Tag: Advice:

Buying a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #register #business #name

#buying a business

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Buying a business

Buying an existing business can be a successful route to becoming your own boss. Take a look at the steps involved in finding, valuing and buying a small business to decide if buying a business is the right direction for you.

How to start a business: What you need to know

  • Buying a business: Cafes and coffee shops

  • Buying a business: Tea rooms

    Key topics

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    David Soskin tells us about how he took over Cheapflights.co.uk

    Why buying a failing business may leave you in difficulties too

    Latest on Startups

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

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  • Accountant – Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews and Advice #at #home #businesses

    #business careers

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    Accountant Overview

    Overview

    Whether it’s the money-laundering stoner in “Weeds” or the dorky auditor in “Parks and Recreation,” pop culture tends to portray an unsavory picture of accountants, but this profession doesn’t deserve such a bad reputation. Accountants make a pretty good living, and they have a lot of job security. After all, as long as people make money, they’ll need other people to handle it for them.

    Put simply, an accountant is a person who keeps or inspects financial records. They’re “numbers” people who excel at organization and detail-oriented work. Since they deal with money – sometimes significant amounts of it – accountants must also possess a high degree of integrity.And because they’re constantly interacting with clients, accountants should be effective communicators. Patty Pogemiller, the national director for talent and acquisition and mobility for Deloitte, one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting firms, writes in an email, “Problem solving skills are essential in a client business like professional services. Employers are looking for people who demonstrate an ability to think analytically and approach a problem in a structured and methodical way. Can they objectively analyze and solve an issue? And once they have a solution, they must have the ability to communicate it to others – their clients, managers and fellow team members.”

    In addition to preparing taxes for individuals, public accountants can also perform audits, prepare taxes and provide consulting for corporations, nonprofit organizations and governments. Internal accountants create processes to find and eliminate financial waste and fraud. Management accountants record and analyze financial information. Government accountants – at the federal, state or local level – maintain records of government agencies and audit private businesses or individuals whose activities fall under government regulation or taxation.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 142,400 new accounting and auditing jobs will open up by 2024. This equates to an 11 percent job growth rate.

    Quick Stats

    $65,940 Median Salary

    3.2% Unemployment Rate

    142,400 Number of Jobs

    Salary

    According to the BLS, the median annual salary for an accountant was $65,940 in 2014. The best-paid 10 percent earned roughly $115,950, while the lowest-paid made approximately $40,850. The best-compensated accountants work in the fields of securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage and for the federal executive branch. The highest-paid accountants work in the metropolitan areas of New York City, San Jose, California and Salinas, California.

    75th Percentile. $87,530

    25th Percentile. $51,130

    How much do Accountants make in your city?

    See current salary offers for jobs in this field

    Training

    Although there are some associate degrees for accounting, a bachelor’s degree generally looks better to prospective employers. Some employers may even prefer that their accountants have a master’s degree in accounting or business administration with a concentration in accounting. And some universities and colleges offer a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program, which is a smart choice for students hoping to take the Certified Public Accountant exam. Most states require graduates to have a total of 150 hours of coursework, which equates to five years of school, before sitting for the exam. After passing, accountants will be able to file reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which makes them much more attractive to employers. Christopher Ekimoff, the director of FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm, says, “Those three letters [CPA] really make your career. They will identify you in the marketplace, in the business world and in your career path as a professional willing to hold yourself to a higher standard and operate under a set of guidelines and principles that really set you apart.”

    In addition to the CPA certification, accountants may also want to get the Certified Management Accountant certification, which requires a bachelor’s degree, two years of work in management accounting and passing an exam. There are also a handful of other certifications that accountants may want to procure down the line, including the Certified Internal Auditor certification and the Certified Information Systems Auditor certification.

    Job Satisfaction

    Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that’s enjoyable and a career that’s fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here’s how this job’s satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.

    Upward Mobility. High
    Opportunities for advancements and salary

    Stress Level. Average
    Work environment and complexities of the job s responsibilities

    Flexibility. Above Average
    Alternative working schedule and work life balance

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    Grants for starting a business: What small business grants are available?: Starting a business

    #loans for starting a business

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    Grants for starting a business: What small business grants are available?

