Four Ways To Spend Much Less On Your Small Business

An essential part of running a small business is constantly finding new ways to reduce costs, keeping spending to a minimum. Initially, you may be thinking that by spending less you will have to make sacrifices, damaging your business in the process. However, reducing spending does not always have to equate to a loss. Ultimately, removing unnecessary expenses in your small business will increase your budget, freeing up money that you can invest in other parts of your business.

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License: Creative Commons image source

Online Marketing

More often than not, marketing costs take up a huge amount of budget, particularly for small businesses that invest in offline methods such as direct mail. However, by simply switching or concentrating more on online marketing, you could save yourself a great deal of money, while targeting a much larger market. There are various ways you can market your business online, all of which are often low-cost and very effective. Essentially, you will be paying less for a more
successful method. You can start by creating a profile for your business on one of the many social media platforms. It is free and a great way of connecting to your customers while building up a strong following. Another idea to market your small business online is to start a blog that contains content related to your products or services.

Go Green, Go Paperless

Without realising it, a lot of money can be wasted away on paper through the sheer cost of ink, supplies and postage; not to mention the endless waste of paper. By eliminating the use of paper or even just minimising you can significantly reduce spending. Going digital is said to save a great deal of money, but not only that, it also creates a more organised working environment and is a lot more secure than having a paper trail. You can make the transition by opting for digital invoices, filing information on the computer and completely replace snail mail with email. As well as cutting spending you are
also helping the environment, which is always a positive thing.

Telephone and Web Conferencing

As a small business, spending large amounts of money on conferences, presentations and meetings really will make a significant dent in your budget, as there are a great deal of expenses involved, including travel and food. To reduce the costs, opting for a teleconference or web conference service is a great idea as you will spend a lot less for a good service than you ever would with face-to-face costs. Additionally, using such a service will allow you to connect to colleagues and clients globally.

IT Managed Service

As hiring an IT guy is a luxury to many small business, using managed services is proven to be a wise decision; you have access to IT expertise at a fraction of costs.

Managing Your Team

As your business develops so will your team, but it is essential that you manage this process carefully if you want to save money. Within a small business you need to ensure that you are regularly assessing your team’s productivity, making sure that most of your employees’ time is spent on value creating activities. Also, there are way
s that you can get the job done without having to hire an extra employee, including using interns and freelancers.

Tips On Selecting Umbrella Companies – What You Need To Know

Umbrella companies act as an intermediary between your contractual business and your client. Your business does not need to be a limited company in order to reap the same benefits. While administrative and financial management may increase your costs significantly, these companies allow you to relax and outsource these tedious tasks. People are readily shifting towards the concept of self-employment by establishing their consultancy services and so, the ideology of umbrella companies is also on the rise.

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License: Creative Commons image source

Responsibilities of an Umbrella Company

An umbrella company is responsible for providing for your administrative and financial concerns. This includes managing your expense records, receiving payment from your client, deducting national insurance costs, and tax after taking due tax exemptions, and paying you a gross salary in exchange for a minor fee. It allows you to enjoy the perks of a self-employed business while also providing you with employment bene

Benefits of Contracting an Umbrella Company

The singularly most important benefit of getting an umbrella company is that it provides you with flexible free time. You can spend that with your friends and family which would otherwise have been spent managing your administrative concerns. This not only allows you to relax; it also accentuates the benefits of being self-employed.

Other benefits include your tax payments which are deducted and paid on your behalf after due adjustments are made, and giving free consultancy advice if you need any.

How to Choose the Best Umbrella Company?

There are numerous well established umbrella companies willing to provide services to you. However, it is important to note that all umbrella companies are essentially answerable to the Board of Inland Revenue. This means they cannot tweak around with your earning or tax payments. However, the only benefit any one company can provide over another is through the difference in their fee structures.

The best option is to go for an umbrella company with a fixed fee structure – so even if your earnings improve over time, you are not handing out more money in fees. On the other hand, some umbrella companies may demand for a certain percentage of your earnings. If your mathematics calculations provide you a better incentive in any of these plans as compared with other alternatives, there is no reason you should not capitalize on it.

Moreover, you should seek to find out about the terms and conditions of this contract. Are there any punitive charges if you decide to leave your umbrella company? Are there any hidden charges you will need to face each month? Can this contract impact you negatively in any way? Being forewarned will help you plan the future and cope up with all possible problems more effectively.

