Tag: Small

Top 5 Small Business Tools #business #models


#small business tools

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Top 5 Small Business Tools

Being your own boss can mean being your own marketing department, public relations team or sales squad you name it, small business owners often end up handling it themselves, at least at some point. With so many hats to wear, you need to make every second count.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that can streamline tasks, boost productivity and, in sum, save lots of time and money. Since I travel frequently, I ve built up a list of favorites that help me prioritize when I m short on time and that get me where I need to go as quickly as possible. Most of these services are free, and all of them do a fantastic job addressing the everyday challenges that small business owners face. What s not to love?

Buffer — Social media made easy

This user-friendly social media management tool helps me distribute content across major channels Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. with minimum hassle. It lets me schedule posts in advance, selecting prime times to optimize my reach, which is especially helpful when I m away from my computer or traveling. And it allows me to leverage analytics to improve my engagement rates, as well as add clean visual elements, perfectly formatted for each different channel, through its intuitive Pablo tool.

You can use Buffer as a browser extension or handle your social media on the go through the mobile app for iOS and Android. It s free for individuals, but Buffer offers upgraded packages starting at $10 a month to cover multiple profiles, teams and agencies. Sleeker and easier for beginners than tools like Hootsuite, Buffer simplifies the management aspect so you ve got more time to hone your message.

Outlook — Smarter inbox, smarter email

I don t spend enough time on email, said no small business owner ever. Managing and organizing an email inbox can be one of the biggest time wasters entrepreneurs face. That s why I use Microsoft Outlook to either delete, respond, drag to, task or process all mail. Never keep email in your inbox. It creates unnecessary stress and leaves you always feeling behind. Most people use folders, but that s highly inefficient. Processing mail immediately helps me prioritize and label every email that comes my way. This eliminates the need for folders (and trying to determine which one an email should be assigned to), by allowing me to label each email with one or many categories of my choosing. This makes them simple to find when the time comes.

OnStar — Your car as your ally

Since many newer cars include a free trial of OnStar, people already know about many features it offers: a turn-by-turn navigation system, a mobile hotspot, a diagnostics system, and services such as emergency response, stolen vehicle and roadside assistance. When I m on the road, OnStar is my go-to. I rely on its excellent AtYourService tool, which comes at no extra cost with my Guidance Plan. With a press of OnStar s blue button, I can connect to a live adviser for assistance in looking up destination addresses, finding nearby gas stations, making restaurant reservations and even booking hotel rooms. There s a mobile app as well.

Waze — Savvy navigation

There s nothing more frustrating than wasting time in a traffic jam especially here in the Seattle area. Enter Waze . a community-based navigation app that issues turn-by-turn voice directions and provides road alerts before you get stuck in a back-up. When you enter a new destination and leave the app open on your phone, it contributes passively to traffic data, but app users can also actively share information, pointing out cheap prices at gas stations, reporting accidents and editing maps to update local road data. Available free for iOS, Android and Windows Phones, this handy app saves me time, gas money and headaches.

TripIt — Taming your travel itinerary

Gone are the days of shuffling through reams of printed travel reservations or even searching through multiple emails, for that matter. TripIt consolidates confirmations for flights, hotels, car rentals and restaurant bookings into an easy-to-digest master itinerary that I synchronize with my calendar or share selectively with colleagues or family. The free app allows me to access all my info on most of my devices, even offline.

For $49 annually, you can upgrade TripIt to receive real-time travel alerts, alternative flight route information, notifications for potential seat upgrades and frequent-flyer point tracking. TripIt also offers group packages to coordinate itineraries for whole teams, with master calendars and expense tracking.

Saving time for what really matters

These tools leverage technology so that you don t lose time that s critical to your business success. You can turn your car into your office, and you can use the spare minutes you spend waiting in line for coffee or to board a plane to knock out key communications. The more effectively you work, and the more time you save, the more you can concentrate on the aspects of your business (and life) that are near and dear to your heart. For me, that s what it all boils down to.


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Canada s Top Small & Medium Employers (2016) #women #business #grants


#small companies

#

About the Competition


PolyCello employees inspecting equipment and product quality in the company’s blown film extrusion lines

Background

Now entering its 4 th year, Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that offer the nation’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. Canada’s SME sector is tremendously important to the nation and is responsible for:

  • over half of the nation’s gross domestic product;
  • almost 90% of the private-sector labour force; and
  • over three-quarters of the new jobs created in the past decade.

