Network with Confidence: How to Benefit from your Business Contacts (Steps to Success)

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PDF eBook Watermarked. Visit the Australia site. That includes a written contract, an itemised payslip, pay that is at least the national minimum wage and the right to at least 28 days paid holiday including bank holidays. That must be done before the first payday. Budgets for start-ups are inevitably tight and good employees do not come cheap, but there are some cost-effective recruitment options available to new businesses.

Internships are one potential solution that can be a win-win for start-ups. You get an extra pair of hands to fulfil a short-term employment need and benefit from the enthusiasm, new ideas and range of skills an intern can bring. Internships can also be an effective way to identify candidates that could be perfect for a permanent role in the company as an apprentice or trainee.

You simply place an advertisement and invite applications, shortlist candidates and conduct interviews. The government-run Graduate Talent Pool is a great place to start your search. Some start-up businesses are hesitant to take on apprentices and trainees because of the red tape they believe is involved, but it can be an excellent way to fill a skills gap. You can gear the training apprentices and trainees receive to your particular business needs.

They can also help you stay up-to-date and relevant, particularly when it comes to digital skills. Financially, you can benefit from the reduced national minimum wage apprentices receive and employers you do not have to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of One of the biggest costs for many small businesses are the expenses associated with being an employer.

The good news is that many staff costs are deductible when calculating the profits of the business, which will reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. The following are examples of staff costs that can be deducted from your profit at the end of the year:.

5 Steps to Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills

Wages and salaries — The primary costs of employing staff are the wages and salaries they receive. Wages and salaries are deductible when calculating the profits of the business which can reduce the tax liability considerably. The National Insurance contributions you pay as an employer are also tax deductible.

Pension contributions — As an employer, you must automatically enrol your staff onto a pension scheme and make contributions to the pension if the employee is eligible for automatic enrolment.

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Pension contributions must be included in your profit and loss account and will lead to the profit being reduced. Benefits in kind — The pay packets of some of your staff may include non-cash benefits such as a company car or private health care. The costs you incur in providing these benefits can be deducted from the profits of the business.

Class 1A National Insurance contributions must be paid on benefits provided to employees unless the benefit is exempt. Statutory payments — Statutory sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay will have to be paid at some point by most employers.


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These costs are deductible from the profits of the business. Depending on the size of the business, you may also be able to claim some of the costs of statutory payments back from HMRC. Part of this is understanding the range of incentives and tax breaks in place for entrepreneurs. Business Rates Relief — For small businesses who own their own property, business rate relief is there to make life easier. Check the link provided to see the options or contact your local council for advice. Enterprise Zones — These are designated areas around the UK where the government has introduced specific policies, including tax breaks, to facilitate business growth.

They are particularly prevalent in areas in need of economic stimulus and could offer tremendous benefits to the right kind of business. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme — This government backed scheme offers tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company as a way of encouraging investment.

2. Maintain strong customer relationships

Employment Allowance — Employees could get up to 3k off their National Insurance per year. Check the government website to establish your eligibility.

Corporation Tax Relief for the Creative Industries — Those working in film, music, animation, gaming or art may be eligible for tax deductions. Patents — For companies earning money via patented innovations, there are lower rates of corporation tax available. Regardless of the sector you operate in or the size of your business, as an employer, it is essential you meet all of your legal obligations when paying your staff. You must pay every employee at least the minimum wage and produce a physical or digital payslip for every employee on or before their payday.

You must also make all the necessary deductions from staff pay. That includes National Insurance, student loan repayments and pension contributions. The good news is that much of that process can be automated through the use of small business payroll software. That will help to make the payment of employees quick and efficient and ensure you remain compliant with all the regulations. With the cost of recruitment high, it could be a false economy to pay below the going rate in your industry.

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Benefit from networking

Creating a flexible and equitable pay scale and establishing a clear path to promotion will help to prevent your top performers from joining the competition. Finding a reliable source of external funding is a priority for many start-up business owners, but raising the money you need can be challenging.

The banks used to be the first port of call for new businesses looking for funding, but bank finance is difficult to secure these days. Thankfully, there are a number of other options:.


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  • Family and friends — Investment finance from family and friends in return for equity in your business is a good place to start. Start-up loans — Although bank finance for start-ups is more difficult to come by these days, there are other organisations such as local authorities and small business associations that may provide funding in the form of a loan. The terms and conditions of the loan will be clearly defined so you will know exactly how much you have to repay.

    However, you may be limited as to how you can spend the money and it may take some time and effort to secure. Securing a grant can help to raise the profile of your business with investors and prospective clients. The downside is that the process can take time and not all businesses will be eligible. Angel funding — Angel investors are experienced individuals who inject capital into start-ups in exchange for equity in the business.

    They may invest through crowdfunding platforms or through investor networks that pool capital form a number of angel investors. They tend to be experienced entrepreneurs who can add value to your business in the form of support and guidance.

    The Introvert's Guide To Networking

    However, in return, you will relinquish some control of your business. As a start-up business, the ability to attract and convert new customers is critical to your success. So how do you cut through all that noise and get your message across to consumers? The good news is there are now more marketing tools at your disposal than ever before. Gone are the days when you needed a colossal budget to compete.

    You can now use social media, pay-per-click advertising and email marketing to compete with much larger companies, even on a shoestring budget. But before all that, you need a plan. A marketing plan is a detailed document that sets out everything you need to know to market your business effectively. It should include:. Market research — Conduct primary and secondary research to determine the market size, market growth or decline, current trends and buying habits in the industry.

    Target market — A well-defined target market will identify who you hope to sell your products and services to. Positioning — How will you position yourself in the market? Will your products and services be the best, the cheapest or the most innovative? Determining your market position will help you clearly communicate your offering to your customers. Competitive analysis — You need to know your competitors inside out. How are their products and services different? What price do they sell at? What segment of the market are they targeting?

    How do they market their products? Competitive analysis will provide valuable insights and help you stand out in the market. Marketing strategy — How will you find and attract your customers? Metrics — How will you measure the success of your marketing campaigns? Conversion rate, cost per lead and website traffic are just a few important metrics to consider.

    For a small business, a good laptop and a cloud based server are excellent places to start. Google offers 15GB of free space in Google Drive which is an ideal place to store key documents, and organise your business. A solid antivirus and firewall is a basic necessity these days, and you need to remain vigilant with your passwords, opting for complex strings rather than using one obvious word as the key to your entire kingdom.

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    Online tools like P assword Generator are a useful start, and you can use Last Pass to remember them all. Of course a good IT company can be a useful asset, offering hardware and software support, as well as security, backups and reporting. Generating profit consistently is the holy grail of any business, and it begins with understanding some basic accounting.

    Even if you have a great accountant in place, getting your head around these is a worthwhile endeavour. Once you have a basic grasp of the financial concepts central to running a business, you can focus on strategies to make your business more successful. Productivity — This is a science in its own right but focussing on how to get the best performance out of both yourself and your team can make a huge difference.

    Tech companies like Apple and Google are good people to learn from in this regard, utilising cutting edge strategies to manage time, talent and energy. Customer Service — Companies like Zappos and Amazon have set incredibly high standards for customer service, positioning it at the heart of their company culture as well as their principle marketing tool. Cut Waste — This is the same as productivity, in some regards, since cutting waste means making what you have go further and hence increases profits.