Lastly, and more importantly, you need to know how much time it will take for your earnings to get into your account. Some companies can transfer it into your account within two days of receiving it from your client – others may take longer. If time is sensitive, you would want to go for one which can provide you with your earnings as soon as possible.

About the Author: Mark is living at the beautiful island of Cyprus. His job is to help people who work abroad with the technique of umbrella companies. Check more information about is here

Six Workplace Health And Safety Issues Every Employer Should Be Aware Of

The days of deference are well and truly over and whilst a few generations ago staff  were willing to put up with unsafe or unhealthy conditions, these days putting your employees at risk can completely ruin your business.

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License: Creative Commons image source

A serious accident can mean a huge compensation pay out or even a criminal conviction, but smaller seeming issues can leave companies with a large price to pay if they don’t address them properly.

If you’re a company owner or you manage staff, take a look at these workplace health and safety issues which you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Blowing Hot and Cold

There is no official law regarding the minimum temperature that people can generally work at
, but the health and Safety Executive (HSE) does specify that workroom temperatures should be 13°C if the work is particularly physical and 16°C if it isn’t. The HSE says that workers should be able to carry out their jobs comfortably without the need to wear special clothing. So if your place of work is an ice box in winter and an oven in summer, you could run the risk of getting a serious complaint from staff.

2. Cramped Conditions

Squeezing too many people into a workplace will not only make it an unpleasant environment to be in but could also pose a danger. Injury and death is far more likely to be caused in over capacity buildings in the event of a fire, for example. To calculate whether your workspace meets HSE standards the volume of your space divided by the number of staff who work in it should be 11 cubic metres or more.

3. Lighten Up

dictates that workspaces are adequately lit in order for employees to carry out tasks. This means that you can regulate light in different parts of your building. For example corridors don’t need to be as brightly lit as offices. It’s also a good idea to give staff control over light for example by allowing desk lamps.

4. Vibration and Noise

Noise can increase stress levels as well as being physically damaging so if your work environment is particularly noisy you must protect your staff appropriately. If the noise is sufficient staff should wear ear protectors. In addition, body vibration which can be caused by close contact with large machinery or when driving vehicles, can cause vision problems and back pain.

5. Taking a Break

According to the law workplace toilets must be clean, securable from the inside, well-ventilated and accessible, but it’s also essential to ensure you have enough toilet
facilities for your employees. If you have less than 6 staff then one toilet is acceptable but any more than that and by law you should have two or more toilets. In addition, there should be an equal number of sinks and clean drinking water available. If your staff are required to wear special clothing such as protective gear then they should be provided with an appropriate place to change. They should also be provided with an area to rest and eat.

6. Health and Safety

According to the health and Safety regulations set out for first aid in the workplace appropriate first aid equipment should always be provided so that immediate help can be administered in an employee is injured or falls ill. A first aid officer should also be employed who is in charge of maintaining first aid equipment and administering treatment as necessary. In the UK, all public places and workplaces are
smoke free unless they’ve been otherwise delegated which means staff can only smoke if official smoking areas.

John Hinds writes for Lojix. His interests include blogging, reading, playing tennis, listening to music and traveling.

How Will The Affordable Care Act Effect Small Businesses?

If you are a small business owner, you’ve probably heard about the Affordable Care Act. Enacted into law in 2010, the ACA’s aim is to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to individuals in the US. While many view the act as controversial, others appreciate that the government is making an effort to improve the quality of care for the country. Whatever side of the political fence you’re on, there are a few things that you need to know about the Affordable Care Act if you own a small business. Here are four ways that the ACA may affect your company and some suggestions for navigating it.

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License: Creative Commons image source

New way to find the right plan for your business

In the past, shopping for health insurance was neither fun nor easy. The Affordable Care Act has created a mechanism that allows small business owners to simplify the process. The Small Business Health Options Program (or SHOP) is essentially a health insurance clearinghouse where small busine
sses and individuals can compare plans to find one that meets their needs. While business owners are not required to use the SHOP exchange to purchase their health insurance coverage, supporters of the Act argue that it will simplify the process considerably.

