Tag : and

Business Seminars and Workshops #social #business

#business seminars


Business Seminars and Workshops

Learn New Business and Entrepreneurship Skills

Almost every day, Invest Ottawa hosts a series of seminars and workshops at 80 Aberdeen Street for anyone who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner. Our goal is to provide useful information and insights to help entrepreneurs meet the market’s ever-changing needs. These highly successful series of seminars have helped thousands of small business owners quickly ramp-up and understand the common issues faced when starting and growing a business.

The topics of the workshops vary from week to week and are determined by demand. Our speakers are experienced professionals, practitioners and entrepreneurs who share their experiences and lessons learned with you!

These workshops are free and offer practical advice on topics including:

  • Business Planning
  • E-Business / E-Commerce
  • Finance / Record Keeping
  • Government Program/Services
  • HR / Operations
  • Legal Considerations
  • Import / Export
  • Market Research
  • Marketing / Sales / Networking
  • Starting a Small Business

Our most popular seminars are repeated monthly, with more specialized topics occurring bi-monthly and quarterly. Start learning new business skills by registering for one of our upcoming seminars or workshops.

Service Contact

Upcoming Events

10 great start-up business ideas to launch in weeks: Starting a business

#start up business ideas


10 great start-up business ideas to launch in weeks

Take a look around you this morning as you drive or catch the train to work.

From the window cleaner who arrives on your street as you close the front door behind you to the coffee cart serving cappuccinos and lattes at the station, the world is full of thriving and profitable small businesses that have been set up for relatively little initial outlay.

These are not ‘clever’ businesses trading on the strength of innovative new products and nor do they require the backing of deep-pocketed investors to get them off the ground. They succeed because their owners are responding to genuine demand for tried and trusted services.

And with a low initial outlay and overheads, many of these small-scale ventures can be profitable within weeks or months and over time provide their owners with a good income.

So how do you get started? Well, to give you an idea of how it’s done, here are 10 great businesses ideas I’ve come across that you can get up and running within weeks.

1. Mopping up – household cleaning

The lower your outlay, the faster you turn a profit and that’s one of the big attractions of launching a domestic cleaning business. For instance Millie Dark, founder of Sussex cleaners, Mrs Muscle started her company with no real investment. “My customers supply all the equipment and cleaning products,” explains Millie.

Millie worked part-time for a few months before advertising in the local press and word-of mouth generated enough work to go full time. Today she employs 12 part-timers. “It’s taken me a couple of years to get that stage,” she says.

2. On cloud K9 – dog walking

A dog walking and pet sitting service can also be set up with minimal investment. For instance, when Catherine Cleaver started her business – Catherine’s Pet Services – all she needed was £500 for a couple of garden kennels.

Catherine placed a few ads in shop windows. Over time – and with the help of word of mouth recommendation and ads in the local magazine – what started as a part-time activity became a full time job.

“I was earning enough to live on after about three months,” she says “and after about a year I felt I had a sustainable business.” She succeeds by offering a range of services, including dog walking, pet visits and boarding.

3. Cutting it – home hairdressing

Many hairdressers dream of starting their own businesses but are deterred by the cost of renting a salon. Setting up a home visit service can be an ideal way forward.

There is a significant outlay on brushes, tongs, dryers, mirrors and products. “You’re talking several thousands rather than hundreds,” says Ela Lapus, founder of Home Hair and Make Up.

“And customers expect to see the same products they find in a salon. Customers will also expect evidence of recognised skills. I have Level 2 and Level 3.”

The key to profitable success is effective marketing. Hairdressers can use local ads and web directories to publicise their services. Social Media can also be effective. “About 50% of my work comes through Facebook,” says Ela.

Once the initial investment had been made Ela was able to start earning immediately but the present business, operating across several counties has taken a number of years to build.

4. A caffeine hit – mobile coffee bar

We’re a coffee hungry nation and beyond Starbucks and Costa there are thousands of small mobile barista carts selling lattes on the go.

“A coffee maker will cost about £5,000,” says Beth Baxter, co-founder of Camper Cafe. “And then you have to pay for the cart or a van to put it in.”

