Friday, 23 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Not enough capital
Growing too fast
Hiring the wrong people
Lack of experience in the team
Too few customers
Poor financial controls
Poor control of your overheads
Poor communication with staff
Health issues of the key people
Bad management & Poor supervision
Poor communication with suppliers
Poor communication with customers
Monday, 12 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
buildings & contents (fire, theft, damage)
key person cover
goods in transit
loss of stock
specialised requirement (eg retailers shop front)
This is not a comprehensive list and there may be insurances specific to your business or sector. Hopefully you will never need to claim, but we recommend that you take independant specialist advice in this area.
Friday, 9 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Do you have your eyes and ears open online and looking for opportunities? It is perhaps not as time consuming as we think with many tools automating such activity for us. For example,
Google Alerts to track keywords and phrases
LinkedIn groups for threads and discussions
LinkedIn connections for referral contacts
Following and reading blogs or forums for clues
Searching Twitter for keywords or conversations
Searching Facebook for fan pages and discussions
Friday, 2 December 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
We are now delighted to be able to offer a Cloud based verision of the DVD, thereby allowing business owners to simply share the content between their first aiders. With a personalised hosted service, secured with a log in, the up to date content can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Please see more on our web site about the First Aid Cloud or click here to see our trailer.
Friday, 18 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Friday, 28 October 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
How do we arrange a free review?
There are some straightforward forms to complete, available from Alan Sowden on 01865 379272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 14 October 2011
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Please email Mike Foster with your thoughts. Your contribution to our content planning would be much appreciated and therefore in return, we will send you a free copy once available.
Monday, 10 October 2011
Saturday, 8 October 2011
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Profile - who are you sharing your connections with? Are people linking with you just because they want to meet one of your contacts? Or vice versa, do you want people to know you have viewed their profile?
Groups, companies etc - Are you sharing with 3rd party applications?
Account - Social advertising! Are you allowing use of your name & photo to advertise to you?
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Monday, 3 October 2011
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Monday, 19 September 2011
If so, why not change it to something more meaningful like your 'ABC Ltd web site'.
To do this, click on Edit next to the web site name, choose the drop down box where it says Company website and select other. You can then type your chosen description.
Whilst you are there just check you have 100% completeness of your profile.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Friday, 16 September 2011
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Friday, 9 September 2011
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Can you make small transformations in different areas of your business to contribute to your business growth? It is really just a systemised approach that is required. Can you:
- Increase the number of leads you generate - marketing
- Convert more prospects into customers - sales
- Get paid more - pricing strategy
- Sell more to each customer - cross sales
- Encourage customers to buy more often - sales and service
- Increase the lifetime of each client - Retention policy
However be sure about your direction. Who do you want as a customer? Who is your ideal customer (eg sector, size, age, personaility, fee level, terms, trading position etc). Then understand what THEY really want.So if your strategy is similar to these 6 steps, then are they customers that will be easier to convert because of your focus, willing to pay or buy more and be loyal to you?
Thursday, 1 September 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
Monday, 22 August 2011
Saturday, 20 August 2011
If you employ staff, I hope that you never encounter this. It is one of the worst things that an employer has to deal with. You not only have an employee who has done something seriously wrong, you have to confront them about it AND you have to deal with the consequences of their wrong actions for the company. It can be as simple as sleeping at your desk, to being rude to clients and losing them, to embezzlement.
To make the process go smoothly and not be any more painful than it is going to be, here is a practical and straight-forward way to approach the situation.
Gross misconduct is often a long list in the handbook, covering a multitude of sins.If you have any suspicions of gross misconduct, then you need to suspend the person IMMEDIATELY (on full pay). Otherwise the lawyers will argue that there was no “breach of trust/contract”. If there had been, you would have removed them from the building immediately.
If you let them work to the end of the day, or even after lunch, then you will only be able to give them a Final Written Warning.The aim is to stop lawyers accepting tribunal claims on a “no win, no fee” basis. You can’t stop people starting claims. However if they have to pay legal fees out of their own pocket, then they will think twice about continuing.
- Hold a disciplinary meeting to hear their side of the story
- Make your decision
- Allow an appeal
- Reconsider your decision
- Make your final decision
- Await the tribunal form (only half kidding!)
