down to see full list; previous
month's (September) Viewpoint)
(for international events and news and 'our view from the EU', click here.)
A Home and Small Business Viewpoint by Len Tondel, from 1st October 2011
London Social Enterprise Aim & Aspire (http://www.aimandaspire.org.uk)
is running a series of practical business master-classes in November. Breakthrough
members (this includes HBA members who are jointly enrolled with Breakthrough.
Ed.) qualify for a discount of 20% - quote code AARF11. So you can
book a half-day workshop for as little as £16, if youre quick (£40
for all day).
a clever combination of 6 morning, evening and daylong events on different days
even a Saturday; so this fits round any schedule. Theres even a marketing
event in a wine bar! Finance Whiz Bruce Wood kicks off on Tuesday November 1 and
Lana Hersak, the event organiser, wraps it up on the 19th.
Lana@aimandaspire.org.uk or check
out the website for details.
export opportunities to Europe. http://www.sdi.co.uk/events/2011/11/export-europe.aspx
'o free online guides from Business Link. R.I.P. http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/east_england.html
fines Npower £2 million for complaint mis-handling. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15517948
An Npower spokesperson reacted to the news by joking, "We are very sorry,
we let our high standards slip on this occasion."
fine follows on from one of £2.5 million handed out earlier in the year
to British Gas for similar miscoduct. EDF apparently, are also being investigated
for the way they handle complaints. In other words, not at all.
Mail denies weekend delivery cuts. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15512297
being subjected to 'disturbing' cyber attacks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15516959
I too, would be disturbed if I got attacked by a cyber. Worrizit?
Christmas is coming. Get your business Christmas cards now. (50 A6 Christmas
Cards for just £16, for example.) Kate at usfor design and print ltd, 4c
Treloggan Ind Est Newquay Cornwall TR7 2SX. T: 01637 859966. E: mailto:email@example.com
business and management training courses, University of Essex. http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/html_emails/html_e-mail_November.html
Local press offer free advertising to small firms. http://www.newspapersoc.org.uk/19/oct/11/local-businesses-to-receive-15m-injection
The Local Business Accelerator scheme, launched by The Newspaper Society, will
offer free advertising, support and business mentoring to 1,500 small enterprises.
scheme will be advertised in 500 local and regional newspapers, to attract applications
from the UKs most promising young businesses. Firms whose bids are successful
will win business support and a share of £15 million of free advertising
in local newspapers. The initiative was launched by the Newspaper Society to demonstrate
the "strength and value of local press advertising for business success."
Entries close on the 14 November 2011. (EnterpriseQuest)
surprised it's taken the media so long to formalise and refine a practice which
has been going on more or less, for years. It certainly beats the more current
internet-based trend of businesses trying to freeload off gullible websites with
rubbish like bulk spam promos and affiliate schemes. Anyway, a welcome initiative.
mis-selling claims. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15506778
Loans threatened with closure by OFT. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15499639
growth of home stamp duty avoidance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15479321
A clear case of commoners getting ideas above their station; tax avoidance is
for wealthy donors to political parties, only.
Increasing regional split in UK house prices. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15490935
Good news, in a way. Makes the whole country increasingly affordable as prices
in London continue to rise. After all, what normal person would want to live in
£100 of Sainsbury's vouchers prize draw/questionnaire. http://www.binfo.co.uk/Frama/frama_questionnaire.html?emrid=70020&c=FramaWin100&m=StartQuestionnaire
into social enterprises and LEPs launched. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/ldpbusiness/business-local/2011/10/17/liverpool-hope-university-in-lep-study-to-boost-social-enterprise-92534-29605075/
research into how Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) can improve and develop
social enterprises will be conducted by Liverpool Hope University. The results
of the study, funded by the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
(ISBE), will be made into a guide to social enterprise to be published and distributed
by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Steven Broomhead, professor of entrepreneurial
education at Hope University, said that the research will look for evidence of
"sustainable economic growth and community renewal, especially in disadvantaged
course, in the real business world, you do your market research before launching
a product or service. Or am I just being naïve here?
Dear Home Business Alliance.The Final 8 young entrepreneurs have been revealed
for our 'Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011'. You can
read all about each of the Finalists at: http://www.shell-livewire.org/business-library/shell-livewire-events/shell-livewire-live-2011/final8-2011/
guide to using Facebook for business. http://sbinformation.about.com/od/marketingsales/tp/guide-to-facebook-for-business.htm?nl=1
sues Australian banks for money laundering son's eBay scams. http://www.10news.com/money/29567468/detail.html
It's not just our banks which are stupid and unfit for purpose, then.
is The Bank of America the world's worst financial institution? "Bank
of America was named the country's second-worst company by Consumerist.com after
BP Plc, the firm blamed for the worst U.S. offshore oil spill."
was Consumerist so hard on Bank Of America? Well, perhaps after doing a little
bit of thinking, they realized, "Oh, hey, we've published tons of pieces
attesting to Bank Of America's awfulness! Like the time the
bank got an address wrong and foreclosed on the wrong home. Or the
time they made mortgage payment demands from someone who wasn't their customer.