Prices vary but carts or trailers can cost anything between £5,000 and £10,000. The founders of Camper Cafe were given a Volkswagen van which they kitted out to become their visual signature. Training is an additional cost. Courses for coffee making can be had for between £50 and £200.

Finding pitches is the most challenging aspect as you are often in competition with other vendors. “It took us a year to find out about the market,” says Beth. “After that we took off.”

5. Juiced perfect – mobile juice bar

The rise of coffee carts has been matched by the emergence of juice bars in markets, shopping malls, public thoroughfares and events. The set-up costs are similar to coffee in terms of equipment and training.

6. Bright idea – window cleaning

If you have a car with a roof rack you can start a window cleaning business for a few hundred pounds (bucket, ladder, clothes, etc).

Alternatively you might invest in high pressure pure water sprays, water tanks (around £2,000) and a van to carry them (say £15,000). This is increasingly common.

The challenge then is to build a customer base and that tends to be up close and personal. “Initially the most effective way to do it is to knock on doors and ask,” says Guy Lupton, co-founder of Khameleon Window Cleaning Ltd.

Building a solid base can take time. “We spent about three years of trial and error to get it right,” says Guy. “We’ve been going about five.”

However, when you do get it right the business can grow rapidly. “We still knock on doors,” says Guy. “But we get a lot more business by word of mouth.”

7. Showing drive – ‘Man in a Van’ business

Advertisements for ‘Man in a Van’ and ‘Light Removals’ services are a common sight on shop window advertising boards.

The pre-requisite is a van, probably a Luton-style box van with a tail lift and that’s also the main expense. You’ll need public liability insurance (as is the case for all the businesses listed here). The ongoing costs include petrol, servicing, MOT, and repairs.

The main challenge is building a customer base and most operators use flyers, shop window ads and online directories. Man or woman in a van businesses can be quick to establish but work is required to build a market and perhaps the biggest challenge is getting the pricing right.

8. Highest bidder – an eBay business

Launching an eBay business allows you reach a national and occasionally an international market. You can auction goods or sell at a fixed price.

Most eBay businesses will pay at least £19.99 per month as a subscription fee (rising to £59.99 for a featured shop and £349 for an ‘Anchor Shop’) and on top of that you will pay fees for each auction or fixed price insertion and each sale.

To succeed on eBay you usually have to find goods that can’t be bought elsewhere or offer popular products at knock-down prices. For some it’s a part-time source of pin-money, for others a full-time business. Posters on eBay include Nasty Gal and six years after starting to sell vintage clothing on the auction site it’s now a £60m business .

9. A gem of a business – jewellery and crafts

Many small businesses are based around the skills of their founders. For instance, if you have training as a jeweller or sculptor, an obvious way to sell your work is to market direct to the public via web, craft fairs or through shops.

Tools can cost anything from a few hundred to many thousands of pounds but you can keep costs down by working from a home studio. Ongoing costs include materials, rental at craft fairs (from as little as £20 per day to more than a £1,000).

Jane Faulkner, a jeweller based in Sussex, sells via the web and craft fairs while also having shelf-space in a local co-operative (Billingshurst Creatives) where craftspeople and artists can display their goods in return for taking turns manning the store.

“Craft fairs are my biggest source of income while the shop provides a regular cheque every month,” says Jane. Teaching is also part of the business.

With these revenue streams Jane feels she has a sustainable business, but it has taken around eight years to establish.

10. Snappy work – photography

Photography is another skills-based business. Go to almost any event – from music gigs to vintage car rallies and weddings and you’ll find photographers hard at work.

As Art Hutchins, a freelancer photographer trading as Artseye points out, it’s a business that requires investment in time and money. “Being a serious pro photographer requires a high level of financial investment in good quality equipment and time to acquire the knowledge and skill to use it.”

Starting from scratch would mean buying pro-quality cameras (around £2,000) lenses (£100-£1,000), tripods and lights but many photographers who set up their own businesses will already have acquired some of the equipment over time.

According to Art Hutchins, the best approach is to decide on a target market – in his case small businesses, editorial and family portraits. “The best marketing is word of mouth,” he says.

