Business Heroes is moving…

http://www.business-heroes.co.uk

Business Heroes is moving!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting our site over the last six months. It’s been a fantastic learning process for us and our various contributors. We started with nothing and we’ve now rocketed to the point where we have a loyal following of readers who regularly contact us with feedback and comments – thank you if you’ve taken the time to do this!

So, with one eye on the future, we’ve decided to take things to the next level; more features; more news; more video; more interaction plus the same great news and views delivered to you, our readers. However, we’re not stopping there. This year will also see the launch of the Business Heroes awards, a major small business competition to recognise the best of UK business. We’ll announce more about this in the next three months – watch this space!

To do all of this we’ve decided to move to our own servers and give ourselves a proper address. We can now be found here at http://www.business-heroes.co.uk and as from today, we’ll no longer be posting on this site. Please save this new address in your bookmarks and continue to follow us on Twitter, where we will be running competitions and providing you with the latest news directly.

See you there!

The Business Heroes Team

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Small Business Advice | Banks join forces to lend to businesses

The British Banking Association (BBA) has announced plans to form a new taskforce in a bid to stimulate lending to UK businesses. The group, lead by Stephen Green, head of the BBA, has sent a letter to George Osbourne outlining plans to form a group to discuss how the banks can improve businesses’ access to funds. The group will also investigate what changes can be made to create a stronger financial market for business. To read the full story, visit the Growing Business website.

Small business Advice | 18 places to indulge in face-to-face business networking

Networking can be a great way for business owners to meet with new prospects and re-connect with others they already know, offering the chance to build relationships of partnerships, referrals and resources. So, if you’re looking to network with likeminded entrepreneurs but you don’t know where to start, check out  Real Business’ 18-point guide to finding great business networking events.

networking

Small Business News | Marketing tips for entrepreneurs

According to Growing Business, a new web portal and LinkedIn group have been launched to offer free advice for businesses on how to get the most from their online presence.

Created by the author, Ian Whiteling, the website om4biz.com contains blogs from web experts on how companies can promote themselves better over the internet. Alongside this is a social media discussion group, which features a panel of experts ready to answer the queries of businesses looking to develop their web presence.

By joining the groups one can then post up queries on anything from website design, implementation and content to search engine optimisation, email marketing, internet advertising and social media.

To find out more, please visit the Growing Business website.

Small Business Advice | Customer Service for hire

My background is very much of a retail nature, where customers and customer service are the very heart of the business. But traditionally, hire has been quite outdated in this respect – it’s an industry that’s been focused on products and the mechanics of the hire process more so than on the customer. And I think that’s been a mistake.

When I joined HSS, there had already been some progress in addressing this and over the past few years, we’ve been resolute in building on this. We have been leading the way in bringing a more customer-centric focus to hire, aligning our business model to the needs of our customers and making sure we are best placed to work with them, wherever and whenever they need us.

We’ve been busy opening new branches to consolidate our nationwide network and we’ve also invested heavily in expanding and updating our equipment fleet to ensure that it is easy for our customers to find us and to get what they need from us.

But it’s no longer good enough to just be a ‘supplier’; it’s got to be about becoming an indispensible part of your customer’s supply chain. Our customers are why we do what we do and we work hard to deliver what they need from us – I don’t think you can or should do anything else; even during the tough times of a recession. And yes, the current market conditions mean a big part of that will focus on costs, both your own and those of your customer. But for real success, it’s equally essential not to only take a cost reducing approach. Service and compliance must be maintained and, even more than that, innovation must be embraced. We’ve pioneered some great initiatives and hire related services that are all about putting the customer at the very heart of what we do and in making hire easy for them and all of this has helped us to outperform the market despite some very challenging times.

As part of this dedication to customer care, we developed and launched our award-winning online business management system, HSS LiveHire to give our customers better visibility and control of the equipment they have on hire. Saving time and money are always important factors for any business but, now more than ever, our customers need us to help identify efficiencies and drive out unnecessary costs and LiveHire helps deliver against those needs in a way that no other system can do.

I readily admit that our customer-centric approach has led to other hire companies looking over the fence at HSS and thinking that we’re somewhat mad. But to be honest, if we’re going to stand out from the crowd in our industry, I’m very proud that it’s because we put our customers first.

Small Business News | Boom in small businesses but with a legal sting in the tail

According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) a record number of people will become self-employed this year. However there are concerns that the taxman may wish to turn your status from self-employed to employed, therefore putting you into the PAYE bucket.

 With the UK facing high unemployment, the FSB is expecting a boom in people going it alone this year with a record 300,000 people looking to become their own boss. According to the article this will not only help grow the economy but could in turn create more jobs as these small businesses flourish. However, the FSB is concerned that those that do become self-employed are penalised by the taxman if they take on other part-time or temporary work for another company. If so, there is a chance that the taxman will want to put you into the PAYE bucket and turn your legal status from self-employed to that of an employee. Therefore the FSB is calling on the HMRC to respect the declaration of self-employment, accepting the individual as just that unless a material change takes place.

 To read more on this issue, please visit the Federation of Small Businesses.

Small Business News | Cash-strapped entrepreneurs get creative

Small Business News | Cash-strapped entrepreneurs get creative

A recent BBC article discusses the problem of finance for cash-strapped entrepreneurs looking at a new generation of online funding platforms.

In order to get new ventures off the ground these online platforms, such as Kickstarter, cater for everyone from starving artists to tech start-ups. They also allow anyone with a business proposition to post an online pitch which goes straight into the offices and homes of potential investors and donors across the world. Although there is no limit on how much people can raise, creators of the projects must take a Dragons Den style approach and set a cash goal and a time limit. If they reach the goal within the time limit they get to keep the pledges. If they don’t, all pledges are returned. Alongside the ability to gain funding, young entrepreneurs receive feedback on their products and plans and well as having the added bonus of a readymade group of potential customers. So far 650 projects have been successful and pledges have come from 70,000 people globally.

To read more about this scheme please visit the BBC website.