Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
  When you first go into business for yourself, you have a vision.  Maybe you have a passion or talent for something and you want to share it.  Maybe you’ve seen an opportunity that’s too good to pass up or a product that you believe in. A few months or years down the road and reality sets in.  Running a business is hard work and there are lots of different balls for you to try to keep in the air. … Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
Melanie Hawkett of Source & Effect gives her top ten tips for purchasing and procurement: 1. Understand and review your spend regularly. What are you spending money on, how much, with who and how often? 2. Understand who your top ten suppliers are and make sure you have a clear plan to manage them and make the most of the relationship. 3. Always consider the TOTAL cost of a purchase to your business e.g. delivery, return on investment etc. 4.… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
Is your business a lean mean fighting machine or a sluggish sloth-like creature?  Does everything work cleanly and efficiently or do you and your staff lose hours a week to clunky systems that aren’t fit for purpose? Lean thinking is used throughout the business world and beyond to save organisations time and money.  But it’s not just for massive corporations or huge public sector organisations like the NHS.  Everyone from the freelancer or one-man band to the substantial SME will… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
We’ve invited Lee Clark from Oaktree Telemarketing Services, to contribute to the BizSmart blog.  Here’s his first post, and there’ll be more to follow... Whether telemarketing works or not is quite a polarising subject in my experience. So, as a Sales Director for a very capable and successful telemarketing agency, what do I hear from prospects on this subject? "Our message to market is too complicated for a telemarketer to understand" This statement has the chance to cause quite a… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
Stuart Avis of Audacious Creative explains exactly what goes into creating a successful brand… Brand is a bit of a nebulous word to many. For some it means the logo, for others it is the core creative that is rolled out over the business cards, letterheads and the website. Some think of brand as the strapline and others think of it as the entire company, a product or a service. Others see branding as the character of the organisation. In… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
More telemarketing wisdom from Sales Director Lee Clark at Oaktree Telemarketing Services... Do you use telemarketing as part of your sales and marketing strategy?  If you don't, have you ever asked yourself, "Why not?". At Oaktree Telemarketing we regularly take a step back and challenge how we deliver effective services to support sales and marketing teams in our recovering economy. One of my favourite mantras is: “If you always do what you have always done, you will only get what… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
Is your life balanced, or are you focusing too much on one area? Select Member Mike Gardner, also known as The Time Doctor, has 25 tips for helping you to reach your goals while achieving balance in your life: 1 – Get active. Exercising your body helps you discharge stress and reflect on the current status of your life. 2 – Establish daily limits for how much you’ll work. Maybe you could try to set a limit of not working… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
When you first start out in business you’re not always sure exactly what direction you want to go in.  In the beginning there’s a tendency to take all the work you can get.  After all, until you have some experience under your belt, you might not know which clients you want to work with and which ones you don’t.But as time goes on, most businesses begin to realise that all clients are not made equal.  Some need a lot of… Read More
Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter
These tips from Les Gutteridge of 101 SystemWorks aim to help you work faster and more efficiently in Microsoft Word (and many of them work in PowerPoint and Outlook too). Font Size and Case You can grow the font size of any selected text 1 Point More or 1 Point Less by using Ctrl+] or Ctrl+[. This is great for experimentation if you are not quite sure what size you really want. Please stop deleting then retyping text if you… Read More