How to Start Your Own Catering Business

How to Start Your Own Catering Business

Are you planning on starting a food business? Before you start ordering your wholesale catering supplies and costing your menu, here are some important things you need to consider first.

Register Your Premises

When starting your own restaurant, the first step should be registering your premises with the environmental health services. Your local authority will be able to instruct you on how to do this. If your premises requires any building work, you should also notify the environmental health services and local authority. Consider whether you need to register as self-employed and for VAT. These processes will require a different form to registering your premises. It is important that you have the licenses needed for your business and abide by premise regulations.

Food Safety Management

It is crucial that you have food safety management procedures for your business, this involves deciding how the food is produced to ensure that it is safe for your customers to eat. The Food Standards Agency have information available to help you put these systems together. The staff you hire are responsible for maintaining your food safety management procedures, so it is important that you train members of staff who handle food in your business. Choosing a good supplier is also essential for your business as these a responsible for the handling, safety and quality of your food supply. Keep all documentation of suppliers, for example, their contact details, product information and receipts. This is key for your business especially if there is a product recall. (more…)

Are You Marketing Your Business Properly?

Are You Marketing Your Business Properly?

All businesses need some form of marketing to survive and continue growing. You might think that you already carry out successful marketing on all the most relevant channels. But how do you really know you’re not missing out on opportunities?

It’s worth considering the options available and making sure you are using every idea you can get to spread the word about your business. Some channels may be more appropriate than others, but you’ll need to consider all avenues before committing to a marketing plan.

In 2017, these are the most relevant channels for most businesses. Are you using all of them yet?

1) Basic online presence

Firstly, there are almost no businesses that shouldn’t have an online presence. The vast majority of local and national businesses do have their own websites now, but if you don’t, it really is about time you caught up. A website that represents your company doesn’t have to be complex or expensive, but it does have to be professional and relevant to your audience.

2) Social media marketing

Businesses now use social media marketing to spread the word about their brands, although this was never the intention of the channels’ creators. Places like Twitter and Facebook are a hive of activity, and customers assume they will be able to reach you via these platforms, regardless of your niche. In order to stay in touch with your potential customers and control your public image online, setting up social profiles for your brand and updating these regularly really is essential.

3) Search engine optimisation

Optimising the content of your website so that people can easily find you through organic search engines has been a vital strategy for almost two decades now. If you’re still failing to do this, despite the huge popularity of search engines like Google, you can expect a lot of your marketing efforts to be less cost-effective. The technical process behind getting higher positions on search results can be difficult, so we would recommend consulting the professionals or hiring in-house experts.

4) Video content

Video is huge online, but it can also be fantastic for larger businesses who are able to advertise on television or through other channels. Creating exciting visual advertisements in video form is key, so you need to think about ways you can deliver unique messages that your customers will find value in.

5) Offline marketing

Who says print media is dead? Depending on your niche, you might find that local printed publications are a great way to get the word out about your business to the people who matter. Alternatively you might generate local interest by paying for billboards or posters in relevant areas. These ideas are particularly great for raising awareness of exciting local businesses quickly.

Maximising Space In A Small Office

Maximising Space In A Small Office

Physical space is almost always a limiting factor for businesses. Even if you conduct most of your business online and you don’t need space for manufacturing products and so on, almost all companies at least need enough space to work comfortably and flexibility for meetings with staff and clients.

With this in mind, there are many things you can do to get the most value out of a small space. Consider a few of the following options.

Use folding tables and chairs

Space-saving furnishings that can be folded flat when not in use are a fantastic solution for many offices. Replace a bulky traditional desk or meeting table with a convenient folding table that you can move around or pack up easily. You can use folding chairs for the same reason if you occasionally need to accommodate more attendees than usual.

Go paperless

Storing paper records and files takes up an alarming amount of space after just a short time, and usually fills up heavy filing cabinets that get in the way and can’t be moved around easily. By switching to digital for as many systems as possible, you’re saving space as well as the environment. (more…)

Does Your Business Require Calibrated Equipment?

Does Your Business Require Calibrated Equipment?

Calibration is a service that many businesses may never have considered until they get further down the line. It’s not typically a number one priority for start-ups to consider. However, in relevant industries, it’s absolutely essential to provide products and services which are up to the required standard and fit for their intended purpose.

Getting help with this topic is a common requirement for businesses, as it can be highly technical and require expertise in a specific field to get it right. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) provides information for companies regarding this matter. UKAS calibration services can be offered by British companies if they work to a high enough standard. Mechanical and electrical calibration in Ireland may differ in terms of the accreditations and regulations required, and this is also the case for other countries in Europe and beyond.

