Blogs

Why HR matters, more than ever

HR – it’s an area that many growing businesses question the need for, often delaying investing either their own time or that of an HR professional, and finding it difficult to calculate the value it brings to the bottom line. However, in a job market where employees are moving more frequently, and seeking out opportunities to learn new skills with a great management culture, creating an engaged workforce is more important than ever before.

GetSet East spoke to Sam Sales, Director at SME HR specialist Call HR to find out about the changes happening in the world of HR and how SMEs can nurture an engaged workforce.

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Can you introduce structure without killing culture?

Businessman Builds a Tower

As businesses scale up and headcounts grow, there comes a point where the flat structure and informal approach around pay and rewards can hinder growth, and if not managed, impact on staff performance, productivity and loyalty. However, the thought of introducing structure and process can seem at odds with the close-knit, family feel that its important to protect.
Vanessa Landreneau, an expert in building reward structures, and Principal of Hummingbird Consulting, believes that the two concepts can work in harmony, as she explains in her blog below…

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How staff engagement affects your bottom line

Why you should be investing internally to boost your business’ success

Employee engagement; the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals. – Forbes

When you’re working to an ambitious business growth plan, it can be tempting to focus your energy on the areas that feel the most tangible –  like your products – or those that are visibly linked to driving efficiency – like distribution and production.

Things like employee engagement and the company culture are often left to develop naturally, lacking a considered company-wide approach from the get-go. But, in an age where intelligent thinking and strategic decision making can be the biggest influencers in improving productivity, maintaining high levels of employee engagement has very tangible impacts on business success.

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Prepare to be pitched – finding the right agency for your business

So you’re looking for an agency to work on a particular project or to fill a skills gap you have in your business. Having created your shortlist of prospective agency partners, it’s time to meet the candidates in the flesh to assess which firm or firms are most suitable for your needs.

The assessment process may be as simple as assigning a couple of ‘pilot’ projects, as complex as a full-on Mad Men style pitch process, or something in between. But, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff and find a team or individual that gets your business and you’ll actually be able to work with?

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Is debt financing the way forward for your business?

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Purchasing a home, a car or using a credit card are all forms of debt financing. Essentially you are taking on a loan from a person or a business and agreeing to pay the money back over time with payable interest. Debt financing for your business works in a similar way.

There are many options to consider, including applying for a business loan from a bank or receiving a personal loan from friends, family or other lenders. The main benefit being that the lender, be it a bank or family member, has no control over your business and there is no loss of ownership with debt finance. However, it is important to remain aware of the fact that you are essentially betting on your future ability to pay back the loan.

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Debt vs. Equity Finance – which should your business back?

equity vs. debt

When it comes to funding for your business, there are two types you’ll often hear about: debt finance and equity finance. Choosing the right type for you will depend on a number of factors including what you need it for, why you need it and how long you’re looking for investment. In this article, we’ll consider each of the opposing sides, their strengths and their weaknesses, so that you can decide whether your business should be team debt or team equity.

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Top 10 Social Media Best Practices

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Best practices is a term that seems to crop up all the time in social media literature. Taken as a whole, they are standardised techniques that can be used by everybody. When looking to scale-up your business, you want to design your social media strategy with best practices because they offer a strong framework for your strategy. Engagement with followers is a key ingredient to sales success with social media which, if done right, can significantly help build your business.

We’ve put together a list of our top 10 social media best practices to help you develop a strong and consistent social media strategy for your growing business:

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Measuring your social media marketing

As a growing business, it’s likely social media plays a part in your overall marketing strategy. And for good reason. When done well it’s an effective way of engaging with your existing customers and attracting new ones. But, when you’re looking to scale-up, ensuring all your marketing efforts are considered, measured and have a specified timeframe in which to deliver results is essential to guarantee you’re achieving the results your business needs.

Many people get nervous when it comes to the statistics of social media. They don’t fit neatly into traditional marketing measures and the techniques you may be using to measure other marketing might not be applicable. But don’t be put off. It’s important to remember that social media is scalable. You do not necessarily have to start off using all of the metrics at your disposal. You may want to start out with some basic metrics and build up, adding additional measures as you grow and develop your campaigns.

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Your guide to hiring staff

As empowering as running your own business is, when your growing gets going, you simply can’t do everything alone. Chances are that up until now you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and taking a huge burden on your shoulders to get your business up and running.

Now is probably time to think about hiring, if you haven’t done so already. This can be a very daunting prospect; the regulatory burden alone can be off-putting for sole traders, and if you’re having a hard time trusting anyone but yourself with any aspect of your new enterprise, you’re not alone. However, not hiring extra hands when needed can cause an otherwise healthy business to stall and even fail.

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Are grants a good option for your business?

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From our extensive work with UK SMEs, we know that accessing finance is one of the main challenges faced in the current business landscape. There are many different finance options available, each with various positives and negatives. As a business, how do you decipher which one is right for you?

In this blog, we’ll be looking at grant funding and whether it’s a viable option for your business. A grant is an amount of money that can be given to an individual or business for a specific project or purpose. You can apply for a grant from the Government, local councils, charities and some private companies.

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