PolicyBee news and risk advice http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog Articles and posts on professional indemnity insurance, small business news and risk management Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:20:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Customer showcase: AM Business Support Services http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8779/customer-showcase-am-business-support-services http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8779/customer-showcase-am-business-support-services#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:20:17 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8779 AM Business support services logo

Name: Anna McManus
Telephone number: 0773 492 3375
Email address: info@amcbusinesssupport.com
What do you do: Business Support Services
How long have been in business: 18 months
Website: www.amcbusinesssupport.com
Facebook: AM-Business-Support-Services
Twitter ID: @annamc1973

What do you love most about running … Read more....

The post Customer showcase: AM Business Support Services appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
AM Business support services logo

Name: Anna McManus
Telephone number: 0773 492 3375
Email address: info@amcbusinesssupport.com
What do you do: Business Support Services
How long have been in business: 18 months
Website: www.amcbusinesssupport.com
Facebook: AM-Business-Support-Services
Twitter ID: @annamc1973

What do you love most about running your own business?
The variety of things I can get involved in, and helping other businesses to focus on their passion and skill while I do the sometimes boring, but necessary, bits.

And what one thing would you change?
Being disciplined enough to make sure I leave the house at least once a day!

What’s been your greatest success?
Starting from only doing 5 hours a week to now doing in the region of 25 billable hours a week. It’s a great work/life balance for me.

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting up in business?
Do your homework first, speak to other people for advice, and believe in yourself.

Who do you most admire in business and why?
Karren Brady. She’s built an empire but she also gives a lot back to small businesses and networking groups.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Take care of my family and loved ones. Travel the world. Set up another business. Travel the world again!

Why do you have professional indemnity insurance?
I’m a perfectionist and will always do a professional and honest job. That doesn’t mean everyone else will always agree and life isn’t always straightforward. Better safe than sorry!

The post Customer showcase: AM Business Support Services appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8779/customer-showcase-am-business-support-services/feed 0
Competitions and awards for SMEs http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8787/competitions-awards-smes http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8787/competitions-awards-smes#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:23 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8787 Amanda Slater_Rosettes

Gold star 

In February, Ingenious Britain named us their Small Business of the Month.

We found that, not only is winning an award a nice ego boost, it’s also a great marketing opportunity. It shows your customers, and the … Read more....

The post Competitions and awards for SMEs appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
Amanda Slater_Rosettes

Gold star 

In February, Ingenious Britain named us their Small Business of the Month.

We found that, not only is winning an award a nice ego boost, it’s also a great marketing opportunity. It shows your customers, and the rest of the world, that you’re doing a good job.

Unfortunately, we can’t all take on The Dragons, or become Lord Sugar’s next apprentice. However, there are many achievable competitions and awards to be won. Not only could you win some amazing prizes, entering competitions and awards can be a valuable PR opportunity.

Here are a few of the competitions and awards we found that could benefit SMEs.

The Pitch 

To win The Pitch, you have to persuade a panel of judges to invest in your business. If you’re a fan of Dragons’ Den, this one’s for you. The competition is open to any UK business that’s at least three years old, and you have until 13 July to enter.

One hundred applicants will get the chance to attend a boot camp, intended to increase their pitching prowess. Those who really shine will get one of 30 spots at the live final on 23 October, pitching their ideas live to an audience of potential investors, and a panel of judges.

What could I win? One lucky entrepreneur will win an amazing prize package, including press releases, tech, marketing, workspaces, transport vouchers, web design, advertising, and many other things. See all the prizes here.

Who should enter? Impressive Entrepreneurs. Shrinking violets need not apply.  

If you need inspiration for an impressive pitch, check out Levi Roots wowing the Dragons with his Reggae Reggae Sauce song. He landed a £50,000 investment for a 40% share of his business. His fiery sauces are still doing well, you can find them in supermarkets everywhere.