    If you’re a small business owner or thinking of starting a business, finance is probably your biggest concern. You may be wondering if there is any funding available for start-ups.

    The simple answer is yes, but getting your hands on it can be a complicated and rather stressful process. There are countless schemes, each with their own set of criteria, which you can apply for when you’re on the verge of starting a business.

    Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

    Start-up funding is out there to be claimed, yet every year we receive stories of piles of cash sitting in accounts and not being invested. It’s not because you don’t need the cash, but it’s because navigating through the grants jungle can leave you wishing you were still employed.

    Types of business support

    All publicly funded schemes are designed to encourage new and growing businesses, to bring wealth and ultimately create jobs. To help achieve this the government makes available a portion of taxpayers’ money to help and encourage enterprise through small business grants.

    This cash gets distributed through a variety of ministries, departments, agencies and quangos on a national and local basis. Most businesses are eligible at any one time to apply for a number of different business start-up grants and support schemes which are distributed in a wide variety of forms.
    s
    Government grant resource the business finance support finder is a great tool to help those starting a business find relevant funding to suit their needs and you are able to customise your search by your business location, size, and type of business activity.

    Want to read more on grants?

    Government business grants available

    Direct grant

    This is a cash award, which is usually given out for activities such as training, employment, export development, recruitment and capital investment projects. With a direct grant most schemes usually require the company involved to put up around 50% of the cost.

    The government s ‘business finance support finder’ directory has over 300 direct grants agencies listed such as UK business “innovation” organisation the Technology Strategy Board. The directory also features various local grants providers which are facilitated by the government’s £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund. such as Catalyst for Growth which has direct grants of £5,000 to £500,000 available for chemical start-ups launching in the North West of England.

    Soft loan

    A soft loan is a special type of grant where the terms and conditions of repayment are more generous (or softer) than they would be under normal financial circumstances. So, for example, the interest rates may be less, or there may be no interest to pay at all, and the repayment terms could also be for a longer period.

    There are hundreds of organisations that offer soft loans and guarantees but the most notable is government-funded scheme Start Up Loans which offers new businesses loans of up to £25,000 for 6% interest with a 12 month repayment “holiday”. To date it has helped to fund over 10,000 start-ups with over £50m invested. You can find out more about the Start Up Loans scheme here. (If you need a higher value business loan, fill out our business loans form and we may be able to put you in touch with the right people).

    If you’re starting a social enterprise or charity there are organisations such as Big Issue Invest. the investment arm of the Big Issue, which has soft loans from £50,000 to £1m available for positive impact, socially-driven entrepreneurs and also operates ‘participation loans’ where repayment is linked to future performance of the enterprise.

    For young entrepreneurs aged between 18-30, The Prince s Trust provides soft loans of up to £4,000, as well as support for your business idea, with interest capped at 3% and repayments spread over a period of two to five years.

    Equity finance

    With equity finance a capital sum is injected into the business and the provider of the funds takes an equity share of the enterprise. When the value of the firm increases the stake can then be returned. However, unlike venture capitalists, the expectations and requirements of the providers of public funds are usually less demanding.

    It is also worth noting the government Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) which help companies raise finance by providing tax relief to investors who buy a share in your business.

    Free or subsidised consultancy

    Start-ups can often find themselves in the situation where they are lacking a particular set of skills and there are some specially run schemes which provide this knowledge either for free or at subsidised rates. For instance, the Welsh government runs a business support service offering free, independent advice on starting a business and operates an instant hotline for business queries.

    Access to resources

    As with a lack of skills, it can be the case that start-ups do not possess the physical resources or facilities they need in order to develop particular projects. In the same way there are a number of initiatives, particularly incubator and accelerator schemes, that can help overcome these concerns by providing access to publicly owned facilities. One such initiative is the department for business, innovation and skills’ (DBIS) GrowthAccelerator which provides advice and coaching to fast-growth businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

    Technology and Best Practice transfer

    The transfer of technological advances and new best practice initiatives can often take a long time filtering down to smaller businesses. The government has set up schemes which aim to overcome this through business support networks and there is now a number of well-established best practice initiatives such as Investors in People (IIP), which specialises in business tools and resources.