In general, however, it is important to understand the basic concepts of calibration as far as they are relevant to your niche. You need to be confident that whatever goods or services you provide to your clients, you are basing your methods on measurements that are as accurate as physically possible. Properly calibrating equipment is essential for taking these measurements to a reliable degree.

The benefits of taking steps to ensure this happens can include the following:

  • Competitive advantage over rivals who are not recognised as completing their work to such a high standard
  • Reduced chance of either your own equipment or your end products failing, which can be extremely costly on many levels
  • Make informed and rational decisions based on accurate data, giving you greater control over risk management within your business
  • The backing of internationally recognised organisations who support the certifications and accreditations your business is awarded
  • Protection in the event of any possible legal action that could bring your level of responsibility into question

Evidently, there are many benefits to ensuring that any necessary accreditations and certifications are achieved by your business. Calibration is a vital aspect of this, so we would strongly advise all businesses to conduct thorough research and find out if they could be doing any more in this area.

Why Metal Fencing is a Great Low Cost Security Option

Why Metal Fencing is a Great Low Cost Security Option

These days, businesses looking to bolster security tend to turn instinctively to technology. Which can of course do a great job in enhancing security, but quite often there’s a much simpler, perhaps even more effective option right there in front of you.

Quite simply, very little comes close to quality metal gates and fencing in terms of both physical protection and as an effective deterrent. Even when compared to the most advanced technology out there, the benefits of metal fencing are extensive and undeniable.

Durability

For example, the durability of metal fencing goes over and above any other fencing made using alternative materials. It is incredibly resistant, goes the distance long-term and can be relied upon to retain its strength.

Affordability

These days, outstanding-quality metal fencing can be extremely affordable – particularly when considering long-term value for money.

Scalability

Metal fencing makes a great long-term security solution as it is modular in nature. Or on other words, the layout of the fencing system can be changed or added to at any time, in order to suit the needs of the business. (more…)

Maintaining Electrical Safety In The Workplace

Maintaining Electrical Safety In The Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, taking chances with health and safety simply isn’t an option. Rather than waiting for disaster to strike before calling out an electrician, it’s vital to instead take a proactive approach.

Having an electrical safety plan in place at work is of critical importance, both for documenting the company’s approach to electrical safety and for looking after the best interests of the workforce. Without a safety plan, you leave yourself wide open to any number of negative scenarios.

Many electricians offer an electrical maintenance plan, these plans often cover a variety of services such as PAT testing and the installation of fire safety equipment, security systems and heating & ventilation.

Portable Electrical Equipment

HooverPortable electrical equipment refers to any electrical item that can be moved around the workplace. Examples include all IT equipment, Hoovers, kettles, fans and so on. It is a requirement that all such equipment be kept in a safe working order at all times – the national standard for doing so being through PAT testing.

Short for ‘portable appliance testing’, the term refers to a process whereby professionals assess the safety and working order of electrical devices, before declaring them safe or unsafe for use. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that these tests are carried out regularly enough to ensure that all appliances are always kept in a safe working condition.

While it’s the legal duty of the employer to manage electrical safety, the law does not specifically state that PAT testing must be carried out annually. It all depends on the type of appliance, its age, how often it is used and so on. This again is something that must be determined by the employer and outlined in the electrical safety plan, under the advisement of an expert. (more…)

Turning ideas into profit

Turning ideas into profit

The AMA defines the term marketing as “the process for developing, communicating, delivering and trading offers that have value for clients, their partners and the general public.” This, in fact, holds very true: it is the biggest outsourcing of branding a product, service or business. Unfortunately, this strategy can be a gamble for many smaller businesses. It’s impossible to be successful without a stellar SEO marketing plan to win the hearts of future clientele. If a business can target a customer, interest the customer and sell to the customer, then that specific strategy has worked. Still, their work is not over; a business (or individual) also has to find a way to keep that client. If you are a new entrant to the market, small business marketing advice is usually given by company registration agents. They can also refer several business resources for your startup company. For employees, you can post job listings in specialised directories.

To develop a marketing strategy that will help poor product/service sales and help boost business, one must let consumers know all the exceptional things their company has to offer and how it can drastically make the client’s life easier. After all, that is the purpose of a service or product- aiding others so that they can save time and money. Persuading consumers to take a close look at what is offered and how is what takes the win. From there, it is easier to draw them in. A simple way to show the products businesses have on offer is through commercial photography. Sometimes just a high-quality image can sell the product, as it is visually appealing. The consumers want to know exactly what they are buying, and a crisp photograph will do that easily.

