Friday, January 15, 2021
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Amanda Hamilton, Chief Executive of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP)

If you have a legal issue that you need help with, most people turn to a solicitor. But these can be expensive, charging upwards of £200 per hour, putting them out of reach for many small businesses and for many smaller legal issues, where the fees simply don’t make sense.

However, not all legal problems need a solicitor. Some can be handled, from start to finish, just as well by a paralegal – and they will cost you a lot less.

Paralegal May Be a Better Option
Image: StockUnlimited

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Monday, December 21, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

As an online business, there are plenty of things to keep in mind. Not only starting and maintaining such a business but also, the necessity to take account of the statutory or regulatory requirements you are obliged to fulfill or to which you must adhere.

More and more consumers are purchasing online than ever before. Therefore, as a business, you should be aware of your legal obligations and ensure that your terms and conditions are clear.

Most online sales come under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 which came into force on the 13th June 2014.

What You Need to Do if You Sell Online

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Friday, December 18, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Sid Madge, Meee

The Christmas holidays will be very different this year. For many of us, Covid restrictions will still be in place. And given the tough time we’ve had, it may be tempting to shake off the negativity and enjoy a few days of fun with loved ones. However, considering the potential consequences it might be better to take a different approach. Why not use the Christmas holidays to change your life, both at home and at work?

Isn’t it funny how so many of us are desperate to celebrate Christmas together even though it is a notoriously stressful time of year, even in ‘normal’ times? Family niggles around the dinner table, eating too much, drinking too much, and spending far too much money!

Use the Festive Season to Change Your Life and Work
Image: Pexels

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Thursday, December 17, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Graham W Price, psychologist, CEO Abicord

Challenges, whether business-related, work-focused, or money worries, can conspire to make us feel down and sap our energy and enthusiasm. Imagine what it would be like if you could have a permanent positive mindset? If these things didn’t affect you negatively but could be faced without fear or stress?

Seven Ways to Build a Positive Mindset in Your Workplace
Image: Pexels

It might sound far-fetched but it’s possible. Here are seven, easy-to-follow, steps to building a more positive, powerful mindset:

1. Owning our reactions

Most people think our reactions are caused by something someone else has said or done. If that were true, we’d all react in the same way. The truth is our reactions are the result of our own internal (unconscious) programming. The other person’s action is just the trigger.

2. Perspective

Conflict is driven by two different perspectives. Avoid conflict by recognizing this, and making an effort to understand the other person’s perspective.

3. Act as if

Act as if …. you’re someone you admire, who can do what you want to do. Or ‘act as if’ you already have more powerful self-beliefs. Every time we act more powerfully, we strengthen our mindset.

4. Negative thoughts

The average person has over 20 negative thoughts per day. (I meet people who have many hundreds per day). All negative thoughts involve wanting something to be different. A negative thought about the past wants something that’s happened not to have happened. A negative thought about the present wants something that exists, not to exist right now. The past can never be changed, and what already exists can never be undone.

Worry wants the future to be different, from the way we think it might be, in an aspect of life that we believe we cannot control. If we believed we could control it, we wouldn’t be worrying. So that makes worry as crazy as wanting the past or present to be different.

We can drop negative thoughts through a four-step process called Positive-Acceptance, abbreviated to ‘Pacceptance’.

  1. Notice we’re having one.
  2. Recognise it’s crazy, for the reasons I’ve mentioned.
  3. Drop the thought (replacing worry with a line out of a well-known song …. ‘Que sera sera, whatever will be will be’).
  4. Refocus on the only thing ever worth thinking about: what can I do, if anything, to gain more control of the future? If once, we’ve dropped the thought, it comes back, that’s good news, as we’ll only get good at ‘Pacceptance’ with practice. So, drop it again, after reminding ourselves why it’s crazy. It won’t keep coming back. I haven’t had a negative thought, for more than two seconds, for 23 years.

5. Blame

‘Pacceptance’ doesn’t work for blaming thoughts about the past or present. We may know we can’t change the past or present, but we might still think they ‘should’ have been different. Blame, of ourselves or others, can be removed by understanding the philosophy of ‘determinism’. This says that everything we’ve ever thought, felt or done, is the only thing we could have thought, felt, or done, at that moment. Everything we do is determined by just two things. The first is the situation we’re in at the time. The second is ‘who we are’ at that moment. That includes things like our knowledge and abilities, attitudes and beliefs, morals and values, unconscious programming. The only way we could ever have done anything differently at any moment is if ‘who we were’ at that moment had been different. Blame ignores this truth. So drop it. (This doesn’t remove ‘responsibility’).

