Briefings to keep you one step ahead of recession

BUSINESS Link briefings in Comet country could be right up your street – and best of all, they won t break your recession-hit bank account. Business Link has harnessed the skills and expertise of organisations such as The Chartered Institute of Marketing

BUSINESS Link briefings in Comet country could be right up your street - and best of all, they won't break your recession-hit bank account.

Business Link has harnessed the skills and expertise of organisations such as The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and HM Revenue & Customs UK to strengthen the delivery of their new timetable of must-attend events.

Today's economy may have raised concerns for the region's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) about employing staff and as a result, written terms of employment, but support and advice on these sorts of issues and many more are now on your doorstep.

Circumstances such as streamlining the workforce can only be made easier by further developing management skills and honing appraisal skills, and what better place to do so than at a venue near you, with Business Link in the East of England?

With purse strings tightened over the past few months and an increased focus on book-keeping and accounts, it is refreshing to know that the only cost to your business of attending these events is time.

So, if you're struggling to know how to pitch for finance, for example, don't pay out for training. Or if you want to explore the PR potential of your product or service, PR for virgins is for you. Business Link has workshops on a whole host of skills, free of charge.

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IT and e-commerce is the hub of many businesses. For pre-start and start-up businesses, planning and developing a website may be the first step towards exploiting the technical opportunities of the modern business world. For established businesses the spotlight may be on growing IT in your business and getting the maximum benefit from your IT systems. Ensuring your IT is effective saves time, and time is money.

Developing and nurturing your business assets will strengthen your competitive advantage. Using the intellectual property system to protect and grow your business will ensure the creativity and innovation that differentiate your business from its competitors remain yours and yours alone.

Staying abreast of changes in legislation is critical to SMEs. Do you know what's new for businesses? Fire regulations - are you hot on the topic? Are you au fait with health and safety for small businesses? For businesses in the region that are planning for growth and analysing the potential for trading across the Channel, consideration should be given to legislation relating to your business and Europe.

Reaching new markets, and certainly new customers, may be facilitated by smart networking. Fully capitalising on new business opportunities may be dependent on your presentation skills but will be achieved by knowing how to write a winning tender. And no challenge is too great. Tendering for public sector contracts is not out of reach, even for SMEs but, before embarking on such a pitch, an introduction to public sector tendering will be invaluable.

There will be an event at the Goldsmith Centre for Business at Broadway, Letchworth GC, on November 27 and two at the Business and Technology Centre in Bessemer Drive, Stevenage, on December 4.

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