A pondering business man

Why an end-of-the-year assessment is good for small business owners

A pondering business man

December is a good time to pause and reflect, before setting meaningful goals and preparing for a purpose-filled in the coming year.

Learning from Bill Gates who has spoken much about taking some time off in December to do an end-of-the-year assessment, many successful entrepreneurs also follow suit. They take stock of the past 11 months and pause for reflection – pondering ideas, celebrating accomplishments, questioning certain decisions made and most importantly, using this opportunity to create self-awareness without judgement.

The concept of doing an end-of-the-year assessment is incredibly powerful. For small business owners in London who have been battling with rising costs and unpredictable economic climate, taking a day or two to reflect can actually sharpen your focus and help you plan for the next year. While there is no set-in-stone framework on how one should go about doing this end-of-the-year assessment, in this article, we aim to discuss a few points which may help to facilitate this process.

The top eight questions to ask during an end-of-the-year assessment

1. What have you achieved?

Let’s start with a note of encouragement by stating what you have achieved this year. Let your mind take you back to those peak moments and remember the satisfying feelings. Acknowledging achievements is a meaningful way to recognise the positive aspects of what you have been doing and reinforce the positive behaviour you want to carry on.

2. What has not worked and why?

This may be harder than it sounds as not many people like to reflect on failures candidly, but doing so shows an act of courage and can develop resilience.

Don’t ignore the ‘why’ part and state the reasons line by line objectively. And despite they say don’t cry over spilt milk, if the scenario were to happen again, would you do it differently?

3. What have I learnt?

Having an appetite for learning – be it business lessons or anything that interests you – can challenge your thinking, test your understanding, and prepare you to be more flexible and adaptable. All of these will make you a better person and also a better entrepreneur.

4. What areas do I need help with?

Acknowledging you need help is a sign of strength. At Berley, our small business accountants like to say that entrepreneurs are like superheroes who are relentless when it comes to achieving their dreams. But even superheroes can’t achieve all by themselves and they need help from a group of supporters.

We believe that business mentors are immensely valuable to small business owners. They can assist you on a myriad of business issues, help with decision-making and motivate you towards a future goal. If you are at a stage where you feel overwhelmed or you simply need someone to help you figure out what is next, this post How business mentors can help small business owners may make a good read.

5. What have I enjoyed the most?

The moments you cherished the most may not be associating with personal achievement, rather it can be something that involves others. In fact, we often hear entrepreneurs saying their biggest moments were not the time when they signed a big contract, but rather when their family members come together to celebrate an event or when they bear witness to a turning point in history.

6. Have I developed any new friendships?

Being entrepreneurs usually means you have plenty of opportunities to meet people, but not every business associate will click with you and want to deepen the friendships with you. If you come across business associates who genuinely care about you, then reciprocate and make friends.

While we are on this subject, it is also important to remind you to make an effort to stay in touch with old friends.

7. What kind of person do I want to be?

Get your pencil ready because this is likely to be long because you are now thinking about all the roles you play in work and in life.

Focus on commitment and be as specific as you can. For example, merely stating that you want to be a better boss is too ambiguous. Write down areas that you want to make a difference, like you want to be promoting a mentally healthy workplace, you want to be a collaborative leader, so on and so forth. Then you set goals on how to achieve them.

8. Where do I want my business to be this time next year?

This is all about the path your company takes and how you and your team members will help to shape its success.

Growing your business, be it organically or inorganically, requires more than pure luck and sheer hard work. It requires inspiration to set realistic goals, insights to identify a growth strategy, wisdom to uncover challenges and tackle them and most importantly, assistance from a trusted accountant and business growth strategist who will help to look at hard numbers, find ways to minimise your tax obligations legitimately, explore funding options with you, and evaluate your progress as you grow.

If you would like to know more about business growth, speak to one of our business growth specialists who have extensive insights into how businesses can grow successfully.

Berley can help your small business

Warren Buffet said the greatest measure of success is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. At Berley, our small business accountants have been working with entrepreneurs and small business owners in London for close to three decades now, and as many of them grow with us through all these years, we must be doing something right.

Our strengths, as our clients like to point out, are that we care about your business, we are responsive to your needs, and we are committed to be with you all the way.

