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Business Butler Blog

More businesses are switching to a four-day working week

There is no doubt that the world of business and the working environment have changed considerably since the pre-Covid-19 pandemic days. First there was the mass migration to homeworking, then a fragmented return to office based work and now many companies have adopted the hybrid model which offers workers the best of both.

Reducing hours but not salaries

The l...

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...

Companies are not promoting flexible working

Recent research reveals that three out of four job vacancies advertised in the UK don’t offer flexible working options. The annual survey conducted by Timewise, a flexible work consultancy firm, tracked more than five million ads for 17 key words or phrases, including job-share, home-working and part-time. Their findings from the survey showed that just 26% of job vacancy ads posted contained a...

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...

UK Businesses commit to tackling climate change

Business leaders in the UK have been focussing on Glasgow this week, or if they haven’t then they should have been. Scotland’s biggest city is hosting the 26th meeting of the Conference of Parties, or COP 26 as it is more commonly known.

The global United Nations summit features world leaders, scientists and eminent guest speakers addressing the issues facing our planet, with t...

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...

Welsh Companies Increase Access to R&D Tax Credit Relief

What is the R&D Tax Credit Statistic Report?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have released their latest Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits Statistics Report; sharing data for accounting periods ending during the 2019-20 tax year. The report, published each year, provides valuable information on the number of UK companies benefiting from the relief and the va...

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 ...

Farewell to the furlough scheme

The furlough scheme, which has safeguarded millions of jobs during the past 18 months, finally closed at the end of September. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as it was officially known, was launched in April 2020 when large parts of the UK economy were forced to close because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the scheme, the government contributed up to a maximum if £2,500 per month ...

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...

Google is considering reducing pay for homeworkers

With the world of business gradually returning to normal as lockdown restrictions are eased, the much anticipated mass migration back to work hasn’t materialised as expected. Tens of thousands of employees are happy working from home (WFH) and are reluctant to return to the office – and who can blame them? Remote working means you no longer face the dreaded commute to work, there is greater fle...

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...

Ten reasons why working with Experts is great for business

When you run your own business there are so many areas you need to focus on and because you don’t have the resources to recruit a team of specialists for each one you tend to try and do everything yourself.

This is understandable but you run the risk of becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ when what you really need is the help and support of an expert to cover those key areas of the business. ...

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...

From Startup to Scale up

OK, so everything has gone according to plan, or even exceeded expectations and your startup has reached the stage where it has become too big and you need to take it to the next level. Give yourself a pat on the back because this is an impressive achievement and not all business owners reach the stage where their startup is ready to scale up.

The scale up phase of a business can be ...

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...

Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is king

A Guest Blog by Ian Tovey, Funding Expert

A saying heard countless times during my long career in commercial banking and finance and one that is particularly apposite as businesses emerge from the turbulent last 12 months or so!

Its probably fair to say that all businesses will have been affected by the impact coronavirus, both positively and negatively and their wo...

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...

Returning to traditional Networking

Cast your mind back to those days before the pandemic and you’ll have fond memories of traditional networking events where you shared breakfast with fellow members of your local business community. There was a positive vibe when likeminded people shared the same room and the sense of energy and enthusiasm was palpable. Even those who are not natural networkers and don’t feel comfortable introdu...

Cloud Communications for the SME in 2021

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic and overnight the whole of the UK made the abrupt shift to working from home as businesses and organisations quickly executed Business Continuity Plans (or in some cases had to evolve on the fly).

With a restriction on travel and the near blanket closure of shared office spaces, we have all had to adapt, and work be...

The Importance of Estate Planning for Business Owners

Estate planning was once the preserve of the wealthy but these days it is extremely important for everyone, especially business owners. Nobody likes to think about the inevitable but when you run a business you know better than most that the key to success is planning.

As a business owner, your family probably rely on you as the main source of income, so if the worst was to happen and you...

The Power of Customer Insight

Long gone are the days when companies were satisfied in just selling products, regardless of who were buying them, let alone why. Then, as competition grew and customers had a greater choice of where to spend their money, businesses had to become more customer focussed. Customer service was seen as the panacea, as long as a business treated its customers well, or just better than its competitor...

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...

Do you need a proofreader? Yes, you do!

Proofreading and copy editing are the often overlooked yet incredibly important final steps in the writing process. For any business, hiring a professional to proofread or edit your work is an investment well worth making.

 

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...