Very different businesses but all can be started quickly and easily using readily available equipment or existing skills. Importantly most of these businesses take payment either at the point of sale or soon after and that’s great for cashflow.

Demand is there but the key is to market effectively and at the right price.

John Fagan is the head of RBS branch business, England Wales and direct banking. His team work with businesses to build a bigger support network inside the bank and beyond with partners and fellow customers. www.rbsbusinessconnections.co.uk


Useful business start up tools

Forum post of the week

Want to run a more profitable business?

More from Startups

Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR) – The Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR)

#harvard business journal


This Article addresses mutual fund governance, explaining how it has recently become entangled with the norms and rules of corporate governance. At one level, it is understandable that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and courts have viewed mutual funds as a type of ordinary corporation. Both mutual funds and corporations are separate legal entities, having directors and shareholders. Directors of each are held to fiduciary duties, charged with serving shareholders’ interests, and expected to aspire to best practices. However, there are fundamental differences between mutual funds and ordinary corporations. This Article contends that these differences have important implications for governance, differences that should lead to the disentanglement of mutual fund governance from corporate governance.

We examine firm lifecycles of 3,081 IPOs from 1996–2012. We find that small IPOs have a different lifecycle than other, larger companies. Within five years of an IPO, only 55% of small capitalization companies remain listed on a public exchange, compared to 61% and 67% for middle and large capitalization companies, respectively. We examine various theories explaining the decline of the small IPO. We find only minor evidence that regulatory changes caused the decline of the small IPO. The decline appears instead to be more attributable to the historical unsuitability of small firms for the public market. Absent economic or market reforms that change small firm quality, further regulatory reforms to enhance the small IPO market are thus unlikely to be effective or bring firms into the public market that have the horsepower to remain publicly listed.

In Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to draft rules that would require public companies to report annually on whether their products contain certain Congolese minerals. This unprecedented legislation and the SEC rulemaking that followed have inspired an impassioned and ongoing debate between those who view these efforts as a costly misstep and those who view them as a measured response to human rights abuses committed by the armed groups that control many mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This Article for the first time brings empirical evidence to bear on this controversy.

In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission made waves by deciding to regulate the nascent peer-to-peer lending industry. Only two lending platforms survived the SEC’s entry into a previously lightly-regulated market. Under this regulatory setup, the SEC would regulate the lending-investing process, while other agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission would regulate the borrower side of the business. This Article argues that the existing bifurcated system works and is continually getting better as the SEC amends existing exemptions and introduces new regulations to smooth the path for financial innovation.

Since 1977, with the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the United States Department of Justice has played a leading role in applying the Act’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions in enforcement proceedings against numerous companies and individuals worldwide. In November 2015, the Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of hiring a Compliance Counsel to guide its prosecutors in decision-making in corporate prosecutions and in benchmarking corporate compliance. This Memorandum is composed as an open letter to the Compliance Counsel, focusing on how she and the Department of Justice should go about that critical benchmarking function.

Eric J. Chang’s provocative article, www.PayDayLoans.gov: A Solution for Restoring Price-Competition to Short-Term Credit Loans—which, as its title suggests, proposes to facilitate price competition in the payday lending market by creating a federal online exchange for payday lenders to post lending rates—has sparked thoughtful reactions among consumer borrowing experts. This Response provides constructive criticism to Chang’s proposal, arguing that such an exchange is unlikely to meet its goal of restoring price competition and offering tweaks that would raise the likelihood of doing so.

Monkey Business » On a Mission to Make the World More Fun

#monkey business


We help people
to implement
new ideas!

Meille apinoille ihminen on tärkein.
Organisaatio on ihmisten päiden, käsien ja sydänten summa. Tavoitteenamme on saada sydämet ja päät toimimaan yhdessä entistä paremmin. Tällöin kädet vapautuvat ja uudenlainen tekeminen luo tekemisen kulttuurin.
Lähestymistapamme on muotoilullinen, eikä meillä ole valmiita vastauksia. Jokainen ongelma ratkaistaan yhdessä ihmisten kanssa, ihmisten tarpeisiin. Avullamme tekijät itse keksivät ratkaisut ja ideat omiin ongelmiinsa.