Our 2016 winners were announced in a special magazine published in The Globe and Mail on March 29, 2016. Read the press release issued the same day, announcing this year’s winners.

Selection Process

Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers using the same eight criteria as our national competition :

  • (1) Physical Workplace;
  • (2) Work Atmosphere & Social;
  • (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits;
  • (4) Vacation & Time Off;
  • (5) Employee Communications;
  • (6) Performance Management;
  • (7) Training & Skills Development; and
  • (8) Community Involvement.

To determine eligibility, the Top 100 editors adopted the SME definition used by Statistics Canada, limiting the competition to private-sector commercial organizations with under 500 employees.


Fusion Learning employees looked back to the past for fashion inspiration during the summer conference

Editorial Partner

The Globe and Mail is our editorial partner on the Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers competition. Each year, the competition winners are announced in a special magazine published nationally in The Globe and Mail. Our editors’ detailed reasons for selection are published on our job search engine, Eluta.ca click an employer’s name below to read why each of this year’s winners was chosen. Publishing detailed Reasons for Selection is an important feature of our competition: it provides transparency in the selection of winners and “raises the bar” so that other employers can discover and adopt initiatives that work well at other SMEs.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered a “Small or Medium Enterprise”, your company must: (a) have less than 500 employees worldwide, including employees at any affiliated companies; and (b) be a commercial, for-profit enterprise, i.e. non-profit organizations don’t meet the definition.

2017 Competition

Applications for our 2017 competition will be available early in 2016. Our 2017 winners will be announced in a special magazine in The Globe and Mail early in 2017. To receive an application for next year’s competition, employers should join our mailing list:

Editorial Conference

To learn more about the competition, we invite you to join us at the Top Employer Summit. our annual editorial conference on the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This event lets you discover the latest best practices from winners, meet competition organizers and editors, and hear inspiring stories from world-class speakers – all presented in a commercial-free format. The conference is Canada’s largest annual event for senior-level HR professionals.

Scalar Decisions employees at the company’s 10th anniversary party

The Little Engines of Growth

There are big differences working for Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers

Jason Leung knows the difference between working for a big corporation and for a Small and Medium Employer. Really, it gets down to that little word “big”.

Leung used to work in sales, based in Vancouver, for one of the world’s largest soft-drink companies. Now he works in a smaller city for a much smaller company that makes food for small and medium sized friendly creatures.

Petcurean Pet Nutrition, which produces premium pet food in Chilliwack, B.C. is a fast growing company in a fast growing category. It has operations in many of the same countries around the world that the soft-drink company does. But it still has only 64 global employees.

Talk to Leung, who is now an Export Manager, about the workplace culture. “At my old company, it was almost a competition among employees about who was working the longest, who was working the hardest, who was doing the most out there. It was just show off, show off, show off. But here they really promote work-life balance. It feels like family.”

Then there is the challenge of getting something done. “Here, no door is closed, no one says, that’s not my department, don’t talk to me,” says Leung. “At my old company, I’d see it all the time. You’ve got to go through the ranks, talk to your senior manager, the senior manager talks to another person who talks to the person you really need. Here, I just walk into the general manager’s office myself.”

Millions of Canadians share Leung’s kind of workplace environment, although their company may not have made the list of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers. Some 90 per cent of the private-sector labour force is employed by a SME (commonly pronounced Smee, like Captain Hook’s sidekick). SMEs are credited with creating over 75 per cent of new jobs in Canada in the past decade.

And this little engine of growth often works on quite different principles from the big locomotives. Leung’s account of the contrasts he found between a soft-drink giant and a pet food SME is echoed 3,200 kilometres away in a tech company in the Waterloo region. “Generally people who come to us from large organizations are very familiar with structure and going through channels,” says Dan Latendre, Founder and CEO of Igloo Software, which employs just over 90 people in Kitchener, Ont. “Whereas here, we’re all about agility and innovation if that’s a great idea, why aren’t we acting on it?”

Latendre believes in a “flat”, non-hierarchical style of organization that can be surprising to people who come from big companies. “They’re very aware of chain of command,” he says. “Here it’s, hey, we’ve formed a project team, let’s get this project done. You may have me, as CEO, in the project along with other people. But we all work for the project manager, and we all have tasks to get done. Which kind of blows people’s minds, that they’re working directly with the CEO.”

