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  • SEO | Forest Software
    for them by another SEO company who were pitching for business just how many myths there are in the SEO industry It s a good sign that the person you are talking to doesn t understand how to optimise a site effectively when they start to repeat some of these myths and I thought I d mention some of my favourite ones as of November 2015 Continue reading Posted in Business advice SEO Webpage Design Published January 1 2015 By John Mitchell I have been having a long conversation recently by email with a client who is determined to have a website with just a single page Now if he was looking for a site like this one which is obviously a site that is designed to have a just a single page and then if visitors click on the more information button at the bottom of the page send them to another site I d agree with them This is a site that is meant as a teaser as it were it doesn t have any intention of telling the visitor everything about the subject just enough to whet the appetite as it were and send them to another site that has more details and in this case the option to buy a product However from the conversations that I ve had with them it seems that they are looking for a site more like this one for a freelance PA based in Peterborough or this one for a pizza oven builder in Holland which uses some interesting transitions between the pages Continue reading Posted in Business advice Marketing SEO Things we will not do in SEO Published August 27 2014 By John Mitchell This blog post is as a result of a conversation that I had recently with

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/blog/category/seo/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Working at home : Forest Software
    know how to work on it Continues below As newcomers will soon find out persistence is the most important factor for success as it is with any business You can not start earn 1000 every month just after you start a home based business However many people quit this opportunity after just 1 or 2 months with no results How long it will take to make a reasonable income You will need between 6 months to a year after that you can start gain back from your hard work as long as you keep on with your internet promotion activities So what kinds of activities should you use to promote your online home business We know that you need to increase your website s exposure the more targeted visitors the more sales First you need to invest money to have a good website built Make sure that it loads quickly and is readable try to avoid splash pages when the website first loads Remember KISS Keep It Simple Stupid not everyone can or wants to sit through a flash presentation of your business Secondly publicise your site think about all the paperwork you generate and emails that you send to friend and collegues is your website address URL where it can be seen Note that this is not the same as spamming emails to millions of people that you do not know Do you run a car or van why not put the website address on it there are several options from sign writing through advertising decals to magnetic signs Third visit popular search engines like Yahoo Google Bing etc work out who the top sites have links from and try to get links from siliar sites You can offer to place a reciprocal linking on your own website if

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/working-at-home.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Work-Life Balance for Small Businesses : Forest Software
    heavy workload you have to deal with an cause problems when it clashes with family commitments and social life What you may not have realised that this imbalance between the work and personal life can have a detrimental effect on your business as well The benefits of a better work life balance Having good work live balance policies in place in your business is proven to be good for business and staff morale Introducing a flexible working policy can in many cases benefit everyone Many employers who have introduced such a policy believe that it has made good business sense and has brought some or all of the following improvements some of which have a direct effect on the profits made by the business Greater cost effectiveness and efficiency such as savings on overheads when employees are working from home or increased use of machinery when multiple shifts have been introduced Ability to attract a better skilled workforce flexible working can mean that your business is able to attract staff with higher skills Reduced staff turnover staff are offered hours that they can manage rather than being forced into working hours that are unsuitable This in turn leads to a reduction in recruitment costs Lower rates of absenteeism flexible working can make staff happier and healthier so they are less likely to take time off work Increased customer satisfaction You may find that you are able to offer longer opening hours more experienced staff and a better overall service These are all things that your customers may appreciate Gains The main gain for your employees will get from flexible working is the increased opportunity to mix work with other commitments such as family This is typically sold as being helpful for people who are caring for children or other dependents but can be just as useful for other members of staff who will feel more in control of their life for example being able to finish early one day a fortnight to get some shopping so their week end is free for hobbies Introducing flexible working in your business The process of introducing flexible working shouldn t be difficult as long as the introduction is planned implemented and monitored across the business You should consult and inform staff before you introduce the policy and consider the effect on other systems and personnel procedures For example you may need a new way of recording working patterns absence and holidays You should remember that existing contracts may have to be changed to reflect the new policy and rules make sure that you get the written agreement of your staff before this happens You should make sure that you are up to date with your employees rights in regard to flexible working information about this can be found on the Department of Trade and Industry web site Types of flexible working and some common terms Part time working Staff are contracted to work less than the standard basic full time hours for example