This article was kindly provided by Carolyne Wahlen of Gap HR who offer a service, HR in a box, which is designed to increase your people management competence so that you are able to deal with staff issues with less struggle and effort. This means that you can spend more time with what you love in your business: working with your clients. We recommend a call to Carolyne on 01491 699 552 to see how she can help!
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
If your business requires external financial or marketing skills, then please consider an A1 company to provide this support for you.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
I was at a networking event and to have something to discuss over breakfast, our host said we should all get out business cards out and vote on our tables (of 10) for the best one. These will then be passed to the front and the best one from all 12 tables will win a prize.Business cards were distributed to everyone on our table and we held up our favourite. I help up my own. All but one other of the ten people held up mine too. One lady said, "but you've voted for your own?". "Of course" I said. "I'm voting for the best one." She then put mine down and held up her own. I still won of course by 9 votes to 1.What would you do in a similar situation? Assuming there's not an amazingly good card around like mine, would you hold up your own? If not, why not?Are you too ashamed to hold up your cheap, flimsy embarrassing cards that you've invested not time and effort in or that still has the old logo on, or are those free ones with the generic stock image every plumber uses? If so we REALLY need to talk.You wouldn't go out to a business meeting to see potential clients in a big bag, or still dressed in your pyjamas so why send your business's brand out there dressed as a buffoon?
To read more about Ayd and sign up for your own copies of his excellent news, please visit www.aydinstone.com
Friday, 5 August 2011
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Most people say that the Summer months are poor months for marketing and cold calling to create new leads. But there may be some benefits of continuing your usual strong sales push as:
- If your target prospect is quieter in the Summer months, then the key decision makers may have more time for you
- Most people are only away for one or two weeks and not the full summer!
- The gatekeeper may be on holiday!!
- The decision maker will be expecting less calls in this period, so may not be so guarded or may even be willing to speak as you are one of the fewer calls?
- It can be easier to get the decision makers name, as gatekeepers find it easy to say they are on holiday rather than some other reasons given. You will also be able to establish when that person is back from leave
But most of all your sales and marketing is an all year activity. If you turn it off in the Summer, your pipeline for the Autumn months will be minimal and it is always more motivating to start activity with something in the bag
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
Friday, 22 July 2011
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Friday, 15 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Monday, 11 July 2011
- Include a letter and not just a sample
- Who you sent to is more important than what you send, so know your market, research the right contacts and find a decision makers name
- Use the word 'you' not 'me' to better engage the reader
- Use testimonials, as others saying you are great is much stronger than simply stating it yourself
- Get it opened, so don't give away too much on your envelope and consider hand writing the address
- Make an impact when it is opened, either the words, the offer or something different like a 3D mailing
- Don't forget your call to action, what do you really want the reader to do next?
- Follow up the mailing with a telephone call
- Measure the response AND success rates, so not just who responds but who buys if that is your reason for the mailing
- Test small, find your success model and role it out with a larger mail list, as the percentage response rate will be similar for the larger mail out
Friday, 8 July 2011
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Know your customer before and during the relationship, with credit checks and intelligence, but don't get too close as some lean on that level of relationship
Define and set your credit limits, ensuring they are respected by the finance AND sales team
Know your customers authorisation process and check your invoice is being processed as expected
Have timely and accurate management information showing your debtors position
Be assertive with your debt collection policy and do not miss one of the letters, telephone calls or warnings that you propose to send
Identify the early warning signs, such as knowing the payment excuses such as no one here to sign the cheque, need to discuss with ....
Make use of the Late payment of commercial debt act and apply interest to overdue payments
Friday, 1 July 2011
The Pathfinders name comes from an RAF squadron that helped mark the targets for bomber planes during World War Two, so it seemed an appropriate name considering the fact we feel the content of our meetings will help you with the direction of your business.