6. Limiting feelings

The difference between feelings and thoughts is that thoughts only occur in the mind, whereas feelings also occur in the body. Examples of limiting feelings are anxiety, aspects of depression, and feeling cold. The key to dealing with limiting feelings is ‘acceptance’. Ask three questions about any feeling:

  1. Is it harming me? No-one has ever been harmed by a feeling. Even feeling cold is simply a message to the brain. (By contrast, being cold, the source of the feeling, can harm us),
  2. Can I bear it? All feelings, other than extreme pain, are bearable,
  3. So if it’s harmless and bearable, what exactly is the problem with having this feeling? There isn’t one. Practice the three questions by creating discomfort, e.g. turn the hot water down a bit in the shower for 10 seconds; run up an escalator or flight of stairs. Accepting feelings will diminish them. To eliminate the feeling, do the opposite of whatever the feeling is telling us to do, e.g. accept feeling anxious speaking to groups, and join a speaking club.

7. Free-will

Free-will is the only escape from determinism. Determinism is run by our auto-pilot (or ‘mindset’). Free-will is noticing what our auto-pilot is about to get us to do and do something more powerful or productive instead. This will get us a better immediate result, and strengthen our auto-pilot.


Graham W Price
  
Graham W Price is a chartered psychologist, personal and executive coach and development trainer. He’s an accredited member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), CEO of Abicord and Abicord Consulting and founder of the Change a Billion Minds project. He is author of The Promise published by Pearson.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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Thursday, December 10, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Marta Kalas, Thomson Screening

As Covid-19 continues what does your business need for the next phase? What is required are processes and systems to support the safe running of the business, without dominating your every minute.

One way to do that is to create a Covid Safety Toolkit. This is a package of tools that will help you keep track of the changes and the ever-increasing regulation and actions you need to stay on top of. For example, Thomson Screening has developed a toolkit to help SMEs work through what’s needed and how to action it. It provides a checklist, training, and sample documentation. Although creating a toolkit may sound overwhelming, the good news is; none of these activities is new. Businesses do them all the time. It is the fact that you need a Covid flavored versions that make them different today.

Covid Safety Toolkit
Image: Pexels

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Ben Jones, AberInnovation

There are now many business accelerators on offer. If you have what you believe is a strong business idea should you join a program?  How might you benefit?

Let’s begin by describing what a business accelerator is:

An accelerator program is usually one that gives developing companies access to advice, training, mentorship, investors, and other support that will help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses. An accelerator program can help from the very earliest ‘lightbulb’ stage of a business, through to those businesses who need help scaling up or attracting investment.

That is the concept but do accelerator programs really help entrepreneurs in practice? Some are free, but some programs can be quite expensive to join, so it is important to understand the benefits you can gain by taking part.

Business Accelerator Program
Image: Pixabay

Let us look at the top benefits you can gain by joining the appropriate business accelerator.

You will Test and Validate your Idea

Everyone with an ostensibly good idea thinks that theirs has heaps of potential and will plug an as-yet unfilled gap in the market, leading to untold riches and recognition. But of course, not every bright idea can be a success. In reality, most ideas for new products and services barely get off the ground.

Being selected to take part in the right accelerator program gives you a chance to really validate your idea and test your hypotheses. Is there a market for your product? Do the financials stack up? Do the costs involved in the development and/or manufacture make it a viable proposition? Is it investable?

When we’ve had an idea for a while, it’s only natural to become emotionally invested in it. The mentorship and expertise found on an accelerator program will help you to make a clear-headed and dispassionate evaluation of whether your idea has legs.

Furthermore, a good program will help you make the adjustments and course-corrections that may be required – saving you from wasting months, if not years, barking up the wrong tree.

You will Experience Comprehensive Support

Many budding entrepreneurs who end up on accelerators don’t come from business backgrounds and soon learn that launching and growing a new business can be a daunting endeavor. Accelerator programs will address participants’ knowledge gaps (not to mention offering plenty of reassurance and emotional support!) by providing mentors, success stories, and subject experts to support you and equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to get your idea off the ground.

The valuable experience and hard-won advice shared by successful entrepreneurs can be lightning in a bottle for fledgling founders. Many programs, such as BioAccelerate 2020, set aside time in their schedules to invite founders and directors in relevant fields to offer their wisdom and to share their journeys with the cohort.

You will Benefit from Cutting-edge Facilities

Right now, there is a proliferation of business accelerators. However such programs differ. Of course, there are overlaps and similarities: most programs will cover core topics such as finances, intellectual property, branding, product development, etc. And some programs go much further than this.