Or the time they threatened
a customer with foreclosure if he didn't make a prompt payment of $0.00. I
mean, I could go on and on.
fact, I think I will! Other Bank of America Greatest Hits include giving
the same account number to two different people (isn't that a basic thing
that banks are supposed to be able to handle?);
opening credit card accounts for people who don't ask for them; "hindering"
a federal review of FHA-insured housing loans; and two class-action suits
-- one settled, one pending -- that arose when indifference to customer satisfaction
crossed the line into grifterdom.
the banking industry calls 'benchmarking', I suppose.
9 Reasons To Be Cheerful (or why the US economy will soar by 2020). http://247wallst.com/2011/10/24/nine-things-that-will-make-the-economy-better-in-2020/
The problem is, what's going to happen between now and 2020?
stock photo website. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
connect with native language speakers around the world through live video.
http://verbling.com/ Nice one, this, for acquiring
new language skills.
Tax guide for the newly self-employed published. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/rr1.pdf
A guide for newly self-employed people to calculate their first tax bill before
it arrives has been published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Many newly self-employed
people will not receive their first tax bill for some time, and HMRCs guide
is designed to encourage individuals to set aside enough money.
guide contains a table with approximate amounts that should be retained for tax
and Class 4 National Insurance (NI) contributions. However, HMRC stress that the
precise amount of tax and Class 4 NI contributions due can only be calculated
once the person completes their self-assessment tax return. (EnterpriseQuest)
Single EU sales law could benefit online sellers. http://www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2060&kCat=&kData=1
new Common European Sales Law has been proposed by the European Commission, which
would allow firms selling online to choose to trade under a single EU contract
law, rather than complying with the various national laws of the 27 member states.
British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed the proposals, saying they will simplify
selling across the EU and encourage UK firms to expand into more markets. BRC
director general Stephen Robertson said that introducing the optional law has
"the potential to boost British exports of goods throughout the EU and so
boost growth and jobs in the UK." (EnterpriseQuest)
to give the proposals a more universal perspective, they could help anyone who
trades online - home businesses, freelancers, eBayers - and not just BRC retailers.
are more likely to get divorced than change their bank. However bad their
bank might be. That is the problem facing the newly launched Shawbrook Bank, which
claims to have £250 million to lend to small businesses. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/oct/23/do-we-really-need-more-banks
tells armchair economist Cameron to shut up. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sarkozy-tells-cameron-to-shut-up-in-euro-clash-2375098.html
Quite right, too, although I'm surprised the two leaders' public euphoria over
their successful invasion of Libya has worn thin so quickly. Probably because
it's taking longer to cash in on the country's wealth than Cameron and Sarkozy
had originally hoped for. But what the French president hasn't yet understood
is that everything Cameron says or does is at the bidding of the Americans, who
since the Bush era, have invested heavily in the euro. (Plus, see yesterday's
comment just below.)
am reminded of the observation made as recently as 2006 by Cameron's Oxford tutor,
Professor Bogdanor, on our Prime Minsiter's political ideas.
"I think he is very confused. I've read his speech and it's filled with contradictions.
There are one or two good things in it but one glimpses them, as it were, through
a mist of misunderstanding." Bless
him. Cameron has a First from Oxford in Economics, which explains a lot, really.
Might as well have a GCSE in Social Sciences from your nearest borstal.)
UK also, is massively affected by eurozone events even if it has tried to play
clever buggers by sitting astride the fence, trying to reap the benefits but without
making an appropriate contribution since Margaret Thatcher decided to 'opt out'.
So it's not just the French who are fed up with the Government's slavish hypocrisy.
Olympic game lets could bring Londoners a £1000 a week for spare rooms.
and fuel poverty will kill 200 old folk a day. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/22/older-people-cold-energy-bills
That's more deaths per day than the overall NATO kill rate for bombing the civilian
population in Libya - without spending £ billions (and euros). A double
whammy for the Government in fact, as the social and economic damage thus caused
should preclude the necessity for air strikes by the BRIC Alliance to 'defend'
the west's anti-capitalist revolution. The BRIC nations can then spend their money
on boring stuff like bolstering trade between themselves, instead. (Although Vlad
The Bad does seem to have a bee in his bonnet about bringing war criminals to
trial, so protective intervention should not be entirely ruled out at this stage.)
our Government's economic priority is continuing a foreign policy which
Margaret Thatcher used to call the country's 'special relationship' and present-day
British propaganda calls the 'Atlantic Bridge' or - as it's known in the trade
- 'Fagging For American Terrorism' or F.A.R.T.