Tämä referenssi on ollut osa Kokeiluraportti 2/2015 -uutiskirjettämme. Käy vilkaisemassa koko kirje tästä. Emme voi kertoa organisaation nimeä tai hankkeen tarkkoja

Tämä referenssi on ollut osa Yellow Press – Kokeilut 1/2015 -uutiskirjettämme. Käy vilkaisemassa koko kirje tästä. Emme voi kertoa organisaation nimeä

Organisaatiot hakevat jatkuvasti uusia toiminnan muotoja. Toimintaympäristössä tapahtuvat muutokset edellyttävät valmiutta reagoida nopeasti, ketterästi ja tehokkaasti. On löydettävä se, missä

Vuodesta 2006 asti olemme Monkey Busineksessä tutkineet tulevaisuuden organisaatioita. Tutkimusmatkoillamme olemme toteuttaneet yli kaksisataa erilaista kehitysprojektia yli kahdessakymmenessä maassa, viidellä

Katri Viippola kertoo yllä olevalla videolla miksi on valinnut Monkey Busineksen avukseen jo kahdessa eri organisaatiossa.

Monkey Busineksen ensimmäinen virallinen iso keikka elokuussa 2007 oli Strategian lanseeraustilaisuus eräälle yritykselle Pieksämäellä. Se tarjoiltiin Tatulle ja Villelle verkoston

Monkey Business on teille oikea kumppani, jos: Haluatte muutosta toimintatapoihinne, yksinkertaisin keinoin. Haluatte, että muutos on vuorovaikutteinen ja osallistava – ihmiset saavat

Kolmas ydinteoriamme on kirjasta The Leadership Challenge.

Nonakan & Takeuchin kiteyttämä tiedon luomisen teoria on hyvä malli uuden tiedon synnyttämiselle. Tässä yksinkertaistettu malli. 1. Dialogi – käymme dialogia

Toimintamme ytimessä on dialogi. Dialogi on yhdessä puhumista ja ajattelua. Dialogin perusidea on yksinkertainen: kun yksi puhuu, niin muut kuuntelee.

Visiomme: Monkeyn visio on olla Suomelle paras lifestyle-osuuskunta. Teemme töitä sydämestä puhumisen ja välittämisen vallankumouksen puolesta. Meidän unelmamme Suomesta on intohimon

6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print

#cheap business cards


Popular Topics


Top Deals

If you’re a freelancer or you run a small business, you know that having a great is a valuable asset. However, when you’re just starting out, printing business cards can seem a little out of reach pricewise. It doesn’t have to be like that though. These days, there are dozens of low-cost printers who will do a print run of a modest amount of cards for you. All you need to do is choose your card style, add your details and put in your order.

There are even places who offer a free trial for your first batch of cards, online business cards to give you a stylish virtual presence and a great deal of variety for printed cards if you’re willing to pay a little. Check out these great options for cheap business cards that we found!

1. VistaPrint

VistaPrint have patented a way to do small runs of business cards cost effectively, thus allowing them to offer cards at a very cheap rate (normally £17.99 for 250 cards). In order to let you try them out, they also offer a 250-card print run for free if you are a new customer (but you pay for shipping). You can’t beat that!

If you’re taking up their free trial, they offer a decent range of designs to choose from and allow some personalisation. If you’re paying for a premium run, you can choose from thousands of designs, plus it’s possible to upload your logo and photos.

2. Moo

Moo has made quite a name for itself as a way of creating business cards from social media services like Facebook and Flickr. Moo specialise in creating unique cards for each customer, allowing everyone to design their own cards with their own photography and artwork or to work with templates. Moo also let you use different images on different cards, meaning that in a pack of 50 cards you can have different images on each one!

We’ve previously reviewed Moo’s quality MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at what MOO is all about and we placed several test orders with them to find out how great their print quality is. We’ll also be giving away. Read More. so we know it to be excellent. Business cards can be purchased for £10.99 for a pack of 50 and are offered in a variety of order sizes up to 600 cards for £101.97. If you want to check out Moo’s quality yourself, order a 10-card sample pack for free. It will be exactly like the premium product, but with a Moo logo printed on it as well.

