Becoming a personal trainer

Personal training is a highly rewarding profession that offers plenty of opportunities to specialise. If you want to be a personal trainer, you’ll need a detailed knowledge of a range of disciplines including nutrition and biology. There are many different training avenues available, so you can pick the one that suits you best.
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An SME guide to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Traditional marketing tools have evolved. Small business owners now have a huge number of choices when it comes to raising their firm’s profile, from local adverts, flyers and brochures, to online searches, reviews sites and social media. Sham Hussein, Marketing Executive for Yell in the UK, explains how SMEs can maximise their opportunities online...
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Q&A: Mike Walker - CountyClean

Mike Walker is founder of CountyClean Environmental Services, a Sussex-based provider of waste cleanup and management with over 35 years combined experience in the industry. Mike launched the business in 2007.
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Case study: part of the whole is stronger than the sum for Byotrol

Stephen Falder is Deputy Chairman of Byotrol plc and also the company's Business Development Director. Byotrol is a brand new hygiene technology that delivers broad-spectrum, long-lasting, antimicrobial protection.
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What advice would you give to an entrepreneur starting their first business?

If you're about to start your own business or are in the process of doing so, these top tips from successful small businesses will help you ensure you're on track at all times.
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How to negotiate a mutually agreeable contract

Put in its simplest terms, a contract is a mutually binding agreement between two or more people or parties of legal age. When entering a contract, is it not always likely that all parties will immediately agree upon the terms – therefore, negotiation will be required.

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Starting a crèche

Starting a crèche is challenging for a number of reasons, not least the wide range of regulations and laws you’ll have to comply with because of your close working relationship with children. Financially, running a crèche can also be tough, as profit margins are low and overheads high. However, it can be a very rewarding business.

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OPINION: Feed in Tariff update - what businesses need to be aware of planning ahead

Since the launch of the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT) Scheme in April 2010, there have been more twists and turns than your average TV soap opera. Except with FIT, business owners do not have the option of switching the TV off. Instead they have to pick up the pieces from the trail of changes and confront how it will affect their bottom line and future business plans.

With a series of new changes to the Scheme due to take effect from the 1 April 2012 and even more expected in July and October this year (as a result of  the rollout of Phase 2 of the FIT consultation) businesses could be forgiven for feeling confused. 

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Improving your internal processes

Is your small business a consistent, smooth-running operation characterised by order, discipline and continuous growth? If not, improving your internal processes might be a worthwhile investment of your time.

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How to do business in... China

China is home to 1.3 billion people, and is now the second-largest economy in the world, as well as the world’s fastest-growing economy. It is still considered a developing nation, and the style of business in China is extremely different to in the UK.

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  • Starting up

    Case study: walking the entrepreneurial path with BiggerFeet

    BiggerFeet is a successful family-run company that sells a range of footwear for people that struggle to buy shoes that fit. The company's founder, Oliver...
  • Finance

    Case study: Every saved penny counts for businesses says SMEDiscounts

    Former chartered accountant Andries Smit has always had an eye for a good business model. He started his first business age 14 and has since started 1...
  • Staff and HR

    Toastmaster experience gave a much-needed boost to confidence

    Shyness can hold you back in business. Networking events, meetings, public speaking opportunities – all these are great ways to promote your business and...
  • Technology

    How IT support services work

    IT is essential for many SMEs, whether it’s for delivering emails, despatching orders or just chasing unpaid debts. At some point the office technology...
  • Marketing

    Case study: creating the perfect evening out with designmynight

    Nick and Andrew are the founders of designmynight, a website that allows people across London to discover the best clubs, restaurants and bars based around...
  • Accounting

    Understanding your accounts: the profit and loss account

    The profit and loss account forms part of a business’ financial statements. It summarises the trading results of a business over a period of time (typically...