To some people, notes Richard Yerema, Managing Editor for Mediacorp Canada, which compiled the SME list, working for a small company means trade-offs a more family style atmosphere and more agility, perhaps, but fewer benefits than at a big outfit. But the 100 companies on this 2016 SME list are proof that sometimes you can have it all. Benefits are often competitive with those of much larger firms.

Take Petcurean. Its Human Resources Manager, Cari McClelland, joined a year ago and found a benefit plan that included prescription drugs, a maternity leave top-up, long-term disability and, after staff asked for it, vision care.

“For a company our size to carry that extensive a benefit package is not the norm,” says McClelland, an experienced HR professional. “I’ve been amazed at the willingness of our leadership to say, ‘let’s look at it if we can do it, we’ll do it’.”

Yet many such benefits are becoming the norm at Canada’s Top SMEs. Yerema says that nearly half of the employers on this year’s list provide some form of maternity leave top-up the additional payment that brings a new mother’s Employment Insurance benefit closer to her original salary for a certain number of weeks. “That is quite an accomplishment,” says Yerema. “Ten years ago, even many large companies weren’t offering it.”

At Igloo, too, Latendre offers benefits that his staff say are equivalent to those of large tech companies they’ve worked at, such as BlackBerry. They also get stock options, offering the promise that the company’s success will benefit every employee.

And that may be another part of the attraction of the Small and Medium Employer. Along with the friendly atmosphere, the quick decision-making and the pot-luck get-togethers, there’s the idea that this small upstart might one day become the most successful software company or pet food company in the world. “SMEs capture the imagination for a lot of people,” notes Yerema. “What would it have been like to be the fifth person hired at Google?”

By Berton Woodward
From the official announcement magazine for Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers, published on March 29, 2016 in The Globe and Mail.

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Small Business Startup Guide #business #card #dimensions


#small business startup

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Small Business Bank Accounts #bond #market #news


#business bank accounts

#

Small Business Chequing & Savings Accounts

Why open a Business Chequing Account?

  • Will help keep your business and personal expenses separate
  • Get your business off to a good start for tax purposes
  • Project credibility and professionalism to customers and suppliers of your new business
  • We will help ensure that your business banking solutions keep pace and continue to reflect your unique needs as your business grows

To ensure your account is opened quickly, all owners and signing officers will need to provide 2 pieces of approved personal identification. Depending on your business’ legal structure, one of the following documents will also be required by your TD Canada Trust Business Banking Specialist:

  • Sole Proprietorship – Certificate of Registration of Business Name
  • Partnership – Certificate of Registration of Partnership. Partnership Agreement (if available)
  • Corporation – Articles of Incorporation. Certificate of Registration of Business Name (if available)
  • Association – Articles of Association (if available)
  • Formal Trust – Trust Agreement

Find out more about our Chequing Service Plans


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Small Business Advice Program #business #current #events


#small business advice

#

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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Small Business Bureau signs MoU with 12 groups to train entrepreneurs – Stabroek News

#small business bureau

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Small Business Bureau signs MoU with 12 groups to train entrepreneurs

Twelve private training institutions have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Small Business Bureau (SBB) to train entrepreneurs.

GINA said this is being facilitated through the Micro and Small Enterprise Development programme (MSED).

The MoU will allow these institutions to train young entrepreneurs, who have benefitted from cash grants and loans through the SBB, in managing their own small businesses, GINA added.

Minister of Business and Tourism, Dominic Gaskin and his Permanent Secretary, Rajdai Jagernauth (GINA photo)

The institutions which will facilitate the training are the Ruimveldt Life Improvement Centre, Generation Next, Roadside Baptist Church Skills Training Centre, Partners of the Americas, Kuru Kuru Co-operative College, Action Coach Guyana, Guyana School of Agriculture, EMPRETEC, Cerulean Inc, the Critchlow Labour College, Management Options and Interweave Solutions.

Minister of Business and Tourism, Dominic Gaskin encouraged the trainers to utilise modern technologies which would make the training relevant to the contemporary business environment.

GINA said that the MSED programme which began in 2013 has trained more than 1,000 young entrepreneurs who accessed small loans and grants through the SBB.

Officer in Charge of the bureau, Gillian Edwards-Griffith said, “We have done to date 193 grants, $300,000 each, and in terms of loans with financial partners, we have three, of which two are active giving a total of 63 loans”.

The MSED programme will be evaluated by an independent body to give the SBB a fair idea of the successes prior to the second phase of the training.

Funding will be evenly disbursed among the training institutions, GINA added.

