Business Butler | Blog

Businesses urged to slash prices

A new government campaign has begun to try and get businesses to reduce their prices for consumers. On Monday evening the new tsar at Number 10, David Buttress, asked business leaders their ideas on “how to help” fight the cost of living as it keeps rising.

In a BBC article it was discussed that a government source has given information to the broadcaster concerning the government’s plans...

Are Avatars the future for SMEs?

Can you imagine as a business owner that some day in the future you will be able to sleep easy, safe in the knowledge that while you are getting some much deserved rest your business is being run by an avatar version of you. 

I know, it sounds far-fetched but when you think about how quickly technology...

When team building exercises go wrong

Team building exercises can be beneficial for employees if done correctly. They can help boost morale, be an interesting way to help employees bond and get to know each other. But, occasionally they don’t go according to plan… Sometimes a team building exercise can go horribly wrong if poorly organised and if it’s not planned in advance. Recently, a team bu...

The importance of having an exit strategy

In today’s blog we will be going through and discussing the different types of exit strategies, what they mean, and how you can put them in place in the early days of creating your business. Exit strategies are an important part of anyone’s business plan and fundamental for, of course, the latter days of your business depending on the time frame you put in ...

R&D Tax Credit Changes Explained

R&D Tax Credit Changes Explained

During the 2021 Autumn budget, the government confirmed the addition of an extra R&D tax credit cost category: data and cloud computing. This announcement has been much anticipated following the 2020 consultation on qualifying criteria and has been welcomed by companies and advisors alike.

Matthew Jones, managing director, Li...

Staff handbooks – what are they and why do you need them?

In today’s blog we will be going over what staff handbooks are and why businesses need to make sure they have them. Firstly, what is a staff handbook? A staff handbook, which can also be referred to as an employee manual/handbook, contains a number of policies and documents which tell everything that employees need to know about working at a business.

How Explainer Videos can benefit a Business

In today’s blog we will be discussing how explainer videos can be beneficial to businesses of any size. Explainer videos can be a very important step in your business’ marketing strategy by helping your target audience really find out what your business does as a whole and what you’re trying to achieve.

One of the world’s market-leading animated explainer video companies, Wyzowl has said ...

The benefits of using a Virtual Assistant

Running a business is hard and lets be real there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything you need done by yourself. Being a business owner can involve juggling a whole load of different responsibilities and it can be tough and stressful. There are many ways to combat the number of entrepreneurial responsibilities a business owner can face day-to-day...

Hosting an event can be great for business

After being in lockdown for so long, what a relief it has been for people to be able to go to actual events again. No more needing to log into virtual events, you can now mingle and see other people… face-to-face, believe it or not! Following lockdown it feels like there’s more of a sense of community, which is lovely to see. If you haven’t already, then I ...

Positive news for startups in Wales

It’s currently an exciting time in Wales for new businesses. During the first quarter of 2022 more than 43,000 new businesses have been set up in Wales. Half were registered during March of this year alone, which is a staggering number of businesses - this research was taken from insolvency and restructuring company R3 in Wales.

An unforgettable day at the Business Mindset conference

The power of the mind should not be underestimated and peak performance coach, Mr Jim Steele, proved that in the opening minutes of his captivating Business Mindset Conference in Cardiff. The event was held in the majestic Cornerstone Arts Centre and Community Hub, a converted chapel, where Steele preached to the masses about the benefits of having a business mindset.

A vibra...

The importance of streamlining business processes

The importance of streamlining business processes 

Every business aims to be slick, efficient and agile, which is why streamlining your business processes is essential. In today’s blog we will be going through the importance of this for any sized business and also a few ways you can start to achiev...

How to use to LinkedIn effectively

Many professionals use LinkedIn everyday but not everyone does. I know myself as I have only recently been introduced to using LinkedIn and have found it profoundly eye-opening. Today we will be discussing the many perks of using it, why it is important for professionals to use, and how to use the platform effectively. Afterall, some people do say that a LinkedIn profile is no more than just an...