We are also chartered accountants qualified through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), so you can expect the highest levels of professionalism.

We can help your business with:

To enquire about our services, call us on today on 020 7636 9094 or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Giving Christmas gifts to team members

Tax guide for Christmas parties, Christmas gifts and Christmas bonuses

Giving Christmas gifts to team members

Read this post before splashing out on a Christmas party, buying Christmas gifts, or giving Christmas bonuses.

As December rolls around, small business owners start thinking about organising a Christmas dinner for their team members, buying Christmas gifts to say thank you or giving Christmas bonuses to high-performing employees. However, before taking any actions, it pays to understand the tax treatment surrounding Christmas parties, Christmas gifts and Christmas bonuses.

Christmas parties: the £150 per head exemption

HMRC allows business owners to claim £150 per head exemption as a legitimate business expense provided that you follow the rules:

  • The event must occur annually and is available to all employees, including directors. Shareholders who are not directors or employees do not qualify.
  • The maximum cost is £150 per head including VAT and all expenses such as food, drink and transport.
  • Staff can bring their spouse or partner and the guests are also subject to the same £150 per head exemption.
  • You can split the £150 per head exemption into multiple events but considering the logistics involved, most business owners choose to use this for a sumptuous Christmas dinner.

If the event cost exceeds £150 per head, even if you only exceed it by £1 per head, you must report the whole amount to HMRC, pay National Insurance, and complete form P11D for each employee.

Christmas gifts: are they trivial benefits or aren’t they?

Christmas gifts can be considered as trivial benefits if they are:

  • Less than £50 per head (inclusive of VAT)
  • Not considered as a reward for the employee’s work or performance
  • Not stated in the terms of their contract

Please note that cash or vouchers which can be converted to cash are not considered as trivial benefits. This means they are subject to tax and National Insurance.

Christmas bonuses: you must pay tax and National Insurance

Any cash that you give to employees as a Christmas bonus is considered earnings. This means your payroll staff must add the value of the bonus to the employee’s other earnings, pay PAYE and also National Insurance.

Tax is a complicated subject

Unless your work requires you to deal with corporate tax daily, you may not be aware of how tax can have an impact on your bottom line and how you can go about being tax efficient. This is where our Tax Accountants can help – we stay on top of tax issues so you don’t have to.

Our tax accountants stand out among competitors because:

  • We have a wealth of specific tax knowledge.
  • We take time to understand your situations, so our tax and tax planning advice is specifically tailored to your business.
  • We use all the legitimate tax-saving models available to your business.
  • We do not practice creative accounting that will put you in trouble with HMRC.

If you need a helping hand to get a firm grip on your business tax, give us a call today on 020 7636 9094 or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Weeks leading to Christmas can be intensively busy for small businesses in London

Five survival tips for small business owners this holiday season

Weeks leading to Christmas can be intensively busy for small businesses in London

Despite under immense pressure, small business owners can keep their head above water with these useful tips during this holiday season.

When the days are noticeably shorter and the mercury plummets to below 10°C in weeks leading to the festive period, many Londoners get ready to take some time off and partake in a series of merry gatherings.

But for many small business owners, particularly those in retail and those who run eCommerce sites, the six weeks before Christmas are an intensely busy period with endless stock to manage and orders to fulfil, all happening at a time when staff want to go on holidays. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, then this post may just be what you need.

Recognising seasonal stress

Headaches, muscular tension, stomach upsets, skin disorders, these symptoms may not appear at once but they do creep up when you are busy, and your occupied mind tends to write them off as you continue to work relentlessly attending to the seasonal boom.

The strange thing is that you may even feel energised and excited, particularly when you see orders popping up on screen or customers buying items in bulk. It is only at the end of the day that you feel both physically and mentally exhausted, but you continue to push yourself through it again the following day.

Even though you think you are in control, never underestimate how stress and exhaustion can affect your mental and physical health.

Top 5 tips for surviving the busy holiday season

Be prepared

As a small business owner, you are responsible for the wellbeing of yourself, your employees and also your company. Set expectations for everyone involved and make sure that they are ready to handle the intense workloads with you. You can also make it clear of the rewards (if any) once it is over. It is also not uncommon to hire temp staff or ask family members to help out too.