Getting the most out of your virtual team

Working from home (WFH) was something many workers had never experienced prior to lockdown last March and was usually only a familiar practice among freelancers in specific sectors. Many business owners and directors approached remote working with trepidation, which was understandable because it was unchartered territory.

Now fast-forward 12 months and despite lockdown restrictions finall...

What makes a great leader in business?

Excellent leadership skills are highly sought-after, because behind every successful business is a great leader. And those with such qualities are not restricted to work in the sectors they currently operate in, because leadership skills are transferrable and can be deployed successfully across all industries.

Conversely, without effective leadership, a business is much like a ship withou...

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...

How to ensure you choose the right R&D tax credit adviser

A Guest Blog by Matthew Jones, ACA CTA, R&D Tax Credit Expert.

It is no secret that HMRC are enforcing a variety of measures to prevent abuse of R&D tax credit claims following the recent identification and prevention of fraudulent attempts totally over £300 million. This is a loud and public warning. Choosing the wrong adviser can potentially place...

Employment law changes and priorities for 2021

A Guest Blog by Caryl Thomas, HR Expert.

We’re almost a week into 2021. What has made your list of to-do’s or resolutions for this year? In stark contrast to Januarys gone by, the BBC reports that many people are looking to quit the gym. They’re not throwing in the towel as such, but have found new ways to exercise since life in lockdown.

Hobbies and passion project...

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...

Job Retention Scheme (aka Furlough) extended to March 31st 2021

A Guest Blog by Deb Barrow, HR Expert.

Although the scheme was scheduled to end on November 30th 2020, it has now been extended to March 31st 2021, whilst the start of the Job Support Scheme has been delayed.


So, what are the details and are they different from the original scheme?

  • Any employee on the payroll by October 30th 2020 can be pl...

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 ...

Where do we go from here?

A Guest Blog by Graham Wingar, Financial Expert.

At the beginning of the year we would have seen opinions ranging from “COVID-19 doesn’t exist” to “The whole world is going to end”. Now with more understanding about the health effects of the virus and how it may impact the economy we can take a more balanced view.

As part of our quarterly investment update, I have g...

The Importance of Insurance and Business Continuity Planning

A Guest Blog by Nigel Adams, Insurance Expert.

I have now been in corporate Risk Management and Insurance for 40 years, and my Business Severn Bay Corporate Solutions limited is now 10 years old. 

Personality preferences in decision-making (Part 1)

A Guest Blog by Manjula Bray, Business Psychologist and Leadership Expert.

In my last blog, I wrote about the relevance of measuring personality in a recruitment context…I’m shifting the focus to leaders in this piece. Looking inward at making good decisions – pretty significant to those at the ships’ helm.

I will cover this topic in 2 parts – and you may like ...

WHY Business psychology?

A Guest Blog by Manjula Bray, Business Psychologist and Leadership Expert.

A better first question might be: ‘what is business psychology?’ – something I am often asked to explain at networking events. Siri defines psychology it as:

‘the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially t...

What can a SWOT analysis do for your business?

The fast moving world of business has changed considerably during the past 50 years and advancements in technology have enabled businesses to undertake market research and data analysis to such an extent that just wasn’t possible years ago. However, one aspect that has remained constant is the advantages that carrying out a SWOT analysis can have on a business. The SWOT analysis was devise...

What are Pain Points and how do you identify them?

A guest blog by Rob Baker, HR expert.

It is now 10 years since the pioneering work of David MacLeod and Nita Clarke highlighted the gains to be achieved by securing the positive engagement of your workforce. In the intervening period, everyone from the CIPD to ACAS – and dozens more – have extolled the benefits of engagement as a means of gaining commitment and extra...

Employee Engagement – why is it so difficult?

A guest blog by Rob Baker, HR expert.

It is now 10 years since the pioneering work of David MacLeod and Nita Clarke highlighted the gains to be achieved by securing the positive engagement of your workforce. In the intervening period, everyone from the CIPD to ACAS – and dozens more – have extolled the benefits of engagement as a means of gaining commitment and extra...

Stage Two of Job Retention Scheme (aka Furlough) ended on July 31st, 2020

A Guest Blog by Deb Barrow, HR Expert.

August 1st marked the last stage of the Scheme which ends on October 31st, 2020. For the month of August the Employer is required to start paying its National Insurance and Pension contributions and in addition a proportion of any furlough/flexi-furlough pay from September (10%) and October (20%). As a consequence of this, and w...

