June 2016

5 Effective Growth Options for Small Businesses

Growth is the ultimate aim of most small businesses – most don’t want to stay small forever. Depending on your sector and your products, growth may be better handled fast or slow. In sectors that are fuelled by innovation, fast growth can be achieved through the timely launch of new products or innovative new services. In more traditional industries, business growth is often slower but less risky. Take a look at the basic strategies you have for small business growth – which one is best suited to your company?

1. Sell More to Existing Customers

This growth strategy is less risky as you are basically building on the strong core of support you already have for your product. But it can mean a lot of hard work. You must convince people that already spend money on your products or services to spend more. You must build better relationships, offer incentives, develop new sales strategies and perfect your up-selling. You may need to take on more people in your sales team, and this can harm your cashflow in the short term – be careful not to overstretch yourself by looking at finance options from companies such as ultimatefinance.co.uk

2. Sell to New Customers

This is probably the best-known and most popular growth strategy for new businesses, particularly when existing clients are already spending as much as they need to on your products. Attracting new customers requires investment in marketing, advertising, and sales. It helps to develop a stronger digital marketing strategy so you can attract more custom using online tactics. Again, you may need to invest in more staff and you will certainly need to spend money on marketing.

3. Develop New Sales Channels

If you have a store, you may think about setting up an online store. Putting your business online is a sure way to pull in more customers so long as you also invest in digital marketing and make sure your online presence is visible.

4. Enter New Markets

If your business has up until now been local or regional, look at how you can offer your services further afield. Find out how to expand the business geographically, and concentrate efforts on developing your company in new markets.

5. Introduce New Products and Services

Another popular expansion strategy, this means you gain a new set of customers through launching a new product but you also sell this new product to existing customers. Make sure that you have done all the research needed to ensure that the product will be popular, and find out where it is most effective to launch the new product in the first place.

Image: Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Your Questions Answered About Gas Safety in Commercial Catering

When you run a catering business you need to make money, provide a good service, and ensure the health and safety of employees and the public when they are on your premises. One important aspect of commercial catering health and safety is gas safety. If you’re looking for answers about gas safety for your catering business, read on.

Why is Gas Safety Important in Commercial Catering?

Gas safety is highly important in a catering business. Making sure that your gas appliances are serviced, maintained and working correctly minimises the risk of fire or explosion, stops deadly carbon monoxide from being circulated, and provides a safe, comfortable environment for staff to work in and the public to visit.

What is the Law Relating to Commercial Catering Gas Safety?

The law governing gas appliances and services in catering is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) as well as the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. This first law applies to the gas equipment you use in your catering business, which includes the equipment for cooking. The second set of regulations governs the use of gas and the systems that carry gas around the premises.

What Are My Responsibilities as a Catering Business Owner?

According to www.milgas.co.uk, you need to ensure that you maintain your gas appliances with regular services by commercial catering engineers. These engineers must be registered Gas Safe in order to work on servicing gas appliances. You should make sure that gas equipment is operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper training should be given to staff so that they can use gas equipment safely. And you need to keep a Gas Safety Record for inspection when needed.

Who Can Work on Gas Equipment in the Catering Business?

The only person who can service, repair or install gas equipment in a catering business (or indeed any other type of business) is a qualified gas engineer who is on the Gas Safe register. You can check that an engineer has the correct registration by looking on the Gas Safe website and checking ID when the engineer visits. The engineer must also be certified competent in terms of working on commercial catering equipment.

How Do I Know if Gas Equipment is Dangerous?

You can often tell if a piece of gas equipment is not working correctly when it has a yellow or orange flame instead of the regular blue flame. Another danger sign is yellow or brown, or sooty, stains that appear surrounding the equipment. A pilot light that always blows out and increased condensation are also danger signs.

Image courtesy of khongkitwiriyachan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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