Time management is critical

At Berley, we see small business owners as superheroes but even superheroes can’t do everything themselves. Focus on what you are good at and delegate as much as you can.

If you require a helping hand assisting you with accounts and bookkeeping, most importantly giving a clear picture on your cash flow, give our small business accountants a call on 020 7636 9094 today.

Have a break plan

Structure the days so everyone involved can take turns to rest and recharge. Encourage them to do something different during the break, like going for a run or watching a short humorous video. The break plan can also include post-holiday arrangements – who will take well-deserved leaves to de-stress first and who will go next.

Stay positive

The moment a team member starts to whine, the negativity can quickly spread like a virus and affect the entire team. Remind them that this busy period is not permanent and encourage them to stay positive.

Have something to look forward to

Time flies when we are busy and when we have something to look forward to, and the ‘something’ can refer to small rewards happening now and a bigger reward at the end of the day. For example, if you tell your team members that they will enjoy free sandwiches and cakes on the following day (which do not cost much to provide), you will see their excitement and how much they look forward to them.

Remember, everyone can survive and even thrive during this holiday seasons, provided that you know how to manage it correctly and take steps to lower the stress levels.

Berley can help your business flourish during the holiday season

As specialised small business accountants in London, Berley can help your business with any financial concerns during the holiday season and throughout the entire year.

As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs are like superheroes who take on a variety of tasks and responsibilities. But even superheroes can’t do all by themselves, which is why they need a team of supporters behind them. In this case, we are your supporters for all things finance and accounts. Our small business accountants are here to work alongside you to ensure that your numbers are correct and they can support your business thrive and receive the success it deserves.

We can help your business with:

To enquire about our services, call us on 020 7636 9094 today or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

If you found this interesting, check out:

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Business negotiation

Why negotiation skills are important for small business owners

Business negotiation

Small business owners must rely on competent negotiation skill to survive and flourish in today’s business world.

Business negotiation is a skill that allows different parties with differing needs and goals to solve an issue by finding a mutually acceptable solution. It is a skill-set that small business owners must learn and use competently with every business party, from suppliers to customers, investors to service providers, and even among colleagues.

The scenarios where effective negotiations are particularly useful include:

  • When you are discussing the terms of a lease.
  • When you are convincing new prospects why they should choose you.
  • When you are conversing with potential candidate about salary and job scopes.

In this article, we will look at the three most important items pertaining to negotiation – the benefits of effective negotiation, parties you negotiate with, and how you should negotiate.

How can negotiation skills help my small business?

1. Boost your bottom line

Securing favourable deals saves precious money and improves your bottom line. For example, for a bakery owner, negotiating a good price on your rent can immediately lower your overhead. Likewise, negotiating a cheap rate from your supplier earns you a commercial advantage, which enables you to pass the cost-saving to your customers and achieve greater customer loyalty.

2. Build better relationships

Negotiation is about creating a win-win situation for both parties. When both sides are satisfied, respect and trust are likely to follow, which can help to foster better and stronger relationships between you and with your business partners.

3. Resolve conflicts

Conflict resolution is at the heart of negotiation. The ability to resolve conflicts by finding a mutually acceptable solution allows both parties to move forward.

4. Enhance communication

During the negotiation process, we learn about the other party and their views. Gaining these new insights will help us to engage the other party with a greater level of confidence and ability.

5. Gain a competitive edge

Effective negotiation allows your business to save on costs, engage your team members and create loyal customers. When all parties are contented, you have already gained an edge.

Who must small business owners negotiate with?

Small business owners negotiate with practically everyone that they have a business dealing with. This can include but not limited to suppliers, customers, employees, financers, potential business partners, landlords and service providers.

What is the best way to negotiate?

To help guide small business owners, Xero, a leading accounting software for small businesses, has listed four useful tips for negotiators.

  • Do your homework – understand who you will be negotiating with, the industry they are in, the relationship between the two parties, and details of past negotiations (to get an idea of a potential outcome).
  • Have a Plan B – having a backup deal you’d be willing to accept means all hope is not lost if your primary objective can’t be reached.
  • Prepare to compromise – ask yourself how determined you are to secure a deal and prepare to compromise and give concessions. Note beforehand what you can compromise on and still walk away happy with.
  • Be prepared to negotiate a win-win situation – Negotiation is about give and take, not about who punches harder, as a win-win mentality is scientifically proven to enhance business negotiations. Sometimes concessions can be made which mean little to you but a great deal to the other party, and vice versa. Negotiating with both parties in mind helps facilitate success and builds trust.