3. Business Card Star

Using Business Card Star is more about the design process than anything. They allow users to design cards for printing at home, which is a real money-saver as you design and print your cards for free. Of course, they also offer a printing service with high quality cards, which will probably look more professional than the homemade variety.

There are plenty of designs to choose from, plus it’s possible to add your own photos and logos. If you’re printing at home, they charge a fee of US$10 to save a PDF of cards with your own photos and logos on them. If you are having your cards printed by them there is no extra fee for using your own images. Print runs start at US$22.95 + shipping and can be shipped to the US or Canada.

4. Business Card Land

Business Card Land works in much the same way as Business Card Star, as you can download free PDFs of your business cards for home printing or order professional printing via Business Card Star. The design process and the choice of templates are different though, so it’s worth checking out if you want a little variety.

5. Biz Card Creator

Biz Card Creator is yet another free online business card design company, but it has a more limited selection of card styles available. However, if simplicity is your thing, it may be worth trying. They do not offer printing services – in fact, they send you back to VistaPrint if you’re looking to print your cards.

6. Virtual Business Cards

Latest Giveaway

Related Articles

Latest Deals

How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a

#dog walking business


How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

1. Experience is essential

While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

2. Remember, it’s a business

While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

  • Meet owners prior to the first booking
  • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
  • Keep records of all work undertaken
  • Protect clients’ personal information

All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

4. Find a niche in the market

Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.


Useful business start up tools

Forum post of the week

Want to run a more profitable business?

More from Startups

Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP –

#grants for small businesses


Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP

There are many opportunities for businesses to obtain free support and grants, both at start-up and during growth and development.

However, keeping up to date with what is available is a task in itself, with schemes appearing and disappearing on a regular basis.

Competition is high and success does not come easy.

If you follow the RAPP process when applying for grants and support, you will improve your chance of success.

The RAPP process

R esearch – find out what grants and support are available.

A pplicant suitability – when you identify an opportunity, ensure you meet the criteria or conditions required for the funding before spending time on an application.

P reparation – take time to prepare and tailor the application to meet the specific criteria and conditions. Alternatively, P can stand for a professional who has the skill set and knowledge of the type of grant you are seeking.

P atience – take time completing your application (but without missing deadlines) and be patient waiting for the result!

Financial support in the form of grants can be found at three levels. National grants primarily focus on growth and capital investment, such as the government’s Growth Accelerator scheme, while regional grants come from a local board specifically set up to help a region that has government and local authority support.

Local grants may be available from a local council, for example subsidised rents for new start-up businesses or funding to help tidy up a high street retail unit.

There are also European grants and funding support, details of which can be found at UK Trade and Investment .

Where you live or trade may significantly increase your chances of success of getting funding, particularly if your business is in an area defined as economically disadvantaged.

It is not unknown for businesses to set up in or move to an area where regional or local assistance is more readily available.

When looking for or considering grant options, four points generally apply.

1. Nothing is free; typically you must be prepared to put in some of your own funds. It is extremely rare for a grant to finance the total cost of, say, a start-up or project, unless it is for a very small amount. Many grants require match funding ie you need to match the funding from the grant provider.

For example, Growth Accelerator is a government-backed scheme providing mentor support, coaching and workshops for businesses looking for rapid growth.

The business has to pay a contribution towards the assistance; the amount depends on the size of the business, with the government contributing to the overall cost of the support.

A grant does mean that you are not giving up part of the ownership of your business, as you would if you were seeking equity funding or repaying the money and interest as you would on bank borrowing.

2. Grants are generally available for a specific project, for example development of a new product or job creation.

Therefore your application needs to meet the criteria for which the grant or support is being provided. Grants are not generally available for just starting a business.

3. The grant scheme provider will have objectives, strategies or aims which the funding supports, for example helping with youth employment.

Understand what the objectives or aims are when completing the application.

