How Businesses Survive

If you’re thinking about starting your own business (and more and more people are in the UK) one of the risks you need to be aware of is that new small businesses frequently fail. Sometimes – indeed often – it’s due to factors beyond the control of the owner.

If you’ve been running a small business for a year and a national or multinational competitor moves into town, you’ll be lucky to survive the slow bleed of customers and revenue as your market is at best split, or at worst fatally compromised. Changes in legislation can leave your costs soaring – recent changes in guidelines lights and lightbulbs is putting a lot of small theatres in danger as they need to replace all their lights to meet new rules. For businesses that survive month to month on a small margin having a big cost like this imposed from the top down can be the last straw.

Perhaps worse than being sunk by a big one off cost is slowly losing your profits due to a change that eats into your margins: leaving the EU is increasing the cost of bringing materials, goods and talent in from Europe for UK companies, and having to shutter your business due to simple logistics is extremely disheartening.

Some problems, though, you can anticipate and plan against. Businesses that fail due to self-imposed problems could have done better and issues like this that we’re taking a look at today.

Planning and Budgeting

If you want to start a business you will of course need a business plan: a document that sets out your goals, your methods for achieving them and the research showing how they are achievable.

The problem many people run into is that their plan only accounts for how things will go under a single, unchanging set of circumstances. You can build for long term success before you make your first phone call by taking longer over your planning, and building in redundancies and contingencies to cover situations where your hopes don’t materialise. Having a plan in place from day one to deal with how you’ll adapt if you face more competition than expected means if that does happen, you won’t be caught on the fly, and will be able to react competently and seamlessly.

Developing Infrastructure

One way small businesses fall down in the early days is a lack of specialist knowledge for key back office roles. You’re a single person with a small team and you’re a specialist in selling your product, not necessarily setting up your supply chain, coming up with the most efficient inventory system or even handling day to day HR concerns like tracking holiday! If that sort of thing gets away from you, you’ll find yourself disappointing clients with unexpected shortages of goods or personnel!

Interim Management offers a solution: investing a bit of capital in an interim specialist to come in in the early days and impart their knowledge and experience will leave you with a robust system that will carry you through until you can expand and hire permanent staff to cover these areas.

If you’re looking for Interim Management, UK firms are experiencing something of a boom so you have plenty of choice!

What Business Continuity Looks like for Trades

Fancy terms like business continuity are often thrown around at the corporate level at strategy meetings, but what does it mean to a self-employed tradesman or a small business owner?

In simple terms, business continuity is the ability for a company to continue operations if something were to disrupt the regular day to day. An example would be continue taking orders even if the online store is down or continue to service your plumbing customers if your car was out of service in the shop. It’s about rising above the issues at hand and keeping your customers happy despite the difficulties you are dealing with.

Trades like electricians, welders, plumbers, roofers, and more will have drastically different business continuity measures than a bank or a tech company. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be making their own business continuity plans.


Tradespeople usually rely on their tools to get things done. From simple items like hammers, to more specialized equipment, having something broken, lost, or stolen can paralyze your ability to do work. This won’t just create delays, but it can also ruin your reputation as a dependable business owner. Create a backup plan for each of your tools, whether that means carrying around extras or knowing where to rent a replacement until yours can be repaired.


Many tradespeople depend on their vehicles to get to their worksites. While that might be a slightly bigger sedan or a full-out van, having a last-minute break down means that you can’t get yourself or your equipment to the site. Have a back up plan for such circumstances, such as a fiberglass truck box for protecting your professional tools which you can put onto a rental or secondary truck, or a system in which you can quickly and safely move the contents of your vehicle to another one.


According to stereotypes, tradespeople already seem to have an issue with communication, and having one actually pick up the phone every time is a gem worth keeping. Don’t mess up what you already have worked so hard on by having your phone malfunction and losing that line of communication with your clients and potential clients. Buy a heavy-duty case for your phone, keep it safe on your belt or another designated location, and try to keep it from getting damaged. But to really cover all your bases, you should carry around an old, back-up phone that you can always slide your sim card into if your primary phone was to “take a break” for some reason.