New online auction site: http://www.ebazr.com/Home.aspx
prize for successful Europe break-up plan competition. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15366828
A little job for weekend economists from Lord Wolfson, yet another barmy Conservative
party donor looking for cheap publicity. The competition is being circulated to
precisely the types who have made a mess of the euro and the world economy in
the first place so a bit like Richard Branston's plan for ousting Robert Mugabe,
it's just another Big Tit story for The Sun. Still, could have been good for another
larf if the situation wasn't so serious. And the UK and it's pretentious idiots
weren't so irrelevant. (Mental note: Wolfson obviously making too much
money from his Next chain. Shop elsewhere in future.)
Ski & Snowboard Show special offers. http://www.sshmail.co.uk:80/emailmarketer/display.php?M=8831623&C=39936bb39d7f275ce202ebe3e4618321&S=1369&L=307&N=485
To Start A Home Business In Ten Steps. http://homebusiness.about.com/od/Setting-Up-Your-Business/tp/How-To-Start-A-Home-Biz-Guide-10Steps.htm
From our north American friends at about.com
If only it were that easy but it's valid input, nonetheless.
Event: Inside the Marketing Toolkit. Presented by Jeff Della Mura. 17 November
2011, 5.00pm - 7.00pm at the Constable Building, University of Essex. Online
of business support to be won from the New Start Scotland Exhibition. http://www.newstartscotland.com/index.php/bright-business-competition
eBay reports 14% rise in profits. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15379337
Big fan of eBay, me and above all, PayPal. Now, have a smile at how to become
an eBay millionaire. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14678309
smartphones on the way? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15372756
Facebook and Twitter being targetted for debt recovery. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15348205
Social networking coming into its own, then.
6 million people owed tax rebates. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15363168
Will the rebates arrive in time for Christmas, though? And at an average of £400
a rebate, where's the money going to come from?
in car insurance premiums. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15354697
Still, at £921 for the average comprehensive policy that just about equals
the cost of an annual household fuel bill and with the austerity screws still
to be turned, the car is increasingly becoming a luxury.
Further to our Comment on the 24th of August about France's vulnerability
in the eurozone, lo and behold we have Moody's hinting at a downgrade of the
French credit rating. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15346553
Mind you, compared to bog-roll sterling, France and the euro are star performers.
Association Resource newsletter including vacancies.
raised over start up advice from accountants. http://www.cobwebinfo.com/site/article_detail/item15451/
free consultation with a chartered accountant is being offered to start ups and
small business owners under a scheme launched by the Institute of Chartered Accountants
in England and Wales (ICAEW).
2,250 ICAEW members across the UK have already signed up to the scheme, which
has been welcomed by the Department for Business (BIS). But professionals from
the business support sector have questioned whether accountants will be able to
advise on the full range of issues facing a new business.
Accountants and book-keepers have been giving advice to businesses since the profession
was invented and until recently, it was common practice to take that advice together
with words of wisdom from the bank manager, the local business club or Chamber
of Commerce, a solicitor perhaps and a professional business advisor, muck it
all about and extract what you thought was the best for you and your business.
Unfortunately, since the present Government came along, official and best practice
support for the small business community has become decimated by the collective
input of propaganda advisers rather than business professionals. (Ostensibly,
to save a few £ million.) And it's going to get worse with the tendency
to rely more and more on extremely variable internet-sourced advice and a move
towards supermarket-based professional services. The personal, face-to-face element
which is essential to the birth and evolution of healthy business activity, is
deliberately - and not inadvertently - being destroyed.
As we keep saying, the Government and its friends make more money out of a business
that has failed than it does from a success story.
Government's solution for bringing down bills. Switch suppliers and pay by direct
There, that was easy, wasn't it? Not worth BIG LETTERS even in The Sun.
PM vows to bring down bills. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15308005
Yes, but what is he actually going to do about it?
Department for Transport have indicated that up to 40% of Whitehall staff will
be asked to stay away from the office during the Olympics this summer as part
of a plan to ease congestion on London's transport network during the games.
also thought to be part of a wider strategy to encourage major recruiters in the
capital to follow suit and provide flexible working arrangements during the 2012
games. The sheer influx in volume of additional spectators could cripple the already
struggling public transport network across London. An additional 800,000 journeys
per day are forecasted from spectators using public transport from July 27th to
September 9th to get to the games, this is in addition to the 3.5 million journeys
taken per day by commuters already.