4. You must have a business plan that explains what you require the funding for and which is tailored to the grant provider’s specific criteria and conditions.

A blanket application or plan is not going to work. On most occasions, your business plan will have to be entered into the provider’s prescribed application form.

Do not just think of grants and support as financial support. Other types of free support can come in many guises.

For example, when opening your business bank account you may be offered free book keeping software, and many local councils and chambers of commerce offer free training seminars on topics such as social media.

The type of product or service for which you are seeking funding supporting has a major impact on your chances of success. Key areas for which grants and support are readily found are:


There are a wide range of schemes and support to encourage research and development. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) provides grants and support to help develop new products and services and put them in a position to be brought to market.

Energy and environment

here are schemes specifically for developments that will improve energy efficiency or reduce environmental impact. Natural England lists a number on their website .


There is plenty of funding and support is available to develop skills, including those of the business owner, as well as support for new employees where the business will be providing training and development.

For example, the National Apprenticeship Service provides advice and support on starting a subsidised apprenticeship. Alternatively, it could mean taking on an intern from the local university for the summer with the university providing match funding to pay the student’s salary.


Politicians’ emphasis on exports driving the economic recovery have led to considerable support and assistance for businesses looking to export the goods they manufacture. UK Trade Investment provide funding and subsided advice and services to help business export their products.

Business grants are notoriously hard to come by, but there is assistance out there if you know where to look. Follow the RAPP and hopefully you will be one of the successful ones. Good luck!

Further reading on grants

Related Topics

Comments (34)

How small and medium businesses can take on flexible working

Some 57 per cent of employees say the availability of flexible working in their workplace is important to them, according to Sage data. This guide to Sage 200 Online shows why more and more businesses are turning to the cloud.

Controlling Cash Flow – Learn to master your money

Find out how five small businesses met the challenges of raising finance, from drawing up a business plan to securing investment. Complete with expert guides and tips to help you through the process.

The Vitesse Network

Further Information

Vitesse Media Plc, 14 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX T. 0207 250 7010

2016 Vitesse Media Plc

2016 Vitesse Media Plc

How to Buy and Invest in Stocks Investing Ideas and Tips #franchise

#investment ideas


Investing Ideas: How to Buy and Invest in Stocks

How to Invest in Stocks

So, you want to invest in stocks? The first rule is to invest in what you know, but it s actually not that simple. It s not enough to simply understand the underlying business you have to understand what makes a good investment, well, a good investment. There exist different schools of thought here, and investing is part art and part science. You can predict and hypothesize as much as you desire, but no one really knows exactly what s going to transpire. Some different styles of investing include:

Swing Trader

A swing trading position is held longer than a day trading position, but shorter than a buy and hold investment strategy that can be held for months or years. Typically, a tradable asset would be held for days at a time in order to profit from price changes or ‘swings. Profits can be attained by either buying an asset or by short selling.

Value Investing

A value investor believes that the market overreacts to both good and bad news. He/she would look for stocks that they believe the market has undervalued; thereby profiting by buying when the price is deflated.

Growth Investing

Growth investors invest in companies that show above-average growth. Growth investing focuses on capital appreciation. Growth investing kind of contrasts with value investing.

Great chess players don’t sit at a board and just…play.

Masters of the game have a very concrete plan of how they intend to play. They decision-making that can adapt to whatever their opponents throw at them. Investing is no different: you need a plan to guide your investment decisions!

Deciding What to Invest In

You know you are ready and willing to invest. Now it s time to decide in what. Make sure to:

Research ETFs

Find the exchange-traded fund which track the performance of the industry and check out their holdings.

Choose Sectors

Select your stocks based on specific criteria (sector, industry etc.) Use a screener to further sort companies by dividend yield, market cap and other super useful metrics.

Stay Informed

Keep up-to-date. Read stock analysis articles. Read financial news releases. Stay critical.

Types of Investments


Bonds, or fixed-income securities, are debt investments in which an investor loans money to an entity, with interest. The borrower borrows the funds for either a fixed or variable period of time.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are operated by money managers and should match the investor s objective. They are made up of a bunch of funds collected from many investors and the purpose is to invest in securities like stocks, bonds, etc.