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/work-life-balance.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Office Types : Forest Software
    should check that your mortgage and house insurance do not stop you from working at home You should also check that there are no restrictions in your house deeds or lease if you are renting and that the local council do not mind Often there are no objections if you only get the occassional visitor to your home office but if you were getting people coming to the office many times a day all week the local authority and your home contents insurer may object Another major problem is that many people working from home tend to work much longer hours as they find it very difficult to switch off at the end of the working day and shut the door on the work Using your home telephone number for business calls means that you could be receiving calls in the evenings and the weekend when you want a bit of peace and quiet consider a second telephone line reserved for business use it s also easier for accounting purposes Maintaining a professional business image whilst conducting a meeting with a customer in your front room with children or dogs around can also be difficult It can be better to have a spare room set aside as an office or even as some people that I know have done to convert a garage or garden workshop into an office again you will need to check with your local council Virtual Offices A virtual office will provide you with an office presence without having to physically lease office space A virtual office package will usually provide your business with the use of a business address personalised telephone answering post handling and mail forwarding and even in some cases the use of private offices and meeting rooms on an ad hoc basis Using the services of a virtual office solution on a pay as you use basis such as using a personalised answering service or a virtual receptionist might be a cheaper and less risky option to consider before investing in more permanent office arrangements There are many providers of virtual offices we would suggest Need More Time who offer a highly personal flexible service which meets the requirements of each of their clients individually An alternative good source of companies in the UK can be the Exchange and Mart talking to other small businesses may also result in some good recommendations Serviced Offices Serviced offices are extremely attractive to new start ups as a first office and also appeal to companies that want flexibility in their office accommodation Whether you need to move in for a day a month or even a year many serviced offices can be leased on a short term basis and as there is no capital expenditure required it s a low risk arrangement for your business Not only do most serviced offices provide fully equipped furnished offices hot desks and meeting rooms but they may also provide a wide range of secretarial and support services in

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/office-types.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Virtual Office Services : Forest Software
    a full time receptionist As you may know a large number of people will not leave messages on answer phones or voicemail systems in fact it can be as high as 50 of all callers Unanswered phones and engaged tones can all annoy your caller and if it s a prospective customer this the last thing you would want to happen who knows it may be a big contract or sale If somebody is trying to call you then you should show them that their call is valued and appreciated at the very least The best way to demonstrate appreciation this is to answer their call personally by a human being and not leave it to a machine You could employ staff to answer your phones and indeed you may already do so But employing people means that you have all the the costs of employment Salaries pension payments Employers National Insurance for example plus the cost of providing the phone lines and phone equipment and the cost of offices in which to accommodate them Even with this expenditure still some calls could go unanswered either because all your staff are already on the phone or you are short staffed because of holidays or sickness The solution is to use a call handling service The best method is one that means that you still answer the calls you are able to Using the latest technology it is possible to divert all the calls which you don t answer straight to a dedicated team of call handlers without the caller even knowing These will answer the phone in your name and take a message for you or may even be able to answer questions on your behalf The service normally costs a fraction of what it would cost to employ your own staff to handle calls The better call handling companies can handle any reasonable number of calls made to your number at the same time thus reducing the risk of engaged tones Mail handling The use of email is growing and there are predictions that normal mail is on it s way out but at the moment it s still an important form of communication between businesses However if you re working from home you may not wish to give out your personal address for one reason or another If you re away from your home or office on a regular basis you may not always receive your mail as quickly as you wish Or if your business comprises several people in different locations you may still want a single address for people to be able to send post to before it is sent to the individual concerned Many virtual office suppliers can receive post for you and then forward it to your own address or store it for you to pick up Virtual PA You may like the idea of having a personal assistant but feel that you can not afford the expense of employing someone or you may

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/virtual-office-services.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Business Structures - Forest Software
    creditors and other matters The possible main options you have are shown below Sole Trader This is the simplest and cheapest way of trading There are only a few formalities to trading in this way the most important of which is informing the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise for VAT purposes if your turnover exceeds the current limit You must prepare accounts each year and they will form the basis of how you pay your tax and national insurance Any profits generated as a sole trader are automatically yours The business of a sole trader is not distinguished from the proprietor s personal affairs so that if you incur any business debts you are legally liable to pay those debts right down to your last brass farthing Partnership A partnership is an extension of being a sole trader Here a group of two or more people will come together pool their talents clients and business contacts so that together they can build a more successful business than they would individually The partners will agree to share the joint profits in a pre determined percentage normally based on the amount of money put into the partnership or the amount of work each partner does It is advisable to draw up a Partnership Agreement which sets the rules of how the partners will work together Partners are taxed in the same way as sole traders but only on their own share of the partnership profits There is no restriction on your exposure to business creditors Indeed you are jointly and severally liable for the partnership debts so that if certain partners are unable to pay their share of the partnership debts then those debts can fall on the other partners Limited Company A limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners and is registered at Companies House It can trade own assets and incur liabilities in its own right Your ownership of the company is recognised by owning shares in that company If you also work for the company you are both the owner and an employee of that company When a company generates profits they are the company s property Should you wish to extract money from the company you must either pay yourself a dividend as an shareholder or a salary as an employee The advantage to you is that you can have a balance of these two to minimise your overall tax and national insurance liability Companies themselves pay corporation tax on their profits after paying your salary but before your dividend distribution and also pay employers National Insurance on any salary paid to you Effective tax planning requires profits salary and dividends to be considered together and you should talk to an accountant about this Limited companies also have to prepare annual accounts tax returns and returns to Companies House although your accountant may well do much of this work for you for a fee There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to operating