It's all the fashion: big businesses are starting to think 'small'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15282615
business profits falling, research shows. http://www.bakertilly.co.uk/media/news/Baker-Tilly-Company-Watch-launch-SME-Distress-Monitor.aspx
A quarter of small enterprises saw their profits before tax fall by 50% in 2010,
according to research by Baker Tilly and Company Watch.
report, based on accounts filed at Companies House in 2010, revealed that a quarter
of businesses were unable to meet their existing debt repayments, and 10% had
experienced a downturn in sales. Sarah Batchelor, partner at Baker Tilly, claimed
that the difficulties experienced by small firms highlighted the need for them
to seek "timely advice and implement strategic safeguards" in order
to survive the difficult economic climate. (EnterpriseQuest)
London start-ups outstrip Silicon Valley for creativity. http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/business-news/london-start-ups-could-spawn-the-next-facebook.html
over energy firm profits. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15302723
energy tariffs to end pricing confusion. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ofgem-vows-to-crack-down-on-confusing-energy-tariffs-2370914.html
Complex pricing structures is a basic marketing ploy; I would be amazed if Ofgem
get their way on this one however beneficial to consumers the proposal might be.
Work From Home Expo date and venue change announced. Lyme
Media & Events Ltd, the organiser of Work From Home Expo, have announced that
this year's exhibition is to be moved from the Ricoh Arena on 20th October to
the QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster, Central London and will now be taking
place on Thursday 15th March 2012.
demand from visitors and exhibitors has driven the need for the change in date
and venue. Adam Ginty, Marketing Manager comments, "with the exhibition being
in its first year it has been difficult to get the right mix for all of our markets."
He continues, "our initial market research indicated a requirement for a
midlands based exhibition, however after taking the product to market we received
an overwhelming amount of feedback from potential exhibitors and visitors that
a London location would be better for the market as a whole."
registrations have now been re-submitted to the London ticket booking site and
allmost all of the confirmed Coventry exhibitors have also re-signed their agreements
to attend the London exhibition due to the increased potential to attract visitors
from greater populated commutable areas. http://www.workfromhome-expo.co.uk
cash machines being stocked with £5 notes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15295195
That's a really bad sign. When it's not even worthwhile taking a JCB to a cash
to get rid of your rim device. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/13/blackberrys-big-blackout-time-to-dump-your-rim-device/
I only know one person who owns a Blackcurrant but with Apple also having problems
with their bits of plastic (and the usual reports of mobiles cooking your brains
and now, identified
as e-coli traps as well), this may encourage a return to social normality.
It seems like just a few days ago I was given the chance of a free trial of a
mobile phone which looked - and weighed - the same as an engineering brick. I
remember feeling acutely self-conscious as I sat on a wall and tried using the
device. Unsuccessfully. Passers-by, motorists were all looking at me. I felt a
right tit. But at least I knew it.
you see schoolkids walking to school with a wire dangling out of each ear and
clutching a square bit of plastic, oblivious to the world around them, thinking
that they've got a life with 663 phoney friends on Arsebook. Until they have to
leave their virtual worlds to confront a bit of job-hunting. Or setting up in
business. Whereupon they find they're a quantum leap away from reality. There
are no paying jobs in the virtual world. Other than for a handful of smart-asses
using the population at large for marketing fodder.
networking for a housing association. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/14/craft-cafe-glasgow-older-people-isolation
Excellent story about people helping each other. Perfect medium for small local
businesses to get involved and hopefully, not an iDummy in sight.
Big propaganda in the British media today about the UK doing some record-breaking
exporting. For example - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15287582
Hardly surprising really as sterling is down against both the dollar and the euro
on the year and it isn't export volume which has gone up but value. Index of volume
of exports shrank from 103.1 in July to 101.8 in August.
nonsense on the subject of exporting in the news today included: "US
remains the biggest export market" (This is a regular piece of misinformation.)
true. The EU is the UK's biggest export market by far - £14.035 billion.
Exports to the US were just £3.113 billion.
combined exports to Ireland and Belgium/Luxembourg (£2.977 billion) were
on par with exports to the US. For the record exports to Germany were £2.731
billion and France £1.901 billion.
Office for National Statistics.
admits £300 million VAT fraud. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/expoliceman-admits-300-million-vat-fraud-2369433.html
This story beggars belief, if the reporting is accurate. A start-up trading from
a business park accommodation address goes from £0 to a £2 BILLION
turnover in just 8 months and it takes five years to bring the case to court.
Now, if that had been a local plumber who had fiddled a few hundred pounds, he
would have been shut down and lost the roof over his family's head in six months
flat. Let heads roll. (Although HMRC's tosser-in-charge, David Hairnet, is already
under pressure to resign from letting Goldman Sachs off a £10 million tax
telesales staff not offering cheapest deals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15276372
discussion at The Guardian today, about the business prospects of commercialising
5 jailed for premium phone line fraud. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/five-jailed-for-mobile-phone-fraud-2369391.html
'smoke 'n mirrors' energy auction plan. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15212399
unemployment total reaches 17 year high. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15271800
Emotive stuff for politicians and a figure which will have been 'adjusted' or
understated by 25% - 50%. Hence David Cameron's recent 'shop a wog' speech made
in anticipation of the announcement and which seems to be based on the French
practice of 'esclavage modern'.
