Franchising may be the way forward

Most people associate franchising with large brands, but it can also be an effective way for some smaller businesses, struggling to raise finance in order to expand in the present economic climate, to grow at minimal cost. The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is campaigning to raise awareness of franchising as a way forward for many viable businesses.

Do you know where your stopcock is?

Thousands of businesses at threat from winter water damage – from inside the building as one in five business owners and managers do not know how to turn the water off!

Businesses are being urged to protect themselves from the effects of internal water damage this winter following new research released today. As many as 20-30 per cent of insurance property claims costs are for escape of water from inside the building1, with the most common being from the effects of a burst pipe.

To grow or play it safe? That’s the million-dollar question…

One reoccurring topic which always seems to crop up when speaking to business owners is ‘when is the right time to bite the bullet and take the business to the next level’? When do we stop the bootstrapping and say hello to investment? I am a firm believer that all businesses can (and in most cases, should be) boot-strapped from day one. This not only saves costs, it keeps your business lean and avoids the unnecessary ‘fat’ that one could be tempted to add if investment is gained early on.

Season’s warnings

Every year, thousands of people close up their businesses and homes for the Christmas break without fully considering the disasters that could happen in their absence. According to the Fire Statistics Monitor Q3 2008-09, 10% of the 33,000 house fires that occurred in 2008 happened over Christmas – largely due to poor quality Christmas lights and flammable decorations.

The idea is just the start

Anyone with a good idea and adequate common sense can start a business, but establishing and growing it is another matter.

In the current climate, where money lending has all but dried up, orders are falling, and firms are trimming all the fat possible by cutting costs, the hard part is often working out how to grow your business.

Small business gets its own TV channel

If talk is cheap, genuinely practical advice and support is invaluable for business owners struggling to access finance and left numb by the politicians’ promises. The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has launched www.smallbusinesschannel.co.uk a free new online service advising entrepreneurs on a range of key business issues – including approaching banks for credit.