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  • Veteran Franchising Opportunities – Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization #business #card #holder


    #business loans for veterans

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    Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization

    Veteran Franchising Opportunities

    Investigate which franchise opportunities align with your small business objectives. Access an ever-growing list of franchising resources available to Veteran entrepreneurs.

    International Franchise Association (IFA)

    To improve and streamline the franchise ownership process, IFA serves as a conduit between Veterans and participating franchise systems. IFA does not engage in negotiations, nor does it provide financing or financial guidance. However, many franchise systems offer financing, while others help prospective franchisees locate the necessary capital to acquire a franchise. Learn more

    • IFA VetFran Directory
      VetFran s ranks have grown to include more than 500 franchise systems that voluntarily offer financial incentives to Veterans seeking to become franchise small business owners. Due to the wide variety of franchises, the criteria for financial incentives is determined by the franchise system in a manner that allows the greatest flexibility for the system and, at the same time, offers Veterans a better deal than is offered to otherwise qualified investors. Typically, VetFran participants offer discounts of their initial fees, but that is not a requirement. Through VetFran, more than 6,300 servicemen and women have become franchisees and, more are being added every month. Learn more
    • IFA VetFran Toolkit
      The VetFran Toolkit includes a free Franchising 101 online course, a finance assessment, a workbook for prospective franchise owners, and a fund to help Veterans without the equity to access loans and partner links. If you are a U.S. Veteran, you can also access the VetFran Mentor Network and get advice from an experienced franchise professional. With its training, structure, and focus on operational excellence, franchising can provide an ideal career path for returning Veterans to become leaders in our civilian economy. To find out about the franchise opportunities that might be right for you, start using the VetFran Toolkit today.
      Learn more

    Little Caesars Veterans Program

    The Little Caesars Veterans Program provides honorably discharged veterans with a business opportunity when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change, and thanks them for the sacrifices they and their families made for our country. The minimum requirements from Little Caesars are: $50,000 in liquid, unencumbered assets (cash available, no lien or loan on money), VA Rating Letter or DD214, the county you are interested in opening the franchise, and a minimum net worth of $150,000. Your net worth would be assets minus liabilities. If you meet the minimum requirements, please contact the Little Caesars VetFran Program at 1-800-553-5776. Learn more

    Top Franchises for Veterans

    Franchise Business Review (FBR) is the leading market research firm in the franchise industry specializing in franchisee satisfaction and performance. FBR is the only researcher to look at which franchise opportunities are the most Veteran-friendly based on franchisee satisfaction and performance perhaps the most telling data of all. The FBR Veterans and Franchising Report looks at Veterans in franchising, including the best opportunities for military-trained franchisees based on a survey of more than 3,500 Veteran franchisees. This is the true story behind what franchise brands say they will do for Veterans and what they actually do. Learn more

    Valpak

    Valpak is a direct marketing franchise system that provides mobile, online, and print advertising solutions to businesses across North America. Since the company s founding in 1968 with our flagship Blue Envelope, Valpak has evolved into a sophisticated direct marketing system that helps businesses reach their target audience via direct mail, online coupons, mobile apps, e-commerce, targeted e-mail, SMS Text Messaging, Savings.com and more. Valpak s model features no royalties, no inventory, low start-up costs, multiple revenue streams, exclusive territory and promotion marketing support. Learn more

    • Valpak Veterans Franchising Program – VetFran Incentive
      Veterans may qualify to have their startup costs, including franchising and training fees, waived 100% and receive help obtaining operating capitol.

    Veterans Business Services (VBS)

    VBS Franchise Accelerator system offers Veterans tools to conduct feasibility analysis and due diligence on multiple franchise opportunities and also offers special Veteran discount programs. Learn more

    External Links Disclaimer

    This page may contain links to pages and/or documents outside the Department of Veterans Affairs Domain. These are annotated as shown below. We hope your visit was informative.

    U.S. Federal/Military/State Government Sites You will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs web site by accessing links annotated with this graphic.

    External Links Disclaimer

    This page may contain links to pages and/or documents outside the Department of Veterans Affairs Domain. These are annotated as shown below. We hope your visit was informative.

    Non-Government Sites You will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs web site by accessing links annotated with this graphic. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked web site.


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    Small Business Resources, lc, Ankeny, IA 50023 #how #to #start #a #business


    #small business resources

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    Welcome To Small Business Resources, lc

    At Small Business Resources, the careful management of your finances is our top priority. We pride ourselves on giving you personalized and thorough service that meets your business or individual needs.