Extreme weather events are often busy times for some trades, with HVAC, plumbing, and electricity often malfunctioning. When you see that there’s a possible weather event coming on, prepare to be called out, meaning your car is suited to the weather, with winter tires, etc., your back up generator has fuel, and your equipment is primed for what it will need to deal with. Having extra parts on-hand is always a win, as deliveries can become long and difficult when the weather is being off. If you yourself are prepared, then you are more likely to be able to cover the areas in which others weren’t or deal with a large volume of emergency calls.

Business continuity is what no small business owner really things about until something happens that leaves them scrambling for solutions. Make yourself even more competitive by preparing for likely disruptions to your business and brainstorming ahead of time what can be done to prevent them or deal with them as best as possible.

Networking Ideas to Try in 2018

Even in the age where it seems like you don’t have to leave your house at all and can still be a successful business person, networking is as important, if not more so, then it was 10 or 20 years ago. With an oversaturation of information, and the ease of research for consumers, the networks have gotten bigger, albeit shallower, meaning that companies have to work overtime to connect with their target market.

If growing your business was one of your 2018 goals, you might want to give some of these ideas a try, getting yourself out there and more available to connect with.

Get Online

You might have gotten away with it this far, but the greatest thing you can do for yourself this year is to get yourself and your company online. From setting up social media accounts for your business, creating a LinkedIn profile for yourself and your company, and redesigning your website, there are plenty of strategists who can guide you and set out a direction. The fun doesn’t stop there. It’s not enough to simply “have” this digital real estate; you have to do something with it! Schedule times throughout your day during which you can post, interact with other accounts, respond to messages, etc.  Networking online with your target market and other potential partners and collaborators is extremely effective.

Join an Industry Group

No man is an island, and no business is an island either. Join an industry group or your local chamber of commerce to meet like-minded people, share your experiences, learn from others’ mistakes, and forge some new relationships. Though some might see this as “fraternizing with the enemy”, having good relationships with your competitors can push you all forward as an industry, allowing the possibility of referring work to each other as needed, and creating a powerful group for lobbying if it’s never needed.

Plan a Trade Show or Convention

This is your year to do something big! Plan a tradeshow or convention that would attract members of your target audience. Gather your network in one of the Montreal reception halls, charge a price for exhibitors and for attendees, and not only will you expand and strengthen your network, you will assert yourself as a subject matter expert in your field, making yourself a valuable connection for others to have.

Start Writing

If you consider yourself a bit of an introvert and you find direct networking difficult, consider giving a shot at writing. Start by publishing your own blog on your website, with helpful articles related to your industry. After a while, you can approach other blogs and ask if you might write a guest post for them. This can be the start of some good online networking and making your name better known in the industry.

Get Coaching

Sometimes what you need is just some good, old coaching. Hire a business coach to teach you the secrets of effective networking, starting with how to properly introduce yourself and your business, down to which topics to stay away from. BONUS: they might also have other clients that would be a good fit with your business that they could connect. Remember to always thank the “connector” for their help in expanding your network. Not only is it the nice thing to do, it will make them more willing to do it again in the future.

Make some inroads with your business goals this year by investing some time and resources into networking. You’ll be surprised by the incredible results that an honest effort can make.

Putting Your Money To Good Use – Spread Betting

We all save money in banks and rely on interests but that doesn’t add much value to your savings. We have some saved money in our bank accounts and we definitely want to utilize it well to get good returns but very few people do that by trading? There are many ways out of which spread betting is one way to get good returns on your saved money. However, it will take time to understand this system and to understand the right ways to speculate. Do you know that there are people who make a living on spread betting? But how does it work?

You can first get involved in penny shares which always claims huge rises or in day trading systems where people get lucky everyday though many don’t get huge profits and keep waiting.

What Should You Look For?