The Startups Awards 

The Startups Awards celebrate the best of the UK’s new businesses. To enter, your company must be less than three years old, based in the UK, and independently owned.

Entrance doesn’t open until 15 July, but you can register your interest here. Categories for this year are unconfirmed, but last year they included categories for freelancers, digital businesses, homeworkers, service businesses, mobile businesses, and several others. Whatever your speciality, there should be an award to suit.

What could I win? Last year’s winners received a trophy each, as well some great PR opportunities. The awards receive national and local media cover, and winners get a nice, shiny ‘winner’ logo to use on their website and other media.

Who should enter? Shining startups deserving some recognition.

Natwest Everywoman Awards 

According to Everywoman, there are 1.5 million self-employed women in the UK. The Everywoman Awards celebrate the UK’s female business owners, as well as encouraging more women to set up their own businesses.

As well as applying to celebrate your own business achievements, you can also nominate other women who you feel deserve a bit of recognition. The award ceremony is on 3 December, and you have until 7 July to apply. The categories for the competition are age-specific; there’s also an award available for innovative use of technology.

What could I win? As well as a neat little purple trophy, the winners will also get a lot of media attention, as well as support from government and industry.

Who should enter? Although the competition is open to all female business owners, including sole traders and partners, the judges are particularly interested in hearing from women who have overcome difficulties to achieve their goals.

The Nectar Small Business Awards 

You’ll have to be quick if you want to apply for this one; entry closes on 30 April. The Nectar Small Business Awards are all about celebrating the best of the UK’s small businesses. There are categories for digital companies, home-grown businesses, innovation, entrepreneurs, contribution to the community, and small business of the year.

The winner of each category is decided by judging panel, apart from the community contribution award, which is by a public vote. If your entry has been shortlisted, you’ll find out after 1 June.

What could I win? The winner of each category will get £2,000 cash, 50,000 nectar points, the opportunity to network with Karen Brady, and many PR opportunities.

Who should enter? SMEs that do well in any of the six award categories.

The world is your oyster 

It may also be worth investigating any SME competitions or awards based in your local area. A quick search for ‘small business awards’ yielded many results, dotted all around the country. Other fellow Easterners may want to look into the East Anglian Daily Time’s Business Awards 2014. They have categories covering all areas of industry, so there’s something for everybody.

Whatever awards or competitions you’re thinking of entering, make sure you put effort and personality into your application. When you’re up against hundreds of other applicants, making a good impression has never been more important.

The post Competitions and awards for SMEs appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8787/competitions-awards-smes/feed 0
Customer showcase: True Diligence Limited http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8793/customer-showcase-true-diligence-limited http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8793/customer-showcase-true-diligence-limited#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:23:21 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8793 True Diligence logo

Name: Michael Crown
Telephone number: 02033978958
Email address: mc@truediligence.co.uk
What do you do: Private investigation
How long have been in business: Since 2011
Website: www.truediligence.co.uk
Twitter ID: true_diligence

What do you love most about running your own business?
The freedom Read more....

The post Customer showcase: True Diligence Limited appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
True Diligence logo

Name: Michael Crown
Telephone number: 02033978958
Email address: mc@truediligence.co.uk
What do you do: Private investigation
How long have been in business: Since 2011
Website: www.truediligence.co.uk
Twitter ID: true_diligence

What do you love most about running your own business?
The freedom to run our investigations on behalf of our clients the way we want, so that we can achieve the best result for our clients, we do not provide “off the shelf” services.

And what one thing would you change?
We’d like to have started sooner, rather than later!

What’s been your greatest success?
Providing critical information that went to witness credibility in High Court litigation for a multi-million pound claim.

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting up in business?
Manage your overheads, be prepared to work hard and make sure that you are straight-forward.

Who do you most admire in business and why?
Nick Hewer! And just because!

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Depends how much I won!

Why do you have professional indemnity insurance?
Because we owe it to our clients, if we mess things up, then we need to be prepared to deal with that. Not that we expect we ever would!  