    Cost sharing

    When it comes to research and development, the costs involved can prevent small firms from taking part. However, by sharing the costs with other businesses, and then sharing the expertise, this problem can be avoided.

    To find out more about grants for starting a business, visit our dedicated small business grants channel here .

    Useful business start up tools

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    10 steps to starting a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business

    #starting a business

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    10 steps to starting a business

    Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

    Starting a business? 7 things you need to do first

  • How to start a business: What you need to know

    Key topics

    Need a loan to get your business started? A website design? Or maybe some separate business broadband? Get quotes and start saving now with our Startups Resources

    Field research is a key part of analysing your market and will help you build a successful business plan and brand. Here’s how to carry it out effectively.

    Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? We look at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up

    Choosing the right start-up name is extremely important. Here’s a practical guide on how to pick out the best name to ultimately build a better business

    Five fundamental points your logo should convey to your customers

    Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today…

    Tips from Startups on how to pick the number cruncher that’s right for your small business

    What exactly do you need to consider when looking for the perfect premises?

    John Paterson rounds up the free and low-cost software options available to help you start your business

    Dealing with business red tape? Startups has complied the five key legal issues and how best to deal with them…

    What types of selling do you need to use? Startups covers a few of the most important selling techniques for your business

    You’ve got a business idea but what are the next steps? Startups has compiled a launchpad guide to help you put the foundations in place for business success

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    Latest on Startups

    To celebrate 10 years of its Business IP Centre, on September 27 the Library is holding a free day of workshops from the likes of Julie Deane OBE.

    A professional musician who’s preformed alongside the likes of Lana del Ray and Beyoncé – Katie Sayles talks about her new pre-school members’ club

    Research from the FSB suggests the introduction of the minimum £7.20-an-hour rate has led many small firms to increase prices and reduce staff hours

    App which operates via Bluetooth connected handleba device backed by TrueStart, Seedrs, and mayor’s London Co-Investment Fund

    Purple Cow ” rel=”bookmark”>The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

    With a focus on ‘transforming your business by being remarkable’, entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin’s seminal book

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

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  • Young entrepreneurs: Starting a business advice and business ideas #loan #for #small #business

    #entrepreneur ideas

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    Young entrepreneurs

    The young entrepreneur stories featured in this section show that you do not necessarily need years of experience to start a profitable business. Read the incredible accounts of teenage entrepreneurs such as David Carter, founder of The App Factory, and Bigger Feet creator Oliver Bridges and see how they achieved massive success at such a young age

    Key topics

    At 18, Jordan Daykin became the youngest entrepreneur to land investment in the Den. Today, his global DIY fixing business is said to be worth £14m.

    Shining a spotlight on the UK’s brightest founders aged 25 and under, Startups reveals the business owners set for entrepreneurial stardom this year

    The 25-year-old bringing a fresh, tech focused approach to digital marketing

    The impressive female entrepreneur swapped reality TV for enterprise, creating a cult jewellery brand loved by A-list celebrities and the royal family

    Determined to help people discover great things to try in London and beyond, 25 year-old Malin has built a website with thousands of daily readers…

    The 21 year-old creating slip-on shoes worn by the likes of Tinie Tempah and Ryan Reynolds

    The 17 year-old entrepreneur who’s built an online media empire from his bedroom

    The 21-year-old on a mission to change the world through entrepreneurship by nurturing the next generation of business leaders

    The 24-year-old founder of a personalised handwritten communication business on a mission to create employment for millions around the world

    The brains behind a social media business which can make anything the number one trending topic on Twitter within 30 minutes.

    The venture-backed duo helping teams, groups and charities raise money by connecting them to major brands

    From a teenage eBay business to his current ‘on-demand selling service’, meet the serial business owner aged 24 with an eye for lucrative opportunities

    Latest on Startups

    To celebrate 10 years of its Business IP Centre, on September 27 the Library is holding a free day of workshops from the likes of Julie Deane OBE.