Further tips include:

  • Deciding on a walk away point prior to negotiation; that way you don’t give away more than you anticipated.
  • Ask probing questions and listen to responses carefully. Overtalking can appear aggressive and negatively impact negotiations.
  • Deploy positive body language and professional etiquette. Hold an open stance, smile, and shake hands firmly.

Berley can help your small business thrive

As London’s leading small business accounts, we work with many entrepreneurs who understand that business negotiation is a tricky balancing act. Most small business owners do not want to push too hard to drive the other party away, yet they need to remain strong, confident, and most importantly, what they negotiate must make business sense and can help their bottom line.

For entrepreneurs who are after business financing, they know first-hand how important it is to possess a good business negotiation skill that can greatly enhance their chance of securing the much-needed business funding. If you are currently looking for additional business funding and would like some advice, speak to one of our business growth specialists. We can help you prepare the financial data and run through your presentation, making sure that what you pitch will be relevant to your investors.

For more information on how our small business accountants and business growth specialists can help you, please get in touch via our contact page or call us on 020 7636 9094.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Small Business Owner

Sign up for Small Business Saturday (7 December 2019)

Small Business OwnerEveryone can make a difference for the independent shops on our high street and in our community.

Every year during the first Saturday of December, UK consumers contribute towards a variety of small businesses, from local cafés to florists. This grassroots campaign is championed by American Express, embraced by local businesses and even many local councils.

In 2018, it is estimated that £812m was being spent in small businesses on 2018’s Small Business Saturday. This year is the 7th year and small businesses across the UK are hoping that it will be a better year.

What can you do as a small business?

The website smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com lists the four steps that small business owners can take:

  1. Register and advertise your business on the Small Business Finder for free.
  2. Download the logo and use it on your website and social media.
  3. Download the free marketing pack.
  4. Tell them about your plans and they will announce it on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

What can you do as a consumer?

It is no secrets that local high streets are suffering and empty shops stand at a record high, mainly due to our changing shopping habits. On Small Business Saturday, we encourage consumers to make a conscious decision to visit a few local businesses and keep your shopping close to home.

Consumers can use the Small Business Finder to find small businesses near you and post photos yourself supporting your local businesses with #SmallBizSatUk.

Best of luck to all the small businesses and shoppers.

Business mentors can help small business owners

How business mentors can help small business owners

Business mentors can help small business ownersRunning a business can be immensely demanding and stressful, which is why small business owners often require a helping hand. Thankfully there are a number of ways business mentors can help you drive the success of your small business.

Whether it is discussing a business idea, seeking business growth, or simply managing day-to-day business operations, small business owners know that shouldering all the responsibilities alone is stressful. This is where a business mentor can help.

A business mentor is someone who has immense business experience and knowledge. They can guide you on a wide range of business matters, help with decision-making, and motivate you towards a future goal.

With 92% of small business owners believing that mentors are key to their success, their guidance and advice are surely a must-have for any small business owner.

Where can I find a business mentor?

In today’s business world, competition is fierce. You need to stay in control in certain aspects of your business but you are also required to be adaptable in other areas. You face new challenges that demand your full attention.

A good mentor is someone who can understand and meet your business needs, as well as someone who can challenge you. In most cases, you are looking for an entrepreneur like you, ideally an experienced business leader who has successfully managed companies before.

Here are some places where you can find a business mentor:

  • A mentoring group. In the UK, the British Bankers Association has set-up a site called mentorsme.co.uk for businesses looking for mentoring service. Some of the services listed cost money, while others are free.
  • A professional institution like the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.
  • A networking group.
  • An accountant who can offer expert financial advice and assistance. In particular, our team of specialist small business accountants here at Berley have a proven track record of helping small business owners.

How can a business mentor help?

No matter the stage of your business, you may be feeling overwhelmed or at a crossroad where you need someone to help you figure out what’s next. A business mentor can:

1. Provide useful business advice

A 2018 study by Forbes mentioned that 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of them fail in the second year, and 50% of them fail after five years. Against the dire statistics, the study went on to say that 92% of small business owners agree that mentors ‘have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business’, proving the point between the success of a business and mentorship.

