Author Archive Jolyon Edison

Can an IT course help you be better at your job?

More and more of us are having to work from home at present and IT is having to come in to play a lot more than we may be used to. It may be the first time you have had to work from home and you might have to do many of your usual tasks online or by using a computer. Lots of people have basic IT skills, especially the younger generation that have been taught it at school, but did you know that IT can really help you further your career and be better at your job.

If you find that tasks on the computer are taking too long then you may consider investing in an IT course. Some employers will happily pay for their employees to go on an IT course if they think it will be beneficial and that it will improve work productivity but even if they don’t you may still wish to attend one for your own reasons. Prices vary drastically depending on what you want to learn, but for a simply online course you may only have to fork out £30-£50.

Many colleges offer evening IT course for students of all ages to give you an overview of what you can do on a computer or on the internet.

Branding and business to business marketing

A brand is the whole identity of a business and not just a logo or your colourways. The more recognised your brand is the more chance to have of securing deals and making sales. Marketing can be a very confusing world to get in to. There are so many different ways in which you can market your business that you may not know where’s best to invest your time and money.

If you are a business that sells to other businesses then you will need to have a different marketing strategy to a business that sells direct to the public. Some parts may overlap but your overall focus will probably be quite different.  The buying cycle is usually longer for business to business sales, the requirements are better defined, more people are involved and the stakes are typically higher.

When dealing with other businesses you need to make it feel like you are a partner of theirs, working together towards a goal rather than a sales person trying to get them to buy your product. When you’re easier to do business with, your customers feel it. It makes their work more efficient and predictable. You may need to spend more time with business customers and expect a slower process than if you were selling to a member of the public but the rewards are often greater.

Keeping on top of your accounts

If you are a small business owner you may find it hard to keep on top of your own accounts. You may find that you are so busy doing work or marketing that you have little time to keep your own accounts up to date. This means that you may get behind with payments or easily lose track of who owes you money. It is important to get processes in place to make your accounts as automated as possible. If you have people that you invoice a set amount to on a regular basis then you may want to set up a direct debit or standing order with them so you do not have to chase the money every month. Many accounting software packages will also let you create recurring invoices that can be done every week, month or year (for example) and then automatically emailed out. This can take a lot of the hassle out of accounting and keep your cash flow in order.  Do your research to find out which accounting software best suits your needs and is the best price as they can range quite drastically and you can end up paying over the odds for software that is more sophisticated than you need.

Using an accountancy firm

If you run your own business then you have the option of using an accountancy firm to manage the financial side or doing it yourself. Depending on how large your business is and how complicated may mean that you will struggle to do all the accounting yourself. You may have employees and therefore also have to manage payroll.

There are a huge number of bookkeepers and accountancy firms out there that will do as much or as little as you want them to do. You may wish to do all the accounting yourself but then have them audit you every few months to check that you are doing it correctly or you may ask them to manage the whole thing, so you literally send all your invoices to them for them to input. They can also manage VAT returns as well as personal tax and P11D’s. Obviously, the more work you ask them to do the more you will be charged, but this can often free you up to allow you to manage and run the business as you need to so can often pay for itself.  Why not get a quote and find out what an accountancy firm can do for you?

Where to get advice as a start up business

Starting up a business can be stressful and you may worry about exactly how you go about it. You will want to know that you have all the legal requirements covered as well as your business strategy and marketing in place.

England has a very supportive environment for startups, with a flourishing wealth of networks, groups and organisations for all types and style of new business. There are many places you can go for help and advice and much of it is free, so before you go forking out a lot of money, see what information you can find yourself.

When it comes to marketing your startup business you need to have a clear plan of action. Unless you have a very large budget it is always worth starting small and then investing more into your marketing as you start to see a return on your investment.

If you think you will need a loan to get your startup business off the ground, then make sure you have a good business plan that you can take with you to apply for the money as this is definitely something they would want to see.

Choosing the best bookkeeping service provider in Northampton

Financial data is an essential element of any business. It is necessary to maintain financial data to enhance the growth of your business. As a business person, it is advisable to hire someone who will do the work for you flawlessly. Look for best bookkeeping Northampton services to let everything flow well with your business. Read More

Are you disciplined enough to run your own business?

Many people say that it is their dream to have their own business and be their own boss but it is not always as easy as it sounds. To be your own boss you need to be able to be focused and to be disciplined to work as much as you need to. This is especially true if you are going to be working from home as you will often find a hundred and one distractions which can easily take you off task. It is a good idea to have a space in your home which is only used for work and which you can go to when your working day starts. You can then give yourself a lunch break and come away from the room and return after. This will mean that you can get all your work done when needed without having to try and work late at night or weekends if you don’t wish to.

You will also have to be responsible for keeping an eye on your finances, your incomings and outgoings and unless you are going to pay a bookkeeper or an accountant, all of your tax paperwork too.

Help with setting up a new business

When setting up a new business there are many things to consider. Firstly you need to decide which type of business you are looking to set up. You should consider points such as how much time can you afford to commit and how much money would you ideally like to earn from the business? It is important that you are honest and realistic as otherwise, you are only fooling yourself. Answering these fundamental questions will help you to decide whether you need to start a full-time, part-time, spare-time or possibly even a seasonal business. If for example, you want to open a business that sells Christmas decorations then you may only run it from August through to February. You also need to consider if you are going to have a physical location for your business or if it is going to be online purely. Next, you need to decide when you are going to launch your business.

You might want to get your business up and running quickly, but if you don’t sort out the main key points prior to starting the business you may end up failing. You need to be realistic you’re your expectations and understand that many businesses take time to start turning a profit.

How to better yourself as a consultant

The job of a consultant can be very rewarding but the job can also at times be very challenging. As a business consultant, you will be going into businesses and looking at the way the business is run and how you can improve it. This may be within the finance area, marketing area, management or a combination of many different departments.

Firstly as a consultant, it is important that you know about your client and their industry. You need to keep your ear to the ground and be proactive with any marketing that you recommend. Setting up alerts on Google will allow you to be notified when there is mention of the keywords or phrases you choose to track.

Knowing the history of the business and their financial information is vital. You need to be able to memorise some facts and figures such as turn over, profit and loss and where the biggest spend is. As a good consultant, you should look to increase a business’s profits by increasing sales and cutting down on spending.

Research into the businesses competitors is key so you can fully understand who you are up against and how they may be able to attract more business.

Management styles – being an effective leader

What makes a good manager? As a manager yourself, or moving up in to a management role you have probably already asked yourself this time and time again. There are so many different ways to manage a team or another member of staff that it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Research shows that what makes is a good manager is often linked to how flexible they are and how they can adapt to different situations. As a manager you will have to often make decision quickly but also fairly. You need to be assertive but also know how to listen and know when you need to be firm.

Different management methods are used at different times and even some that seem harsh, can be effective if used at the right time. For example, a manager who is very controlling and likes things done in a certain way, who is very strict and shows their authority can be great in a crisis and in situations when order is needed quickly.

A manager who allows everyone to have their say, often compromises and can seem as a bit of a push over may be good in a situation that is getting out of hand and needs calming down a bit.