goes like this. You let the blacks (and now, an increasing number of North Africans
displaced by the consequences direct and indirect of NATO bombings) willy-nilly
into the country whereupon they are easily recruited by agents, sub-contractors
and gangers even if their documentation is patently false. They then work on legitimate,
urban sites which the French won't touch. Sewage stations, labour intensive construction
sites, night shifts, etc. Often, the contracts are 'official'. The immigrants
pay full contributions out of their miserly wages - all their taxes and social
charges will be deducted at source and so the taxman at the very least, is aware
of what's going on. Then, a short while before the work is due to end, someone,
usually the agent, anonymously shops them. (A French tradition which goes back
to the Bourbonnais betraying Joan of Arc.)
swiftly follows - without any refund of deductions made from the minimal wages,
of course. The deportee will be handcuffed and escorted usually by at least three
or four gendarmes onto the 'plane where a seated position with head between the
knees for the return flight, is not unusual. No problem. There are plenty more
waiting to take their place. And because they're not white, wealthy, Jewish champagne
politicians with links to the media, they won't get seen and defended on the 8
o'clock news, either.
this is the kind of 'Brown Shirt' society which David Cameron wishes to bestow
on Britain. Without even asking, first, for the advice of that world-famous British
entrepreneur, 'Beardy' Branston. Who, I would have thought, was more than capable
of getting the country out of its present pickle.
for illegal immigration - well, Libya used to be the largest of employers
of African casual labour. In fact, all the Arab 'Spring' states were major employers.
Even of idle Brits. On the other hand, are illegal immigrants taking away British
jobs or British business? Well - not unless they're American, of course. In which
case the Government is giving them the work and so they're not really 'illegal',
Gas and SSE end doorstep sales permanently. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15263086
The UK's #1 enemies of enterprise - the HMRC - let Goldman Sachs off £10
million in interest. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/oct/11/goldman-sachs-interest-tax-avoidance
In other words, what David Cameron means when he talks about everyone 'pulling
to spotting the most common financial scams. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/11/spotting-financial-scammers-a-guide-to-common-cons/
seeing a big rise in poverty. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15238468
Warnings on payday loans. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/12663243
Coincidentally, we have just received an advertising request from an anonymous
SEO services provider for a payday loan company which wanted to advertise on this
site. Although the site was professionally designed and claimed registration with
the Office of Fair Trading the basic legal requirements for an address, etc, were
missing. So let this be a reminder to everyone that any lack of transparency in
a proposed business arrangement is a bad sign. This loan company went on to decline
a reply to our questions - so they won't be advertising on our sites. But it's
barely worth the hassle of even asking. Simply stick to professionals who know
and respect the rules.
economies a boom time for financial scammers. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/10/weak-economy-is-a-boom-time-for-financial-scammers/
safety net awareness campaign. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15216640
Trouble is, if sterling and the dollar continue to slide against major alternative
currencies such as the euro, safety net or not, all you are going to end up with
out of your savings after five or ten years, is a massive loss anyway - as today's
pensioners all know. Nor is that taking into account the sustained effects of
a recession or even a shake-up to the very foundations of capitalism itself. (Nonetheless,
a couple of alternative savings schemes for you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/oct/10/alternatives-savers-seeking-higher-returns)
Merkel and Sarkozy have got a plan to save us all. The majority of the French
are going to start work. The national, two month summer closure during July and
August will come to an end as will the 35 hour week and the dozen religious holidays
or so, enjoyed by all the atheists and communists. The concepts of professionalism
and client orientation will be explained in schools. The present cadre of 5 million
fonctionnaires will be replaced by the unemployed who want to work to earn
their money. Minority, extremist trade unions will be re-classified as terrorist
organisations to prevent them from holding the country's entire working population
to ransom every few weeks just to extend their days off or holidays. When all
of this has settled down, the French can finally follow the Germans' example and
drive down salary levels to become competitive with the rest of Europe again -
let alone the world.
what are the Britain's decisive
steps going to be? Nicking donuts from Tesco's while the Prime Minister finishes
looking at The Sun.
Consumer Trends event. http://www.marketingtrendsplus.com/?aid=EMMM&cid=17088111381URL3
Time to cheer up. The next generation of under-25 female entrepreneurs. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/smallbusiness/1110/gallery.women_entrepreneurs_under_25.fortune/
poverty benefits on a first come, first served basis. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15217004
'can do' Britain has 20,000 fewer companies - and falling fast. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/camerons-cando-britain-has-20000-fewer-companies-2367850.html
Ofcom delays 4G mobile auction. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15223275
This is to allow operators time to cope with 0.25G to 3G and empty baked bean
tins on string technology. For example. O2
apologises for data roaming mistake. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15219675
prices continue to lack direction - or - 0.5% fall in value. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15196066
Further to our 're-location' slot on the 3rd of October (scroll down) and the
now growing consensus of media opinion that house prices in the UK are
continuing to fall, here are a couple of links for some gentle weekend browsing
for you. France beats Spain as first choice for a second home. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/expatproperty/8805826/France-beats-Spain-as-top-location-for-second-homes.html
Then, renting, rather than buying a property in France. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/expatproperty/8803633/Buy-an-idyllic-French-home-Id-rather-rent.html
And Singapore is the best destination for expat entrepreneurs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/offshorefinance/8805893/Singapore-is-best-location-for-expat-entrepreneurs.html
Off to watch some rugby. Trouble is, I've got a Welsh partner and French neighbours.