The importance of Public Relations

In today’s blog we will be going through the benefits of working with a Public Relations (PR) consultant, explaining why it is important for small businesses to do so, and discussing the misconception that PR consultants are only needed for big businesses.

There are many reasons why PR can be crucial to a ...

Intellectual Property and its Importance to small businesses

In today’s blog I will discuss the meaning of intellectual property and also its importance to small businesses. Intellectual property also known as IP is used to refer to anything that has been created such as; literary pieces, designs, inventions, brand names, and also musical pieces. IP is protected by law through patents, trademarks and copyrights which allows the author to have the authori...

The advantages of using animation for your business

In today’s blog I will be discussing the advantages of using animation for small businesses. These days if a business doesn’t have suave marketing and silky branding then the chances are they probably won’t get too far. The use and need for animation within businesses is becoming more and more popular and is understandable when you consider the benefits.

Powerful and engaging

The importance of a Business Mindset

When you look at successful people in business they all share several traits but the most important of these arguably is a business mindset. This is often referred to as an entrepreneurial mindset but either way the key point to note is that anybody can learn how to develop such a positive and rewarding mindset.

What is a business mindset?

A person with a busin...

Great news for online shoppers

New rules have been put in place to make fake reviews online illegal. As a result people are going to be more protected from fake reviews as well as subscription traps, with new plans to tackle rip-offs head on. Part of the plan that has been proposed is to make it “clearly illegal” to pay anyone to write or post reviews that are fake. Furthermore, there are plans to fine firms up to 10% of the...

8 Questions to consider when starting a business

Have you ever had thoughts about whether or not you should turn your hobby/passion into a potentially profitable business? It’s fair to say that most people would have had these thoughts at some point, I know I have! Today I am going to be going through 8 important questions to ask yourself before considering starting a business of your own.

What is the core motivation for startin...

Streaming services are struggling

In a recent article it was discussed how Netflix has been losing their subscribers which hasn’t happened in ten years, which is leading them to consider using advertisements. You would have thought the opposite was happening with all the recent success of some Netflix owned releases, it is surprising to hear. Netflix have shed the blame onto factors including the increasing competition from oth...

Issues facing the public sector

Figures show that public sector pay for jobs such as; teachers, NHS workers and civil servants has fallen further behind price rises in the three months to February. Some see this as the biggest squeeze for public sector pay in 20 years.

Escalating cost of living

Wages for public sector workers have risen but price rises have actually ended up outpacing them. This m...

A look into the Government's £12 million grant to help startups

Funding is such an important step for any business, especially for startups. The early years of a business are arguably the most important and going through them without any funding is one of the major reasons why so many startups end up failing. Being able to access some level of funding can help startup companies tenfold and can also help secure some level of longevity for the business.

Is the four-day working week the way forward?

It started with working from home, now the four-day work week, what other unfathomable changes will the Covid-19 pandemic enforce onto the business world?

The four-day work week has been discussed in a bid to measure whether or not it will boost productivity giving employees a longer weekend. Workers would still be paid the same as their five-day work...

Is ditching your smart phone a clever move?

Almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone. Whether it be for work or just keeping in contact, the smartphone is an everyday appliance that can be found in almost every home. There are even tech-savvy subcultures who pride themselves on getting the newest phones, finding everything about the latest hardware used, camping overnight outside a shop to purchase the latest drop, there are many people...

Small Businesses fear Rising Energy Costs

In a recent article pub landlady Maggie Holmes said that businesses and customers are going to suffer due to the rising energy costs. Small business owners in a village in North Yorkshire have said that they have had no choice but to raise their prices due to the cost of bills. The rising energy costs will affect everyone’s pockets it seems! It has been said that millions of people will be...

How much will the National Insurance rise cost your business?

The Government is planning a £11bn National Insurance tax rise to pay for social care. It looks like it has the capacity to cause strain, hurt the economic recovery and create more unemployment. Mr Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, is said to be worried about the tax rise as he believes it could reduce the numbers of hiring as the cost of each staf...

Why is the Chief Happiness Officer role becoming more popular?

