Essentials.jpg      Starting and running a small business is a massive commitment.  Unlike big businesses that can hire legions of staff to perform all sorts of roles, small business owners end up doing most jobs.  This section provides insight into some key issues for every small owner to think about.

The proof is in the reporting
Billion dollar blue chip companies may seem a world away from the typical small business, but there are many lessons to be learned by studying the strategies these companies use to improve margins and increase profitability.
Don't play the blame game
When mistakes happen, it's easy to point the finger at someone else. But as a business owner, you have to take action for what happens under your watch.
Job interview exaggerations: how to spot them
White lies, embellishment, bending the truth, exaggeration - call it what you like, the fact is when it comes to job interviews, people's desire to get the role can lead them to portray their work history in lets say, 'favourable terms'. This is hardly news. Many might even consider it accepted practice.
Get your price rise right
As the cost of living rises, so does the cost of running a business. But if you don't increase your prices, the additional expenses will eat into your profit margins.
Be a better leader
Leadership can be many things to many people and accordingly it encompasses a range of actions. Formulating a strategic direction, implementing a plan, motivating others, resolving problems  - these are all aspects of successful leadership, but they may leave you wondering, 'when will I have time to simply run my business'
Picking a successor for your family business
The decision of who to hand the reins over to should consider both the needs of your business and the potential effects it will have on your family relationships. While finding the right person for the role is of course crucial, the last thing you want is to create horrendous rifts that will ruin your Christmases for ever more.
Avoid budget mistakes
No matter how big or small an operation is, from a large listed firm down to a small family business, they all need a budget. While many budgets are created, they can end up being compromised if they are unrealistic, too simple, too complex, or if they are forgotten. Therefore it's best to know how to avoid common mistakes so you don't get the budget blues.
Franchising - where to start?
Determined to be your own boss but not interested in is setting up a business completely off your own bat?    You might think franchising is the obvious option - a ready made brand and business model, as well as support from a franchisor - what could be easier? Slow down; the franchise you're thinking of might be a well-known brand and its other stores might be a roaring successes but don't rush in - the normal rules still apply. Planning a business model, seeking advice from experienced experts and asking what it is you want to achieve are all tasks that successful franchisers have dutifully undertaken before making a commitment.
Becoming your own PR practitioner
We often think of public relations as the domain of spin doctors who are sent out by the big-end of town to control the media when there is a looming storm on the horizon. However, rather than merely creating 'spin' PR can be successfully used to notify the public (or in this case, your customers and potential customers) of something positive, e.g. your new business, product, service or an event. Therefore, think of positive PR as another marketing tool which you can use to raise the profile of your small business, and the even better news is, you can do it yourself.
Ready to export?
Many small business' are taking the exporting challenge and expanding their business internationally but before you decide to get in on the action, make sure you are 'export ready'.

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