldwide as a generic project management method during the latter half of the 1990’s. Today, Prince2 is a de facto standard for project management across the United Nations System and in many government departments in the UK. The method has been revised since the year of 2006, and it was launched as “Prince2:2009 Refresh”. But the original name Prince2 was used for this revised method as a gesture of goodwill to its developers. In 2013, the ownership and rights to Prince2 was transferred to AXELOS Ltd. from HM Cabinet Office. In fact, AXELOS Ltd. is a joint venture between Capita PLC. and HM Cabinet Office. The main difference between the two versions is the addition of two manuals to the latest version. One manual goes as “Managing Successful Projects with Prince2″ while the other goes as “Directing Successful Projects with Prince2″. The latest foundation and practitioner examinations are based on the “Managing Successful Projects” manual.
Prince2 is considered a process driven project management method, which is based on 7 principles and 7 themes. The seven principles include business jurisdiction, defined roles & responsibilities, manage by exception, learn from experience, focus on products, tailored to suit the project environment and manage by stages. The seven themes of the method include organization, plans, quality, progress, change, risk and business case. These themes and principles would come into play in the seven processes.
Prince2 certification would require that a person passing the required assessments or examinations.
Prince2 Foundation – The lower level is the foundation examination which is exactly one hour. This is a multiple choice examination which will test the candidates knowledge of the method. The exam has 75 questions where 5 of them are trial questions which don’t carry marks. Out of the balance 70 questions which carry marks, the candidate need to score 50% or more in order to pass the foundation level.
Prince2 Practitioner – The higher level practitioner examination would last for 2 1/2 hours. A more complex multiple choice question examination which will check the candidates ability to apply the method to a simple project. The paper has 8 topics with 10 questions each from one topic. The total would be 80 marks for this paper. The pass mark is around 55%. A pass at the foundation level is mandatory in sitting the practitioner examination. candidates who pass the practitioner examination would be called “Registered Prince2 Practitioners.” There would be a re-registration examination every 5 years thereafter. The re-registration exam would contain 10 questions each from 3 topics. Here too, the pass mark would be 55%.
Prince2 Professional – The Prince2 Professional examination was introduced in 2012. This certification would be awarded to those who have completed a 2 1/2 day residential assessment which involves group exercises and activities. Team working is a mandatory process in getting certified as a Prince2 Professional. The practitioner examination is mandatory if you are planning to get certified as a Prince2 Professional.
Examinations could be sat by candidates who have attended the accredited training courses. Candidates who are self studying can purchase the course the APM Group’s website. They are able to sit the examination at a public examination centre or a British Council Office thereafter. The examination could also be sat at home via a live proctor observing the candidate via webcam. The APM Group has a list of successful candidate register on their website. This register will show the details of the candidates who have completed the Prince2 examinations. Trainers of the course should be re-assessed every 3 years while undergoing a surveillance check in the process every 12 months.
Prince2 is considered a structured approached to Project management. It involves managing projects within a clearly defined framework. The training would describe procedures which are required to coordinate activities and people of a project. It is best used in larger projects than small projects for best results.
Business meetings can be highly useful for exchanging ideas and sharing information among staff. They can however, be a bit of a free for all and if not steered carefully can turn into a bit of a rabble which is neither useful nor productive. When a meeting goes like this, virtually everyone comes away feeling dissatisfied and sometimes even bewildered. There are a few rules to follow when running a business meeting which will make it go the way it should.
Make sure that the meeting starts on time and if you have planned a set time for the meeting to run, ensure it finishes on time.
Long meetings will mean that you should provide refreshments and comfort breaks, ideally every 45 minutes or so.
Have a clear agenda and that everyone attending has a copy before the meeting begins. This gives delegates a chance to prepare properly and gather whatever information they need to achieve the objectives of the meeting. Stick to the agenda, do not allow the meeting to be sidetracked or even worse, hijacked.
Be aware of the overuse of slides in presentations, although these can be very helpful, many presenters get a bit carried away and end up reciting what is written on the slides. This can lead to audience distraction.
It is so easy for a meeting to stray off topic, it is important that the chairperson keeps the meeting focussed and on topic. Avoid side issues that take the meeting off course, make notes of these issues for discussion at a more appropriate time.
Try not to let bones of contention turn into unpleasantness and never ‘shoot the messenger’. The bearer of bad news often suffers the brunt of any disappointment and in the end, they are only delivering a message.
Encourage questions and discussion, providing it is all relevant and pertinent to the meeting, it will help to stimulate a healthy debate.
The chairperson is responsible for ensuring that civility and manners are maintained throughout the meeting. It is vital that the chairperson does not allow the meeting to degenerate into a slanging match.
It is also the chairperson’s responsibility to ensure that everyone has their say and is allowed to finish. Nobody should be allowed to dominate the meeting and the chairperson needs to keep control of the meeting. It is a good idea to set a time limit for presentations as well as for discussions following each one.
Make sure that mobile phones, tablets and pagers are either switched off or switched to silent mode. It is important that interruptions are kept to a minimum and a request to all delegates not to use these items whilst attending the meeting is quite reasonable.
Before the meeting begins, either delegate someone or bring a secretary to take minutes. Accurate minutes are actually a good record of the meeting. Minutes should be distributed quickly (within 24 hours) to everyone who attended. The format of the minutes will vary from business to business however, providing they accurately record what has been discussed and the date is noted, it does not really matter. The minutes will also give details of any tasks that have been assigned and to whom so that everyone knows who is doing what.