The post Customer showcase: True Diligence Limited appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8793/customer-showcase-true-diligence-limited/feed 0
UK Computer Emergency Response Team launched http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8739/new-government-response-cybercrime http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8739/new-government-response-cybercrime#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:05:56 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8739 Online safety for kids_Intel Free Press

Action stations 

Cyber-attacks cost small businesses a whopping £21 billion every year.

To soften this hefty economic blow, the government has launched the impressively named Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK).

As well as responding to large-scale cyber incidents, CERT-UK advises … Read more....

The post UK Computer Emergency Response Team launched appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
Online safety for kids_Intel Free Press

Action stations 

Cyber-attacks cost small businesses a whopping £21 billion every year.

To soften this hefty economic blow, the government has launched the impressively named Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK).

As well as responding to large-scale cyber incidents, CERT-UK advises on preventing attacks. Its website issues alerts on current digital risks, and its latest update warns about the demise of Windows XP.

It’s reassuring the government is taking this seriously. Francis Maude, the cabinet minister responsible for cyber security, says the government’s “most important task is to protect our security and ensure Britain is a safe place to work, live and do business.”

How does it work? 

CERT’s responsibilities cover four main areas:

  • Managing incidents that threaten national cyber security. CERT will advise what to do next, including limiting damage and rectifying the situation as quickly as possible.
  • Supporting critical national infrastructure companies to handle cyber incidents. This helps ensure that the emergency services, transport, and the government aren’t scuppered by cyber-attacks.
  • Promoting awareness of cyber threats to businesses, schools and colleges, and the public.
  • Acting as a single point of contact between international CERTs to help tackle cybercrime globally.

Action Fraud will provide CERT with information; it get reports of cybercrime from UK businesses and the public. It’ll also be working with CISP, passing information about cyber vulnerabilities in industry to the government.

A serious solution for a serious problem? Most certainly.

Still brings these guys to mind though:

How will this affect my business? 

It won’t. At least, not in a negative way.

CERT is part of the UK Cyber Security Strategy. This has four main objectives for eradicating cyber incidents:

  • Make the UK one of the world’s safest places to do business.
  • Strengthening digital security, and making the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks.
  • Making online communities like public Wi-Fi networks safer to use.
  • Increasing the UK’s awareness of cybercrime and the risks associated with it.

If the UK meets these objectives, the threat of cybercrime should reduce greatly. This means less chance of losing data to hackers, becoming a victim of fraud, or catching a nasty computer virus.

Fewer cyber risks should also reduce your chances of a professional indemnity claim for data loss, or an e-risks insurance claim for confidentiality breaches and damaged hardware.

A safer future 

Even though CERT aims to make the UK a safer place to do business, we strongly recommend taking steps to minimise the chances of being a cybercrime victim. Get advice on this in our School of Risk, or try the Guardian Small Business Network.

To report cybercrime, always contact Action Fraud. They’ll pass the information you provide on to the police, as well as CERT, if necessary.

Remember, common sense goes a long way when it comes to protecting your business. For everything else, there’s a firewall.

The post UK Computer Emergency Response Team launched appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8739/new-government-response-cybercrime/feed 0
Photographers: use cloud storage http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8437/photographers-use-cloud-storage http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8437/photographers-use-cloud-storage#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:17:44 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8437 Eric Wilde - cloud bird

Back up, punk

Losing client data is never good. Aside from the inconvenience, it’s a potential open door to professional indemnity claims.

If you’ve lost images, you can try a reshoot. But if they’re from a wedding or other unique … Read more....

The post Photographers: use cloud storage appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
Eric Wilde - cloud bird

Back up, punk

Losing client data is never good. Aside from the inconvenience, it’s a potential open door to professional indemnity claims.

If you’ve lost images, you can try a reshoot. But if they’re from a wedding or other unique event your options are going to be sorely limited. And potentially very expensive.