    A professional musician who’s preformed alongside the likes of Lana del Ray and Beyoncé – Katie Sayles talks about her new pre-school members’ club

    Research from the FSB suggests the introduction of the minimum £7.20-an-hour rate has led many small firms to increase prices and reduce staff hours

    App which operates via Bluetooth connected handleba device backed by TrueStart, Seedrs, and mayor’s London Co-Investment Fund

    Purple Cow ” rel=”bookmark”>The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

    With a focus on ‘transforming your business by being remarkable’, entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin’s seminal book

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups





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    5 low cost business ideas to start at university: Starting a business advice and

    #business ideas for college students

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    5 low cost business ideas to start at university

    Some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs started businesses while at university; Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page – the list goes on – so what’s stopping you from starting up whilst studying?

    According to recent research from Santander. over 80,000 UK university students currently run businesses while studying and collectively generate turnover of over £44m. Impressive to say the least. What’s more, over a quarter of this number plan to turn their businesses into a full-time career upon graduation.

    Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

    Dubbed “student start-ups”, budding young entrepreneurs are maximising on being within the university environment to launch a start-up and fund their education, pursue interests, and gain “invaluable work experience as a result of their entrepreneurial ventures”.

    A report from Direct Line for Business also emphasised the fact that entrepreneurialism is alive and kicking in UK universities. It found that more students than ever before are now starting businesses, with popular undergraduate start-ups ranging from creative businesses like clothing design, to hospitality and events promotion and tech-focused firms such as software development.

    And it would seem that there has never been a better time to start a business while at university, if the growing number of initiatives to encourage student entrepreneurs are anything to go by.

    Earlier this year, Europe’s largest student start-up event opened in Liverpool hosted by the National Association of College University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), Mercia Fund Management launched a tax efficient fund for university spin-outs, and a number of universities have been actively doing their bit to promote enterprise. For instance the University of Southampton recently held a student hackathon to find great software concepts.

    With 2015 a golden age for student entrepreneurs, we’ve compiled a guide to five of the top low-cost businesses to start at university, including case study examples from a number of high-profile university entrepreneurs that have scaled their ideas into successful businesses.

    To help you get your university venture off the ground, you’ll also find a handy summary of the funding and support that is available to student and young entrepreneurs in the UK.

    Click the buttons above or below to find out more about the best low cost business ideas to start while at university…

    Comments

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    Business advice: Business support and advice: Calderdale Council #small #business #help

    #business advice

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    Business advice

    Calderdale Council provides a variety of services to all types of business, from start-ups to large established enterprises.

    The Business Development Team can also help with issues such as funding, advice, research and premises. From trading standards and business premises, to how to do business with the council, find out more about business in Calderdale .

    Support and advice is available, to Calderdale companies:

    You can also find information relating to business, such as business rates, business properties, and other information on services on Calderdale Data Works |

    Major emergencies can happen quickly and without warning. They have the potential to threaten and disrupt your business, sometimes with serious consequences. Business Continuity Management is designed to help you to protect your organisation’s essential activities and resources from such disruptions. Contact:

    Business Growth Calderdale supports local businesses who are aspiring to grow, become more competitive and develop new products and services by tailoring support packages around each business to help them achieve their ambition and plans for growth. Business Growth Calderdale is a partnership project between Calderdale Council, Bradford University and Leeds Metropolitan University.

    Business Growth Calderdale is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and as such support is delivered with no cost to your business.

    If your company could benefit from support with:

    For information on whether you may be entitled to help with your business rates telephone (01422) 393699 or visit Business rates .

    If every small business in Calderdale was able to employ a young person we could eradicate youth unemployment in the Borough. If you are thinking of recruiting we can help you to find the right candidate and provide support to both the employer and the apprentice.

    Work experience

    We are looking for companies that can provide a paid work placement for a young person aged 16 – 24. We can provide the company with:

    • Access to supplemental funding
    • In-work support for the company and individual
    • Sourcing and funding training for the client.

    Recruiting an apprentice?