Business meetings are an essential fact of life and if run properly can be very effective. Using the above tips should help you to organise and run a successful meeting.
Pollution from waste water from factories is a major cause of concern, as it dumps over 80,000 identifiable chemical pollutants into ground water, which is a main source of water for the people living in the United Kingdom. These can be chemicals, metals, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic drugs. Over two thousand of these are known carcinogenic substances that can severely affect health.
The situation gets further exacerbated by the ordinary citizen adding to the pollution by using toxic chemicals in the form of cleaners, medicines, solvents and paints, which find their way into waste water produced by homes. The UK manufacturing industries on their part add tonnes of bacteria, toxins, chemicals, metals and other waste to effluents from their production processes. This has been one of the main reasons for soaring cancer rates in people not only in the United Kingdom but in most parts of the developed world.
Most of this pollution comes from manufacturers having waste disposal methods and dump locations that are totally inadequate to address the issue. This can be decreased by arranging for more waste disposal sites, but there are other methods of waste water pollution control that must be tried out irrespective of the costs they will impose on industry. Neglecting this will lead to rising health costs, which may ultimately prove to be far more expensive.
Industries in the United Kingdom can do their bit in waste water pollution control by trying to reduce or eliminate the waste at its source. They must study each f their manufacturing processes, determine which of them are producing waste water that is polluted, and see whether they can reduce the quantity of pollutants, or even the quantity of water being used. They must make sincere efforts to replace the pollution producing substances, with others that are less toxic, or ideally non-toxic. They must have in place techniques for conservation of water. Another method of pollution control can come from recycling waste materials, so that lesser quantity of these materials is added to the waste water.
Every manufacturing facility must install wastewater treatment plants and this must be considered as a part of the production process and not as an added cost. They must have in place septic tank programs to retain waste water till it becomes harmless or less harmful. Adding these before sending the water for treatment can reduce costs of treatment, though it may be demanding on the requirement of land and area for these facilities. Every factory must study its own watershed and the extent that is vulnerable to pollution. They must have in place programs for protection of ground water, so that the pollutants never reach this source of water. Setting up these facilities can be expensive and industries must look at ways of joining other industries to set up such plants. The larger scale waste water treatment plants can lead to economies of scale, though they do introduce problems for managing and monitoring these plants. The efforts to monitor waste water pollution have to be constant and unrelenting, if we have to leave a safer environment for our children and the generations that come after them.
Every industry must study the waste water that it creates and find the best way of purifying it and making it harmless before it is discharged to become part of groundwater once again. Systems can be advanced filtration techniques like ion exchange, sub micron filtration and carbon filtration, all of which have the ability to purify the waste water to 99 percent purity. A combination of systems, which can include detention of waste water to create sludge, which is easily removed and filtration of the effluents from these detention ponds has been found to be most effective and comparatively economical. This also allows easier recycling of materials, and disposal of the waste to disposal sites. Disposal sites need to be monitored constantly to ensure that they are relatively harmless and do not in any way contribute to contaminating ground water at their locations.
Controlling the pollution from waste water from manufacturing has to be considered as a part of the manufacturing cost and must be included in every proposal for setting up industrial plants. Filtration and pollution control techniques being used must be able to eliminate all types of pollutants, whether they are from chemicals, metals or other organic products. There has to be constant monitoring of the quality of the waste water before it is allowed to be discharged to areas where they can again enter into ground water sources. Manufacturers should let this monitoring be done by third parties, who have a responsibility to ensure high standards necessary to reduce the pollution to standards set for them.
Ignoring waste water pollution by industries is an attitude fraught with danger that can cause a lot of damage to health. It is an environmentally unfriendly act, which needs condemnation in the severest terms.
There are pros and cons to everything and VAT is no different. When a business turnover reaches a threshold of £81k (correct at time of posting) it becomes eligible to register for VAT unless, it only sells VAT exempt goods. As with any taxation, the correct forms need to be filed by a certain date and all fees payable at the same time. Failure to do so can result in financial penalties or even jail. On the up side, all VAT paid by the business on goods, services and equipment for that business can be reclaimed. During the financial crisis steps were taken to help businesses who were suffering cashflow problems but now, there is rather a large amount of money outstanding. This means that HMRC will begin to pursue this overdue money so every business needs to make sure that it is keeping up with all agreed terms and that their VAT bill is paid promptly.
The impact of the Great Recession and a rise in late customer payments has left UK companies facing a multi-billion pound unpaid VAT bill, research shows.
The amount owed to HMRC in overdue VAT increased by £100m to £2.6bn in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to LDF, which provides finance for business.
VAT bills are issued on a quarterly basis. Businesses with a turnover above £1.35m have to pay VAT after they invoice customers, not after they are paid by consumers. LDF said businesses were struggling to meet the taxman’s demands for payments as many were still waiting for overdue payments from customers. It said this had caused “huge cashflow problems” for a wide range of businesses.
“The recession saw many fall behind with their VAT payments and the recent economic upturn has done little to ease the burden,” said Peter Alderson, LDF’s managing director.
“Some are still dealing with a backlog of unpaid VAT and other tax bills while scrambling to source funding for upcoming tax bills.
“Previously businesses could rely on borrowing from the bank to fill the gap, but since the recession this has become increasingly difficult to find.This has left many businesses, especially smaller ones, in real difficulty.” Click here to continue
Establishing your home office in a proper means is one of the most essential tasks you will certainly deal with when you make the decision to work from the comfort of your very own house. Your home office can be a corner of your kitchen or living-room and even your own bed room.