Having to fight off other competition and stay ahead is normal for successful businesses. Sometimes a rivalry can generate more business towards a company, surprisingly. This is not recommended; however, because all companies should maintain a professional approach. To fight off competition thrown by others involves the strategy of an individual within the company. One way you can create interaction between your business and consumers, and stay ahead of the competition is by using a virtual tour company. If you own a property or venue, whether it’s a sporting facility, wedding venue or a shop, professional photographers can create a 360 virtual tour of your business where potential clients can see exactly what your company offers. Interaction with customers is essential. When they are indecisive and want to postpone meetings, sales calls or purchase, it is the job of the business owner to persuade them and let them know why they may better than the adversary. Learning how to close sales is of superior importance for business survival.

Hiring a SEM company means good business, in most cases. These are the people that are going to personally brand the product or service, make sure the business website is ranked at the highest level on a SERP (search engine result page) and attract customers for the client. These companies also work to help turn around a strategy, if the current one happens to be feeble. SEM companies create new, exciting content for websites that will take them further than expected.

Investing In Fleet Cars For Your Business

Investing In Fleet Cars For Your Business

I am one of those people who believe that a car is meant for luxury until recently when I met a colleague. He is self employed and was looking forward to purchase a small vehicle for the sake of his business. He complained of constantly missing appointments and having to spend a lot of money on transportation. He made me understand that sometimes a car can be overlooked but it adds real benefits to a business.

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You need to invest in fleet cars for your business especially if you are in tourism, transport, and procurement and supply industries. Cars that are dependable, resourceful and cost effective are the best options. How do you ensure that your company car provides more advantages than disadvantages?

carsYou need to decide whether to lease or to buy a car. It would make more sense to buy a car if you need it full time. However, if it is only once in a while then you would rather lease. Note that a car depreciates in value. In only 1 year, it will cost 50% less than its original purchase price.

If you have a fleet of cars, you require fleet management software. A good example is Fleet Outlook Product that is paired with Microsoft Outlook. This software can record and store information such as fuel costs, license checks, driver changes, and garage details. Through fleet software, you can track your vehicles and receive automatic reports of their performance and maintenance. To operate the management software, you need trained specialists. (more…)

Health & Safety Training

Health & Safety Training

As an employer it is your prime duty to keep your employees safe at work. People you may hire may not be aware of the hazards involved in the business or may not know how to act during an emergency such as fire, evacuation or hazards. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that every employee either on company rolls or contractual should be trained about the importance as well reaction during emergency situations. So, Health & safety training are of utmost importance.

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How can Health & safety trainings be helpful?

· Employees will become aware, competent and careful.

· Mishaps, accidents and ill health causes can be avoided, so that the business will not suffer.

· Financial losses due to accidents, ill health, and production loses etc. can be minimized or eliminated.

hsEverybody needs Health & safety training. The Employers, employees, managers and supervisors, self employed/contractors, new joiners, young employees etc. ever body needs to know how can one stay safe and what one needs to know and do to keep everybody and everything safe.

The Employer must evaluate and decide that the work assigned to the employees does not exceed their capacity to ensure safety. The employer also needs to recognize the kind of training required by the employees in their organization and accordingly plan trainings with someone who knows the Health & safety rules for that particular business thoroughly. (more…)

Types Of Office Security

Types Of Office Security

roundWhen running a business, one of the most important things you have to concern yourself with is crime and office security. Quite a large portion of your income each month will be spent on crime prevention and business security such as CCTV, alarm systems and perhaps even onsite security. It has been reported that offences against businesses in the UK make up 20% of all crimes committed; and cyber-crime is becoming an increasingly bigger player in the security scenario. You will have to make sure that you have a few different types of office security in and around your premises

Some of the material things you can do in and around your premises include checking that the outside doors are strong and solid. You can also add a security gate with a slam lock and a buzzer entry system. Window locks can be installed if the windows are large and have no burglar bars. And of course, there is CCTV which is very useful if you have a drive in car park – with the closed circuit TV screen you can see exactly office-securitywho enters and leaves your premises and this is fast becoming one of the most popular types of office security. When you have these kinds of security systems installed you have to also put up the necessary signs to warn people against entering your premises. One of the pluses of having office security is that your insurance premiums will most probably be reduced.

Another aspect to look at in terms of types of office security is to invest in security training for all the staff. They need to be taught how to react in an armed hold up, and what to do if their lives are threatened – and how to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a major cause of absenteeism after a robbery or a hold up, so it is worth investing in trauma counselling after any security related incident. No one knows how they will react in a situation where danger is present until it actually happens. (more…)