Small-Cap Stocks

Small-cap investors are the risk takers. These small companies have huge potential for growth. However because they are often under-recognized, more research is necessary. This requires the investor to have more time available to properly crunch numbers.

Large-Cap Stocks

Large-cap investors are more conservative these guys like to play it safe. With their steady dividend payouts, these big-cap blue chip companies are as stable as they come

Penny Stocks

Penny stocks are super high risk because of their lack of liquidity. Beginners are often lured in to these stocks because of their crazy low share price. This allows investors to hold thousands of shares for a relatively small amount of invested capital. With a scale like that, the gain of just a few cents per share can translate into major returns.

Finding Good Stocks to Buy

Within each stock sector, the ultimate goal is to find the stocks that are showing the greatest price appreciation. In the same way that one would pay attention to sectors, multiple timeframes should also be examined to make sure the stock in question is moving well over time. There are two main things to keep an eye on when selecting stocks:


It isn t smart to invest in a stock that has very little volume. What if quick liquidation is required? Selling it at a fair price will be extremely difficult if not impossible. Unless you are a seasoned trader, invest in stocks that trade at least a couple hundred thousand shares per day. Save yourself the headache.


Trade in stocks that are at least $5. Don t shy away from a stock just because of its high price. Don t buy a stock just because of its low price.

Investment Ideas

Want to invest like The Greats? Take a look at the strategies these big guys used to earn their names:

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is considered a value investor. Essentially, he selects stocks that are priced at a significant discount to what he believes is their intrinsic value. When Buffett buys stocks, he buys them for keeps. This requires a lot of discipline: it s hard to resist buying or selling when the market seems perfectly ripe to act.

Buffet views the stock market as temperamental. He doesn t panic when stocks plummet, or celebrate when they skyrocket. Instead, the Oracle of Omaha maintains the keep calm and carry on mantra, only buying stocks he intends to hold indefinitely, if not forever.

Peter Lynch

Lynch is also a value investor who stresses fundamental analysis. Lynch s bottom-up approach involves focusing on an individual company, rather than the entire industry or the market as a whole. The idea here is that what really matters is the quality and growth potential of a specific company, regardless of whether the industry is under-performing or even in a tailspin.

Here are 3 additional Lynch stresses when looking at a company from the bottom up:

Good research pays off

Shut out market noise

Invest for the long term

Philip Fisher

Philip Fisher was a growth investor. He consistently invested in well-managed, high-quality growth companies. He would hold on to these for the long term. His famous fifteen points to look for in a common stock were divided up into two categories: management’s qualities and the characteristics of the business itself.

When Fisher found an investment he liked, he wasn t afraid to take an outsized position of the stock within his portfolio. In fact, Fisher sometimes downplayed the value of diversification. He often found himself scouring the tech sector because the pace of c hange there creates an environment that is ripe for disruptive innovations.

Best Stocks to Buy in 2015

Here are some best performing stocks of 2015:

Mazuma – s Holiday Business Gift Giving Guide: Part 3, Do –

#business gifts


Mazuma s Holiday Business Gift Giving Guide: Part 3, Do s and Don ts of Client Gift Giving

If you re planning on holiday gift giving for clients, customers, and employees this year, we ve got you covered! We covered what to give and who to give it to, what’s tax deductible, and now we re talking Do s and Dont s of holiday gift giving.

-Give. Don’t promote. You have all year to promote your business; allow the holidays to be a time to focus on your clients and let them know how grateful you are for them.

-Send a card. A handwritten card or personal email can be meaningful and memorable. Gift giving has lost its personal touch over the years and your client will love getting a special note from yours truly, with or without a gift.

-Keep an ongoing list of employees, clients, service providers, and others who make your business great throughout the year. The holidays are a busy time of year, making it easy to forget someone. Keeping a small list throughout the year will ease your holiday stress and keep you from overspending at the last minute.

-Set a budget. Not all client gifts are equal, but you do need to have a budget in place before you start shopping. Check out our post on tax deductible gifts (link) and amounts here before deciding how much to spend.