It was suggested by many successful and experienced spread betters to choose the trend using large capped and highly liquid stocks. These are usually traded mostly in banks everyday. The rule is that you need to buy higher and sell higher but you should be well aware of the trend. When a share is low priced, it means the chances of its price going lower is high. So, it is better to avoid such shares. The same theory applies to highly priced shares. These have higher chances of price rising higher and higher. However penny shares are well-known and an exception to this rule is that they have maintained their price in the market. You need to focus to cut short your losses and get more profits.

When you start spread betting then make sure to limit losses to yourself and this is usually suggested to keep between 7% and 9%. Let the trading broker execute it for you later automatically and turn off your computer to get some peace of mind. This might look dangerous to you and you might feel the fear of losses but the truth is you may get healthy returns about 70% of the time. And it is important to understand that you need to work with a very experienced service provider for that to happen such as ETX capital.

Capital Needed To Do Well In The Market

You already know that you need to put some amount initially to start the game. And this amount depends on how active the frame you chose is, length of the trade, risk percentage of the market, etc.

Do some background work and calculations especially when you are looking for specific amount of returns on spread betting. The amount of points you need in a financial year decides the volume of the stakes you should put up which also includes the amount required to survive the losses too.

Now this proves that spread betting isn’t easy money either. The profit you earn depends on many factors such as work, actual labor, risks in the market, etc. For beginners it is better to start small and understand the market first. In the first go itself if you bet big then the chances are you will lose due to inexperience in this field. Even though it is a leveraged process, it is advised not to put too big bets ever. Prefer working with experienced people and experienced service providers like ETX capital until you get some knowledge and experience. Once you are comfortable with the trends you can go ahead yourself. There is definitely a huge opportunity with huge returns but it needs time, patience, hard work and some understanding of the market.

5 of the Largest Hits to Credit Scores

Staying on top of credit should be taught at an early age and guided as those are entering to have financial responsibilities.  Having great credit does take years of discipline, patience, and proper spending and payment track records.  Make sure to stay away from the largest ways to impact credit scores.

Late Payments

Paying by the due date is important so interest rates and late fees do not incur, but any payments that are thirty days late are reported to credit bureaus.  Thirty-five percent of your credit score is made up from payment history, so not only do late payments show creditors you are not worthy and damage your credit, they also stay on your report for seven years. Only the best credit repair companies are able to help you rectify your mistakes and improve your credit score.

Maxing Out Credit Cards

Credit utilization by level of debt is another large factor in overall credit score, so if you take the balance of your credit account compared to the credit limit, if you are close to that, scores are drastically reduced.  Make sure you put the credit cards away and start to pay down balances, for scores to increase, but to also get out of sinking debt.

Too Many Credit Inquiries

Every time a lender pulls your credit report to review for a possible loan or credit card, there is a hit to your score, and stays on the report for a couple years.  Too many inquiries within a short amount time can send the wrong message to lenders, so make sure of what the credit impact will be and which loan you are in the market for.

Ignoring Other Financial Responsibilities

Sure you may be making mortgage, loan, and credit card accounts on time, but do not forget about other necessary bills such as medical, cable, or electrical, as they may not report regular payments, but will sure report any delinquent balances that you have not paid.

Ignoring any Inaccuracies with Your Report

Any potential fraud on your account could not only lower credit scores, it could leave you on the hook for any potential charges if not addressed right away.  Anyone can make mistakes, even credit bureaus, so it is important to pull a free copy of your credit report at least once a year to review for mistakes.  If looking for your credit score, most creditors are now including with monthly statements, or clickable in your online account.

Going about getting a tax ID number for a New Business

If you are a new business owner, you must apply for a tax ID number. This is a number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which identifies business entities for tax purposes.

Businesses in need of a tax ID include the following:

  • Corporation
  • S-Corporation
  • Personal Service Corporation
  • Sole Proprietor/Individual
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Trust
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Church Controlled Organization

Simplified Tax ID Forms Online

Business owners can easily obtain tax ID online at IRS-EIN-TAX-ID.COM. By using an online method, you receive your tax ID number almost immediately. For business owners who choose to use fax, phone or traditional mail to apply, the process takes approximately five weeks before receiving their tax ID number. Online is the best option for businesses when time is a factor.