No coverage? Facing potential penalties

One of the biggest implications of health care reform that has small business owners concerned is potential penalties for not providing adequate coverage. Often, the cost of health insurance is prohibitive for some small businesses, so small business owners don’t necessarily provide adequate healthcare coverage. However, under the Affordable Care Act, small businesses that employ over 50 people may be subject to costly penalties. So if you employ over 50 people and do not provide proper coverage, take note. You could be facing thousands of dollars in penalties moving forward if you don’t purchase health insurance for your employees.

cial tax credits for small business

To offset the cost of health insurance for small businesses, the government is offering tax credits if your business meets certain metrics. For example, businesses that employ 30 or fewer people can potentially receive up to 35% in tax credits off the cost of insurance premiums this year. Moving forward, the same businesses can receive up to 50% in tax credits. One important thing to keep in mind is that the tax credits will only be available for those companies where average salary is lower than $55,000 annually.

Considering a wellness program

If you had been thinking about creating a corporate wellness program for your business, now is the time. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses that do not currently have corporate wellness programs may be eligible to apply for grant funding that can help get the program up and running. These grants are meant to encourage business owners to implement these changes
and improve the health of employees over the long term. So if you’ve been considering developing a corporate wellness program, it’s a good time to get started!

The implantation of the Affordable Care Act means several changes for small businesses. The ACA simplifies the process of shopping for insurance by providing small business owners and individuals with access to the Small Business Health Options Program. Some businesses may be hit with hefty penalties for not providing adequate coverage, so it’s a good idea to start shopping! Tax breaks are also available for businesses that meet certain criteria, and companies may choose to apply for grants to help them create corporate wellness initiatives. No matter which end of the political spectrum you fall, these changes are being implemented across the country. So small business owners should be paying attention.

About the Author: Elizabeth Alton is a freelance business and technology writer. She covers trends related to small business, entrepreneurs, the evolving digital landscape, and writes for Engagement Health about the latest trends in employee wellness programs.

How To Make Your Business Run Efficiently

Having an efficiently run business is vitally important, it is the only way that you can maximize the profitability of it. We live in a world that is dominated by business and there are so many companies out there looking to make a fortune. It is vitally important that any new or existing company is efficiently organized, I can’t stress enough the significance of it.

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License: Creative Commons image source

This article will aim to highlight what it takes to run an efficient business and why that is so important. Anyone looking to make money needs to have a hierarchical structure and internally they need to have a computerized filing system.

It’s very difficult in such a technologically dominated world to not be on the same wave length as the technology.


This is a good way to make your business run efficiently. A complete restructure can help to keep things fresh and provide inter position competition which is good for people, especially in a world that is so competitive. People want something to aim towards and a position to try and take away from someone else, it’s just the way people’s minds work.

An efficiently run business can increase profitability dramatically, similarly, a poorly designed business can result in large losses. It is just a matter of finding the right balance and ensuring that organizationally everything is in its right place. Different companies have different ideas about how this is best done, some favor inclusion and some favor a more dictatorial approach, both work and it just depends on the person.

In the internet age we live in the focus of everything is on speed and efficiency and thus your company has to be the face of that if you are hoping to be successful.


Clerically your company has to be well organized as well. Everything has to be scanned and filed correctly and organized neatly. This helps when dealing with clients directly and the internal aspect of the organization process. Investing in your own document scanners and photocopiers can be the best way to ensure your internal organization is kept neat and tidy.

The last thing you want to do is lose the files of a client that can have a lot of money invested in your company. We live in the age of the internet and much of the clerical stuff nowadays is done online so with a little training you can digitalize your whole system.

You may also want to digitalize your legal documents signing. More law offices are now accommodating e-signature, allowing you to securely sign legal documents online – this reduces paper consumption and makes document signing – and counter-signing – a swift process.


You have to communicate in all areas of the business if it is to run efficiently. Communication between bosses and lower level workers is extremely important, this creates a bond and a level of respect. If workers see a difference in status and feel that in the workplace it can make things extremely difficult so try to avoid this as much as possible.

As a business owner you have a level of responsibility to look after your clients and let them know about business plans, where the company is heading and weekly targets. Keep your workers in the loop.

About the Author: Andrew is an author with a love for business, he studied it at university and has a masters degree in this field. He now has over 15 years writing experience and he knows what he is talking about