(3 hours later. I have a happy partner and my neighbours are delirious
7 Ways To Spot Fake Online Reviews. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/06/7-ways-to-spot-fake-online-reviews/
banking profiting from customer dissatisfaction with 'big' banks. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/06/as-angry-customers-flee-financial-giants-online-banks-are-boomi/
OK, this is a US story but it's going to become a major trend. At the end of the
day, it will be the consumer and not any government or financial regulatory body
which will make the difference to established banking practices.
remember a meeting I had with a recently graduated snot-bag from a High Street
bank several years ago, when the Home Business Alliance was being courted by a
number of major, potential sponsors. Our credit union at that time - the only
national credit union for businesses in the UK - was also receiving a great deal
of attention. Anyway, this young man who like most graduates, didn't know anything
about anything, suggested that we should be grateful for any form of acknowledgement
by the bank, as it would allow our organisation to share in its kudos. He further
confided that even if the bank ever made a mistaken 'value judgement' it could
afford to lose up to 50,000 customers before becoming concerned.
there you go, folks. Desertion to alternative banking by the 50,000 or more, is
government fiddling business start-up figures? Never. (Labour criticises 'misleading'
company creation figures) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/8801681/Coalitions-business-creation-claims-disputed.html
The Government has claimed to have helped 506,000 new companies to form in its
first year, and a further 416,000 in the first seven months of 2011. However,
shadow business minister Chuka Umunna disputed the figures, saying that they were
"misleading" as they excluded the number of companies that had closed
down. With this taken into account, the net increase in companies was in fact
just 124,000 in the first year, with a further 99,000 in 2011. Mr Umunna claimed
that the Government was trying to "mask the true picture of the UK economy."
grow up, shall we? Governments (including Labour) have been fiddling figures like
these since well before even I was producing statistics for them. And that, already,
was a long time ago! (Just as it's par for the course for the political opposition
to profit from these anomalies, as well.)
Supermarkets and banks cleared for the sale of consumer legal services.
I can see this finishing off the small, legal firms. Followed by will writers
announces $35 dollar tablet (computer). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15180831
Sounds a tad more realistically priced than the $10 dollar laptop. Which never
it's IMF U-turn on 'growth'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15181547
Given the fact that it's the IMF's advice - among others like it - that have gotten
the world into the mess it's currently in, I do wonder why this bunch of overpaid,
$3000-dollar-a-night-for-a hotel-room wasters, are given media coverage any more.
They have become just as laughable as the American Securities & Exchange Commission
(SEC) which recently criticised 'errors' made by the credit rating agencies. This
being the same SEC which 'works' for the American banks. (Rolling Stone passim,
'Mumpreneur' leads new Collins English 'Craptionary' entries. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mumpreneur-leads-collins-english-dictionary-entries-2365895.html
Despite scanning at least a dozen 'papers and forums every day, I have barely
come across any of the latest entries which have been proposed here. And isn't
trivialising languages a French past-time? I think I'll be sticking to my Shorter
Oxford. (Which I should use more, I agree.)
moving towards credit unions. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/04/new-bank-fees-push-more-americans-to-credit-unions/
Certainly one working alternative to the banks and one of the reasons why under
the previous (Labour) government, the banks successfully lobbied for more and
more regulation of credit unions and friendly societies until they became inaccessible
to the average person in the street. Credit unions also have an ethical and voluntary
credo which appears to be somewhat remote from the values of today's i-Dummy
society. Encouraging therefore, to see ordinary people bucking the trend.
U-turn on card debt speech. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-uturn-on-card-debt-speech-2365839.html
Yes, well, paying off your debts is now of course, termed an obstacle to 'growth'
aka huge, no-risk, taxpayer funded bonuses for bankers. And this, despite calls
just hours earlier, for the country to pay its way. So we can all see who's pulling
Cameron's strings. Again. On the reality front, continued growth is theoretically
and practically impossible. The best we can hope for is sustainabality. Our own.