    We work in partnership with our clients, providing professional accounting and business management services. We differentiate ourselves by taking the time to understand your organization so that we can develop practical solutions to your specific needs. We also tailor our services to stay within your budget. Our services are designed to improve your profitability and operational efficiency. Read More

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    Tax Services

    At Small Business Resources, lc, we provide tax services for. Read more

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  • Consulting Services

    As much as you would like, not everything fits neatly into your. Read more

  • Quick Contact

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    Ankeny, IA 50023


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    Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP – Small Business

    #grants for small businesses

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    Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP

    There are many opportunities for businesses to obtain free support and grants, both at start-up and during growth and development.

    However, keeping up to date with what is available is a task in itself, with schemes appearing and disappearing on a regular basis.

    Competition is high and success does not come easy.

    If you follow the RAPP process when applying for grants and support, you will improve your chance of success.

    The RAPP process

    R esearch – find out what grants and support are available.

    A pplicant suitability – when you identify an opportunity, ensure you meet the criteria or conditions required for the funding before spending time on an application.

    P reparation – take time to prepare and tailor the application to meet the specific criteria and conditions. Alternatively, P can stand for a professional who has the skill set and knowledge of the type of grant you are seeking.

    P atience – take time completing your application (but without missing deadlines) and be patient waiting for the result!

    Financial support in the form of grants can be found at three levels. National grants primarily focus on growth and capital investment, such as the government’s Growth Accelerator scheme, while regional grants come from a local board specifically set up to help a region that has government and local authority support.

    Local grants may be available from a local council, for example subsidised rents for new start-up businesses or funding to help tidy up a high street retail unit.

    There are also European grants and funding support, details of which can be found at UK Trade and Investment .

    Where you live or trade may significantly increase your chances of success of getting funding, particularly if your business is in an area defined as economically disadvantaged.

    It is not unknown for businesses to set up in or move to an area where regional or local assistance is more readily available.

    When looking for or considering grant options, four points generally apply.

    1. Nothing is free; typically you must be prepared to put in some of your own funds. It is extremely rare for a grant to finance the total cost of, say, a start-up or project, unless it is for a very small amount. Many grants require match funding ie you need to match the funding from the grant provider.

    For example, Growth Accelerator is a government-backed scheme providing mentor support, coaching and workshops for businesses looking for rapid growth.

    The business has to pay a contribution towards the assistance; the amount depends on the size of the business, with the government contributing to the overall cost of the support.

    A grant does mean that you are not giving up part of the ownership of your business, as you would if you were seeking equity funding or repaying the money and interest as you would on bank borrowing.

    2. Grants are generally available for a specific project, for example development of a new product or job creation.

    Therefore your application needs to meet the criteria for which the grant or support is being provided. Grants are not generally available for just starting a business.

    3. The grant scheme provider will have objectives, strategies or aims which the funding supports, for example helping with youth employment.

    Understand what the objectives or aims are when completing the application.

    4. You must have a business plan that explains what you require the funding for and which is tailored to the grant provider’s specific criteria and conditions.

    A blanket application or plan is not going to work. On most occasions, your business plan will have to be entered into the provider’s prescribed application form.

    Do not just think of grants and support as financial support. Other types of free support can come in many guises.

    For example, when opening your business bank account you may be offered free book keeping software, and many local councils and chambers of commerce offer free training seminars on topics such as social media.

    The type of product or service for which you are seeking funding supporting has a major impact on your chances of success. Key areas for which grants and support are readily found are:

    Innovation

    There are a wide range of schemes and support to encourage research and development. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) provides grants and support to help develop new products and services and put them in a position to be brought to market.

    Energy and environment

    here are schemes specifically for developments that will improve energy efficiency or reduce environmental impact. Natural England lists a number on their website .

    Training

    There is plenty of funding and support is available to develop skills, including those of the business owner, as well as support for new employees where the business will be providing training and development.

    For example, the National Apprenticeship Service provides advice and support on starting a subsidised apprenticeship. Alternatively, it could mean taking on an intern from the local university for the summer with the university providing match funding to pay the student’s salary.

    Exports

    Politicians’ emphasis on exports driving the economic recovery have led to considerable support and assistance for businesses looking to export the goods they manufacture. UK Trade Investment provide funding and subsided advice and services to help business export their products.

    Business grants are notoriously hard to come by, but there is assistance out there if you know where to look. Follow the RAPP and hopefully you will be one of the successful ones. Good luck!