Size is lesser that functionality. When picking where to establish the switchboard of your company, there are some elements you have to think about prior to establishing a home office.
Proper lighting is very important. Spending your working hours in a workspace that is poorly illuminated will not only make you tired, it will cause eye strain which can, over time, create a number of other problems with your vision.
Take into account the electrical equipment you will need for your home office. Obviously, you will have a computer which will generally have a separate screen and you may also require a printer, scanner and fax machine.
All that computer system devices needs to “breath” to stay cool and functioning correctly. If you have actually ever “fried” a computer you know how essential it is to keep the fan clean and dust free.
In addition to having a telephone helpful for business purposes, you will certainly likewise need telephone access for your modem. You could also consider a separate telephone line for your company. It is much easier to track telephone overhead for tax purposes if you have a separate phone line.
It’s also crucial that your customers can reach you. If your customers need to take on your teens telephone practices, possibilities are they will call someone else. Ensure that this separate line is set up to get phone calls while you are online. Most significant telephone companies now provide that service. You could pay a few extra dollars a month for it, but it will spend for itself over the long haul.
You want your workplace to be as separated as possible. Can you think of attempting to speak with a client or find out html code with children screaming in the background? Not a really professional image. If you have no choice however to have your workplace in a high traffic area, adjust your work schedule to accompany household activities. Sit your family down and describe the importance of your work and why you need their cooperation. It won’t constantly work out that way but a minimum of it’s a step in the right direction.
It goes without saying that you need to have regular office supplies. Even if your work is online you still require the pens, pencils, note pads and so on.
One of the stickiest challenges you might encounter comes from your close friends. Individuals who do not work from house seem to think that if you do, you have all the time in the world to visit.
This can end up being a major trouble if you do not set the specifications. Setting out the guideline is essential to the general health and well being of your company. Let your close friends and extended household know your business hours and describe to them that you are not available throughout those time frames. The quicker you do this the better.
Conduct your business in a expert way. Just since you working from home does not imply that you need to throw out the guideline book. Maybe you have actually checked out the funny comment about “working in your pajamas. It sounds good in sales messages, however the fact is you are far better off if you awaken in the morning and prepare yourself for your work day as if you were still trekking off to the workplace, since you are.
You will be much better prepared to concentrate and get down to business if you dress the part. That does not suggest that you need to squeeze into the regular ” workplace” clothes. It does indicate that you get to set the standards for your company. Most of this has to do with your own mindset and the image you wish to portray. Being comfortably dressed is one of the main benefits of working from home, however, if you are also smartly turned out, you will have a more businesslike approach to your working day.
I have one final word of insight for the brand-new work at house business owner. Setting up a home office right down the hall can be a blessing, however it can likewise be a curse. Remember to take time out for yourself. Many people think that working at house features particular privileges, and it does. Nevertheless, it can also end up being intense and take overall control of your life.
Don’t allow that to occur. Create your schedule and live by it. Make sure you switch off the lights, shut down the computer and “go home” at the end of your work day.
Trying to find the perfect venue for a conference is always a difficult thing to do. However, when people learn about the Hedsor House, they will quickly find they have discovered the right place to hold the conference at. The problem is that
it is such a hidden gem that many people are not aware of this excellent venue. Once people know about this location and the features that it offers, they will not want to go back to any of the other venues they had looked at before.
The first reason people should discover this country house venue is the stunning look that is available on the private 100 acre estate. When people see this stunning venue and estate they are not going to be concerned about the attendees hating the location or having problems with distractions outside of the window of a city site. Instead, people will have some of the beautiful landscape to look at and this will make it easy for them to relax and pay better attention to what is going on outside. Something else that people enjoy about the venue is they are going to be able to enjoy the view of the River Thames, which is below the Hedsor House. So the venue location alone is going to make any of the conferences that people are going to memorable.
Ability To Adjust To The Size Of The Conference
A major issue that people have at times is having to book a conference centre that is larger than what their actual conference is meant to hold. When this is the case people are typically paying for dead space in the conference centre and this can easily lead to people being disappointed because they are not getting the right return on their investment. This is when people should know that Hedsor House is able to adjust the conference room size to the different size that is required. However, people will also find that this beautiful place even offers different rooms that will make it easy for people to host the conference properly.
Typically the reason why people are going to select a conference venue is because of the different values that are present with the facility. When people look at Hedsor House they will quickly find that the facility has some of the most up to date facilities around and this can make the conference even more enjoyable than what people thought. With an antiquated venue, the chances of the venue being able to meet the needs of the conference can be very limited.
– Catering ability is one of the first things that people will enjoy seeing with this grand venue. Because of the type of conference people have, they generally want to supply food for the visitors to the conference. This means they are going to need to have food available on site rather than having to bring in food all the time and know it can get cold over time. With this specialist conference venue, they have the proper facility to provide all the catering needs people need to have for the conference.
– Different types of technological aids is something else that people will want to have in a conference centre as well. The Hedsor House has been updated to provide only the latest in technology to help people host a conference. So people will not be disappointed in the fact that they cannot use the PowerPoint presentation they have put together for the visitors or the other aids they have to impress their customers.
Ease Of Parking And Drive
Driving to a conference is always a pain for the attendees. What makes the drive even worse is when people end up having to find a parking space at the location once they have arrived at the conference centre. At Hedsor House, people will find the location provides ample parking space, but also is easy to reach. So people will not be worried about getting stuck in the downtown traffic for hours on end while they are staring at the conference centre that is a block away. Instead, people will be able to reach this conference centre quickly and without any headaches.