As an experienced entrepreneur who once stood in your shoes, your business mentor is someone who brings a set of unique experiences to assist and increase your chance of success. Working with a business mentor means you can confidently run your business on a tried-and-test basis rather than a trial-and-error one.

2. Generate business growth

Mentors can help you drive business growth – it is said that business owners who use mentors are 20% more likely to experience business growth than those who don’t.

3. Provide a valuable second opinion

Quite a few small business owners see their company as an extended part of their being and they are emotionally attached to its operation. As a result, you may find it challenging to take a step back and analyse a situation objectively. A business mentor can look at the situations from perspectives you may not have thought of.

4. Extend your client reach

Mentors can suggest potential customers/clients to contact and areas of the market for your business to branch into – helping you grow your client network and extend your business reach.

5. Provide confidence and reassurance

Expert advice from business mentors will help eradicate the uncertainty and doubt experienced by small business owners. With a calm disposition, you are able to focus on making your business as productive as possible, instead of stressing.

6. Offer specialised skills and expertise

While most business mentors are good at providing general advice, some mentors are specialists in niche business areas such as employment law, anti-money laundering regulations, GDPR, and corporate tax, to name but a few. At Berley, our accountants often act as business mentors to small business owners across London and we provide independent advice ranging from management accounts to practical small business tax advice.

It is crucial that small business owners do not shy away from support. Even the greatest asked for help back when their businesses were in their infancy. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates all used their business mentors as a valuable resource for learning and growing their (once small) businesses.

Berley can help mentor your small business

At Berley, we are dedicated small business accountants helping small business owners thrive in London and beyond. Every entrepreneur who turns business possibilities into reality is a superhero to us, which is why we work side-by-side with you to help you reach your full potential. We do so by tackling any financial issues you may have, such as business tax issues, queries from HMRC and extra business financing that can help to spur growth.

We can also assist you and your business in the following areas:

To enquire about our services, please call us on 020 7636 9094 today.

If you liked this article, you might also like:

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Workplace bully

Workplace bullyBullying is a major problem in offices. Here is how you can recognise bullying at work and some actions for resolution.

The anti-bullying week will take place in the week commencing November 11. As small business owners are keen to promote a friendly working environment, we decided to create an article discussing issues surrounding workplace bullying.

What is bullying?

Small business owners must understand what classifies as bullying. Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) in the UK defines bullying as ‘offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient’.

The effects of bullying can damage both the recipient and the business they are working for. If your employees have been victimised, unfairly treated, deliberated undermined by other team members, or someone has spread malicious rumours about them at work, then they are likely to feel demotivated and stressed, which in turn will affect their performance at work, leading to increased absenteeism, high turnover, and costly mistakes that have profound financial impacts.

As a business owner, it is important to emphasise that you do not tolerate bullying at work and if your employees have been bullied, they should come to you immediately.

How to spot bullying

Bullying can be both subtle and obvious, and a few examples listed on the NHS site include:

  • Isolating others: excluding them, ignoring people’s contributions, or even presence.
  • Overworking employees.
  • Spreading malicious rumours.
  • Making comments, causing unnecessary arguments.
  • Unfair treatment.
  • Picking on or regularly undermining someone.
  • Denying someone's training or promotion opportunities.

What bullying does to your business

1. Creates a hostile working environment

Hostile relations between employees will make employee collaboration extremely difficult, resulting in poor work which is not good for your business.

2. Poor performance and lost productivity

When your employees are stressed, they are likely to call in sick, make more mistakes and be less productive, all of which can cripple a business’s operation.

3. Drive away competent employees

Usually the bad employees are not likely to leave, but they will drive away competent employees.

4. Damage company reputation

Compensation claims and tribunal cases are likely to hurt your bottom line and also the company’s reputation.

Helpfully, Acas has listed guidelines on how to prevent the above from happening for businesses.

How can businesses reduce bullying?