    We support young people with pre-apprenticeship activity to develop their skills and knowledge to maximise their employment potential and become an apprentice. We can help you with:

    • Assistance with funding
    • Recruitment
    • Individual in-work support for the apprentice.

    For more information please contact the Grow Your Future Team:

    Are you looking to relocate or find new premises within Calderdale? We can assist you in your search for commercial, industrial or retail premises for your business. Contact Jon Crowther or Duncan Cooper:

    For further information on grant and finance opportunities, speak to one of our business advisers or refer to Useful organisations .

    Are you looking to reduce the amount of waste you produce and energy your business uses? Does your business want to increase its green profile? Would you like to know more about cutting energy costs in your business?

    For information on how to save money and increase your profits through resource efficiency, visit Green Business Network |

    Are you considering starting a business or developing your existing business within the Calderdale area?

    Calderdale Council’s Business Support Team offer a totally free and confidential service with advice on:

    • Becoming self-employed
    • Starting/developing your business
    • Help with writing a business plan
    • Free business start-up training workshops
    • Start Your Own Business – with drop-in information sessions held monthly at various locations around Calderdale
    • Finding business premises or relocating your business
    • Business networking opportunities
    • Other business support resources, information and fact-sheets.

    For more information, contact Eric Binns:

    Can’t find what you’re looking for? Try the A to Z of Council services.

    • A of Council services
    • B of Council services
    • C of Council services
    • D of Council services
    • E of Council services
    • F of Council services
    • G of Council services
    • H of Council services
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    • J of Council services
    • K of Council services
    • L of Council services
    • M of Council services
    • N of Council services
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    • P of Council services
    • Q of Council services
    • R of Council services
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    • T of Council services
    • U of Council services
    • V of Council services
    • W of Council services
    • X of Council services
    • Y of Council services
    • Z of Council services

    Copyright 2012





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    The 5 Worst Pieces of Advice for Small Business Owners #business #online

    #small business advice

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    Mashable

    The 5 Worst Pieces of Advice for Small Business Owners

    When you’re starting a business, there’s no shortage of people eager to hand out advice. It seems that everyone, even someone you’ve just met, has an opinion on how you should be developing your product, running your marketing, handling your finances and much more.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve met some very smart people and have had great mentors over the years. Their contributions have been invaluable to my success. Yet after launching two companies over two decades, I’ve come across some terrible advice.

    Below are the top five bits of advice that I could have done without.

    1. “Hire people you know.”

    I’ve had countless people tell me that it’s always better to assemble a team of “known quantities” — friends, colleagues or former employees whom you know and trust. But I’ve discovered that for me, the best hiring decisions are based on the specific positions I need to fill at that moment in time. In other words, I need to focus on the specific expertise and skill sets the company needs, rather than trying to piece together how Jill, Sally and Joe will fit into the new business.

    In addition, if things aren’t working out between an employee and your company, you need to part ways (and usually, the sooner the better). You may be more reluctant to let friends go, even if you know they aren’t good fits.

    2. “There’s no room for you in the market.”

    When my husband and I launched a legal document filing company the second time around, the field was quite crowded, with several big names and established players. Many people told us to find a new space because there simply wasn’t room for us to compete.

    However, the key to business success doesn’t always hinge on finding a completely empty field; rather, it’s how you define your company and its place in the market. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee, but they did revolutionize the coffee shop by selling an experience along with a caffeine fix. Still, numerous boutique coffee shops are able to open and thrive today, even though there’s a Starbucks around the corner.

    Rather than struggling to come up with a brand new idea, take a look at your target industry and see where there’s a void to be filled. Figure out the best possible way to fill that need and run with it. You don’t always have to blaze a new trail, but you need to know who you are.

    3. “You have to be cheaper than the other guys.”

    I admit that my husband and I fell into this pricing trap with our company. We felt that the only way we could compete with the “big guys” was to undercut them on price. So, we dropped our prices. Our business grew, customers were happy, more customers came in, yet we were nearly losing money with every new order.