Most of the time when people are trying to find a conference room, they quickly discover a lot of different features need to be present to meet their needs. This is when people need to realize they can easily find the best conference venue if they consider the fabulous Hedsor House. Once people have learned about the beauty of the location, the ability to have the rooms sized to what they need, ease of access, and even the superb facility they will know the proper choice has been made.
Do you think that the tension of running your business kills all the fun in your life? It does not have to. The idea of having your own business is to have the flexibility to do exactly what you like, delight in life and prosper.
To some, tension is a vicious circle. I often hear: “Running my own business is so demanding. It drains me. I cannot concentrate on my instant work tasks. I try to do more, however then it triggers much more stress and anxiety. I have to stop when I get ill and this is about the only time I get to relax”. This doesn’t sound like enjoyable, thriving or free life at all. So right here are some basic steps you can require to prevent this possible high stress nightmare.
Your own business is everything about exactly what you desire. There are no borders. So why don’t you picture your perfect business? Dreaming is a time well spent. Lots of research studies have recommended that fantasizing puts you in a state where you can relax and revitalize. Besides, this will certainly assist you to create new ideas for your business and develop solutions on the best ways to conquer present challenges.
After you have dreamt it, it’s time for the action strategy. Any specialist will tell you that a fantastic undertaking begins with a business strategy. Compose it all down. Be as detailed as you can. Put in writing all the dates and small numbers. It will look much better on paper. Everybody understands that worry is generally caused by stressing about the unknown. Once you have it in a document, there is nothing to tension about. Everything is computed and prepared. And the rest is as some would state is: ” Simply do it”.
Look at the whole picture.
Every day take some time to turn away from the immediate issues and think of why you are building this business. Look at the larger picture and obtain some perspective. What was the purpose? Did you have a individual objective when you began? Taking a picture of the bigger picture will substantially lower the stress and anxiety.
Employ people that can do a much better job at the auxiliary jobs. All of us have our own distinct strengths. For example, if your business includes communications with lots of clients, having a receptionist with exceptional people skills is a must. Concentrate on exactly what you do best and hand over other jobs. This will minimize unneeded work overload and tension. It is a excellent workout in developing trust in other individuals. And once you trust them, there is a wonderful sense of ease and clarity.
Make certain you make time to unwind.
Now, this is probably the most essential point. Do something besides your business. Enjoy your pastime. Be it reading a book, playing your favourite game or going fishing if that’s where your heart is. Switching your mind to a various activity is the best method to freshen. There is nothing wrong with doing a very complicated Sudoku if it brings you enjoyment. The objective is to relax and not think about work, nevertheless much you love it. Getting massage is likewise a great method to distress and rejuvenate. It is amazing how competent hands can take those stress away and make you feel relaxed and refreshed.
Look after yourself.
As my Granny used to say: “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.” Exactly what is the point of having a financial stability if you cannot enjoy it because of a health issue? Engage your body every day. Physical activity releases endorphins in your body, making you unwind and feel happy. Incorporate this point with a previous one. Let sport be among your hobbies. Nevertheless, moderation is a secret. I see many clients in my office who trained wrongly and now require weeks of therapy and rest to recover that sport injury. I personally suggest beginning with a bicycle. Why don’t you park your car for a day and see if you can commute on a bike. You would be astonished how simple it is and just how much workout you can manage just receiving from point A to B. It has a extremely low effect on your joints, and offers you an remarkable aerobic exercise.
Laid out in this post are just a few basic steps you can take. No solution fits everybody. We have to find what works for us. However if you discover that the tension affects your ability to run your company, then it is time to act.
Video streaming is becoming more popular as new devices support this format. Internet users can now watch videos on tablets, phones, TVs and even through their video game console. As a result, popular video streaming websites and services are getting more traffic than ever before. Video streaming is a great way to provide Internet users with entertaining content but this format can also be used for educational purposes.
Some universities offering online classes include video streaming as part of the curriculum. Students can watch a class via a webcam and even video chat with their instructor. Video streaming is also being used by companies that need to train employees in remote locations or employees who work from home. These employees can for instance watch training videos or take part in video conferences.
A solid video streaming platform is needed for educational or training purposes. Popular sites such as YouTube or video chatting services like Skype are great for entertaining content or to communicate with friends. However, they are plenty of other professional video streaming platforms that are more reliable. Universities usually have their own video streaming platform for online courses while major companies usually invest in professional video conferencing software.
The advantage of using video streaming for training or online courses makes education or training a lot more accessible to students or employees in remote locations. Universities can easily reach out to students all over the country without having to invest on developing a bigger campus. Companies can easily start branches all over the country and keep their remote employees up to date without having to send instructors or managers to different branches for training purposes. Overall, video streaming is a very cost efficient way to offer training or education.
Studies have shown that information is more easily retained when it is presented in video format compared to written content. Most people have a visual or auditory memory, which means that they will easily remember a concept an instructor explained or demonstrated in a video rather than something they read. Besides, a video of an instructor is a lot more engaging than written content. It is also possible to present a greater quantity of information in a short video than in a short text. Watching an online course or a training video is more time-efficient for students and employees.
Video streaming for educational or training purposes can sometimes feel a little impersonal since students or employees are sitting in front of a screen. However, it is possible to let viewers participate. Some universities are offering online discussions where students have the opportunity to see each other as well as their instructor. This is a great format for debates or Q&A sessions. This online classroom requires a few adjustments from everyone but universities who have been using this techniques achieved very satisfying results.
