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Sexuality, race and religion – do they really matter at work?

Last week I shared a post about LGBT (Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transsexual) inclusion in the workforce on my facebook business page. The gist of the article was that smart businesses will take into consideration that LGBT households in Australia represent a significant amount of buying power – and businesses that ensure they are genuinely inclusive of LGBT staff are more likely to be able to tap into that market.

Do you value the price?

A bit cryptic –Yes, purposely

To a lot of businesses their selling price rules, but is that all, your customer is looking for – a low price if so, I suggest that they are not a valued customer.

 

There is that word value(ed) again, for in reality that is what we all are looking for when we make a purchase – VALUE.

 

Sexual harassment in the workplace – we have come a long way

I gave a presentation last week about discrimination, harassment and bullying in the NSW context – things employers need to know. NSW is a very litigious state (second only apparently to the US in the world for litigation) so there is a lot that employers need to keep up with.

The seven deadly sins of workplace technology

Some tips on how not to use technology in the workplace…

Working in HR, I occasionally come across poor behaviour in the workplace. In today’s workplace it often involves technology. Anyone who has attended a bullying / harassment / discrimination education session that I’ve run in the past will have heard me say that as soon as someone invents a new piece of technology, someone else invents something stupid and possibly career-limiting to do with it.

Sharia Finance

Islamic finance is a market worth over £ 1 trillion and UK banks are keen to break into this marketplace.

Sharia finance is derived from the religious text of the Koran. It follows three basic rules:

  • Devout Muslims must not be involved with markets that are considered sinful, such as gambling, alcohol, tobacco, arms, cinema, pornography or anything to do with pig meat.
  • They must avoid taking risks, such as investing in hedge funds and spread betting
  • It bans the payment of interest. In other words you are not allowed to create money by money. This rule makes it hard to use Western banking products such as loans, mortgages and savings accounts.

What Government funds are available to SMEs to help growth?

There are a number of funding options that are sponsored by the Government through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG): The EFGS replaced the successful SFLG Scheme, it is a loan scheme that has been designed for SME’s that meet the criteria, to obtain loans even if they do not have any security to back the loan. The lender is provided with a 75% from the government. 45 approved lenders have signed up to the EFG programme. Be aware, however, that all lending decisions are made by the provider and not the government and many lenders are still asking for personal guarantees from the borrowers even though they have a 75% guarantee from the government. Loans are available from £1,000 to £1,000,000 for SMEs with turnover of less than £45m. It is important to understand that these are not the most popular type of loans with the banks, due to their risky nature.

Why employers should invest in lifelong learning

I’ve seen a lot of employers who are reluctant to part with their cash in exchange for training.

Some of the time their hesitance is justified, for a number of reasons:

  • Attending a training course is seen as a quick fix – which it very rarely is
  • Training outcomes may be misaligned with business needs
  • Some courses are exorbitantly priced, clearly on a “demand is high or our service is exclusive and if you want it, you’ll pay it” basis.

Where I think employers do need to revisit their position is to consider assisting their employees to engage in lifelong, relevant learning – whether or not it has a direct or short-term business outcome.

Stick with me on this.

Enquiries into literacy and numeracy in the last 3 years have found that half of Australians have literacy and numeracy levels that are less than acceptable for anything beyond relatively low-skilled work.

Support Contract V PAYG

So you have taken the plunge and seen the light and decided to call in the experts to take care of all your IT needs. Then they say would you like “Monthly Support Contract” or “Pay As You Go” or even worse they don’t give you the option!!

Here’s a few things to think about when deciding which way to jump:

Pay as You Go Support  

  • If you have a robust super duper network that doesn’t cause you much of an issue then this could be a good option for you.
  •  It’s great for those who have an existing IT department and just need additional resources, from time to time be it a major project or as simple as holiday cover.

Ease Your Cashflow Without Sacrificing Your Network

“I purchase appreciating assets and rent depreciating assets”

John Paul Getty
(founder of Getty Oil and in 1957 named the richest living American)

 

Financing technical equipment including computers, servers, telephone systems and CCTV offers an attractive alternative to paying cash. From a purely fiscal perspective, the assumption that finance is more expensive than cash is, in the majority of cases, a myth. It is an increasingly popular way for businesses to help ease the burden on capex and lets not forget it’s 100% tax allowable!!

If you’re thinking about updating your network, installing  CCTV or investing in the latest phone system, then here’s some food for thought:

Are Banks lending or not?

It is interesting to note that the traditional source of finance, the major high street banks, are complaining that they are not getting enough demand from small to medium sized companies, for the money that they have available to lend. The SMEs on the other hand are telling a different story and are complaining that the banks are just not lending. It is a confusing situation and as always there is some truth in both sides of the argument.

Stepping out of the comfort zone…

Stepping out of the comfort zone…

Now I know this isn’t exactly  an “IT” style post however it got lots of comments and people talking when I posted it on our website a few weeks ago. Some of you may well know Nick Hill and some of you may have even been at the realm of Mr Hill’s amazing tactics!

A few weeks ago I spent a day learning the art of the “60 Second elevator pitch”

For those networkers amongst you,  you’ll know exactly what it is. For those who have not yet had the pleasure of networking it is in short “how you’d describe your business if you were in an elevator with someone for 60 seconds”.

Sounds really simple when you put it like that however trust me when I say it is far from simple. The idea is you’ve got between 40 and 60 seconds to pitch your business. Try doing it without waffling, going off on a tangent or without having palpitations, spitting your breakfast everywhere or blushing like a plump English strawberry.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an alternative method of raising finance for a business project. Unlike traditional angel investment, in which just a few people typically take a larger share in a business, with crowdfunding an entrepreneur can attract a ‘crowd’ of people, who may not have invested in shares before, each of whom takes a small stake in a business idea, by contributing towards an online funding target.

Ever wondered what the benefits are of investing in a server for your business?

Have you ever wondered what the benefits are of investing in a server for your business? Are you ready to take the leap but aren’t sure what benefit it will bring?

1. Get a comprehensive, all-in-one solution.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 takes the guesswork out of selecting software for your network. It brings together the Microsoft product technologies that businesses need most into a single solution.

2. Stay connected to your customers, vendors & Suppliers
With access to contacts, appointments and files from any internet-connected PC or mobile device, you can be responsive to customers, vendors and suppliers even when you’re not in the office.

How to Write a Winning Funding Business Plan: Part 3 (Final) The Content

In part 3 of this series of blogs, I want to concentrate on the required content of each section of the plan. I will not talk about the Executive Summary or the Structure of a plan as this was discussed in part 2, last month. If you missed part 1 or part 2 please contact me and I will forward copies to you peter.kelly@pegasusfunding.co.uk or click here to read part 1 and here for part 2.

CPD – What happens next?

By the time you read this article I will have completed the PTLLS course which I mention in my last post.

So has it been worthwhile and of any use?

The answer must be a definite – Yes.