    Many young companies feel the pressure to discount their prices heavily in order to win business. While customer acquisition is important, attracting customers at unsustainable price levels will just result in a race to the bottom. I’ve learned that you’re better off in the long run to focus on how to bring more value to customers, rather than simply slashing your prices. After all, someone will always be able (or willing) to absorb a lower cost than you. You’ll need to find a new way to stand out, and then work as hard as you can to be exceptional in those differentiating areas.

    4. “Social media is free.”

    Over the past several years, I’ve had people tell me that starting a small business today is much easier than a decade ago, because of all the free marketing on Facebook. Twitter and Yelp. Sure, you don’t have to spend a dime to join Facebook, create a Twitter account or start a blog. But, I think a more apt comparison is that social media is free like a puppy. It may not cost much to bring a shelter puppy home, but from day one, it’s an endless whirlwind of training, toys and treats.

    Likewise, social media is far from free once you factor in the blood, sweat and tears it demands. From developing fresh content to keeping up conversations, social media requires nonstop commitment once you start. Unless you consider your time (or the time of your employees) worthless, then there’s a significant cost involved with social media.

    5. “You have to spend money to make money.”

    This cliché never applied to our business, particularly at the beginning. We set up shop in our apartment and did everything we could to keep expenses down. Sometimes we thought things would be better if we just had the money for X, Y or Z. But it’s risky to think that throwing money at a problem is your silver bullet. Sometimes, creative thinking and strategy work far better than a checkbook.

    We had to learn the difference between spending money and investing in the business. Certainly, money can scale a business faster, but only when you spend money on those things that will produce more money in return.

    Final Thoughts

    People will always give you advice — some good, some bad. The key is to never forget that you are running the show. Other people’s opinions should always be viewed through the context of your own experiences, convictions and value system.

    Final decisions are always up to you, so there’s no blaming someone else for bad advice.

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    Small Business Advice Program #ideas #to #start #a #business

    #small business advice

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    Small Business Advice Programme

    This project is a voluntary response by the business community to the challenges that recession brings for small business across the country. We have assembled a panel of people, with significant business experience, who are volunteering their time to give practical advice to small businesses. Your business can benefit from tapping into this pool of knowledge by applying for an advice meeting through this site.

    No cost.

    No hassle.

    No long application process.

    Just practical advice from experienced people who are volunteering to help keep your business in business.

    Tuesday, March 27 2012

    Small Business Support Programme Expands Into The Dublin Region

    On 28th March 2012, John Perry TD, Minister for Small Business will lauch the programme in the Dublin region.

    Small Business Support Programme Expands Into Mid-West Region

    ‘Minister Peter Power launches voluntary programme to help small businesses’

    A programme designed specifically to come to the aid of small businesses and help them ride out the recession is being expanded into the Mid West Region (Clare, Limerick and Tipperary), it was announced last night in Thomond Park, Limerick.

    The move follows the success of the programme in Carlow, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford over recent months. More than 60 volunteer advisors with different skill sets have helped over 150 companies since the smallbusinessadvice.ie launched in late 2009, giving specific confidential help on the problems facing small business in a downturn.

    Tuesday, May 11 2010

    Small Business Support Programme Expands Into South-East Region

    ‘Minister O’Keeffe launches voluntary programme to help small businesses’

    A programme designed specifically to come to the aid of small businesses and help them ride out the recession is being expanded into the South East Region (Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow), it was announced last night (Monday, May 10) in Waterford.

    The move follows the success of the pilot in the Cork region over the past six months. More than 35 volunteer advisors with different skill sets have helped over 70 companies since the smallbusinessadvice.ie launch in late 2009, giving specific confidential help on the problems facing small business in a downturn.





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    How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a business advice

    #dog walking business

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    How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

    With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

    Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

    Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

    The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

    Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

    However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

    Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

    1. Experience is essential

    While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

    The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

    If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

    Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

    2. Remember, it’s a business

    While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

    Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

    Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

    Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

    3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

    Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

    If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

    It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

    They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

    To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

    • Meet owners prior to the first booking
    • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
    • Keep records of all work undertaken
    • Protect clients’ personal information

    All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

    While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

    4. Find a niche in the market

    Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

    Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

    A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

    Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

    Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

    Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

    Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

    Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

    For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.

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