Video conferencing is also becoming more popular in the corporate world. Instead of asking employees to travel to a location for a conference, everyone can easily participate to the discussion via webcam. Phone conferences have been around for a while but these conferences do not allow participants to see each other. Employees are usually a lot more comfortable with video conferences since they can see who they are talking to and the result is a much more relaxed conversation.
The main downside to video streaming for online courses or training is that not everyone is comfortable with the technology. Some returning students prefer real classes to online ones because they are not confident about their technology skills. Some employees might also have a hard time getting used to the video conferencing format. However, as more millennials are entering the workforce, video conferencing and video training should become more popular. Most universities are making a real effort to help returning students feel comfortable with technology by offering some relevant courses or tutoring on this topic.
If you are thinking about introducing video streaming for your class or for your training sessions, you should start by selecting a reliable video streaming platform. There is a lot of video streaming and conferencing software available. The school or the company you work for will have to spend money on a professional license for video streaming software so all the students or employees can use it. You should test different software to find a video streaming program that is easy to use and corresponds to your needs. If you only want to stream a training video to employees, very basic software should be enough. You will have to invest in video conference software if you want students or employees to be able to participate in a discussion.
It might take a while for everyone to become comfortable with video streaming. As an instructor, you need to familiarize yourself with software and help others do the same. Don’t hesitate to plan a session for everyone to test the video streaming software you chose and introduce themselves. The first video discussions will be more efficient if you establish a list of the important points that need to be brought up in advance. It might take a while before everyone is comfortable enough to have a video conference without a plan. If you want to use video streaming to provide students or employees with course or training videos, take the time to create quality content to keep them interested.
There is a lot more to learn about video streaming before you get started. If possible, talk to professionals in your field who have been using video streaming for a while to get some useful tips.
Workplace pensions are in the news again and all businesses in the United Kingdom, regardless of size or how many people they employ will be legally obliged to have one in place for their employees by 2018. Some businesses have done really well in finding very good pensions for their employees whilst others have not done so well and found that the pensions they have chosen will not pay out as much as perhaps they thought. Being savvy enough to find the right pension for your workforce will reap the rewards but how do you know that what you have chosen will actually offer a good return? It can feel like wading through a mire when trying to navigate your way through all the information regarding workplace pensions so for the hard working time pressed business owner, this can seem like just one more piece of legislation that they did not ask for and don’t understand. It is always worth asking your accountant, he or she will be familiar with the nature of your business and finance is after all their speciality and they may well have solid information regarding a suitable pension fund for your business. If you have not done anything about a workplace pension because you are not anywhere near the enrolment date, don’t stick your head in the sand! Start doing a little bit of research now so that you are in good position to set your workplace pension up and you will have the knowledge and ability to choose one that will really benefit your employees.
The year 2017 might not mean much at first, but it marks an important deadline for small business owners. It’s the year by which every existing UK business that employs staff will by law have to offer – and contribute to – workplace pensions in a process known as auto-enrolment.
According to an official forecast from The Pensions Regulator, more than 1.3m SMEs, micro businesses and new employers are expected to reach their “staging date”, the date by which businesses must offer a workplace pension for employees, over the next four years. For the average small business owner, even the word “pension” can be daunting, but the good news is that there’s still time to prepare to minimise upheaval.
What is it?
The government’s auto-enrolment project was rolled out in 2012 – but only large companies were affected at first. Small companies will begin the process in 2015, with all existing UK companies enrolled by April 2017. New businesses that were set up after 2012 have slightly longer to go through the auto-enrolment process, and staging dates are staggered from May 2017 through to February 2018, depending on when they were set up. At the moment, only businesses that are set up from October 2016 onwards will auto-enrol in 2018. For all existing small businesses, the staging dates will happen throughout 2017.
Essentially, the scheme requires businesses created before 2012 to enrol all qualifying UK staff – those aged between 22 and the state pension age, and that earn at least £10,000 a year during the 2014/15 tax year – into a pension scheme, and pay contributions into it. Employees can opt out (15% are estimated to opt out over the lifetime of the scheme, according to the Department for Work and Pensions) but employers cannot.
There are different bands of minimum contributions. Until the end of September 2017, the total minimum contribution into a scheme for each qualifying employee is 2% of basic pay, made up of 1% from the employer and 0.8% from the employee, as well as 0.2% tax relief from the government added on. This increases from October 2017 to reach 8% in total by October 2018 – with the minimum employer contribution set at 3%, with 4% coming from the employee and the remaining 1% coming from the government in the form of tax relief. You can find out both employer and employee contribution levels using The Pensions Regulator’s tool.
There are added benefits to auto-enrolment. It provides an extra incentive for staff without increasing salaries or providing other benefits such as gym membership or health insurance – extras that are often well beyond the financial limits of small businesses. For the average small business owner, even the word “pension” can be daunting, but the good news is that there’s still time to prepare to minimise upheaval.
What is it?
The government’s auto-enrolment project was rolled out in 2012 – but only large companies were affected at first. Small companies will begin the process in 2015, with all existing UK companies enrolled by April 2017. New businesses that were set up after 2012 have slightly longer to go through the auto-enrolment process, and staging dates are staggered from May 2017 through to February 2018, depending on when they were set up. At the moment, only businesses that are set up from October 2016 onwards will auto-enrol in 2018. For all existing small businesses, the staging dates will happen throughout 2017.
