How to find an office space: An SME guide

| February 25, 2020

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In this exclusive Real Business guide, we look at how SME employers can find the best office space for them and their growing team. The average British worker will spend over 90,000 hours of their life in an office, equating to flying from the UK to Bali 18,056 times. If you are an SME employer tasked with managing staff and multitasking between many different roles, the time you spend in ‘the office’ goes up even more. But working in an office is not only taxing on an employer’s free time, but it can also put a strain on your wallet –  particularly if you’re the one paying for the office space. The average office space costs business owners an average of £50,000, with prices fluctuating the closer you are to the major UK cities. This is why many SMEs with smaller teams are opting for flexible office spaces with shared facilities as they can cost anywhere from as little as £200 per person.

Spotlight

American Kiosk Management

As the largest Owner-Operated specialty retailer in the world, American Kiosk Management (AKM) has proudly served over 50 million guests, amassing more than $1.5 billion in sales for Proactiv®, our largest client. Founded in 1997, AKM is the trusted leader in direct-to-consumer retail operations for some of the world’s top brands. We have perfected the art of specialty retail marketing, having operated over 1,000 carts, kiosks, pop-up stores and automated retail locations throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand.

OTHER ARTICLES

7 Must-Have Google Tools for Small Businesses

Article | March 9, 2020

Small budgets and small businesses tend to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, the tools you need to manage your digital marketing campaigns successfully tend to eat away at that budget. These seven must-have tools from Google each fill a critical need at a low cost, and some are free.

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How Small Businesses Can Get the IT Support They Need

Article | March 9, 2020

Of all the challenges facing small businesses, staffing is among the most difficult. Finding someone with the right skill set who fits into a company culture while sharing in an organization’s mission can be a tough needle to thread for any open position, but it is particularly challenging for IT departments. The skills gap isn’t a myth. A survey from CareerBuilder found that 60 percent of U.S. employers have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer, a problem HR managers say costs an average of $800,000 annually. The Centre for Economics and Business Research calculated that the skills gap costs American businesses $160 billion every year.

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The Four Most Conventional Small Business Legal Issues Confronted

Article | March 9, 2020

While small business owners are typically preoccupied with the day-to-day operations of their businesses, they frequently ignore the small business legal issues and obstacles that they are likely to encounter in the future. Thus, it is a pressing need of an hour, majorly after the COVID-19, to identify their legal challenges and be well prepared for them. The neglected or untimely addressing of the legal issues could cost you a big deal and prove disastrous, and might even be challenging to recover. This article will describe legal issues affecting businesses and how to avoid them tactfully. There are myriad essential aspects of the business to be considered, such as overhead costs, marketing, employee management, business & marketing budget, etc. Among all these, legal aspects of business also hold a similar level of importance but are usually underestimated issues for business. Legal counsel from a reputable legal firm can guide you in identifying prospective issues and preparing for the future. Spend time ensuring that your firm is legally solid. Here are the most common small business legal issues encountered, and you should be cautious about. Establishing the Wrong Business Structure Establishing the wrong business structure stands first in the list of legal issues and is also critical. The business entity is classified into sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp, and each has its own set of tax structure and legal obligations. However, registering under the wrong ones has a severe repercussion. Business law issues are not limited to tax laws; state and federal legislation changes may also impact a company's risk profile. Contracts are another significant legal issue raised by COVID-19. Unfortunately, once the courts begin to normalize their work environment, precedence will be given to criminal and family law proceedings. Thus, resulting in delays in contract disputes, which will have to wait years to be resolved. Inadequate Protection of Intellectual Property Businesses are constantly developing new and distinctive ideas, technologies, products, and marketing strategies. However, many small business owners believe that intellectual property issues are not their responsibility and only large corporations