Finding Your 'Why'

It’s safe to say that almost every business knows what they do. They are selling a product or offering a service, and they understand all of the facts relevant to that product or service. Some businesses even know how they do what they do, but very few businesses know exactly why they do it. Finding your ‘why’ as a business could be the difference between roaring success and ...

Returning to work after lockdown

With the aim of kickstarting the economy, lockdown restrictions have been eased and the world of business is trying to awake from a period of enforced hibernation. Some businesses have adjusted to working from home (WFH) better than others and may prefer to keep it like that for the time being, but for others, returning to work after lockdown is a necessity and the sooner that happens the bette...

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

Lockdown has had a positive effect for some businesses

Along with the general worry and uncertainty caused by the Covid -19 pandemic there was additional concern and angst felt by business owners and managers across the country as their workers joined the rapid and mass migration to working from home (WFH). The main fears were that they would not be able to assert the same degree of control over their businesses and manage their workforces as effec...

Stage One of the Job Retention Scheme (aka Furlough) ended on June 30th, 2020

July 1st marks the start of the second stage of the Job Retention Scheme, kicking off with the introduction of ‘flexible furloughing’. What this means is that employees can be invited back to work for a determined number of hours being payed at 100% for hours worked whilst staying on furlough leave for the remainder of their contracted hours paid at 80%.

Sounds straight forward?

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...

What is Intellectual Property and how do you value it?  

Intellectual Property or IP as it is more commonly known can account for the single most valuable asset that a business has but many business owners are unsure about what is classified as IP and, just as importantly, how much their IP is worth.

What is Intellectual Property? 

Intellectual property (IP) can be defined simply as the ownership of any idea or ...

Is your business GDPR compliant while working from home?

Recent research reveals that at least 10% of businesses who are working from home (WFH) due to the coronavirus pandemic are not GDPR compliant. You may think that GDPR doesn’t apply to your business or you may believe you are covered while WFH, but simply by using your own laptop or desktop instead of your work PC may mean you are in breach of GDPR.

 

So, what is GDPR?

What is a brand and why is branding important?

Everybody has a favourite brand, don’t they? I mean as I teenager, for some unknown reason, I loved Adidas, Pepsi and Wrangler! Not quite sure why because my friends went for Nike, Coke and Levi’s – maybe I just liked to be different.

When you are young and impressionable you don’t tend to look at the reasoning behind such decisions. However, when your are older and wiser and especially w...

Applying Maslow’s theory on motivation to businesses today

The most important asset any company has is its staff. Successful managers realise that if they keep their workers happy then it will have a positive effect throughout the whole business.

So, the key question is how do managers keep staff happy? Is it by paying them lots of money? Rewarding them with bonuses and promotion? Or praising them when they do well? The answer is yes to all of th...

Shareholder protection insurance explained

OK, let’s fast forward a few months and life is beginning to return to normal, or as close to normal as it was before the coronavirus pandemic. On a personal level, sales are shooting upwards as customers who have been starved of your products and services make up for lost time, margins are equally impressive, and your bottom line is looking healthier by the day. All in all, your business is ge...

Looking professional in a video conference

This era of working from home (WFH) has seen millions of workers adapt to using new technology, resulting in video conferencing platforms seeing demand for their products escalate exponentially. Now, although we can’t, and probably don’t all want to look like Huw Edwards or Sophie Raworth, here are some tips on looking professional in a video conference from the confines of your home.

&nb...

McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory

Trying to motivate a team is challenging enough but even more so in the current economic climate. So, when businesses do start functioning again and the millions of workers return to work after months of working from home (WFH), leaders and managers will need as much help as possible to inspire staff and propel businesses forward to profitability and growth. Following on from last week’s blog a...

Tax Relief for Business Property Owners

Money, or the lack of it, is a concern for businesses at any time but during the current economic environment it takes on even greater significance. Business owners are constantly looking at ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality or raise margins without losing customers, and even for businesses robust enough to survive the worst economic crisis on record, every pound counts.

So...

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme explained

Bounce back is a phrase that you will hopefully be hearing a lot more of during the coming months, whether it is in relation to the economy improving, businesses trading again or inspirational stories of survivors of Covid-19. But at the moment you are more likely to hear it in relation to funding because the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is the latest government initiative to help small businesses t...

Employers' liability insurance, who needs it and what does it cover?

There are so many things to remember when setting up a business and what with all the excitement and hullabaloo, there appears to be so little time to do them all. From writing a business plan and deciding on a business name to choosing a legal structure and finding suitable premises. Then there is the bank account to open, website to design, licenses to apply for, suppliers to source, contract...

