Archive for September, 2012

Half of Us Are Luddites – Survey Says!

Groupon have just completed a survey of small businesses which found that while 91% of us think that social media will help us grow, less than half of us actually use it today.  Many of us apparently lack the confidence to give it a go or we think it’s too time consuming.

So Groupon have put together a FREE guide to social media.  Which is great.  The downside is that you will need to register with them to get a copy.  This probably means your inbox is going to get pretty busy.  However I have downloaded a copy and it does look pretty good.  So if you can stand it, have a go.

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Retailers and Grocers in South Wales – Watch Out!

If you are in the grocery or retail industry and in South Wales you should be quaking in your boots! Why? Because HMRC are after you.  Mike Eland of HMRC says they are are out to get you. “HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules. We are on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of taskforces launched in 2011/12,” he says.

So watch out!.  Now read on: http://hmrc.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Grocery-and-retail-trade-targeted-in-tax-cheat-crackdown-6803b.aspx

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Start Up Loans for Young Entrepeneurs

A BIS scheme to offer business loans has just been launched to entrepreneurs aged  between 18 – 24. Vince Cable has launched a scheme offering up to £2500 in start up loans as well as professional mentoring support.  Cable believes it’s not just about the money but the professional guidance to help ensure successful businesses.

http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Young-entrepreneurs-get-access-to-first-start-up-loans-68061.aspx

If you would like to know more about this scheme drop me an email to martin.parry@mgba.co.uk or comment on this blog.

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Business Link Closure – They Must Have Been Listening

In my blog last week I discussed HMG business advice websites and asked what real benefit they actually provided.  Indeed a leading business group had found that fewer of us SMEs were accessing them presumably because we found the information therein to be irrelevant.

Well I must have been clairvoyant because it has just been announced that the Business Link website is to be closed.  Any relevant content is to be merged with Direct.gov.uk and re-branded as www.gov.uk on 17th October providing details of government services and information for business.

Well I hate to be the one to say I told you so but how the mandarins BIS believe they have any understanding of what it means to be in business is completely beyond me.

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Young People Consider Starting Up, RSA Finds

Following from my last blog about the unemployed finding work in the SME sector or by becoming self-employed, I now hear from the RSA that many young people are launching their own businesses. Very laudible you might say and I agree, to a point.

But being self employed is hard work.  All these theories about being your own boss and able to work when you feel like it are very atttractive but as all entrepreneurs know, anyone thinking that self employment is all about mornings off and no boss are in for a very rude awakening.

So while the RSA report is very interesting and I’m delighted that the young are looking at entrepeneurship as a career option, I do hope they are going about it in the right way and not looking at it as an alternative to the Job Centre.

Read the report at:
http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/724546/Enterprise-Generation-Enterprise_RSA.pdf

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Want to Reduce Unemployment? Support Your Local SME

Predictably maybe the Federation of Small Businesses claims that SMEs are generating the new jobs needed to rebuild the growth in the economy that HMG have signally failed to achieve.

They have just completed a survey that reveals that 90% of recently unemployed get back to work by either starting up on their own or working for an SME.  Specifically 17% start their own businesses while 52% find work within micro or small businesses.

The FSB are demanding HMG provide more support and incentives for small businesses to help them grow further and suggest that an extension to the NIC holiday might be a good place to start.

So, reader, if you are self employed or running a small business, what do you think the government should do to help you?  Send me your top three.

Read more on the FSB’s survey at:
http://www.fsb.org.uk/News.aspx?loc=pressroom&rec=7795

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Online Government Advice Sites – Any Use?

Are you using government support services such as Mentorsme and Business Link?  Apparently not, says BIS.  New government Business Barometer research is saying that only a fraction of SMEs are using these services.  BIS have found that awareness of these services is very low and usage figures are as low as 1%.

So have you used these services?  If so what did you think of them?  Frankly I have never heard of Mentorsme and I thought BIS had closed Business Link.  Obviously I was wrong. But let me know what you think.  Add a comment below.

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