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Posts Tagged ‘handy checklist’

How can you reduce your business’s carbon footprint?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

These tips may seem obvious, but do you actually observe them?

  1. Ensure all office equipment and appliances are never left on unnecessarily.
  2. If your business only uses computers for word processing and internet browsing, you can use a multi-user system (allowing for up to seven users to be connected at any one time).
  3. Switch from bottled water-coolers to filtered water from a tap.
  4. Recycle!
  5. You can work out from your energy bills you how many units you have used.  You may then wish to aim to reduce your output over the next few months.

Some energy companies provide energy-saving options such as British Gas’s “green tariffs”, and GoodEnergy’s use of energy from renewable sources.



Top Tips on how to expand your business

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

We have sourced some more business advice from the Business Section of the BBC website…

Tom Ryan (founder of Smashburger) states that if you intend to expand your business, you need to not only scale up your resources, but ensure that your staff have the necessary skills and talents to maintain the quality of your products and services.  In short, you should take measures to prevent the original integrity of your brand from diluting.

Businesses selling goods to customers would do well to follow the advice of Dieter Burmester (founder of luxury German hi-fi company Burmester).  He stresses that potential customers are much more like to do be drawn to a product or brand when it has been endorsed to them personally.  This could mean a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer; or from a positive first hand experience with the business owner.

Similarly, when sourcing new clients in a service-based industry, Ron Mahabir (Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and start-up adviser) recommends the benefits of off-line networking – and more specifically “word-of-mouth referrals and a significant amount of personal interaction”.

Legal Development Watch

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Making a complaint about the advertisement of a competing business

If you wish to raise any complaints about an advertisement (or the advertising technique) of one of your competitors, you can no longer go straight to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).  As of 1st December 2011, you need to first approach your competitor and state in sufficient detail the factual basis for the complaint you wish to make.  You may only approach the ASA in the event you can’t reach an agreement with your competitor, and you will need to provide evidence of the fact you have made attempts to resolve the conflict yourselves.

Please note the following:

  • Bearing in mind your correspondence may later need to be provided to the ASA as documentary evidence, you may wish to send it by registered post.
  • The letter needs to have been signed or authorised by a senior officer of your business, and addressed to a senior officer of the competitor’s business.
  • If the complaint relates to an on-line marketing communication, your letter should refer to a screen shot of the page(s) or a relevant link.
  • You will need to allow five working days for a substantive response.  If they do not respond within that period, you may submit a complaint to the ASA.
  • When submitting the complaint to the ASA, ensure you include copies of all relevant correspondence between the parties.

If you have any further queries, please contact the team at Off To See My Lawyer.

Handy Checklist- Pricing & Costing

Friday, September 9th, 2011
  • First, decide whether you are marketing your business on quality or price.  If your strategy is price-led, then you will need to create volume, and must be clearly cheaper than the equivalent level of competition.  If you are quality-led, then low prices may send out the wrong impression.
  • If you are a new business and do not know your correct price level, it is easier to start high and then lower your prices than to start too low and then discover that you need to raise them.
  • If you believe that your goods or services are of a high quality, do not be afraid of pricing them accordingly.  (Goods and services of high quality or value; or which are tailored to the specific needs of the customer or client, may be subject to different legislation.

Off to see my lawyer can help you draft your Terms (of sale or provision of services) accordingly.)

  • Make sure you have fully costed all your product or service inputs before finalising your price.
  • Do you have any goods or services that you can advertise as ‘loss-leaders’ to attract customers to your business?

Checklist Source: Start Up & Run Your Own Business: The Essential Guide to Planning, Funding & Growing your New Enterprise by Jonathan Reuvid (Kogan Page; 8th edition 2011)

Handy Checklist: Website Marketing & E-Commerce

Friday, August 26th, 2011
  • Even the smallest business can benefit from the responsive communications and channels to market that the internet provides.
  • With laptops having similar capabilities to desktop personal computers and wireless connections or Smart/Windows telephones, you can take your office with you when you travel.
  • Microsoft Office is the global standard software; Microsoft Works is an abbreviated version included in the purchase price of some computers that gives you all you are likely to need when starting up your business.
  • The better packages of accounting and business management software are user-installable.  Expect to pay up to four figures for a single-user system.
  • Consider seriously the option of setting up your own website and E-mailing facilities in combination.
  • Mailshots by E-mail containing your sales message with your website address embedded are a more effective marketing and sales tool than simply referring prospects to a website or an attachment.
  • The simplest websites can be bought off the peg very cheaply, but you will have to spend more to create a well-designed and attractive website.  Off to see my lawyer offer a complimentary “website legality health-check” for their clients, whereby we review your website and inform you of ways in which you can improve it so that you are entirely within the law, and are as safe as can be from liability, should any of your customers/clients wish to make a claim against you on a matter relating to your website.
  • Take care with your entries on internet search engines and examine the Google alternatives.
  • Evaluate carefully the option of a website that provides fully-fledged E-commerce functionality that is integrated with your sales ledger and inventory management system.
  • Decide whether you want to use your website that provides fully-fledged E-commerce functionality that is integrated with your sales ledger and inventory management system.
  • Decide whether you want to use your website just to display information about your products or services or to make sales by taking and confirming orders and receiving payment by debit and credit card or cash payments electronically.  Invest accordingly.  You will of course need to incorporate Terms of Sale and a Privacy Policy.  Off to see my lawyer can help you draft bespoke versions, or you may prefer to purchase one of our generic templates from our “Oven Ready Document Shop” at www.offtoseemylawyer.com.
  • You can broaden and deepen your website marketing by forming alliances with the websites of compatible businesses.
  • Consider setting up your own eBay shop.
  • For those seeking straightforward practical advice on IT and E-commerce for start-ups, the Business Link website is recommended, where you will find useful commentary on all related topics.  For more information, visit www.businesslink.gov.uk.

Article Source: Start Up & Run Your Own Business: The Essential Guide to Planning, Funding & Growing your New Enterprise by Jonathan Reuvid (Kogan Page; 8th edition 2011)