R&D tax credits, what are they and how do you get them?

Can you imagine as a business owner being entitled to thousands of pounds and not even knowing? How frustrating would that be? Sounds too good to be true, does it? Well it is true and thousands of businesses across the UK are failing to take advantage by not making a Research and Development (R&D) tax credits claim.

In fact, recent research suggests that less than 20% of eligible SMEs...

How could a business consultant help your new business?

You may think that business consultants are only useful for larger, established companies, that have seen performance plateau or sales stagnate and require help to guide them in the right direction.

However, what you may not realise is that business consultants can be equally effective when working with new businesses. In fact, using the services of an experienced consultant as a new busi...

So, you’ve been furloughed, but what does it mean?

Until recently the term furlough was an unfamiliar one outside of the USA and now you can’t stop hearing about it, seeing people discussing it on television, or reading online about the new buzzword. But what exactly does it mean?

Furlough is a temporary leave of absence for employees from the company they work for and in its current context is being used in relation to the Coronavirus Jo...

The improved Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

When the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was first launched last month, it was welcomed with open arms by businesses across the UK. However, it soon became apparent that the CBILS was not the panacea that businesses hoped it would be and it wasn’t long before the scheme started attracting criticism.

In response to this, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, r...

Technology for Working from Home

Times and technology have changed considerably in recent years and when you look back just 10 years ago homeworking was very different compared with today, even the term has changed to Working from Home (WFH).

The advancement in technology for working from home has made the transition from working from an office or other place of work almost seamless and despite the lockdown, it’s still b...

Surviving Working from Home

I’d imagine that the majority of workers who hadn’t worked from home (WFH) before were probably quite pleased to get the memo from their boss telling them that the office is closing, and they would have to take the laptop home.

I mean, who wouldn’t relish the thought of no longer sitting in traffic during the dreaded daily commute or standing in the rain waiting for a bus that was running...

The self-employed have not been forgotten

The loudest noise heard on Thursday was at 8:00 pm when applause for the Clap For Our Carers campaign supporting our valiant NHS staff reverberated throughout the UK. But the cheers from millions of self-employed workers a few hours earlier were not too far behind on the decibel scale.

This eagerly awaited announcement was exactly what the nation’s self-employed have been patiently waitin...

Understanding the Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme

The first question on everyone’s lips during the coronavirus pandemic is will my loved ones be OK? Or, depending on the person’s disposition, maybe it is, will I be OK? Your health is definitely more important than money but following on from your primary concern your mind will then become inundated with questions about money, or the lack of it.

Where will my next pay check come from and ...

Coronavirus: Help for Welsh businesses

With business owners throughout the country unsure of what the future holds it is reassuring to know that the Welsh Government has pledged to invest almost £1.4 billion to help businesses during the Coronavirus crisis.

You may wonder why businesses in Wales were not included in the initial statement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak but that is due to the fact that business rates and small busi...

Coronavirus and your business

Coronavirus is the only subject that everybody is thinking about at the moment and will probably be for many weeks to come. The uncertainty of what will happen and how it will affect peoples’ lives is alarming to say the least and even more so for business owners.

Contingency planning

There probably isn’t any business sector that is not going to be impacted by ...

Is it time your business had live chat?

Time has always been a precious commodity in all walks of life and that seems even more relevant today in the ever-changing, fast moving, technological world of business.

Where products can be copied by rivals and sold to your target market for less than what you charge, you must be able to differentiate on service to be able to have any sort of competitive edge.

However, every succ...

Is Big Brother watching you?

One of the biggest banks in the UK recently hit the headlines for the wrong reason. Barclays had piloted a software system that monitored the amount of time that employees spent at their desks. Although Barclays has stopped using the pro...

How will 5G transform your business?

The eagerly awaited 5th generation technology (5G) began rolling out across the UK last year and there are already approximately 60 cities where it is currently available.

Many phrases have been used to describe the new 5G technology: super-fast, ultra-fast, uber-fast and lightning fast. OK, so it’s fast, but what does that mean?

The increase in speed that 5G brings means that ...

Who’s looking after your books?

You wouldn’t let anybody look after your legal matters, would you? And would you take financial advice from someone you met in the pub? Hopefully not. Ok, what if you were ill, would you seek help from any Tom, Dick or Harriet? Of course not, you’d make an appointment with your doctor.