It can be a little tough getting to know which conference room design will work for you, but this article can help. Here you’ll get an idea of some of the ways you can be sure you’re getting what you need to make a conference room work for you.
When you’re thinking of what the room should look like, you need to consider what kind of colours would look best in the room. It’s generally a good idea not to have anything too bright or showy because in a conference room it’s all about paying attention to the business at hand. For instance, a bright yellow wall colour is going to have people straining to see who’s speaking and their eyes will begin to wander. Think about working with neutral darker colours so that people won’t get as distracted while in the room.
You may want to think about getting yourself the furniture for this room before you start thinking of the floors and the walls. This is due to the fact that the furniture may only come in a few different colours, and you want to be sure that you’re able to match everything with it since that will be an expensive part of this kind of a room. Be sure you’re able to buy the furniture at a great price. Shop around a little and pay for the best quality you can so it all will last you a while.
See if you can get an interior designer to help you out if you’re not sure of how things should go in this room. There are plenty of people out there that spend all of their time working with things of this nature. That’s good news because you can just pay them a little money and let them take care of bringing everything together. This really helps if you’re a business person and need to be working all the time. They can just get an idea from you what you need and then get to work on making you something that looks great.
Try to consider the fact that people need to be comfortable in a conference room. If you think about it, people are going to be in there for meetings and things of that nature which can take some time. If you make the place not very comfortable, people are going to have a hard time paying attention since they’ll be working on how to position themselves to get more comfortable. However, too comfortable of a room and then you’ll have people not paying attention because they’re going to be getting too relaxed which will lead them to possibly napping.
Think of the needs of the people that will actually be using this room in the building. Figure out if the table in there will be large enough for bigger people to fit their legs under it. Are there fairly short people as well that need different kinds of chairs to be comfortable? Mix it up a little bit and have options that people can choose from so that they don’t feel like they’re stuck having to be tortured while they’re in the room. Then you can be sure that you’re making an impact when they are in the room.
Know that to keep a room’s design working right, you need to keep up with cleaning this room up. Sure, people may not eat in there or anything, but fingerprints and dust can build up and make the room look terrible. Let the maintenance people or cleaning people know how to clean everything in there, especially the more expensive pieces of furniture. Even if you’re sure that they’re able to clean things correctly, remind them about doing it right. That way you’re not surprised later on by someone using a chemical on a nice table that ruins it.
Always look to reviews on various pieces of conference room furniture if possible so you can figure out whether or not it’s going to be worth your money or time to get. There are plenty of people online that speak about what they think on certain things, and furniture is something a lot of people love speaking about. Of course, since this will be for a conference room there may be fewer than if it were to be a common couch. But, you can try your best to get an idea of what to expect so you have less of a chance to waste any money.
In the end, you can see that there are a lot of considerations to make when working with conference room design. When you’re able to use this information to get you started, it will be easier for you. Just pay attention to the details and you’re going to do very well.
Small Business Factoring and its buddy, Property Based Financing, will be in style in the coming months and years ahead as companies look for working capital to sustain profits development. Our news media continually report on the stimulus strategy, tax credits and other initiatives to incubate the economy; however the fact continues to be banks are not providing.
The Future of Small Business Factoring here, and will again verify to be the best interim solution to battle the sour banking and credit markets. The time tested practice of factoring will certainly promote leading line profits growth when standard bank financing does not fit, or in today’s market conditions is frequently unavailable.
Exactly what is invoice factoring? Invoice Factoring is the sale of a business’s invoices and/or balance dues at a promo for immediate money. Unlike a standard bank that will certainly measure receivables, inventory and other possessions as collateral to lend versus, an balance dues factoring company will purchase the invoices out-right. To the business owner brief on working capital the end outcome is the same, nevertheless from the outside searching in there are some unique advantages and disadvantages to both invoice factoring and conventional bank funding.
Invoice Factoring – pluses and minuses
Factors will pay immediately on authorized invoices.
Business Owners incur no financial obligation to be repaid. Offering invoices for money is the same as offering consumers a price cut to pay early. You’re trading a fast payment price cut for the convenience to have cash now.
Factoring companies will motivate development by supplying additional working capital to grow. Unlike a standard bank that will certainly need a business to re-apply for each lending increase.
Flexibility, as a business owner or management team it is your selection to factor or not factor particular invoices.
When compared only on expense. Factoring is a more expensive type of working capital.
Small company factoring has actually been and constantly will certainly be a stepping stone or bridge to standard bank financing. Through periods of fast development invoice factoring and possession based loaning are shown alternatives to enhance cash flow and return on equity. Exactly what specifies quick development? In the life-cycle of every business there are periods where a company’s development rate surpasses its revenues.
When dealing with a standard bank, earnings is a vital element to any funding covenants arrangement. Get the ratio out of balance and your bank will restrict or worse withdraw loaning advantages. Banks concentrate on the net value of the properties pledged to pay back the loan and assign ratios that need to be met. Factoring business and property based lenders fund solely on cash flow and the strength of a business’s customer base.
In light of today’s financial unpredictability, numerous factoring business have actually resurfaced as a favored and sensible financing option. Factoring will once again provide businesses the much needed working capital for development and will certainly function as a preferable money space solution. It will certainly stay to be seen how long it will take for traditional funding sources loosen the handbag strings, nevertheless till that time receivable factoring and asset based lending will provide business owner moneying to support growth.