So pay off your debts if you can or take the necessary measures to start from
scratch - to owe nobody but yourselves.
turning to basic credit card snatching. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15172469
voluntarily cut petrol consumption by 15%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15176330
'The AA has calculated that petrol sales in the first six months of 2011 were
1.7bn litres less than in the same period three years ago.' This will be what's
behind the recently announced increase in the national speed limit, then. That's
a lot of lost revenue for the Government which an increase in the limit should
theoretically restore. Unless motorists continue to be sensible, of course.
fined 430,000 euros for misleading practices. http://www.deplacementspros.com/Expedia-condamnee-pour-pratiques-commerciales-trompeuses_a11487.html?preaction=nl&id=16314248&idnl=97994&
(Here you go translate.google.com
for you if you can't read French. Rough, eh? You should hear and read what the
'experts' say about how good this facility is. I bet none of them are professional
Treasury to lend to UK businesses because banks refuse to do so. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/banks-shamed-as-treasury-acts-to-help-small-firms-2365148.html
So let's get this right. Firstly, the taxpayer bails out the banks because of
their stupidity and greed. Now, the taxpayer has to step in again to do what the
banks were bailed out to do. Natural reaction? We don't really need the banks.
Sack the lot of them. Without benefits, handshakes or windfalls. Reality? The
banks didn't get the present Government elected for it to go 'native' and start
considering the best interests of the electorate.
homes worth £27,000 more. http://www.dailyfinance.co.uk/2011/10/04/rural-homes-worth-27-000-more/
And that trend will continue.
'green' cheap loans on the way to promote energy efficiency. http://www.dailyfinance.co.uk/2011/10/03/new-green-cheap-loans-on-the-way/
Well, that's the way it's being pitched, anyway. (And I thought Sainsbury's
were already operating a similar scheme?)
outage for BT broadband. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15154020
Businesses up in arms about loss of revenue, etc, etc. Yet this goes on all the
time. Perhaps the Government should come up with a plan which obliges telecomms
companies to compensate their customers for loss of business? Now that really
would be a boost to the economy.
Business School November training courses. http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/html_emails/html_e-mail_November.html
2 Impact conference, East of England. Free. http://businesslink-news.org/septemberloop11/3QN-B1G-E19M9RJA1-7QI59-1/ent2imploop.aspx?dm_i=3QN,K0G1,9M9RJ,1MJRT,1
New £50 note set for 2 November. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15122770
This is to replace the ten bob note which would last me about a week when I started
my working life.
consider relocation to cut costs. http://www.inspiresme.co.uk/news/premises/uk-smes-considering-moving-their-company-in-order-/
A third of small firms would consider relocating to cut overhead costs, research
by Make it Cheaper (MIC) and the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR)
findings reveal that Wales has the lowest business rates, while London has the
highest. Despite this, London had the highest rate of new business start ups,
with 12 for every 100 firms already in existence, compared with a UK average of
10 per 100. A spokesperson for MIC urged businesses to "ensure they have
exhausted every avenue of cost reduction, particularly large fixed costs such
as energy and insurance, before even thinking about moving."
course, if you want to do things properly, you could be thinking about relocating
to another country even, especially if you have the flexibility of being a home
business, freelance or self-employed with a portable skill, and a working grasp
of a foreign language or two. The internet as well as cheap travel can also play
a role if you want to live and pay your taxes abroad yet retain a client base
in the UK although do beware of over-estimating the value of the internet when
making these kinds of decisions.
of the best indicators to get your research under way is overseas interest in
the local property market. Poland
is the current property hotspot (as we were suggesting months ago) followed
by France and Germany. Spain still tops the overall number of searches, though.
in the UK meanwhile, house price reporting could be described perhaps, as contradictory.
Or: House prices continue to stagnate, Land Registry shows. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15089875
Or. Property prices continue to fall for the 15th consecutive month. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/oct/03/property-house-prices-fall
sites to become Enterprise Zones. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15142421
You can tell it's party conference time, with showboating for the herd. Refuse
collections going back to weekly, increase in the speed limit, easing of council
house sales to finance construction of new homes and now, Enterprise Zones for
almost two and a half thousand redundant arms industry (BAE) employees. (This
is in addition to the BAE 'enterprise zones' already in existence in Iraq, Afghanistan
with the preceding paragraph on relocation, the vast majority of those made redundant
should be OK; moral issues apart, they have engineering backgrounds and those
skills are highly transferable and in short supply. (Unlike the 1000 sailors or
so which have also just been made redundant.) Relocation however, is the answer
and not Enterprise Zones. The arms industry (and BAE is the world's largest arms
company by far) has seen its prospects shrinking for some time now, with China
becoming an increasingly important supplier to the traditional marketplace of
developing countries and thus eating into the profitability of the American, British
and French death merchants. Hence Lockeed Martin's (BAE's largest and US-based
competitor) diversification into census-gathering for the Government, worth a
neat £150 million. Which, it could now be argued by backward-thinking politicians,
would have been better spent on a British company.
the government could simply have listened to Saif Gaddafi on French tv a few months
ago, in which he suggested that instead of bombing and killing tens of thousands
of civilians in his country, France (and Britain, by deduction) should simply
enter into a dialogue if they wanted to sell, among other things, their fighter
planes. Which I bet, is just what those pesky Frenchies did. The Gaddafi family
remains free and in control of large parts of their country; the NATO invasion
remains far from being a done thing; and the French arms industry hasn't yet announced
over here, though, probably as many as a third of these redundancies will have
a go at starting their own business. Many will consider self-employment or working
from home. Three years later, 90% will have failed. And that's based on the statistical
likelihood BEFORE this Government and its gang of advisers destroyed the official
business support sector earlier this year.