So, when you entrust someone to look after your business’s finances you need to make sure they are fully...

SME’s spending more on tech services

A recent report into the spending behaviour of more than 133,000 small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) in the UK over the past 10 years has just been published and makes interesting reading.

We’ll take a look at some of the pertinent points from the comprehensive report now. The global report actually covered a total of 250,000 SME’s across the UK, US, Canada, France and Australia wi...

Would you like to be your own boss?

I’m sure that most of us at some point during our careers have pondered about leaving the secure and sometimes stale environment of being an employee for the excitement, satisfaction and challenge of self-employment.

Whether you are bored and looking for a new venture, or you’ve missed out on promotion to Julian, the new graduate from marketing, or you just simply can’t face working anoth...

What did a business plan ever do for you?

You may think that business plans are an outdated concept, from a bygone era and are no longer relevant in today’s fast moving, ever changing digital world. But wait a minute, let’s just slow down and think about that.

I’m sure you probably have an idea of what a business plan is, but I’ll give you a simple definition anyway.

A business plan is essentially a document that describes ...

Making Tax Digital explained

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the government’s initiative to modernise and simplify tax administration for everyone, by moving the whole process online. This pioneering venture promises to make tax submissions more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers. However, with recent research suggesting that 30% of businesses are unaware of what this means for them we’ve written a to clarify t...

Coworking, is it time you left home?

The excitement about launching your own start-up can be so overwhelming that many will opt to work from home without paying much thought to the concept of coworking. This is understandable when you consider the amount of work and time dedicated to planning and preparing your start-up for launch.

However, research suggests that many businesses outstay their home base which results in busin...

The Dawnus Collapse: What it means for SMEs

The recent collapse of Dawnus Construction Holdings has sparked calls for ministers to do more to protect small firms when large companies collapse.


Swansea based Dawnus Construction Holdings filed a notice to appoint an administrator and stopped work on all of its UK sites earlier in the year. The collapse means hundreds of staff face redundancy and the supply chain is du...

Making connections at LinkedInLocal Swansea

Last Thursday marked the first LinkedInLocal Swansea event sponsored by >Business Butler Swansea. We were delighted to be joined by so many local businesses, entrepreneurs and students from Swansea University for the first event of 2019.


The sold-out event was kicked off with an introduction from Business Butler’s Sid, followed by a talk from Mark Pittaccio, the renowne...

Swansea Learning Festival in Full Swing

Believers in the saying that “Knowledge is Power” will be happy to see Swansea Council’s Learning Festival has finally arrived.

Starting on April 1st and ending on April 6th, the Swansea learning Festival will be hosting workshops and lessons for people interested in learning a new craft, trade, or any type of activity being offered. According to the council’s website, the “areas of ...

We’re getting behind LinkedInLocal Swansea

Here at Business Butler Swansea, we are pleased to be sponsoring the upcoming LinkedInLocal Swansea event on 11th April. The evening will involve a talk from the renowned behavioural economist – Mark Pittaccio and plenty of time for business networking. 


As a startup in Swansea, we value the importance of having networking opportunities that allow SME’s and startups to com...

How to make sure your business is investment ready

Raising capital is an issue many businesses come across when looking to develop and grow their venture. When seeking capital, there are a plethora of ways to raise funds, including crowdfunding, bank financing, government funding, with one of the most common being external investors.

When seeking 

Effective Networking - The Follow Up

Here at Business Butler, we understand the importance of networking opportunities for small businesses and SMEs. Networking can have a range of benefits and its key that you are able to make the most of any opportunities.

We have put together the following list of ways to be effective in your networkin...

Does your business need a website?

For many businesses especially SMEs and startups, having a website may seem like an unnecessary cost, with many businesses instead opting to just use Facebook, Google, Bing and other such business listings.

Whilst it is important for businesses to get their social media and business listings right, relying on those

as their only online presence is taking a risk as whether or not a b...

A space to grow at TechHub Swansea

We are pleased to announce we have recently relocated to the TechHub Swansea which is a great environment for startups and are delighted to be working in an office space with like minded tech businesses and entrepreneurs.

Here at Business Butler Swansea we are working to connect SME’s with local business experts using the mediums of web, app and robo chat. We have built a team of local bu...

Are you getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile?

The world of social media and digital marketing can seem daunting, but creating a brand for your business doesn’t have to be complicated, LinkedIn is the world’s number one online network for business and is a powerful tool.

We have compiled these top tips to help you to get th...

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