It takes about two weeks for the tax ID number to become a permanent record on the IRS computers. You must wait until this time to file tax returns electronically or make an electronic payment. However, you are able to use it immediately for such things as filing tax returns by mail, opening bank accounts, or applying for a business license.

When using IRS-EIN-TAX-ID.COM to apply for a tax ID online not only do you have the benefit of speed, you also have ease of use. Their tax ID forms are simplified for use to help decrease the chance of rejection by the IRS due to error. There are many questions located and answered on their website for your information. However, with their highly trained customer service agents available 24/7, all your additional questions are able to be answered swiftly. This allows you to get back to running your business without delay.

Unlike the IRS website, IRS-EIN-TAX-ID.COM is easy to navigate. Find what you need fast. Obtain tax ID online fast and simple by visiting them today!

The best way to support your staff following a serious injury at work

Despite conducting regular risk assessments and putting preventable measures in place, there may be times when your staff experience a work-related injury. While you cannot always control the situation leading up to an accident, the way you respond afterwards is both entirely in your hands and crucial when it comes to making sure an injured staff member feels supported.

If an incident occurs, you will need to support your staff and may have to consider whether further actions are needed.


Understanding your worker’s situation and offering support at the time of injury and throughout the recovery process will have a positive impact on your worker’s response to their injury and enable successful recovery at work. Depending on the situation, this could range from helping your employee to leave work and seek medical help soon after the accident occurs or calling the emergency services yourself. Steps should also be taken to provide support, information and reassurance to other staff members who may be affected.


As soon as there has been an injury in the workplace, it should be logged in your company’s accident book. This is for two reasons, to provide information in case of a future claim and to keep track of any workplace dangers that need revising.


In most cases of serious injuries to have happened at work, there is a high chance that the employee will be entitled to claim for compensation. As an employer, it is important for you to remember that this is their legal right so the best thing for you to do is to support them and not make them feel as though their job is at risk in doing so. As a business owner, you should ensure your company’s insurance is adequate enough to cover any accidents. Make sure that the details of your insurer are known or provided immediately upon request. It may be useful to speak to a serious injury expert like First4SeriousInjury to gain a clear understanding of what should happen next.


If you have a staff member that needs to take time off following a serious injury or accident, stay informed and check in with them regularly – this could be via phone, email or visiting depending on your relationship. Invite your worker to meetings, morning teas or social events. Reassure your worker that they are missed and the team is keen for their return.

London: can you afford a workspace?

London is where all that’s hip and happening stays hip and continues to happen. It’s the heart of the tourist industry, where creative types come to thrive and corporations set up shop.

But the runaway success of the city has made it markedly more expensive than anywhere else in the UK. The living wage, for instance, is £9.15, compared to £7.85 in the rest of the country.

Such inflated prices are pushing residents from the city, as local authorities are accused of gentrifying the capital.

Rents are increasing along with protests about living costs – and it’s a situation that has a knock-on effect for small businesses.

As more affluent residents populate the capital, those offering bespoke goods or running quainter businesses will struggle to meet the heightened expectations of high rollers.

SMEs are already being pushed from high streets thanks to the success of online retailers – will they soon be rushed out of the capital by big business?

Only individual bosses can really answer that question, but they’ll have to fight for survival.

One of the major issues facing a business lies in the price of a property in the capital.

Many have had to make do with smaller properties in poorer areas. But that doesn’t mean they’ll flag under the strains of their location.

With the right knowhow, even the grittiest areas can hold their own against the big hitters. You just need to know how to transform your office.

So how can you alter your London workplace, and turn it into a place that will wow clients?

Level up

Even a small warehouse or office can double its space – you just need room above your head.

Mezzanine floors London have been helping small offices for years. Essentially a platform held up by steel girders, they can give you a new floor and plenty of extra space.

These raised platforms have a rustic quality to match a hip agency or computer specialist. So you’ll be splashing out on aesthetics as well as space.

Know the zones

London is split into several zones that, although ostensibly for the underground system, can help you find exactly the right location – and at a decent price.