deal with them. This is the reason often these legal aspects of business are a common issue among small businesses. It is advisable to do in-depth research before naming your business or launching any new products or services to avoid using and enforcing identical trademarks, which will count as infringement. The consequences of infringement are atrocious. The owner will have to alter their name and suffer legal consequences, including damages and attorney's costs. Without trademark registration, ventures risk losing the right to their branding, wiping out years of effort and investment. Securing a trademark registration precludes the occurrence of any of these issues and inconveniences. It is needful to protect intellectual property and law for small businesses. So, consult an expert attorney or business adviser to identify what should be secured by copyright, patent, or trademark. Improper Licensing Every business must have a valid license to operate. However, it may be perplexing and challenging for novice business owners. Before you may lawfully trade, you must obtain a license. Improper licensing leads to business law issues and is one of the most common small business legal issues. Government licensing requirements vary according to the kind, size, and location of the firm. Additionally, the business license is contingent upon the goods or services provided by the business. Therefore, licensing costs vary according to location. Obtaining a license for your particular business demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about your industry and are capable of operating the appropriate equipment. If you are discovered conducting business without the proper license, you may face severe fines or possibly have your business activities halted. An experienced small business lawyer will help you through the paperwork and ensure that your business is properly licensed. Not Hiring or Firing Employees the Right Way Among many legal concerns, one of the most frequent business legal issues for small businesses are improper employment or termination of workers. Unfortunately, numerous small business owners make the error of employing or terminating staff without proper paperwork or agreement. Inadequately executed agreements or employee contracts expose your small business to litigation. Having a written contract is necessary and differs as per the employees whether they are full-time, part-time, and casual. The written contract includes information about the employee and employment details such as: Stipulate payment Rights and responsibilities of the employees Benefits Termination clauses Date the contract was signed Potential reasons for termination The employment contract needs to clarify the terms of employment, conduct, grounds of termination, expected behavior from employees, etc. Employees are asked to abide by this contract. In case of violation, within your legal rights, you can terminate their employment and safeguard every small business's needs. If you have employees or contractors, you must adhere to small businesses' federal and state employment laws. Conclusion Dealing with the legal aspects of business is not a pleasant task, but you cannot ignore it, and if you do, you may have to pay the price. Small business legal issues are critical business law issues that impact a large number of small business owners. Few small business owners are familiar with the legal elements of a business. It is crucial to engage a legal team to assist you in navigating it smoothly and avoiding the danger of destroying the future of your business. Frequently Asked Questions: What are the primary legal issues that small businesses face? Small businesses face many legal issues in their business operation, but the major ones are: Establishing the Wrong Business Structure Shareholders' Agreement Improper Licensing Inadequate Protection of Intellectual Property Not Hiring or Firing Employees the Right Way Response to Changes in the Law and Regulations Employee Termination How can a business overcome legal issues? Below are few tips for businesses to overcome legal issues: Recognize your regulations Inform yourself about labor laws. Acquaint yourself with intellectual property Select the appropriate attorney Maintain Vigilance { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the primary legal issues that small businesses face?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Small businesses face many legal issues in their business operation, but the major ones are: Establishing the Wrong Business Structure Shareholders' Agreement Improper Licensing Inadequate Protection of Intellectual Property Not Hiring or Firing Employees the Right Way Response to Changes in the Law and Regulations Employee Termination" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can a business overcome legal issues?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Below are few tips for businesses to overcome legal issues: Recognize your regulations Inform yourself about labor laws. 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How to Establish a Small Business in Tough Economic Times – A Massive Challenge