You may know that Mike from A1 has been working with SMI UK for the last 12 months for his own business and personal development. Mike says "SMI have made a real difference to my business and personal life. I have received much theory from past corporate training, but SMI really have given me the tools to actually make the theory happen. So I spoke with John at SMI and we agreed to share the SMI methods in a group format, hence the formation of the club"
The Pathfinder club www.pathfinderclub.co.uk meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. To find out more please see the web site, speak to us or even visit a meeting to see for yourself.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
- Be clear on the mission
- Plan and prepare
- Understand your battlefield
- Lead from the front
- Stay positive
Saturday, 25 June 2011
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Friday, 17 June 2011
A1 Financials Ltd - a bookkeeping franchise for people wishing to run their own business
A1 First Aid - First aid training and supplies plus our First Aid DVD, a comprehensive DVD for refresher knowledge
A1 Marketing - hands on marketing support to ensure you deliver your marketing goals and InTouch email marketing / database software
The Oxford Business Network - relationship networking based on 'people buy people'
The Treehouse play centre - indoor childrens soft play centre in Didcot
The Oxford Cupcake company - delicious home made cupcakes for all occasionsOffices now in Kidlington and Didcot.
We would of course be delighted to support your business, so if we can assist in any way then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01865 378559 or 01235 819320.
Saturday, 11 June 2011
- Ringfence your existing accounts - review your relationships and do not be complacent as competitors will be active
- Target your prospecting - The quality of your prospecting is one of the biggest factors on how successful you are.
- Increase your activity - High level of activity, good quality activity, with the right mindset
- Become a valued salesperson - earn the position of a valued resource for your customers
- Plan your attack - Win customers from your compeitors and distract them! Motivational for your team.
- Manage your own motivation - a compelling reason to make sales
- Sharpen your sales skiils - techniques are always being tweaked, be up to date, take tips and advice from trusted sources,
Friday, 10 June 2011
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
When analysing our marketing activity, we have always found our newsletters be one area that achieves the results we desire.Email newsletters are a powerful tool that can be used to boost your marketing efforts, without draining your marketing budget. They provide a platform to discuss issues happening in your market, your customers’ potential concerns due to economic shifts and new tips, tools or products.They are also a way of keeping in touch with your network on a regular basis, reminding your contacts about your business and how you can help them or their contacts.Offering a newsletter benefits you in multiple ways, including:
Helping to build your email list
Establishing you as an expert in your service or product arena
Providing a great reason to reach out to your list – keeping your company Top Of Mind
Enabling you to establish a strong Loyalty program
Driving traffic to your site
However you should avoid key mistakes such as sending unsolicitated emails or using your newsletter simply as a brag piece or an advertisement. Each communication should have a clear “call to action” and always include contact information and links to your web site.
There are 4 key stages for your communications. Database, delivery success, open success, conversion.Here at A1 we can help you send email communications such as newsletters and promotional messages in the following ways:
DIY - use of the online software tool InTouch. See web site or request a demo
SUPPORT - we can oversee your DIY, to ensure you are delivering communications to your objectives.
INTEGRATED - we can help build your communications, once you have provided the content
FULL SERVICE - we can source the content, design and send the communication, providing valuable feedback
To find out more about these support services, then please call us on 01865 378559
Sunday, 5 June 2011
Friday, 3 June 2011
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Friday, 27 May 2011
Monday, 23 May 2011
Friday, 20 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
6th July - P11d(b) Expenses & benefits return, deadline due to HMRC
1st July - Bribery act comes into force
1st October - New minimum wage rates apply
31st October - Paper filing of tax return, deadline date
31st January - Online filing of tax return, deadline date
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
In just seven days more than 6,000 ideas and suggestions have been made.
The scheme is part of the Government’s Plan for Growth initiative and was launched by the Prime Minister on 7 April, giving the public the chance to have their say on the 21,000 regulations that affect their everyday lives.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Friday, 6 May 2011
Thursday, 5 May 2011
HERE'S THE FIX: On your homepage click the "Most Recent" title on the right of the Newsfeed, then click on the drop down arrow beside it and select "Edit Options". Click on "Show Posts From" and change the setting to "All Of Your Friends and Pages" (you can also access the "Edit Options" link at the very bottom of the Facebook homepage on the right)
Note: Business pages do not have a newsfeed. Owners of business pages should adjust the settings on their personal accounts
Sunday, 1 May 2011
- Full of ideas, but little implementation?
- Isolated in the management of your business?
- Aware of the theory, but unsure of the practical proven steps?
- Working long hours as others take control of your time?
The Pathfinder Club is a platform for business owners to further develop their businesses, to maximise profits, create a motivational environment, and take their company to the next level. Pathfinder Club meetings offer you an encapsulating programme that covers all elements of running a business. Led by experienced mentors, the meetings cover every aspect of business success over a 12 month period, whilst also giving you practical and straight-forward implementation tools, developed and shared by SMI, across the world, with thousands of pro-active business owners.
