On Electronic Invoicing

By   March 3, 2015

Electronic-Invoice BenefitsAs a small business owner I am always on the lookout for methods and techniques that can make my employee’s and my life easier.

Sometimes it’s the obvious things such as small business software packages that can help to get things done quicker and more efficiently, and sometimes it’s lesser known things that can also have a tremendous, positive impact.

One of those things that I didn’t know yet until several months ago is electronic invoicing. Let me explain what electronic invoices are:

You will certainly be familiar with the common way to create invoices: You will in all likelihood create and print a invoice in Word or a similar word processor software. You print out the invoice and snail-mail it to your clients or distributors.

With electronic invoicing you can fore-go the tedious and time consuming part of mailing the invoices. What you do, instead of snail-mailing an invoice you will send it per email to an electronic invoice provider service that will digitize and process the invoice for you. The service will then send the invoice to the recipient. The entire process will take only a few minutes as compared to days when you send invoices per normal mail.

For me, this is something which has hugely paid off! It saves me and my employees a lot of time. In addition to that, invoices are now processed and paid a lot faster – there is also no risk of losing an invoice in the mail (something which can happen once in a while) any longer.

So if you’re a business owner and want something to speed up your process I can highly recommend electronic invoicing to you. You won’t have to change a lot in your invoicing process which means that the switch to e-invoicing will be easy, no matter what type of business you have.

IT Apprenticeships in London

By   March 3, 2015

In the United Kingdom, the IT and networking sector is amongst the most competitive job markets when compared with others. Not only are positions in this market high in demand and therefore rather scarce. In recent times, increasingly more employees in this industry expect their job applicants to have real life IT experience which means that freshmen who are just of school won’t have to be easy to find a desired position.

IT-Apprenticeship-LondonThe difficulties in this job market are certainly one major reason why IT apprenticeships are now becoming popular amongst graduates who seek to enter this career field.

By taking advantage of the benefits IT apprenticeships can provide, graduates in the United Kingdom can increase their chances in this field tremendously. Here in this blog post I want to go over those advantages that apprenticeships can provide today.

IT Apprenticeships are a smart way to acquire training and certifications

Hardly any employer today would hire an applicant who doesn’t have mandatory IT knowledge which can be acquired through certifications such as the A+ IT certification. However, many companies today offer to sponsor their apprentices to acquire those certifications while being in training. What this means is that the company would cover in full or in parts the costs to acquire those certifications for their apprentices. For the apprentice this can mean significantly less costs: One major incentive to take on an IT apprenticeship today.

IT apprenticeships in the United Kingdom can (almost) guarantee a full time position

The number of apprentices whose apprenticeship turns into a full-time position after their training is exceptionally high as compared to other industries. This number is close to 95%. For graduates in the United Kingdom, apprenticeships in London can mean the fastest and smartest way to get into their desired career. In a tough job market, an apprenticeship can provide graduates the edge they need.

Why An Ergonomic Office Also Means More Revenue

By   November 25, 2014

workstation assessmentIt is scientifically proven that workplaces that are ergonomic are resulting in heightened productivity and thus also in increased revenue. Here are some recommended reads on the subject: http://www.knoll.com/media/989/825/WP_NewWorkplaceErgonomicsResearch.pdf or http://www.humantech.com/special/blog/CaseStudyArticleJSR724.pdf

What Workplace Ergonomics Means

* Less bodily strain for employees, eg. from repetitive emotions  or from using input devices such as keyboards and mice

* Higher motivation of employees because of less health issues and less pain at the workplace

* Fewer sick days on account of injuries at the workplace

* Reduced expenses for medical treatment which would otherwise be required  because of work-related health issues or injuries

* Less stress at the workplace

* Better focus and concentration

All the above points and many more I didn’t mention clearly showed that ergonomic office furniture will have multiple benefits in almost any work environment today with its a manufacturing environment or the typical office setting. In some cases, the investment into modern ergonomic furniture can be minimal if for better ergonomics at the workplace all that’s required would be items such as ergonomic chairs or computer desks.

In some cases, workstation assessments can be recommended. During a workstation assessments, a workplace/workstation in its entirety can be assessed in terms of optimal ergonomics. The assessment will cover a multitude of inspects including but not limited to furniture such as chairs and desks and everything else that can help to increase ergonomics at the workplace. If you happen to be a business owner in the United Kingdom you can look at workstation assessments for more information on the subject.

On Corporate Holidays & Golf Holidays

By   November 25, 2014

I guess I must be a good boss according to my employees since the well-being and happiness of my staff is always very important to me. I made it a rule to grant anyone of us at least one paid corporate holiday each and every year.

Golf-Italy-FranceThose holidays serve also the purpose that everyone in our company can get close-up and personal with all the others in a relaxed setting, without the usual stress and hectic as is often the case during normal working times.

What can be better than spending a few days in a resort or hotel abroad together with your team and your co-workers? This opens up so many opportunities, makes way for new friendships and it definitely has a very positive impact on our entire company culture.