In this blog I will be discussing what a Chief Happiness Officer is and why the role is becoming more popular amongst workplaces. It may seem like a made-up title or perhaps not much of an important job but in recent times happiness officers have been helping companies bloom.

In essence the chief happiness officer is a HR Manager with a certain qualification and certain beliefs in that ha...

Home Working, Hybrid Plans and Office Life

After such a long period of working from home, from it being a necessity to it being a more productive way of working, while knocking time of travel to zero, many offices now have workers coming in just like the old days! Many other businesses have adopted hybrid work week schedules. Having employees only coming in for half of the work week or two days in the office and three days working from ...

Amazon and How They Use Their Customer Data

If you’re reading this you definitely know and have heard of the mammoth company that is Amazon, but do you know how they handle their customer’s data? With Amazon’s yearly revenue reaching £290 billion it’s safe to say that most households are taking advantage of their fast paced delivery service, but is it safe to say that the majority of the 200 million people don’t know how Amazon is using ...

Maximising the Benefits of Zoom for Small Business Owners

In today’s blog I will be discussing the benefits of using Zoom for small business owners. I will be delving into how to maximise these benefits to suitably fit your business’ needs. When the start of the pandemic hit employees were made to stay-home and work, of course this had its ups and downs. Whether it be the terrible hit to business’ communication or the lack of understanding of how work...

The Importance of writing a will

When a loved one passes, emotions and tensions can be high and we’ve all heard the dreaded dispute stories.. Today I will be discussing the importance of writing a will. Nobody likes thinking about death but it is an everyday reality, and having your inheritance sorted out and pursuing an all-round feeling of fairness between family members can have a big impact on loved one’s lives. Making a w...

Why there's nothing 'small' about small business

Big ideas, big ambitions, big plans, big(ger) competitors, big (massive!) decisions, big risks (certainly), big returns (maybe). Isn't it time we cooked up a new way to describe those businesses with fewer than 250 employees other than SME, the 'small and medium-sized enterprise'?

Out of small acorns…

It's such a misnomer and a discredit to the sweat, blood, to...

Why Having a Retirement Plan is Important

Today I am going to be discussing the importance of having a retirement plan in place. There are many questions that surround retirement plans such as; “Will I end up running out of money? Will I even be able to retire when I would like to? Is there any way to be sure of having the retirement I want?” Well…Today I am going to try and answer a few of those questions for you!

What i...

How Hiring A Bookkeeper Can Help Small Businesses

The bookkeeper can play a vital role if incorporated into a small business. Hiring a bookkeeper can help your finances make more sense and can help free up time for other tasks that might need doing, usually when starting a small business the bookkeeping responsibilities would fall on yourself. Today I am going to be discussing how hiring a bookkeeper can r...

Running a business in Wales is stressful

Business owners life’s can be stressful enough just by navigating the day-to-day. Due to the energy crisis and the cost of living rising it seems like the next few months are going to be difficult. Figures suggest that business owners in Wales are experiencing the highest levels of mental health issues when compared to the rest of the UK.

Finance is a key reason

The importance of cyber security

As we all know technology runs the world. Due to the covid-19 pandemic without it most businesses would be halted at a stand-still. Whether it be; processing and shipping orders, communicating over email, or paying employees, most businesses are extremely reliant on their IT infrastructure to operate effectively.

A positive outlook for startups in the future

Running your own business is a dream for many and for those who manage to achieve theirs the rewards can be amazing. However, as with anything rewarding it takes a lot of hard work to succeed and there are challenges to overcome and risks to consider - and the risks are significant.

Rewind two years to when one in five businesses failed in the first year of trading and three out of e...

Late payments reach crisis point for small businesses

Running a business is difficult at the best of times and there are always challenges to overcome. One such recurring challenge that small business owners face is that of late payments and recent research reveals that the issue is reaching crisis point.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that more than 440,000 small firms could go out of business because of late payments and...

Companies are slashing sick pay for unvaccinated workers

IKEA has recently announced that it is slashing sick pay for unvaccinated staff who are forced to self-isolate due to being in close contact with someone with Covid-19. They will only be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35 a week unless there are mitigating circumstances. This is a massive decrease compared to the average gross wage of £400 for shop floor workers.

