Saturday, October 11, 2014

Is Richard Branson's Limitless Holiday Entitlement Policy Really Such a Good Idea?

In Richard Branson's family offices, the employees are entitled to take as much holiday as they wish. Or so the headlines would have us believe.   Branson calls this a 'non-policy' and states that, “It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel 100% comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Impact of Minimum Wage Rise

As the National Minimum Wage rises to £6.50/hour & Ed Miliband pledges a £8 minimum wage if his party are voted in during the next election, the predictable debate about the possible impacts of these changes flares up yet again.

Miliband has made the case for raising the minimum wage by stating that one in five workers are classed as 'low paid' as they earn less than £7.71 an hour.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Does the UK have a Skills Gap?

Business groups are beginning to worry that there won't be enough young people in the UK with the skills necessary to fill the positions of those retiring.  Some are concerned that the highly skilled technical jobs will go unfilled and others fear that school leavers' literacy, numeracy and preparedness to work are inadequate.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flexible Working

With the introduction of the new flexible working laws on 30th June this year, it is important to consider what the implications will be for employees and businesses.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills claims that flexible working will bring economic benefits of £475million in 10 years, a figure which sounds suspiciously arbitrary, due to increased productivity, lower staff turnover and less absenteeism.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Economic Impact of Fracking

Despite the controversy surrounding fracking, no one can deny its impact on the US economy.  The New Statesman pointed out that this new energy self-sufficiency had driven down energy costs and increased consumer spending as a result.  Vox also demonstrates that substantial numbers of jobs have been created in states where drilling for shale gas takes place, not only in the industry itself, but also in manufacturing which has seen an increase due to the availability of cheap fuel.  With the expansion of shale gas exploration here in the UK, the House of Lords commissioned a report to see if we would experience the same economic growth.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Benefits of Soft Skills

Hiring new staff presents a whole host of challenges for a business these days. Deciding what sort of person to take on requires a great deal of thought and consideration especially when advertising for jobs that receive a large number of applications.

An article in the Huffington Post earlier this year stated that, in one part of the country, 1,700 people applied for just 8 jobs at a new branch of Costa Coffee and around 5,000 people applied for 350 jobs at a new Asda store.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crowdfunding - Canny Investments or Risky Business?

The Financial Times tells us that the alternative finance market grew by 91% over the last 12 months and is expected to top £1.6bn this year.   So, what is crowdfunding and why has it suddenly become so popular?  More importantly, is it a good idea?

Crowdfunding is a new way to finance businesses where a large number of people can invest small amounts of money in the projects of their choice.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Facebook to buy messaging app WhatsApp for £11.4Billion

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has agreed to acquire WhatsApp in order to add a secure social messaging component to their mobile application inventory. Zuckerberg went on to say that the entire WhatsApp team will be joining the group at Facebook.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Is Social Media Marketing and What Is It NOT?

Social media marketing is all about promoting a brand, product, website or person on social media networks. It is also about building up an online presence, an online brand, an online followers’ base & an online reputation, so that people start recognizing your brand.

This stage in the customers’ purchase journeys is called the ‘awareness stage’, when people are interested in learning the facts and features about new products, services and promotions). 

Friday, January 17, 2014

How to Promote Your Online Business to Rank High in Search Engines

If you are trying to get a new online business up and running, or you want more customers for your current online business, the best way to do that is by link building.

This is the process where you get web links for your business out to as many sites as you can.  This is not only going to get more people to see your links, but it will also get the search engines to notice you quicker.  In the end, you are killing two birds with one stone!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

UK retail sector sees fragile recovery

The UK retail sector is making a comeback with the rest of the economy.  A report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) shows that the high street is growing faster than at any time since the beginning of the recovery last September.

Almost half of high-street retailers report that their sales have gone up since this time last year, while just over ten percent said their receipts are down.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Yahoo & Tumblr – Will it have the same success as Google did with YouTube?

In May 2013, Tumblr was bought by Yahoo for an impressive $1.1billion; but will the merge be a successful one?

Tumblr was created by one man and it was his close relationship with the development of the site that helped keep it personal and user friendly.

Will the buyout ensure that the original use and purpose of the site is maintained, or will there be big changes?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Should big companies be allowed to offer their own degrees?

Few bosses would deny that having an educated and well-trained workforce is good for business.  But some companies seem to be taking that logic into questionable territory.

By offering degree-level qualifications for training in the retail and catering sectors, companies such as McDonald’s, KFC and now Asda risk making a mockery of both education and themselves.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bosses also reap the benefit of offering staff perks

Here’s a novel idea. If your staff are entitled to employee benefits, it might be a good idea to let them know.  Because offering employees benefits such as private health insurance – and crucially, letting your staff know they’re entitled to them – reduces staff turnover and sick leave, which ultimately saves your business time and money.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sports Direct revolutionises staff share schemes with £100k windfall

The John Lewis model ought now to be renamed the Sports Direct model.  The budget retailer owned by Mike Ashley has revolutionised employee ownership schemes by handing its shopfloor staff close to £100,000 after the value of its shares soared.

The John Lewis mutual partnership was previously held up as a the zenith of progressive business models, where profits were shared among staff, albeit very unevenly.