Corporate holidays where we can actively pursue a sporty activity have quickly shown the most popular ones, especially golf holidays. We have two favorite golf resorts, one in Biarritz France and the other at Lake Garda in Italy. The management there knows us already and now we’re also familiar with all the attractions besides golf in those areas.

Those golf breaks are not only very well liked among our staff, they likewise can serve as a great way to meet-up and form relationships with new clients. We have some clients coming as far as Asia and there it’s just natural that we want to do something special for them while they’re here visiting. Pretty much anyone loves golf and even those who are not familiar with it normally show a keen interest in learning the basics. The Chinese are especially keen on learning and are extremely interested in case when they never played real golf before.

We love our golf holidays because it allows us to talk about business matters while at the same time enjoying the great weather and landscape in Italy or France. The resorts there also have great clubs to go there at night for a drink or two.

Yes, golf holidays are an extra expense but I am of the opinion they’re more than worth it – all my staff agrees with me.

What About Fire Safety In Your Company?

By   June 12, 2014

As a small business owner you are obviously not only concerned with how to cut costs and how to run your business efficiently. One other major concern for you should be your employee’s and your entire company’s safety. This includes the various aspects when it comes to workplace safety and ergonomics but even more so when it comes to the critical issue of fire safety within your company’s premises.

Fire Alarms and Fire PreventionThe good thing here is that it doesn’t take too much to ensure proper fire safety measures, at least the basic things are often rather straight-forward and easy to implement. Among those basic measures for better protection from fires could be things like having sufficient fire extinguishers accessible throughout your building along with a number of strategically placed smoke detectors and smoke alarms. All those things are easy to do and today are likewise comparably affordable.

For certain types of businesses with special requirements (either due to the nature of the building or the business type itself) there exist more complex and more elaborate fire prevention measures.

One of those fire prevention measures you can find in commercial structures all throughout the UK today are dry riser systems. Those systems are basically pipes that run through your premises allowing a fire engine to pump and distribute water into the system in the case of an emergency. Dry riser outlets in certain, strategic areas within the building make it then possible that the water can be accessed for the purpose of fire fighting.

What’s important to know here is that UK law mandates regular dry riser testing to make sure that the system is operating flawlessly. In the UK, certain companies offer dry riser testing for that purpose.

Other systems, like the Detectomat or modern wireless fire detection systems exist also. What specific fire prevention and fire suppression system your company requires can best be found out if you talk to your local fire brigade. They can let you know about the local fire prevention laws and what you need to do for maximum fire safety.

A Resource For Holiday Entitlement in the UK

By   June 11, 2014

If you’re note familiar with this already and happen to be a small business owner, you may want to look at https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/entitlement for helpful information about holiday entitlement for workers in the United Kingdom.

Just short, employees who work a 5-day week must get 28 days’ paid annual leave per year. This is calculated by multiplying a normal week (5 days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks according to the above website.

For part time workers, those are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year, although this may amount to fewer actual days compared to full time workers.

Export Software Can Be Beneficial For The Small Business

By   June 10, 2014

When it comes to efficient organization and management, the size of a business rarely matters. This is an area that’s equally important for the small business with only a handful of staff or the large corporate with hundreds of employees.

import-export-profitMore often than not, efficient management alone is all it takes to tackle many of the challenges in various industries and trades. One thing, on the other hand is a given: Businesses today can differ greatly when it comes to the efforts needed for proper internal management and organization.

Some businesses naturally have higher demands there while for others more essential organizational tasks are all that’s required to keep operations going efficiently.

Export software is among those software packages that are designed for those businesses with particular high challenges in regards to their internal organization: Those businesses that deal with the import and export of goods are certainly amongst them. With export software and export documentation software the crucial tasks in all matters organization can become a lot easier. Amongst those things would be

* The management of customer orders and inquires

* The creation of invoices

* The organization of trade documentations and customs documents

* Real time insight in regards to costs and expenses

* The creation of reports for staff and/or management

The feature to be able to get real-time information about transportation costs alone can worth such an investment. By knowing about the most cost effective routes and means of transport, business can often save significant amounts of money. In many cases, the success of the shipping business can rely on having access to this information. With better organization of all types of documents that are plenty in the shipping business, mistakes can be avoided and further costs can be saved.

For the small business there are various export software packages available today that can vary in functionality offered. If you’re the owner of a small business in the shipping sector, it can be worthwhile to find the right export software package that will help with the crucial organization tasks in your business.



Despite Weak Exports in the UK, Manufacturing Strenghtns

By   June 10, 2014

British exports continue to disappoint but the nation’s manufacturing sector is on its way to a recovery. The reason given according to a new report is a large demand domestically.

The upgraded growth report by manufacturer organisation EEF forecasts increased manufacturing output by 3.6% as compared to the previous year where this number sat at a mere 2.7%. As a result of the increased demand for manufacturing in the United Kingdom, companies are expected to hire more staff according to the article.

Exports are still an issue for Chancellor George Osborne who is targeting a £1tn total value of UK exports by the end of this decade. However, industry experts see this goal as unrealistic due to ongoing economic and financial difficulties in several key markets. The nation’s trade deficit more than doubled back in April to £2.5bn.