Some cheaper districts sit directly next to their more affluent counterparts. If you can find a place that sits neatly between zones, you could find customers flocking to you.

Each zone attracts a specific kind of clientele, so always bear that in mind before you rent a workspace.

Price will always be a factor in London – but the right changes to your workplace could stop you being pushed out of this bustling city.

Legit Reasons Why You May Need a Cash Advance

A cash advance is where a company will advance you cash in the form of a short-term loan. There are usually few restrictions attached and you don’t have to worry about long application times. These emergency loans are ideal in certain circumstances.

So what legitimate reasons could you have for taking out a cash advance?


A Medical Emergency

While no hospital will refuse to treat a patient – because legally they can’t – they can and will charge you afterwards. You don’t want to find yourself in debt to your hospital. It’s a burden you don’t need.

On the other hand, a cash advance gives you the chance to pay for medical care immediately. You don’t have to re-mortgage your house or sell any of your belongings.


Pay Off a Toxic Loan

When we talk of ‘toxic’ loans we mean those that are hammering you with interest charges. For example, a payday loan with 300% interest will cripple you and your ability to pay it off. A cash advance can eliminate it in one swoop.

Yes, you will have another loan to contend with, but a cash advance is a far more manageable option.


Save Your Possessions

Sometimes loans can get out of control, as is the case with payday loans. Your only option may be to give up and accept the fact your home and possessions may be heading for repossession. But don’t give up right now. There are still options available to you.

You have a chance to save yourself through a cash advance. It’s a difficult situation to deal with and a cleverly timed cash advance can save you from this fate. It will give you some breathing space to get everything together and resolve your financial issues.


Choose Your Cash Advance Service Wisely

Before you accept a cash advance, carefully check the terms and conditions of the loan. Make sure they don’t have an absurdly high interest rate attached. You should also be able to pay off a loan early without any penalties. Don’t get dragged into more financial trouble by not reading the terms and conditions carefully enough.

If you have any questions, ask a representative of the company. This isn’t a decision to make in haste.

So we know there are some situations where a cash advance can come in handy. Just make sure this is an option you’ve given consideration to before making any financial moves.


Crowdfunding: The Solution To Your Startup’s Woes, Or Fraught With Peril?

Crowdfunding has taken on the business world by storm, with a new way to grow companies that never existed in quite the same way before. While the idea of gathering funds from community members to start a business is an old idea, the speed and scale of the internet has created conditions for growth on an incredible scale.


Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Quirky, Crowdcube and have grown enormously in recent years. These platforms have provided billions in seed funding for new companies. In exchange for funds, crowdfunded companies provide everything from their hearty appreciation, to beta products, to dinner with the founders to equity in the companies. The rules of the platform and decisions by the company provide the value of each dollar invested into the crowdfunding campaign.

Some companies achieve spectacular results. Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset maker that raised over a million dollars on Kickstarter to launch its product. The original investors received the beta product in exchange for their money. However, the funds helped the company lift-off and it was eventually sold to Facebook for $2 billion.


Unfortunately, the vast majority of campaigns do not have such an excellent outcome. Most campaigns fail to meet their funding goal, raising nothing to several hundred pounds.

The companies that do raise funding have a very different problem. They now have a public timeline to develop and deliver their product. Without delivering on this timetable, the company can get very bad publicity and sour relations with its earliest customers. In addition, resources are diverted to focus exclusively on delivering on the product, even if it turns out not to be ideal for the company. Finally, there is a chance that those that receive the beta product will be unsatisfied and leave poor reviews. In all, many companies must consider whether crowdfunding is the ideal path for them. For some, they are fraught with peril.

Business Credit Card

Instead, many companies are choosing credit cards from business banking institutions. These allow greater flexibility and choice by the business with how to spend funds. They can also manage cash flow by paying back a small percentage of the balance each month. Finally, business cards provide additional benefits such as cash back and travel rewards.

Overall, businesses must consider whether they can accept the burdens of crowdfunding. While their is significant potential for a big payoff, it is not 100% certain. Instead, many businesses are choosing to use credit card financing to accelerate their company into the future.