-Check into a company’s gift giving and receiving policy before shipping your presents. The larger the company, the more likely a specific policy is in place. You don’t want to spend unnecessary cash on a contact who is not allowed to accept your gesture. However, a hand written card will almost always suffice and show your genuine appreciation!

-Don’t wait until the last minute. Keep in mind many people take a lengthy break from work to travel during the Christmas season, so sending a gift to a client’s office on December 23 rd may not work. Try to have your gifts sent out early in December to ensure on-time delivery.

-Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a nice gift for everyone who sends you one. Again, a quick way to go over budget and not always necessary. However, be sure to send a nice thank you card expressing your gratitude or a holiday card, and add that person to the list for the next year, if need be.

-Don’t send gifts that are too personal or religious. Keep it professional in the work place and avoid gifts like clothing, perfume, and other items people have personal (and sometimes very strong!) opinions about.

-Don’t be a brown-noser. Give gifts because you’re grateful for your client, employee, boss, etc. and keep it at that. Don’t try to out-do another employee or company and keep in mind that as long as your gift is genuine and sincere, the recipient will appreciate the gesture.

The best holiday gift to give comes from the heart. Be genuine and sincere and your clients and employees are sure to appreciate the heartfelt gesture.

Types of Businesses and Forms of Business Organizations #business #applications

#types of business


A business is an organization that uses economic resources or inputs to provide goods or services to customers in exchange for money or other goods and services.

Business organizations come in different types and forms.

3 Types of Business

There are three major types of businesses:

1. Service Business

A service type of business provides intangible products (products with no physical form). Service type firms offer professional skills, expertise, advice, and other similar products.

Examples of service businesses are: schools, repair shops, hair salons, banks, accounting firms, and law firms.

2. Merchandising Business

This type of business buys products at wholesale price and sells the same at retail price. They are known as buy and sell businesses. They make profit by selling the products at prices higher than their purchase costs.

A merchandising business sells a product without changing its form. Examples are: grocery stores, convenience stores, distributors, and other resellers.

3. Manufacturing Business

Unlike a merchandising business, a manufacturing business buys products with the intention of using them as materials in making a new product. Thus, there is a transformation of the products purchased.

A manufacturing business combines raw materials, labor, and factory overhead in its production process. The manufactured goods will then be sold to customers.

Hybrid Business

Hybrid businesses are companies that may be classified in more than one type of business. A restaurant, for example, combines ingredients in making a fine meal (manufacturing), sells a cold bottle of wine (merchandising), and fills customer orders (service).

Nonetheless, these companies may be classified according to their major business interest. In that case, restaurants are more of the service type they provide dining services .

Forms of Business Organization

These are the basic forms of business ownership:

1. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by only one person. It is easy to set-up and is the least costly among all forms of ownership.

The owner faces unlimited liability ; meaning, the creditors of the business may go after the personal assets of the owner if the business cannot pay them.

The sole proprietorship form is usually adopted by small business entities.

2. Partnership

A partnership is a business owned by two or more persons who contribute resources into the entity. The partners divide the profits of the business among themselves.

In general partnerships, all partners have unlimited liability. In limited partnerships, creditors cannot go after the personal assets of the limited partners.

3. Corporation

A corporation is a business organization that has a separate legal personality from its owners. Ownership in a stock corporation is represented by shares of stock .

The owners (stockholders) enjoy limited liability but have limited involvement in the company’s operations. The board of directors. an elected group from the stockholders, controls the activities of the corporation.

In addition to those basic forms of business ownership, these are some other types of organizations that are common today:

Limited Liability Company

Limited liability companies (LLCs) in the USA, are hybrid forms of business that have characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership. An LLC is not incorporated; hence, it is not considered a corporation.

Nonetheless, the owners enjoy limited liability like in a corporation. An LLC may elect to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation.


A cooperative is a business organization owned by a group of individuals and is operated for their mutual benefit. The persons making up the group are called members. Cooperatives may be incorporated or unincorporated.

Some examples of cooperatives are: water and electricity (utility) cooperatives, cooperative banking, credit unions, and housing cooperatives.