Article | March 9, 2020

Starting a small business is challenging due to tough economic times in this pandemic. However, this time is both a blessing and a test to conquer. The world economy has suffered significantly because of COVID-19. Additionally, the tough times exposed company owners to unforeseen and unfathomable difficulties and compelled them to devise novel business methods. As a result, starting a firm became more accessible, as new owners could enter the market with specific recession-savvy equipment and techniques. Crucial obstacles to beginning a new small business during challenging economic times include: A sluggish economic recovery. Uncertain consumer spending. Funding was becoming scarce due to tight credit markets. According to The Wall Street Journal, numerous major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Chase, and Capital One, have tightened lending rules in response to the uncertain financial environment. Despite the challenges mentioned earlier, a new small business can succeed with proper preparation and business strategy. According to New Business Statistics, applications fell to slightly more than 1.1 million in the 4th quarter of 2020 before increasing to 1.37 million in the first quarter of 2021. Then the figure increased to 1.44million in the second quarter. More than 448,000 new company applications were lodged in June 2021 alone. Mentioned statistics show that launching a small business during this economic downturn is also possible, albeit with some caution. This article will put forward a few tips to be considered when going for a new small business in tough economic times. Create A Well-Researched Business Plan 2020 was one of the challenging economic times in history. The success of every firm is contingent upon its business plan; small business owners must have a well-researched business plan. Therefore, small business survival is heavily reliant on a sound and well-planned business strategy. Since tough economic times have altered market demands significantly, you should build your company plan accordingly. Work on many business factors such as marketing costs and tactics, budget planning, pricing strategy, sales strategy, personnel capacity, and needed infrastructure, among others. Difficult economic times may work to your advantage as well since fewer competitors mean less competition and lower overhead expenses. Consider all the obstacles associated with the pandemic's time and tailor your business plan accordingly. If you intend to pitch your firm to investors, your business plan does not have to be complex. Securitize Capital for Investment The economy received a significant blow due to COVID-19, and many financial lenders tightened their lending requirements by demanding a higher credit score and income verification. Numerous financing alternatives exist, including personal savings, personal or small business credit cards, bank loans, venture capital, crowdsourcing, and angel investors. Before considering pursuing any of the mentioned options, consider having your business plan examined by expert advisers, close friends, or a loan officer. With a well-planned company strategy, it is feasible to securitize funds for investment. However, before getting funding, ensure that you have a financial backup plan in place for both your business and personal affairs. Then, budget carefully to ensure that you can afford the other critical payments. Credit cards are the most often used form of financing amid tough economic times. Enlightened Market Savvy Evaluate your redesigned company plan and develop game-changing new marketing components that include innovation. By narrowing your focus, you increase your chances of success. Keep a careful watch on your competitors to develop an intelligent marketing and promotion strategy and budget for marketing. Competitive assessments educate you about your competitors' strategies and advertising tactics. In addition, competitive analyses can provide you with the vision necessary to develop polished and intelligent marketing strategies. You need to make a list of what you're giving. For example, what is the nature of your product/service? Who is your target audience for your business? Which social media platform would you utilize to promote your business? By segmenting your clients, you may increase the effectiveness of your marketing. For instance, if your firm sells sports items, you should target young clients interested in pursuing a career in sports. This will ensure that your marketing approach is highly effective. Utilize Cutting-Edge Technologies Cutting-edge technology in businesses is the newest trend in reaching out to customers in a tough economic time. By leveraging contemporary technology, you may automate several areas of corporate operations, resulting in cost savings. Utilize cutting-edge digital technologies such as cloud-based apps and software to streamline company processes while being cost-effective. Online marketing, namely online advertising, may help you reach out to the relevant audience and offer your products and services. Several advantages of contemporary technology include the following: Increased brand visibility. Additional payment options. Enhanced security. Easy remote operation. More in-depth market research. Act with Consummate Customer Service When you give outstanding customer service, you may build stronger customer relationships. Conversely, as is frequently stated, one negative review from a client may jeopardize your entire existing customer. It is critical to provide timely and pleasant service to your consumers, especially in tough economic times. Excellent client relationships do not arise by accident; they require much effort. You can give excellent customer service and keep your clients satisfied by following the below tips: Make your consumers feel valued for their patronage. Anticipate and resolve client issues before they become a significant issue for your organization. Attend to their inquiries and respond. They are deserving of being heard and appreciated. Provide an excellent support network and a diverse array of client resources. Anticipate what services the consumer will require in advance. Develop A Robust Networking Infrastructure Networking is pivotal for reaching out to consumers during tough economic times to start a small business. Connect with other entrepreneurs, meet your competitors, visit your suppliers, and keep a contact list of everyone you know. Expanding your network enables you to establish relationships with people; in exchange, they may suggest clients to you and vice versa, thus assisting in the growth of your organization. You can join a local business networking organization, attend business seminars, or become a member of professional associations. Exchange business cards, exchange information about your product/service supplied and seek out their experience or perspectives, which they will share with other small business owners, assisting you in expanding your network. Often, the small business owner's networking activities provide the most extensive returns in their firms. FAQs: How can you start a small business with tough times? You may establish a small business during difficult economic times and succeed. The key to success is building a well-researched and solid business plan, getting adequate finance, designing an intelligent marketing strategy, and cultivating vital networking. How do you deal with tough economic times? While difficult economic circumstances can make any company owner anxious about making choices, it is critical to be mindful of the economy and cautious with long-term planning. Concentrate on rivals' methods and entice clients away from them. Try to learn from their successes and mistakes and provide your consumers with something more or different from what your competitors provide. How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times? Provide your consumers with unique discounts on your products/services. Respond quickly to their questions or concerns, establish a customer loyalty program, and engage them on social media. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can you start a small business with tough times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "You may establish a small business during difficult economic times and succeed. The key to success is building a well-researched and solid business plan, getting adequate finance, designing an intelligent marketing strategy, and cultivating vital networking." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you deal with tough economic times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "While difficult economic circumstances can make any company owner anxious about making choices, it is critical to be mindful of the economy and cautious with long-term planning. Concentrate on rivals' methods and entice clients away from them. Try to learn from their successes and mistakes and provide your consumers with something more or different from what your competitors provide." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Provide your consumers with unique discounts on your products/services. Respond quickly to their questions or concerns, establish a customer loyalty program, and engage them on social media." } }] }

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Spotlight

American Kiosk Management

As the largest Owner-Operated specialty retailer in the world, American Kiosk Management (AKM) has proudly served over 50 million guests, amassing more than $1.5 billion in sales for Proactiv®, our largest client. Founded in 1997, AKM is the trusted leader in direct-to-consumer retail operations for some of the world’s top brands. We have perfected the art of specialty retail marketing, having operated over 1,000 carts, kiosks, pop-up stores and automated retail locations throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand.

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