In summary, no one really knows how long it will certainly be before we see traditional banks lending again, however in the meantime commerce should remain to move forward.
Businesses are acknowledging the significance of the info they handle, and more companies than ever deal with delicate details on a regular basis. So whether you are a one-man-band or a multi-national corporate entity right here are 10 Information Security Idea for Companies:.
1. Implement policies and standards.
Implement policies, processes and guidelines – the guidelines of the video game – that are appropriate for your company. This suggests a top-down method to detail security showing that your company is dedicated and going to buy security to protect its information. Remember that commonly, the easiest option is the very best so keep your rules basic since doing so makes them easier to follow.
2. Lead by example.
Senior level buy-ins are vital however business owners and senior management needs to follow the same policies and standards, otherwise it becomes a pointless workout, as personnel will bypass them in the same way. That implies it’s important to lead by example, revealing your team that you take information security seriously.
3. Personnel education and training.
It might seem obvious, but if you don’t enlighten your personnel on their details, security duties, and duties then you cannot expect them to supply efficient protection for your information. You do not just teach your personnel exactly what they have to do and the guidelines they have to follow but why it is essential to you, how they do it and who they should speak to if they have any concerns or issues. It is essential right here to make the process as amusing and enjoyable as possible as it is seen commonly as an extremely dry, if not dull subject.
4. Company processes.
It is essential to implement appropriate business procedures in your organization and to align them in details as your security policies as much as possible. Otherwise it might end up being much easier to bypass the controls you have carried out in order to achieve your business objectives.
5. Technical solutions.
In the same way as it is necessary to have appropriate company processes, it is also essential to execute appropriate technical solutions. Many organizations see IT as the driving force in shielding their information. However, this is not the case. IT is merely one of the tools readily available and you therefore you need to make sure your technical solutions and which IT systems are offered to your company with the defence it desires in line with your security policies.
An excellent way to guarantee your personnel follow your info security policies is to use a regime of spot-checks. It is necessary that this should to be done to raise awareness of concerns and not as a technique of penalizing those that fail to follow the policies. After all, you require your staff members to buy-in to the spirit of the program not just follow directions like sheep. A wonderful means of accomplishing this is to encourage personnel to come up with concepts for improving security and reward the very best concepts.
7. Test and step.
In addition to performing your own spot-checks, it’s a great idea to utilize an external agency or consultancy to check your security controls regularly. Lots of corporate bodies have regular penetration tests of IT facilities and less frequent tests of physical security. Smaller companies could see this as overkill but unless you in fact test your controls you have no idea as to their efficiency!
8. Check your suppliers.
The majority of business use 3rd party service providers. Whether it’s for your IT, webhosting, accountancy or legal operations, it is essential to ensure your suppliers take the same care and consider over their info security (and yours) as you do. It’s no use having superb info security regulations just for every Tom, Dick and Harriet at XYZ IT Support Company to have access to your delicate information because they offer your IT support services. Put in the time and ask questions – ask to see their policies, how they handle their staff, and exactly what regulations they put in place to secure your information. At the end of the day, safeguarding your information is your obligation.
9. Plan for the worst, expect the very best.
In the same way that it’s a great idea to have company insurance, all business need to purchase a Company Continuity Plan. This implies taking a look at the hazards in your business, the dangers posed by them and how you respond in order to continue running if the worst take place. Your Business Connection Plan has to cover all the high risks to your business and it needs to be tested and examined on a regular basis to guarantee it satisfies your different functional demands. Undoubtedly, testing a Business Continuity or Catastrophe Recuperation Strategy totally might be excessively pricey but there are methods of examining the strategy without necessarily needing to get hardware.
10. Occurrence feedback.
Although having all the policies, procedures and guidelines, the appropriate technical options, and excellent staff awareness will certainly offer you the very best chance of not having an info security breach, it does not ensure it. Therefore, it is critical that you have a specific process for reacting to an incident. This must include reporting points, escalation, and evidence party and media management. It should also plainly specify the duties and obligations for appropriate personnel and how your company reports the breach to the relevant authorities like the police, the Information Commissioner or regulative bodies – and obviously how you notify the people or companies worried.
Social media is all the rage these days and many businesses make use of it to promote themselves so it pays to be familiar with what platforms are available. Most businesses use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest but have you considered using YouTube? It can be used in many different ways to promote your business, for instance, you might like to demonstrate a new product line or do a ‘how to’ video which could lead to a larger number of visitors to your website and increase your online profile. Consider how a YouTube video could enhance your business and what you could share with viewers, remember, it is a symbiosis and everyone can benefit. Take a look at the following article to help you make the most of video.
When someone mentions social media as a business tool, most people think of Facebook and Twitter.
Because it’s a video platform, YouTube may not initially seem like a suitable platform for marketing a small business—but now that comments on YouTube are tied to Google+, it’s a more social and influential platform than ever.
Creating and posting video content on YouTube is a great way to boost the visibility and credibility of your small business.
The most popular YouTube channels are those that have high volumes of consistently updated content. If you want to use video as a marketing tool, you need to have—well, video. And lots of it.
There are plenty of ways to produce video content for your small business. Webcasts and webinars can be broken up and posted as a series of videos. You can repurpose infographics into explainer videos, or create short tutorials or product demonstrations. Consider creating a corporate profile or company history video. You can interview the owners, staff, customers, or even yourself.
2. Include Calls to Action
You’ll probably have links in your video’s description, but you should start thinking about how you want viewers to respond before you ever post the video. Make sure your calls to action are included in the video itself. Possible CTAs can include contacting you for more information, subscribing to your YouTube channel, leaving your feedback, sharing your video on their social network channels, or some other desired action.
