How to Boost Your Business in The UK

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The term “global economy” has been bandied about for more than a decade and there is no doubt that with evolving technology, businesses can go global from anywhere in the world.

To that end, if you’re looking for a new direction to take your interests, you may want to consider the United Kingdom (UK). Taking a business to the UK can be a unique and profitable opportunity when equipped with the right insight.

But keep these simple strategies in mind to help avoid pitfalls when entering the UK market:

-Prepare. Before exploring taking your business to the UK, do your due diligence. Be aware of opportunities to launch your business in conjunction with an annual show or exhibition, or by putting on your own event designed to appeal to UK consumers.

-Plan. Several elements of expanding a business overseas are the same as those for expanding within the United States – locating space, hiring staff, and creating local interest and buzz.

However, these tasks can be challenging to complete remotely and having local insight on factors including competitors, the right route to market, and the appetites and demands of customers/consumers allows an incoming business to be more efficient and effective.

-Partner. A common pitfall that businesses may encounter when establishing a foothold in the UK is trying to manage everything from the United States.

Forming a partnership with a local marketing group can help incoming companies understand the local business environment and open up networks.

-Purpose. Determine the goals you want to achieve with your business expansion.

For consumer goods, pop-ups are one way to test the waters by setting up a short-term shop. Consider social media campaigns and focus groups. But remember that what sells in the United States may not sell the same way in the UK. Determine whether your business brand travels well and what products or services will be a hit by utilizing local experts to design ways to target your core audience.

-Profit. Many factors make the UK a desirable place to grow a business and increase profits, including tax breaks, flexible employment, and a diverse population.

Partnering with a local company that specializes in helping businesses enter the UK ensures that you make the most of this new market opportunity.

Small Business Checklist for Tax-Time Technology

Anyone who operates a small business, home-based business, or even a home office knows that tax time can be stressful. However, investing in the right equipment and technology can help a small business navigate tax season – and every season – smoothly and efficiently.

Some tips to make technology work for you at tax time:

– Digitize: Making the transition to digital documents can be a big step for a small business, but converting documents to digital is becoming increasingly simple and popular.

Advantages of scan-to-digital at tax time include less paper to sort through and easy access to a variety of records.

– Go mobile: Try using a mobile device or laptop and a portable scanner to digitize tax documents while on the road.

Portable scanners can save space in the office setting as well, by reducing the amount of space needed to store paper records and documents.

Printing from a mobile device or laptop to a wireless-enabled printer also helps save time, especially during tax season. And many printers have security features for output management and ease of use.

When choosing the right office products, key points to consider include:

– Convenience. Equipment that is easy to set up and use saves valuable time for small businesses. For those on the go, portable products such as the Canon imageFORMULA P-215II┬áScan-tini┬áhandle document scanning for individuals on the road or working remotely. A lightweight design allows for easy document digitization from a range of locations, such as a hotel, airport, offsite meeting venue, or a home office.

– Confidence. Investing in technology with a trusted reputation means less worry that an office solution – hardware or software – might fail at a crucial time. The technology of scanners designed for small businesses has improved in recent years.

“Small businesses with limited resources demand reliability and dependability in their document management technology,” says Nobuhiko Kitajima, VP and general manager of Canon USA Inc.’s Business Imaging Solutions Group.

One example, the Canon imageFORMULA DR-M260 Office Document Scanner, provides small businesses with reliable and efficient performance, and comes with an industry-leading, five-year warranty.

– Protection. Data security is essential, especially for businesses that work in the cloud. Be sure to choose products with security features, such as password protection, multi-factor log-in and output file encryption.

How to Succeed in Selling Your Business

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As a larger proportion of the American population reaches retirement age, the issues of wealth transfer and asset management become even more prominent.

“The largest transfer of wealth in history is now underway, and it is in the form of established operating businesses owned by Baby Boomers,” according to a white paper by C2C Business Strategies, LLC, a business management and consulting organization specializing in business transitions.

Baby boomers and their transition advisors will face several challenges over the next several decades.

Some tips to make the most of the transition include:

– Prep work: Many baby boomer business owners have given little or no thought to the transition process, and they may find themselves unable to sell the business when they want to. Most financial consultants recommend a lead time of three to five years to prepare a business. Meanwhile, as more baby boomers seek retirement, the surplus of businesses available for sale may reduce business values.

– True value: Survey findings of business owners suggest that many overestimate the value of a business because they are basing estimates on projections or future orders rather than the current cash the business is generating.

– Good advice: Baby boomers looking to sell their business can benefit from a skilled transition advisor to guide and direct the process. Advisors can help business owners decide on a realistic price and determine a sale structure that works for both buyers and sellers.

As in the case of a real estate agent negotiating a home sale, a business advisor will find the right buyer for a business and will work with the buyer and seller until the transaction is complete.

Tips for business owners to help ensure a smooth sale include:

– Good housekeeping: Make sure all financial information is current and in order. Time is essential once a business-sale transaction is underway, so don’t slow down the process by scrambling for information.

– Flexible financing: Data show that sellers who accept financing terms receive, on average, 86 percent of their asking price, compared with 70 percent for those who will only accept cash. An advisor can help sellers evaluate financing terms to maximize sale prices.