Author Archive

I know your Facebook password

This post is by Russell Parsloe of 4th level IT

OK – I don’t really have your password – but assuming I did, would it just been your Facebook account that would have been compromised, or do you use the same password for twitter, LinkedIn, your email account, your bank? How much damage to your reputation and your business could be wreaked by a few seemingly innocent characters?

I won’t go into the details of how I could get access to your password in the first place – there are many ways – malicious software on your PC, guessing your child/dog/hamster’s name or birthday when answering those security questions many systems have, or even asking you for it in exchange for a free pen (this actually happened at Waterloo Station – over 90% of people gave away their password for a cheap biro)!

Does your small business need its own server?

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.

Physical Performance & Personal Performance


There are a variety of reasons of why it maybe appropriate to take on the services of a personal trainer. Especially this one – ME, Janie – who has a business mind from years in private practice as a Self assessment Tax Executive for a local accountant,  until I launched the second business, Virtual Tax UK.

The two go hand in hand.  Fear of bad health and fear of the tax man then there’s a fear of Alzheimer’s disease, Janie’s 3rd business, but more about that later.

Why I started Virtual Health

Why I started Virtual Health

I started working with individuals because I love bringing out the best in them – and that’s what I’m at! I identified that there was a niche in the health & fitness market place, initially, for those individuals who were embarrassed to go to the gym.

How to combat the “this is not our way” mentality

How to combat the “this is not our way” mentality that can affect the success of a Six Sigma Programme designed to resolve compelling business needs.


This is a guest post by The Process Excellence Academy


Default retirement age & capability

This is a guest post by Jay Webb


As the statutory default retirement age has been scrapped along with the retirement procedure, organisations who wish to retire an employee will need to follow a fair procedure under ordinary unfair dismissal rules and rely on one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal.

There will be exceptions to the removal of a default retirement age, however employers will need to objectively justify these exceptions, and if necessary defend them at Tribunal given that it is expected that there will be a rise in the number of employment tribunals for age related discrimination once the changes come into place.

However, it is not all bad new because statistically, older employees are more reliable in terms of attendance than their younger counterparts (hence the reason why some employers actively recruit older workers).

So, what should employers do if they have an employee who has not been performing, who they had hoped would retire to save them the bother of dealing with the issue?

If an employee is not performing (not matter what their age) employers should follow a proper capability process and have policies in place to ensure that they deal effectively with non-performance.

Before undertaking any performance meeting ensure that you have the facts to hand and that you have thought out what issues need to be addresses.

Does your business need funding? where do you find it?

Sources Of Funding


this post is by Paul Green


Once you have exhausted the 3 F’s (Friends, Family and Fools!) for funding your business – where else might you look? In the current climate, funding is still available, however the criteria for obtaining money into your business may be more stringent. Finance for business can be obtained through a number of different sources summarised below:



Loans are an excellent source of finance if you have suitable security to borrow against or a reliable earnings stream. This needs to be planned and presented well to obtain funds.

When an organisation is anything but…

This post is by Rosie Garwood

Surprising as it may seem, the vision of a business, even its organisational structure can be the management’s best kept secret.

Given this, it’s not hard to see why many teams seem to lack direction or a sense of purpose. I’ve lost count of the number of times a boss has complained that his people fail to see the bigger picture, and every time my response is to ask when was the last time they shared this bigger picture with the team.

The Budget 2011- Budget Busting Top Ten Titbits

This is a guest post by Simon Thacker of Willis Cooper Chartered Accountants


Hi Folks Yes, it’s that time of year again; the days are getting longer, spring is in the air, Arsenal are wobbling and it’s budget time. I ask you, can life get any better? So let’s celebrate with our annual budget busting top ten tax titbits which, as usual, are designed to help guide you, dear reader, through all the flannel and filling to get to the heart of what you really need to know. And this of course comes with our usual guarantee, which it’ll all fit onto a side of A4.