3. Get Interactive
As people view your videos, they will rate their quality and leave comments. To keep the momentum going, you should monitor and respond to all feedback as quickly as possible. If possible, personalize your responses to each visitor: using a “cookie cutter” automated reply could be even worse than no reply at all.
Figuring out what a business logo design service can do for you is important if you’re needing a new logo. It’s easy to get the help you need if you’re able to go over some information. Here are some pieces of advice to help you out.
When you’re going to look for a place to design a logo, you have to be sure that you work only with the best. You don’t want to hire someone that’s new to this and can’t prove that they can make a great logo. Ask the company to provide you with samples of work that they’ve done, and if they’re a new company they should at least have done a few sample logos. If you can’t get someone to show you what they can do, then you shouldn’t trust them to do the work on your logo.
When you’re trying to do the design of the business logo yourself, you have to make sure you’re using the best software out there. It’s going to cost you a bit of money, and you’re going to have to learn all you can about using the software so that you’re able to make a logo professionally. Most people that own a business just don’t have time for all of this and that’s when it’s a good idea to hire someone else. There’s generally no need to get all of this equipment and training anyways if you’re just making a single logo.
A good business logo design company may be swamped with work when you try to get them to make your logo. If you can’t wait for it, then you need to find a company that can get your logo done for you right away. You may also be able to just pay a little more to get your logo done a lot faster. Either way, it’s a good idea to get these services to work for you well before you need your logo to be ready. That way, you can make revisions and things of that nature without running out of time. Check out the services offered at rouge-media.com if you are interested in having a logo designed for your business.
While you can get a company to help you, don’t forget that you can also find freelancers that do graphic arts. You’ll have a lot of luck if you’re able to work with sites that allow you to post jobs and then people can bid on them. This allows you to pick out who you think has the best price and will have the skills to do the job in the right way. Always look through the freelancer’s profile and ask them for samples before you work with them just to be sure they know what they’re doing.
If you get a logo back from a company or a freelancer and you just don’t like it, figure out what kind of changes you want to be made and let them know. You shouldn’t wait for too long because you don’t want them to lose the files they were working on. When you first work with a person on graphic design, let them know that revisions may be needed and to keep everything until you’re completely done with the project. Most of the time you’ll want changes made, so don’t be afraid to ask for revisions as soon as you know they need to be made.
It’s good to learn about business logo design before you get started with it so you can find a way to get a logo made for a great price. You’ll want to keep these tips in mind as you work on this so you can get the benefits from it.
Many small business owners fail to achieve the goals set each day quite simply because there is not enough time to get everything done. This can prove to be very stressful and is one of the reasons small businesses can either flounder or fail completely. It could be that time management can help and if this is what you need to help you map out your working day, you have come to the right place. Anyone can benefit from managing their time more efficiently which can lead to increased productivity.
If you’re having a hard time fitting all your tasks into the day, try using a calendar to make things easier. Hang a time management one on your fridge or keep a desk calendar handy at work. Mark your priorities with a given time to get things accomplished and you should be able to operate more efficiently with a little time left over.
Schedule any important events or appointments. Try to create a time limit for those events. Once you have set your schedule for the day, make sure you try and stay with it. If you find that certain tasks overrun, look to see whether you have underestimated the time you have allowed or if you can do things more quickly. Being disciplined will help you get through the working day and give you time to go and relax.
If you use a smartphone, make sure you find out what it can do particularly if you need to manage your time better. Just about all new mobile phones are equipped with a calendar and software that allows you to make lists, all of which is very helpful to keep track of what you need to get done. You might prefer to download third-party apps which have been specifically designed for time management in order to make the most of each day.
For a lot of people, time management is all about multi-tasking. If you need to improve your productivity, this strategy might not be the best one to follow. Multitasking has the disadvantage of splitting your attention so that you are not focussed on any one thing so that you might not be able to do your best work. If possible, focus on one task at a time so that each job is done well.
Do not be afraid to tell people to leave you alone when you are working. Hang a sign on the door, lock the door and block your phone calls when you need to get something done. This will help you keep your train of thought and focus on the task at hand. You will be far more productive without any interruptions.
Try eliminating distractions in your life if you’re always running out of time for things. For example, it’s very distracting having a constant email ping or phone ringing when you are trying to get through your work. If you can, switch off the email and check it once per hour or whatever you think is a suitable amount of time. Being able to focus on work is so much easier when there are fewer distractions.
Work on your to-do list the day before. You can either created a detailed schedule or a basic to-do list. By doing this, you ease anxiety and are better prepared to tackle the next day.
Prioritization is key to your to-do list. Often, we waste time performing tasks of little consequence. When you prioritize your tasks, you make sure that the important things get the most time and energy from you. Write down what you must do and accomplish them according to importance.
It is important that you remember to take regular breaks during the day. You might be feeling very overwhelmed and having a stressful day and this is why it is important to take a break. Being able to spend a few minutes away from the task in hand can be very refreshing. Have a cup of tea or whatever you prefer, read a magazine, go for a short walk or just do something that clears your mind so that you go back feeling a bit more refreshed.
As you can see, managing one’s time is very easy when you have solid advice to follow. Now that you can see how easy it can be to get more out of your day with just a little bit of organisation, you need not be stressed in future. Keep looking for great tips on managing your time so that you can continue to streamline your workload.