October 11, 2013
Most managers trust their mobile workers
The majority (63%) of SME managers and owners say they trust their employees to be productive when working away from the office, according to a survey for Citrix by YouGov. The poll of over 200 UK-based SME decision-makers found that a further 28% of those polled agreed that flexible working plays an important role in improving employee work-life balance, making them less likely to miss important deadlines. And 25% said they were under more pressure to introduce or increase mobile working practices than they were five years ago, mainly due to employee demand (28%) and the need to reduce travel costs (17%).
SMEs still waiting for redress from bank mis-selling
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, only 22 businesses have received compensation for the mis-selling of complex financial products by the banks. John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: "While the banks have paid out a further £1.5 million in September, the process is still too slow with only 32 firms accepting redress. There are still far too many people locked into the scheme, and the protracted nature of the scheme can only further erode confidence in the high street banks and the regulator."
Online retailers give pop-ups shops the thumbs up
82% of online enterprises see pop-up shops as crucial to their long-term success and more than a third say they would eventually like to open a permanent shop of their own. These are the results of a new survey by PopUp Britain, the retail arm of StartUp Britain. The survey found that 95% planned to use pop-up shops in the future to boost sales and make closer contact with customers. PopUp Britain co-founder, Emma Jones, said: "This quick poll has shown what we have always known – that there is a huge appetite for pop-up shops amongst what is a growing population of British-based retail entrepreneurs."
The secret life of the trade van
New research from Direct Line for Business reveals that Britain's tradespeople are not just using their vans as a mode of transport – they are practically living out of them, using them as offices and even bedrooms. It found that 31% of tradespeople who use a van for work also use it as a mobile office to manage their business. In addition, half of all tradespeople use their vans for tea breaks, 45% say they eat their meals in their vans and 11% even sleep in their vehicle.
Online micro jobs marketplace opens
Quiddoo.com is a new online jobs marketplace designed to help people in the UK get more freelance income and connect employers with skilled workers. Launched by entrepreneur Rakesh Luthra, Quiddoo allows employers to post a job that they need doing or search profiles to find someone with the skills they need for a project. It means individuals and businesses who may not want to hire someone on a permanent basis can access skilled workers.
M&A deal values return to pre-recession levels
Experian has revealed that the value of UK merger and acquisition deals has risen threefold in Q3 2013, compared to Q3 2012. This represents the highest quarterly total since Q2 2007. Although overall domestic M&A activity remained relatively subdued in terms of volume, smaller deals (worth £500,000 to £10 million) saw a 3% upturn in volume from 309 deals in Q3 2012 to 317 in Q3 2013, whereas mid-market transactions (worth £10 million to £100 million) saw a 9% decline.
HMRC targets health professionals
People in the health and wellbeing professions who have taxable income that they have not told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about are being targeted in a new campaign. The Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan offers health professionals a chance to bring their tax affairs up to date on the best terms available. The new campaign covers a wide range of health professionals including physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists, homeopaths, dieticians, acupuncturists and psychologists. Health professionals have until 31 December 2013 to tell HMRC that they would like to take part in the campaign, and until 6 April 2014 to disclose and pay the tax owed. A video on YouTube offers more guidance.