The latest news, insights and research from SSK

Government pushes 5G connectivity

Connectivity, 5G, and STEM skills all feature in the report, prompting cautious words of welcome from the technological sector.The ten ‘pillars’ that are central to the report are: ‘investing in science, research and innovation’, ‘developing skills’, ‘upgrading infrastructure’, ‘supporting businesses to start and grow’, ‘improving procurement’, ‘encouraging trade and inward investment’, ‘delivering affordable energy and clean growth’, ‘cultivating world-leading sectors’, ‘driving growth across the whole country’, and ‘creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places’.

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Benefits of Using Accounting Software for your Business

In the accounting world, there are a lot of software choices that can make or break any business. Some software stands out from most choices, however. Good accounting software is highly beneficial to a business, and enables accountants to help the businesses they represent in a number of ways. There are a few programs offered by accounting solutions, each of which is affordable, easy to use, and allow for significant transparency in finances.


One of the most useful parts of some accounting programs is that each one is adaptable to the business using it. Often, accounting software is created with general usage in mind, so that they can be useful in some way to most kinds of business. However, this means that they will include many features that are entirely useless or unnecessary for the company they are bought for. More intuitive software, on the other hand, is built from different parts or modules. The result is an accounting program that is tailor-made for the company it is bought for and it is easily adaptable to changing marketplaces. This also means that companies only pay for what they will use, and they can end up paying less for it.

Efficient and Easy

Top accounting software is put together in a very simple way that is easy to learn and operate; It takes nearly no time to learn how to use this software. This saves businesses time that would otherwise have been spent by accountants needing to learn their new software, and money that would otherwise have been spent covering likely mistakes due to unfamiliarity. Accounting software also allows for very easy data storage, so day-to-day occurrences can be checked easily and quickly. Despite the simplicity of the programs, accountants are able to be highly efficient. The software is able to perform tasks such as predicting spending patterns based on invoices while remaining versatile, fast, and easy to use.


Possibly the most important factor of the program is that accounting software helps businesses in more ways than simple accounting. Some accounting software, being as unique as it is, is able to perform tasks that most other software can’t. For example, it is able to examine spending trends, commitments, and project budgets so that it can warn and advise project managers when they are approaching budget limits. It can file business taxes and generate financial reporting and data. This means you can manage financial operations anywhere on the globe. In essence, the software is its own manager, not entirely unlike having an extra accountant who can monitor entire projects with a guaranteed efficiency (and high work ethic).

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Benefits of corporate hospitality for small businesses.

For some small businesses corporate hospitality can often be overlooked as an unneeded jolly. In this article we will be examining how in fact this can be an easy preconception and that corporate hospitality can actually bring a wealth of benefits to any small business.

Growing as a team:

Within a small workforce it is extremely important to have happy, harmonized and engaged employees. Making sure everyone is in good spirits and happy within the business is key to getting the best from your workforce. With fewer employees this becomes even more important as every person is a significant part of your company’s success. Not only does every employee need to be content within their environment, they also need to work well together and gel as a synergised team. Corporate hospitality is an excellent means to achieving both these objectives and with tailor made packages, from companies such as Team Tactics, you can easily plan an event that will appeal and inspire your employees.

Friendships form:

Taken out of the work environment and given the space and time to bond, your workforce can find common ground and develop new friendships. This creates a closer and stronger team; it also gives the staff a better chance to get to know and interact with management, breaking down barriers which can easily be formed and maintained within your day-to-day working environment.

Standing out from the crowd:

Offering your clients or suppliers a corporate event really gives your company a chance to be remembered and strike an edge between you and your competitors. You will also get a chance to really get to know your clients and understand more about them and also them about you. No phone call or meeting can offer the same information and connection that can be achieved between you and your clients at an interpersonal setting like a corporate event.

Gain new leads and potential clients:

At an event with other companies attending, it’s amazing what contacts can be gained with like-minded individuals in a relaxed environment. By networking with prospective clients at spectacular events, there couldn’t be a more enjoyable and natural way to win business.

Relax and strengthen relations:

A corporate hospitality event is an excellent opportunity to relax and get away from everyone’s day-to-day routine, offering experiences and memories they will remember and take away with them. It is also an ideal way of letting your staff or customers know they are with a company that cares and especially for smaller companies, offering something different the usual small business does not.

As we can see there are many benefits a small company can gain from offering corporate hospitality – from rewarding to strengthening the workforce or standing out in the minds of your clients. If you’re currently running a smaller business and looking for an added edge, then future corporate events added to your companies diary might just help your business grow.

sskBenefits of corporate hospitality for small businesses.
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How to create a Professional Image for your Small Business

Setting up your own business is a dream for many and a reality for those brave enough to take the initial steps. Having your own business can provide a great deal of satisfaction but it can be hard at the initial stages as you are having to contend with competitors who are often well established within your chosen field. Although this may feel daunting there are many steps you can take to help give your small business a professional edge.

One of the first things you should look at is your branding. Choose this carefully to appeal to your target audience and ensure that you try to create a distinctive brand identity rather than mirroring a larger brand. Once you have created a company name and logo you need to get this to your audience.

Traditional advertising such as flyers and adverts in local papers are still effective but a professional website and social media such as Facebook and twitter are also powerful forces in today’s internet driven society. If you create a website ensure it looks professional, is functional for users and that it contains links to all your social media platforms. One important note is to keep the tone, logo and branding consistent between all the platforms. Aim to update your social media on a regular basis and keep content fresh and interesting to encourage interaction and interest.

Now that your small business is accessible to clients you will hopefully see an increase in interest in your services. This leads to your next potential problem. Larger businesses can afford office space and staff which give a professional image as they suggest you are established within the industry. This contrasts to smaller businesses which are often run from a home office. Although running the business from home works well it is not always ideal to meet customers and clients in your home. Other options such as meeting for a coffee can be problematic as discussing confidential business (and especially finances) in a public place is not appropriate and can lead to the client feeling uncomfortable.

One simple and cost effective solution is to hire out office space for important meetings. This means you can meet clients in a professional looking office space. You will be able to use things such as audio-visual equipment, wifi and flipcharts which are often useful when completing a sales pitch or showcasing your work. There will also be reception staff to meet your client which again gives an organised and professional image. Plus if you are delayed or taking a phone call they can organise a cup of tea and help your client settle in.

If you hire your meeting room you can often benefit from the use of an exclusive office address such as Fleet Street, London and if you pick carefully you can even choose office spaces with quirky talking points. Perhaps meeting in a former bank vault or somewhere with a formula 1 car on the wall will provide a talking point and it is something that will definitely be discussed between your client and their friends or colleagues!

Another benefit of hiring a meeting room is that sometimes working from home creates too many distractions so a quiet meeting room for the day is just what you need to get on top of your work.

These simple steps will go a long way in helping to create a professional image but remember that things such as your communication and dress will also be judged so ensure a professional image is portrayed at all times.

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Skype Interviews

With the rise of outsourcing, it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to interview job applicants using video-calling software such as Skype rather than ever meeting them in person.

Many small businesses in the US and UK now outsource some of their admin and it isn’t really feasible for most of them to travel and meet the provider in person, especially if they are in a different country – this would wipe out any potential cost savings right away!

Video conferencing allows you to determine a lot of things about the applicant that aren’t readily apparent over the phone such as how professional they appear to be.

This week’s info has some great advice for potential interviewers and interviewees on how to prepare for their first Skype interview.

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