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/business-types.html (2016-02-08)
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  • UK Business Insurance - Forest Software
    compulsory employers liability insurance Since the end of February 2005 limited companies with only one employee where that employee also owns 50 or more of the company s shares have also been exempt from this compulsory employers liability insurance If you run a company van lorry or car motor vehicles liability insurance is also compulsory and must cover at least third party fire and theft as it would if you ran a personal car Van insurance can be more difficult to obtain than car insurance in the authors experience and you may be better to go to a specialist van insurance broker Optional Insurance Other categories of insurance are optional and a decision as to whether or not you need cover under any given heading will depend on the nature of your business and an assessment of the risks You should talk to your advisor before making any decision Public liability insurance Although this is not strictly a compulsory insurance you will probably feel that you need public liability insurance cover As the name suggests it covers claims for damages to third parties Professional indemnity insurance This is normally only likely to be necessary if you give advice which could make you liable It protects against any loss suffered by your customers as a result of negligent advice In some professions it is compulsory examples being the law accountancy and financial services However it is common in other sectors such as computer consultancy and publishing and may even be a condition of a contract you may sign to provide services in these industries Property insurance You can think about limiting cover to specific risks such as fire and flood or providing more general cover Consider the level of cover you would need for the premises if you own the building any equipment and stock If you rent your premises then you should check that the landlord has the appropriate cover it may be that you need to take out this insurance under the terms of your lease Theft insurance If your business does not use expensive items of equipment then you might to decide to pass on this one at least initially If you do decide to provide cover for theft then an insurer will require a reasonable minimum level of security such as locks on the doors etc You should make sure that the amount insured covers the replacement cost of the equipment Business interruption insurance This insurance covers compensation for lost profits and extra costs if your business is disrupted due to say a fire It is also sometimes referred to as consequential loss insurance Key man insurance A small business is often dependent on a small number of key members of staff What would happen if they became seriously ill or died Do you need to consider insurance cover to pay out in such a situation Specialised insurance A whole host of different policies cover a range of specialist situations for example engineering insurance and computer policies

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/business-insurance.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Using Broadband in your business : Forest Software
    chosen what type of connection speed you need Often broadband is priced according to it s speed The faster the speed the quicker you will be able to see web pages an download files but the more it will cost you per month Most small companies where only a few people are using the connection for email and web access should be able to manage on speeds of 1Mb or less however if your business makes extensive use of the internet and email then you will need a faster speed possibly a 2Mb line or even a faster line than that such a line should be able to support basic web video conferencing and VOIP Of course if you download large files or have many video or audio feeds into your business then you may want to look at the latest speeds of 8Mb although not all lines will support such a speed Find a broadband supplier As with telephone suppliers there are many suppliers of broadband in the UK and they all seem to have different prices By asking around you should be able to identify a short list of suppliers for your connection Costs for basic business packages start at 20 30 per month but you may well find that for a reasonably sized business you will be looking at around 70 per month to give you a multi user networked account Generally the fee is fixed per month but some suppliers may charge extra if you transfer too much data each month called an excess bandwidth charge There is also normally a set up and installation charge that can vary between 50 and 200 At Forest Software we use a company called Andrews and Arnold and have been happy with them in fact in June 2006 we upgraded to their MAX package and are now getting a reliable 8Mb connection the process was quick and easy with a switch over that took place early on a Monday morning It may be worth comparing them with other business broadband suppliers note that we have no connection with them other than as a customer Installing Broadband Once your line has been set up at the telephone exchange installation of broadband in your office is fairly straightforward Normally you plug a micro filter or splitter into the telephone socket and then plug the router or broadband modem into the filter Connect the modem to your computer and install any broadband connection software that came with the modem and you should be up and running If you are using a network then you plug the router into the filter and follow the instructions to allow access to the router To save on having to run cables around the office you may want to consider installing a wireless router these often have the capability of supporting up to 16 pc s and are very easy to set up The router then allows any machine laptop PDA or desktop PC with a wireless

    Original URL path: http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk/business-broadband.html (2016-02-08)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-27