A spokesperson for ...

Discovering yourself with a DISC assessment

Understanding what drives your actions and behaviours is key to personal growth and achieving your full potential. Yet it is surprising to know that most people strive to achieve personal and professional goals without this valuable insight. Personality tests are an ideal way of discovering this, so let’s find out more about one particular type of assessment.

DISC assessment is one o...

Improving your business for the year ahead

New year resolutions are great if they are adhered to but for whatever reason resolve for personal promises begins to wane for many before January is out and the vast majority have been cast aside by the time spring arrives. However, the results are different when it comes to business.

All business owners understand that they can’t afford to treat company goals and objectives with the sam...

The growth of the gig economy

The number of people working in the gig economy in England and Wales has almost trebled in five years according to research published by the Trade Union Congress (TUC). The TUC estimates there are 4.4 million gig-workers, which equates to 14.7% of the working age population, this is a significant increase from 5.8% in 2016.

What is the gig economy?

There is no ...

Portugal introduces legislation to protect homeworkers

Portugal has made it illegal for employers to contact staff by phone, text message, or email outside of their normal working hours. The ground breaking legislation titled ‘right to rest’ is aimed at improving work-life balance following an increase in the number of remote workers.

Attracting entrepreneurs to Portugal

Portugal's Minister of Labour and Social Security...

Big Boss may be watching you

Ever since the mass migration to homeworking there has been one big concern facing business owners and managers. Will the staff be as productive working from home (WFH) as they are in the office?

Trust is crucial

The word trust is often banded about as being a key component in developing long-term relationships between a business and its customers. Trust, however, i...

Virtual networking isn’t going away

As life slowly returns to normal it is great to see fans flocking to sports stadia, shoppers returning to the high street and the hospitality industry welcoming back all manner of social gatherings.

On the business front, it is just as satisfying to see awards ceremonies filled with jovial attendees dressed to the nines, bustling trade shows and the return of physical networking even...

The Autumn Budget and what it means for businesses

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak was never going to be able to please everyone with his autumn budget and there were always going to be winners and losers, but let’s have a look at the key points for businesses from his budget statement.

The Chancellor confirmed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) anticipates that the UK economy will grow by 6.5 per cent this year ...

Unequal spread of equity finance for businesses across the UK

The first annual Regions and Nations Tracker published by the British Business Bank has revealed alarming regional disparities in accessing equity finance and private debt in the UK.

Although more than 40% of businesses were accessing external finance in 2021, the lack of local investors in certain areas means that there are lost economic opportunities across the UKs regions and nations.

Plans to encourage young talent to stay in Wales

Wales is facing a crisis as young people desert the principality in search of more rewarding and successful careers elsewhere. The Welsh government is looking at plans to arrest the exodus because if it continues at its current rate there will be severe ramifications for the country’s economy. With the number of working-age citizens continuing to fall, the government is concerned that it will h...

Turning digital proves rewarding for small businesses

Research indicates that during the pandemic the majority of small businesses in the UK increased their social media presence and are now benefitting from their digital exploits. The past 18 months have had a devastating effect across all sectors and as physical operations ground to a halt business owners were faced with having to pivot in order to survive.

Results from a poll of 1,000 UK ...

The Kickstart Scheme has been extended

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced that the Kickstart Scheme has been extended until March 2022. The scheme gives employers funding for creating jobs for 16 – 24 year olds who are on Universal Credit. The Kickstart Scheme was launched in September 2020 and was allocated £2 billion in funding to provide 250,000 high-quality jobs for young people following the economi...

The self-employed could be facing a pension crisis

Being self-employed sounds attractive and there are several advantages when compared with working for someone else, such as greater flexibility with your working hours and not being answerable to anybody. However, there are also disadvantages, one of which is the fact that pension payments are solely down to you. There is no employer contributing to your pension pot, so in simple terms, if you ...