1. First up; mileage. Did you know that mileage allowance has remained at 40p per mile (on the first 10k business miles) since 2002? At that time fuel was 70p per litre. Well finally, with fuel now approaching £1.40 per litre, the mileage rate is being raised to 45p per mile from the beginning of next month. Hallelujah to that, we say; but what about the old 25p rate for mileage beyond 10000 miles? Surely it makes sense for that to increase as well? As if.

It won’t take a tsunami to sink British business

This post was written by Tim Lee

The terrible events in Japan are thankfully beyond our comprehension. Unfortunately British business owners are blissfully ignoring the risks surrounding us that could have similar devastating effects on life and property.


It’s unlikely that a tidal wave, earthquake or meteor will crash into our island but there are far more obvious perils that are being ignored on the basis that it hasn’t happened yet so it’s unlikely to occur in the future. Our memories are too short…

Google Apps for Business – is it right for business?

This post was written by Elliot Zissman

This post consists of  2 parts

The top 13 things to consider – Part 2.


8. Why don’t you Try Before You Buy: although Google Premier is a paid-for service, Google Standard is free.  It comes with lots of advertising but you can use the software and see if it meets your needs.

9. Support – phone and email support is available 24/7 but is it likely to be from a call centre operative, or someone who truly takes the time to understand your business needs? If you think that your business operates in a standard way, with nothing unique about your requirements or those of your team, then this level of support might be right. If not, you should think if this is all you need.

10. Uptime – is 99.9% enough for you?  It sounds a lot, but this means 8 hours per year. When would you like your day without IT?  Spread over a series of 1 hour periods at 2am on a Sunday would be ideal.  But what if it’s the Monday morning you are finalising your accounts for the year? In reality, Google meets its SLA without issue – they reckon 10-15 minutes per month is the outage they experience and that’s normally a second here and two seconds there. But what happens if you do have a complaint? Who can you hold responsible?  I’m not sure having a go at Barry in Google Support will help matters.

Google Apps for Business – is it right for business?

This post is by Elliott Zissmann

This post consists of  2 parts

 The top 13 things to consider – Part 1.

You may have heard of Microsoft Cloud 365, where the software giant is offering hosted versions of its popular Office Suite, as well as Exchange for email and SharePoint for collaboration. From meetings with Microsoft we know they are doing this in direct response to competition from Google with the Google Apps Premier Edition.

But is this a service they should worry about? Is this something businesses should consider?

How to Spot the Trusted Advisor

This post was written by Tim Lee

The Informed Choice

It is virtually impossible to establish a business without taking professional advice. Accountants, solicitor’s and business consultants, to name but a few, provide a skill set to help companies negotiate the vast and complex world of trade and commerce.

Professional advice is chargeable whether it is correct, likable or necessary and free advice is elusive and rarely free.

Having digested the professional reports, recommendations and warnings you make your decisions on an informed basis armed with the knowledge that your trusted advisor can be counted on when the chips are down.

Do you have to give staff time off for the Royal Wedding?

This is a guest post by The Jay Webb Consultancy

A Royal Wedding has been planned for this year (29th April 2011) to be precise. Yes, Prince William and Kate Middleton have finally set the day and the date has been set as an additional Bank Holiday!
But what does this mean for employers? Do you HAVE to give employees a day off?

Our clients are already contacting us to ask about the Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding and the right to time off, particularly in the Care Sector.
Well, let’s begin with the statutory right to bank holidays. Many employees (and quite a few employers) believe that employees have the statutory right to have a day off.
This is not correct. There is no statutory right to bank holidays. The law on annual leave only requires employers to give employees 5.6 weeks’ off, which equates to 28 days for employees working 5 days per week. This can include Bank Holidays. So there is no requirement for you to let employees take the day off!

Is your website legal?

This post is by Paul Evanson

It is strange how so many small business owners behave very differently online from their everyday working environment.

For example, take websites and their compliance with legal requirements and standards. Most owners of a small business will be reasonably aware of the legal guidelines which they must adhere to in the day to day operation of their business in whatever field they operate. However, once they venture online many businesses have a presence which does not meet legal requirements. Partly this is because the internet is relatively new and regulation is still developing, partly because of a shortage of good advice as to what is required. Unfortunately, although “No-one told me” is not a defence” it is often a reality.