As it's party conference time, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) - or
what's left of it - and now, the Institute of Directors (IoD) have announced their
plans for growth - as the Government patently doesn't have one. The same re-cycled
yet unsustainable crap which they and the bankers have used to get us and the
entire western economy to where it is today.
Trading Standards on the take from a loan company subject to consumer complaints.
reforms to scrap social housing targets. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/01/social-housing-planning-reform
Now we see our Government starting to fly its true colours in unison with the
latest call from the CBI to boost the availability of housing for first-time buyers.
The usual bullshit glossing over architectural ghettos for the common herd in
exchange for pockets-full of gold for the party's friends.
nice Sunday read for you about how the internet has changed the concept of 'home'.
Minimum wage up 15p to £6.08. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15124843
to provide office space to UK start-ups. http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/business-news/google-to-provide-office-space-to-uk-start-ups.html
Cycle Show, NEC, Birmingham 30.09.2011 - 02.10.2011. Ticket
rid of the stigma attached to business failure. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/30/labour-welfare-state-economic-growth
The points made by this article are vaild enough although terribly out of date.
(It is The Guardian, after all.) There has been a huge shift in the acceptance
of business failure in the UK for at least the past ten years whereas in the States,
it's almost de rigeur for an eventually successful business formula. What
is still needed however, is a damage limitation exercise which inhibits all the
parasites like banks, lawyers, the government adding a premium to the debts of
businesses which patently, haven't got any money left. That in turn, should reduce
the necessity for everything from welfare support to moonlighting to help our
down-but-not-out success stories of tomorrow to get going again.
our usual gratitude and thanks to BAD News and Cobweb
month's (September) Viewpoint
October 2011 contents: (October eBOSS to be posted not before
for Home Business Alliance members:
of the News
outlines measures to boost economy; Small businesses will dominate the future
business landscape in 2020, report predicts; Labour criticises 'misleading' company
creation figures; Government reveals cuts to hospitality red tape; MP backs calls
to cut VAT for hospitality sector; True cost of regulation to enterprise remains
unclear; HMRC extends checks on business record keeping; HMRC has reduced business
record check target; Legal consultant fees impact small businesse;
Legal watchdog opposes cuts to Trading Standards; New guide for property
sector on unfair trading; Construction industry shows signs of recovery; Building
industry suffers from falling workloads; Consumers planning to do more Christmas
shopping via smartphones; Youth Business International to host GEW; Scotland's
cities become hospitality hotspot; Highlands and Islands to study social enterprise;
Mystery shoppers highlight problems with procurement process; Business Gateway
called on to increase transparency of performance report; The current state of
business support: has BIS got it right or wrong?
to India . . .', by Rachael Ross and the 'How To
Work Successfully From Home Guide'
Guest Article, October 2011:
Freshening Up Your Home Office
Tax and VAT News
Latest news; Tax
cheats - where are we now?; tax
amnesty NOT just for 'plumbers'; 'plumbing'
profession to tighten up tax affairs; HMRC
guidance - can it be relied on?
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Tax Relief For Home To Work Travel - for self-employed taxpayers (article)
HMRC VAT car and van update
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join! Tax Insider plus, HMRC help business cash flow; 'HMRC launch online
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COFFEE BREAK: Cures for Insomnia
Google+ is Important for Entrepreneurs by Mitchell York
Steps to Setting Up an Online Business
Biggest Business Giveaway; Digital by Default conference; Art of Design webmag;
Innovation UK conference; Can you please help?; Cyber-security; mitigating the
threat seminar; 10 Steps To Mobile Marketing Nirvana et al; Big Offers
cash & carry; disposal of your IT equipment; half-price business card offer;
Achieving Business Excellence workshop; Creating video for the web course plus
other open course programmes; Video
Marketing Suite; Royalty-free stock photography; Savings on the move with mobile
apps plus free audio book (the Trainline);
On-line security test; Latest UPS and DHL major discounts;
Guidance for small firms considering cloud computing; Free carbon footprint calculator;
IPO guide to licensing and selling ideas; LicenceGuard;
sell your unwanted printer cartridges; easy and secure online storage; Royal Mail
business pack; free website building links; courier price comparison website;
airport parking checker and booking site; Lovefilm 30 day free trial offer, etc,