One Simple (But Essential) Thing Leaders Can Do To Improve Employee Engagement

Your people are your company’s most important asset. Cheerful employees are likely to be more productive, but employee engagement is complex - where do you start?

Engaging your team is critical to business success. The holy grail is to have employees who are excited to come to work each day. To achieve this, they need to do what they do best, feel connected to their cowor...

Amazon is paying staff a bonus to be on time

Amazon is a company that divides opinion and is often in the news regarding staff welfare issues. This time though the news appears to be positive from the world’s leading online retailer. 

The American giant has started paying staff a £50 weekly bonus at some of its UK warehouses, which is very generous of them, but this isn’t performance related, it’s just for being punctual. Now c...

The Power of Video Content

Everywhere you look online you are inundated with content as businesses vie for your attention and hopefully your custom. Most of the time you just ignore all the noise but now and then there is a post that will catch your eye and it will probably be a video clip.

More and more small business owners are realising that video content is an effective way to connect with prospects and custome...

The importance of tone of voice for a startup

The importance of branding in the competitive world of business cannot be understated. It is what distinguishes a company from the rest. Branding covers a multitude of disciplines and purposes. Branding needs to be a true representation of a business, communicating how it wants to be perceived and why prospective clients should choose them over all the others in a saturated market.

The ro...

How to get funding for your startup: 7 key mistakes that most founders make

Getting the right kind of funding for your startup is a challenge. You have to find it, get approved, and then use it wisely. But there are many mistakes that too many founders make when they're trying to get their company off the ground. In this post we'll cover 7 key mistakes you should avoid so you can raise enough money for your startup without sacrificing any equity or valuable resources.

A Virtual Assistant is great for business

Running a business can be exciting, challenging and draining, both physically and mentally. There are so many things to remember and not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Thankfully business owners don’t need to carry on getting more and more stressed because there is help at hand. The solution is to outsource wherever possible, or to be more specific, hire the services of a ...

The importance of training for small business owners

Latest research indicates that 20% of startups will fail in the first year and 60% won’t succeed past year three, startling figures that would put many people off trying in the first place but business owners are brave at heart. A lack of financial management knowledge is often quoted as one of the main reasons why businesses fail and with that in mind it is essential that business owners equip...

Artificial Intelligence, clever thinking but embrace with caution

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a greater influence on everyday life as more and more industries seek innovative solutions to a myriad of problems. You may not be aware that as you travel, work, dine, shop and participate in a host of other leisure activities, behind the scenes AI is hard at work.

But what exactly is AI? Well without getting too complicated, AI can be defined as th...

Is Amazon the new friend of small businesses?

Amazon is a company that divides opinion more than probably any other. This behemoth American corporation has grown at an astronomical rate since Jeff Bezos started selling books from his garage in 1995.

In its quest for global domination Amazon has consumed everything in its path and has been blamed for the closure of thousands of businesses worldwide. The majority of these hav...

Helping startups pitch for investment

The most pressing issue facing startups today is a lack of finance and almost 30% fail every year in the UK because of this. With that in mind it is imperative that when you are looking for investment you give yourself the best opportunity of success by being totally prepared for the whole process.

Pitching your business to potential investors can be daunting. Any type of business present...

It’s time to return to the office…

Following the announcement that people in England no longer have to work from home (WFH) from 19 July – and the rest of the UK will follow suit shortly - there will be tens of thousands of workers preparing to return to their offices for the first time in 18 months.

This is great news for business and the economy, although there is still some confusion about what this actually means, so h...

Why Customer Experience Should be Part of Every Marketing Strategy

A Guest Blog by Mel Evans, Customer Experience Expert

At a point where you need customers more than ever, it is critical that businesses now focus on their marketing and customer experience (CX) as a central platform to their business development.

At difficult times in business the first response is to make cuts: staff, overheads, stock, facilities, services, etc…it...

5 steps to get the best from your business social media

A Guest Blog by Julie Plumb, Digital Marketing Expert.

How do you choose the right social media for your business?

Our advice is always not to try and spread yourself thinly across every single platform that you've ever heard of. Choos...

Should small businesses return to the office or continue working remotely?