    Further reading on grants

    Related Topics

    Comments (34)

    How small and medium businesses can take on flexible working

    Some 57 per cent of employees say the availability of flexible working in their workplace is important to them, according to Sage data. This guide to Sage 200 Online shows why more and more businesses are turning to the cloud.

    Controlling Cash Flow – Learn to master your money

    Find out how five small businesses met the challenges of raising finance, from drawing up a business plan to securing investment. Complete with expert guides and tips to help you through the process.

    The Vitesse Network

    Further Information

    Vitesse Media Plc, 14 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX T. 0207 250 7010

    2016 Vitesse Media Plc

    2016 Vitesse Media Plc


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    How to Make a Facebook Page for Your Small Business #small #business #services


    #business pages

    #

    How to Make a Facebook Page for Your Small Business

    If you own a small business, having a Facebook page lets you reach individuals among the 750 million or so users worldwide who are most likely to be interested in your company. Your interaction on the social network gives customers the sense that they know you and your business. which can increase loyalty and make them more likely to recommend your services.

    On Facebook you can easily add features that are harder to implement on your website. You can build a custom page, run contests and promotions, and manage a small e-commerce shop. Plus, Facebook is free. Even if you pay for custom applications or a developer’s services, it remains a form of advertising with a small price tag.

    The potential reach of a Facebook page is huge, as half of its users log in every day. Facebook studies show that people interact with their favorite brands on Facebook more than on any other social network, are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a fan of it on Facebook, and are more likely to purchase a product after becoming a fan. In addition, anyone outside Facebook can view your Facebook page because search engines index it.

    Establishing Your Profile and Page Admins

    Before creating your Facebook fan page, you must establish a personal Facebook profile. The individual in that profile is the creator of the fan page. As a result, the subsequent Facebook business page doesn’t have a separate login from that of the individual user who created it.

    Many people are nervous about mixing their personal information with their business information, but the two are conceptually separate. You’ll interact with the business page as the business, and on your personal profile as yourself. Only administrators and the owner of the page can see other page admins. Thus, when I interact on my Facebook page, (Anti) Social Development. I post as that company and not as Kim Woodbridge. People who interact with my company page don’t see my personal profile.

    If you aren’t going to be the only person working on your business’s Facebook page, you’ll need to select admins. To do this, fill in the appropriate data in the ‘Edit Page’ section under ‘Manage Admins’. The admins either must be Facebook friends of yours, or must be identified by the email address they use for Facebook.

    The admins you designate won’t need your login to access the page, and once they log in as admins, they’ll have access to page-editing features. For example, I’m an admin on a number of business pages and can access all of them by logging into Facebook, so I don’t need anyone else’s login data.

    Be careful, however, to add only people you trust as admins. Any admin can remove any other admin, even the owner of the page–a structural flaw that Facebook needs to address. If you add a developer or other person to work on your page temporarily, I recommend removing that person from admin status as soon as the job is done.

    Facebook does offer what it calls a business account, but this option is very limited and I don’t recommend it. A business account doesn’t allow you to install Facebook apps, so you can’t add a custom page made with iframes or third-party tools, as discussed throughout this article. For that reason, I don’t recommend using a business account.

    Creating a Facebook Page

    From your Facebook profile page, click the Pages header in the left-side navigation. Next, click the Create a Page button, and select the type of page–Local Business or Place. for example, or Brand or Product. You’ll see a number of fields to fill out, such as your business category, name, and address.

    One of the early steps of creating a business page on Facebook is to choose your business type.

    Next, click the Get Started button, and Facebook will guide you through the rest of the setup process, step by step. If you skip any of those steps, you can fill them out later on a new page in the Facebook Welcome section, which only page admins will see.

    Information to Include

    When Facebook walks you through the initial steps, it will request information about your business–a logo for the page avatar, details for the About section, contact information and hours, and the URL of your website.

    If you want Facebook to pull in your blog posts automatically, an application such as Networked Blogs can help. Each time you publish a new post to your blog, Networked Blogs will import the post and add it to the Wall of your Facebook business page.

    Among the Facebook applications that come with your page by default are Photos, Links, Events, Notes, and Video. You can’t remove the default applications, but you can set them not to appear in the left-side page navigation.

    After completing the first steps, you’ll want to customize the public appearance of your Facebook page with a design appropriate for your business.

    Next page: Should you build your own custom page, or hire a pro?

    Small Business Social Media Survival Guide

    How to Make a Facebook Page for Your.


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