All you can do is apologise profusely and hope no one cries. Or sues.

If you do face a claim for damages, you’d be well advised to call on your professional indemnity insurance. It could pay a specialist to recover the data, as well as compensate your unimpressed clients.

Insurance is all well and good, of course, but prevention is better than cure.

Clear thinking

Cloud storage services are a worth a look if you’re interested in keeping your work safe and sound. Although previously pretty expensive, prices are coming down all the time, and Amazon’s price war with Google can only be a good thing.

You probably know cloud-based backup works by securely storing your work online. This means, once you’ve uploaded the files, you can get them anywhere in the world (assuming you have internet access).

By storing data online you do without the need for physical storage like memory cards, external hard drives, and network storage devices. This instantly gets rid of many potential mess-ups; you can’t spill tea on the cloud, have it stolen, or accidentally leave it on the train.

A common issue with external backup systems is data going AWOL when you’re transferring it, too. However, because cloud-based systems simply need uploaded files, there’s less chance of your images getting lost.

And many cloud systems automatically encrypt data when storing them online – making them more secure than other data systems. Oh, and the cloud can offer almost unlimited storage.

Up in the air? 

Although cloud-based backups tackle many of the common flaws in other data systems, there are a few things to consider before you stick your life’s work online.

Cloud-based systems do need a dependable internet connection. If your connection is slow, uploading your files may take a while. Likewise, although cloud-based data systems are usually cheap, you do have to sign up and often pay a regular subscription.

Since you’re putting your files in the care of a complete stranger, you need to trust them. Although it’s highly unlikely your data would ever be lost, power outages and server problems at their end could mean trouble accessing your files.

Select one with a good online presence and credible reviews. Although it’s common for cloud backup providers to encrypt your files automatically, not all do this. We’d recommend using one that does.

For an idea on what’s available, this 6 best cloud storage services article by PC Advisor is a good read.

And when you’re ready, a free trial is always a usefull way to test if it’s right for you. This business-specific one from Dropbox is a good place to start.

The post Photographers: use cloud storage appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8437/photographers-use-cloud-storage/feed 0
Customer Showcase: Silver Fox Studios http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8717/customer-showcase-silver-fox-studios http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8717/customer-showcase-silver-fox-studios#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:07:07 +0000 http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/?p=8717  

Silver Fox Studios logoName: Waseem Sadiq
Telephone number: 07592077935
Email address: Info@silverfox-studios.com
What do you do: Photography
How long have been in business: 1 year and 3 months
Website: www.silverfox-studios.com
Facebook: silverfoxstudios83
Twitter ID: @sfox_studios

What do you love most about … Read more....

The post Customer Showcase: Silver Fox Studios appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
 

Silver Fox Studios logoName: Waseem Sadiq
Telephone number: 07592077935
Email address: Info@silverfox-studios.com
What do you do: Photography
How long have been in business: 1 year and 3 months
Website: www.silverfox-studios.com
Facebook: silverfoxstudios83
Twitter ID: @sfox_studios

What do you love most about running your own business:
I like the freedom of being my own boss, and I like the day to day challenge of running a business.

And what one thing would you change:
At this moment there’s nothing I would change.

What’s been your greatest success:
Having the opportunity to do a fashion shoot with Bolongaro Trevor, and having my images published in a local magazine. 

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting up in business:
Don’t give up and keep to your plan.

Who do you most admire in business and why:
I admire Richard Branson, he’s an inspiration for not giving up and walking with his head high through failures.

What would you do if you won the lottery:
I would invest in some more business.

Why do you have professional indemnity insurance:
I got professional indemnity for two reasons 1. It was a requirement for the application for BIPP 2. When thing don’t go as planned and for peace of mind.

The post Customer Showcase: Silver Fox Studios appeared first on PolicyBee news and risk advice.

]]>
http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/8717/customer-showcase-silver-fox-studios/feed 0