Business owners are renowned for making tough decisions, it’s part and parcel of what they do. From hiring and firing to expansion and closure, if you don’t like making important decisions then don’t run a business. The latest decision facing business owners is one that they would never even have contemplated 18 months ago - should they continue running the business remotely or return to t...

5 reasons why legally protecting your brand is extremely important

Starting your business is super exciting. You just want to get going with the fun stuff…but often this means that the more ‘boring’ things can be left out. This frequently comes down to legal matters.

As uninteresting as it may seem, protecting your business from a legal perspective is INCREDIBLY important…this includes making sure your BRAND is protected. Whether it be your business name...

Patience truly is a virtue for thousands of small businesses owners

Tens of thousands of small business owners across the UK thought 2021 had got off to the best possible start when a ruling made by the Supreme Court in January found in their favour regarding insurance payments to cover losses caused by the first national lockdown.

The fact that business interruption insurance policies were going to pay out was welcome news during the most difficult econo...

Government launches new scheme to help small businesses

Small business owners across the country were waiting with anticipation to hear whether the Chancellor would be the bearer of good news when he announced the budget, after all they had suffered more than most, and any support would be welcome.

Rishi Sunak has endured a challenging year as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as the saying goes...”you can’t please all the people all of the tim...

Six reasons why a virtual company Christmas is a good idea

A Guest Blog by Caryl Thomas, HR Expert.

This time of year is usually filled with festivities. From Christmas parties to the legendary Secret Santa gift exchange, there is normally no shortage of reasons to get together with friends, family and co-workers during December.

But after a difficult year curtailing coronavirus, and with continued efforts to keep the risk ...

The Business Landscape of Wales this Autumn

A Guest Blog by Graham Morgan, a Business Expert.

There were 267,000 business enterprises in Wales in 2019 according to the Office of National Statistics and this was the highest number recorded over the period from 2003. The growth from 169,000 enterprises in 2003 has been consistent year on year. Small and medium sized businesses(SME’s) accounted for 62.4% of the estima...

Making sure your business is ready for the road ahead

A Guest blog by Graham Morgan, Business Expert.

Wales has recently exited its second nationwide lockdown of 2020. The Welsh Government’s decision to go for a short sharp ‘circuit break’ was based on increasing trends in Covid infection rates across all parts of the country. Certainly not as severe as the lockdown of March, April and May, given many businesses continued tr...

You don’t have to give up employment to launch your Startup

So, you’ve got this dream about starting your own business, which is great but you have grown accustomed to the benefits that working for an employer provide. You enjoy the relative security of receiving a salary every month, paid holidays, sick leave and even pension contributions – who wouldn’t?

You feel it may be too big a risk to sacrifice all of this to pursue your dream that isn’t g...

Funding for startups

The number one factor that inhibits startups from growing is a lack of funding. In fact this is the primary cause of new businesses being unable to open in the first place and can be a crushing blow to many budding entrepreneurs dreams. So, if you have just launched your startup, what are your options and where can you go to get your hands on that all important funding?

Grants

It’s the end of the Furlough Scheme – so what happens next?

It is that time of year when the clocks have just turned back, the nights are drawing in and children across the country start to feel a little bit frightened as Halloween fast approaches.

However, this year millions of adults are also filled with fear and it’s not down to the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween. No, this is fear of the unknown because the end of October marks the end of ...

The finalists for the Wales Start Up Awards 2020 have been announced…

Entrepreneurs and business owners don’t embark on their ventures with the aim of winning awards – definitely not. Their goals are obviously to grow and establish their businesses by increasing their market share and of course making a profit. And if they get nominated for an award along the way then that is merely the icing on the cake. Or is it?

Everybody loves winning

A lifeline for start-ups in Wales

The UK government’s approach to coronavirus support for businesses during the 2020 pandemic has been admirable. The Job Retention Scheme was the first to be launched and was the most inclusive, safeguarding the jobs of almost nine million workers. This was followed by a variety of business support grants, loans and rates relief schemes devised to help businesses of all sizes and across all sect...

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