Think back to when you first established your company...... How did you imagine your life would be? Is your life today, the way you pictured it to be?
If not, then the Pathfinder club may be for you?Mike can be contacted on 01865 378559 or 07717 372446 email@example.com
Monday, 25 April 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Friday, 15 April 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
Monday, 4 April 2011
Friday, 1 April 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Friday, 18 March 2011
In addition, if you are in your first year of VAT registration you get a 1% reduction in flat rate. This means you can take 1% off the flat rate you apply to your turnover, until the day before your first anniversary of becoming VAT registered. Note that the entitlement to apply the reduction runs for the 12 months following the date of registration for VAT and not the date you join the FRS.For more details please see the HMRC web site
Monday, 14 March 2011
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Use of Facebook and other social media continues to grow. With the launch of a new app for the Iphone almost every hour and the media driving online readership, online usage for our messages will only increase.
Having seen the benefits of Facebook recently for a new product launch as part of a marketing model we implemented, we have recently then seen the potential downside if your presence is not managed. It was fantastic for raising awareness of the new product, even exciting to see the 'following' numbers grow and grow. It was also another way of interacting with the potential customers, as comments have to be proactively managed and the postings reviewed regularly.
However human nature appears to be a strange animal to manage! Very few people added positive comments, although many 'likes' were clicked on a regular basis as the product launch took place. But then a negative comment gets added to the page without even being raised with the business! So it is too easy for someone to comment from a distance as it is less personal for them or is our culture changing so much that this is how people now work and communicate?
One key move we have made for this Facebook representation is to work closely with a small group of the followers, so now if anything even slightly negative appears (sometimes from the competitors, so obvious!) then these followers jump on the comment with overwhelming positive reactions. Thereby now making the fear of potentially receiving negative comments something the business looks forward to!
Friday, 11 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
We have recently won new work from discussions within a financial based discussion forum, learnt some new useful information to integrate into our business model and also generated enquiries for our bookkeeping franchise, simply by sharing our expertise or creating new discussions. By launching forums for a couple of our clients and voluntary groups, we have found a new strategic direction for consideration when areas of interest in that business or group have been discussed in the forum.
However can we rely on everything that is posted? We have seen a number of replies or comments acting as advice to a question that has been technically incorrect and sometimes very misleading. So, as always, we recommend to check the sources with other information when approriate. As always continue to measure the value of using areas like forums, but we do believe the right ones can help your marketing, competitor awareness, research and decision making.
Friday, 4 March 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Have you considered comparing your business results against others in your line of business? Why not take a look at the Benchmarking service offered by Chapman Robinson & Moore accountants, A great way to compare your key numbers and performance indicators for that wider picture.
Friday, 18 February 2011
Friday, 11 February 2011
Details about our bookkeeping franchise can be found at www.a1financials.co.uk
For more details, please see www.firstaiddvd.co.uk
Saturday, 5 February 2011
This may not be simply down to your service or the perceived value of your offering, but simply the external factors impacting many business owners that is forcing us all to look at our day to day costs.
Many businesses are seeing their cost of sales increase. We have heard in the press the likely impact of the increased cost of materials like cotton, metals or food supply. Additionally we have the ever rising fuel costs. So most people are facing increased costs, and with the VAT rise recently increasing some sales prices already and our margins being continually squeezed, as business owners we feel it is difficult to raise prices in the current climate.We recommend that you keep good communication with your customers and understand the factors impacting their business. Then if they come to speak to you, it will not be a surprise and you will be prepared for your response instead of being caught on the spot!
Friday, 4 February 2011
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the Government's pledge to help make small business rate relief automatic. This is great news, as some business owners do not know they can claim. See more details and the press release by clicking here
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Friday, 21 January 2011
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Last year, A1 First Aid joined forces with Concept Filming to produce a First Aid Refresher DVD. To develop the offering further, we have recently partnered with Planetwise to bring the DVD onto an E-Learning platform.
The E-learning platform will provide businesses with the content on a licence basis to use across their employee base and critically for some businesses log who has watched which elements and when.
For more details or a demonstration, then please contact us on 01865 378559.
Friday, 14 January 2011
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
As announced in last years emergency budget, with effect from the 4th January 2011, the standard rate of VAT will increase to 20%.