Month: August 2015

Waverley Borough Council – Ask the Expert

Waverley Borough Council is hosting an Ask the Expert event in Haslemere on Tuesday 29th September.

Please see the following flyer for more information:

Ask The Expert Flyer 2015 WBC

This event is a chance for you to talk informally to local experts about starting a business or expanding a business, as well as an opportunity to network and share ideas with other local entrepreneurs.

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Poor advice results in £6.4 billion loss for UK enterprises

Poor professional advice from third parties or consultants has resulted in one in six (16 per cent) small and micro businesses (the equivalent of around 320,000 enterprises) losing money, according to new research published by Direct Line for Business.

Professional advisers, such as accountants and property consultants, are warned that they could be pursued for losses incurred as a result of giving substandard advice.

The research reveals that advisory consultants and other such firms have cost Britain’s small and micro businesses an estimated average of £20,842 in the past 12 months due to inadequate professional consultancy, with one in five (19 per cent) claiming to have lost between £50,000 and £100,000.

In total this would equate to a whopping £6.4 billion lost by small and micro businesses as a result of poor advice in the past 12 months.

IT consultants were identified as the professionals most likely to give damaging advice. Four in ten (44 per cent) businesses whose operations were affected by bad advice blamed their IT consultants.

A third (34 per cent) of businesses suggested it was poor advice on management issues, while 32 per cent claimed incompetent marketing consultancy negatively impacted their business.

Direct Line for Business warns that not only should consultants providing advisory services consider the reputational and financial impact of poor advice to their own company, but also a number of unintended effects on the businesses to which they provide advice.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of affected companies suggested they were forced to lay off staff because of poor professional advice. While 39 per cent were forced to scale back or halt expansion plans, a third (34 per cent) needed to take out a loan to prop up their business.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) highlighted that the survival of their business was put in jeopardy.

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business said:

“Our research clearly highlights the devastating effect poor professional advice can have on small and micro businesses. However the impact on an advisory firm that is facing litigation can be just as shattering. For those providing advisory services, it is important to recognise that issues can occur and clients could pursue them for compensation”.

“Advisory firms can protect themselves in case an issue does arise from the advice they give by taking out professional indemnity insurance.”

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O2 will soon be launching 4G in Cranleigh

O2 will soon be launching 4G in CranleighWe are very pleased to learn that O2 will soon be launching 4G in Cranleigh.

Access to faster mobile internet will make local businesses more competitive and will make life in general much easier for enterprise and residents.

Bringing 4G to the village is something the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to make happen since our new committee was elected in April, so we are very pleased to see O2 accept the challenge of becoming the first provider to switch on this high speed mobile internet service in Cranleigh.

Here are the details from O2:

O2, the mobile phone network, has announced it has started work this week to bring its 4G service to Cranleigh as well as improving its 2G and 3G network. O2’s 4G network will bring high speed mobile internet to its customers in the area.

Work is scheduled to be completed by Tuesday 25th August. Subject to successful implementation and testing, customers will see the new and improved service shortly afterwards. During the work, there may be times when a customer’s signal experiences intermittent service. We recommend that customers download the TUGo app which enables them to make and receive calls on any wifi-connected device using their mobile number. More information can be found here. http://www.o2.co.uk/apps/tu-go

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, Telefónica UK said: “O2 customers in Cranleigh will soon be able to experience faster mobile internet on their devices such as streaming high definition TV, shopping on the go, and video calling. For our business customers, 4G is all about working more effectively. They can work remotely, access cloud services, collaborate using apps and so on. 4G will make everything easier for them.”

O2 is spending £600 million in 2015 on its network and by the end of 2017 will have invested over £3billion in 4G and the modernisation of its 2G and 3G networks across the UK.

O2 currently offers 4G in over 530 towns and cities across the UK. It is the only network to have made a commitment to Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, to provide indoor coverage for 98% of the UK population by the end of 2017.

For more information about 4G on O2 please visit www.o2.co.uk/4G.

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New Waverley Economic strategy 2015 – 2020

Members of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce might be interested in reading the new Waverley Economic Strategy for 2015-2020:

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/downloads/file/2240/waverley_economic_strategy_2015-2020

This strategy sets out six strategic economic objectives which Waverley Borough Council feel will help them achieve sustained prosperity for their residents and businesses.

Their objectives fit with the local and sub-regional policy context, with the key challenge remaining the achievement of a balanced approach to housing and employment that does not adversely affect the Borough’s character and attractiveness.

The report offers a useful context for economic activity in the borough and confirms that small businesses are the lifeblood of Waverley’s economy.

The Borough has a higher than average proportion of younger businesses, with 45% of businesses in Waverley being up to 10 years old (compared to the national average of 35%) and 76% being up to 20 years old (compared to the national average of 58%).

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UK’s microbusinesses benefit from family support economy to the tune of £64.3 million per week

Nearly two thirds (64%) of Britain’s microbusinesses rely on support from friends and family to run their business, new research has revealed.

Friends and relatives put an average of six hours a week into helping these microbusinesses stay afloat, the latest Big Issues for Small Businesses report from Lloyds Bank Insurance found.

Whilst four out of 10 (41%) microbusinesses pay their family and friends with an average salary of £14 per hour,just over half (51%) said this support is unpaid, meaning the UK’s family support economy could be worth around £64.3 million per week.

This support ranges from helping to make business decisions (40%), completing practical tasks (34%) and run errands (29%), managing social media accounts (10%) and helping with childcare (8%).

While partners are most likely to head up the family support economy (43% of businesses are helped by their other half) one in five (19%) also rely on their children, and almost three in ten (29%) use friends.

The benefit of this help lifeline is keenly felt by the nation’s microbusinesses, with the vast majority (84%) saying the contribution of friends or family has had a positive impact on their business.

Aside from increasing revenue (13%), increasing productivity (25%), making the business more manageable (35%) and providing emotional support (30%), nearly a quarter (24%) feel the help of friends and family is crucial in keeping their business running.

One in 10 (10%) microbusiness say their business would not be able to go on without this support.

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Small firms ignoring unpaid invoices

A poll carried out by YouGov has found that almost a third of micro-business owners wait four weeks or longer after their payment deadline before chasing unpaid invoices.

Only 28% of business owners take the recommended action of sending a late payment reminder seven days after an invoice becomes overdue.

The poll also revealed that 13% of micro-business owners had to wait at least a year for an outstanding invoice to be paid.

Read more about the poll at:
http://www.freelanceuk.com/news/4795.shtml

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