Sector-specific programs, and ones that are aligned to universities or innovation parks, can often provide access to cutting-edge facilities and equipment, together with the pre-eminent expertise that you’d expect to find at an academic institution.

To take one example, the BioAccelerate program offered at AberInnovation gives startups in the biotechnology, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors access to their brand-new £40.5m campus, which includes a state-of-the-art biorefinery and a Future Food Centre.

You will Learn What Investors Want

Unless you’re fortunate enough to be in line to inherit the family fortune, you’re probably going to need investment at some stage to grow your company and to bring your product or service to market.

Accelerator programs invariably end with some sort of pitch or demo day, where you’ll demonstrate the progress you’ve made over the course of the program to a panel of industry experts and potential investors. Learning how to present to these types of audiences will be vital in securing funding at the various stages of your startup’s journey.

You will Join a Supportive Cohort

Developing a new product or service can be lonely. By definition, there often won’t be many others (or indeed any) doing the same thing. To ensure you keep up your morale and motivation levels, it’s important to find a welcoming and supportive group of peers who are on a similar path.

This means it is imperative to find the right program that has rigorous and robust selection criteria to ensure a cohort of inspiring and ambitious entrepreneurs. There are bound to be difficult days and moments of doubt as you develop your proposition over the course of an accelerator program. A supportive group that you can bounce ideas off and which will provide feedback will help you navigate these challenging times.

In an increasingly interdisciplinary world where problems often require a multitude of solutions, these bonds may even lead to fruitful future opportunities.

If you can identify the right accelerator program for your business/business idea in your particular sector, it can set you on the right track.  Check out the programs currently available and apply.  If you are willing to put the work in both during the program and afterward your business can benefit hugely.


Ben Jones
  
Ben Jones is from AberInnovation. Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus (AberInnovation) provides world-leading facilities and expertise within the biotechnology, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors. Set in stunning scenery between the Cambrian Mountains and the Irish Sea, the £40.5m Campus offers an ideal environment for business and academic collaboration to flourish.

For more information about BioAccelerate, visit the BioAccelerate page.

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Thursday, November 5, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Louise Palmer Masterton, Stem & Glory

‘A Life on our Planet’ is the new documentary by David Attenborough.

He described it as his ‘witness statement’ and it contains compelling statistics that define the devastating problems we face if we do not stop destroying our planet. The film shows the numbers for the rapid increase in the global population, the increase in carbon in the atmosphere, and the accompanying sharp decrease in unfarmed natural land.

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Monday, November 2, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Michelle McWilliam, Osteopath and Acupuncturist and co-owns The Totalcare Clinic

Does your job mean you sit at a desk for far too many hours each day? Or does your work involve a lot of lifting? Or, perhaps, moving equipment around? Or working over a low table?

It’s vital to protect your back, whatever kind of work you do. Our body is designed to be able to undertake these activities. However, a combination of repetition, poor technique, or inadequate physical fitness can mean we suffer from injuries that cause pain, ranging from a mild backache to serious pain.

Back Pain
Image: StockUnlimited

So, how can you better look after your back to avoid problems?

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Thursday, October 29, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Sid Madge, Meee

They say every cloud has a silver lining. What about global pandemics – do they have silver linings? There is little doubt Covid-19 has caused chaos and it’s not over yet. But it has forced many of us, at least temporarily, off the relentless treadmill of business and family life. We have spent more time with loved ones and the situation has given us a unique opportunity for stillness and time to reflect on what’s really important for ourselves and for our businesses.

Important and Creating Change
Image: Pixabay

That reflection has created some surprising results. According to a UK YouGov poll, only 8% of people want to go back to life as it was before the pandemic. The Economist has stated that this forced home working experiment is likely to change work-life forever, perhaps toward some hybrid model that works for everyone. This suggests that we have an opportunity to go way beyond some compromised version of ‘new normal’. We can take time, right now,  to consider what is important to us moving forward and make a plan for making that happen.

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Monday, October 26, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Amanda Hamilton, National Association of Licensed Paralegals

As if running a business was not stressful enough, having a legal problem can end up causing real distress.

Most people’s first thought would be to hire a solicitor. However, the cost of using a solicitor can be financially prohibitive and not within the reach of most pockets. Solicitors charge fees of anywhere between £150 per hour to £600 + per hour. They can even charge you £500 for writing a letter on your behalf.

Legal Problems in Your Business
Image: StockUnlimited

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