1. Have a formal anti-bullying policy in place

The policy may include:

  • Statement of commitment from senior management.
  • Clear statement that bullying and harassment is unlawful and must be treated as disciplinary offences.
  • Examples of unacceptable behaviour.
  • The steps the organisation takes to prevent bullying and harassment, and the responsibilities of supervisors and managers.
  • Confidentiality for any complaint.
  • Reference of all grievance, investigation and disciplinary procedures, including timescales for action.
  • Reference to training for managers, and protection from victimisation.
  • How the policy is to be implemented, reviewed and monitored.

2. Set a good example

Top-level management should be role models, responsible for instilling good behaviour and creating a positive and motivational workplace.

3. Pre-employment background screening

Properly vetting any potential employees reduces the chances of hiring someone who will bully fellow employees.

4. Deal with complaints promptly

Adhere to formal grievance and disciplinary procedures promptly and efficiently. The options include:

  • Informal resolution means you resolve the issue between you and the other party.
  • Formal grievance procedure normally involves a meeting with your manager where you present your case officially.

Need help with workplace bullying?

If you need help on how to deal with bullying in the workplace – call Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free and impartial advice available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

two hands of a robot isolated on white background

Can Artificial Intelligence help my small business?

two hands of a robot isolated on white background

Artificial Intelligence or ‘AI’ has had scientists and business leaders argue over whether it is a threat or an opportunity for many years now. While the debate still goes on, it is safe to say that AI has infiltrated our lives.

Relying on technology is becoming second nature to many of us now. For instance, we ask our AI-powered smart assistants (Alexa, Siri, Ok Google and Cortana) a wide range of questions and expect quick and correct answers in return. We rely on AI to filter abusive messages and show only relevant feeds on our social media, albeit unknowingly. We even admire AI-created art in museums and buy them – Christie was the first auction house to sell a piece of art created by an algorithm in 2018.

The application of AI in business is also far-reaching. If you think that AI has so far only been used by tech giants (Amazon and Google), then it is worth spending a few minutes reading this article and learn how AI can help businesses in general, even small businesses.

AI helping small businesses

In April 2019, Forbes published a very interesting article detailing four ways AI technology can help small businesses. They are:

  • Improve sales and marketing with an AI-infused CRM
    AI-infused CRM platforms such as Salesforce enable small business owners to analyze customer feedback, which sales and marketing can base their actions on.
  • Automate Customer Communications with a chatbot
    Like an employee that never sleeps or tires, a chatbot is here to answer common customer questions and concerns, 24/7. Saving your team from mundane tasks.
  • Streamline HR tasks
    AI proves extremely useful in filtering down 100’s of CVs in the hiring process and creating employee engagement through chatbots.
  • Acquire competitive intelligence
    The ability to gather data and produce reports on your competitors means it’s easier than ever to keep track of your rivals and react to changes in the industry that could affect you.

If you are a small business owner running a brick and mortar store in London, there is a possibility that you may find AI irrelevant – but allow us to explain further and see if we can convince you that AI can really help you and your small business.

Create a competitive edge with Google

Google is more than just a powerful search engine, it is a knowledge engine that can understand your intention behind each search query. Small business owners can use Google to research competitors and consumer habits, as well as to connect with their customers, to name but a few. Other Google products that also can help your business get the edge over your competitors including:

  • Google Local – a listing where you can find out who is doing business in your area.
  • Google Trends – a search trends feature that shows how often specific terms are entered into Google's search engine over a given period of time.
  • Google Pay Per Click – an advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads.

Increase efficiency with Otter

Otter is an AI-powered app that can help you with note-taking. It can transcribe voice conversations into rich notes with text, audio, and images, giving you the opportunity to fully engage in conversations.

Polish your presentation with Grammarly

Your customers should not see obvious grammar mistakes, not when you can rely on apps like Grammarly to check your proposals and presentations before showing them to the clients.

Why you should consider AI now

Even small acquisitions of AI can make a massive difference to the productivity of small businesses, though it is worth noting that AI use for small businesses can and will vary dramatically, as AI works for you depends on the needs and goals of your business.

For example, baristas face an uphill struggle trying to get through the morning coffee rush. For café owners who want to keep queues under control, AI-powered front-of-house ordering screens can take orders and pass information to baristas efficiently, removing previous time spent on tills taking and processing orders. As orders immediately pop up on barista’s screens, it’s easy to keep track of orders as there is no chance of human error. With just the simple use of AI, a small company, in this case, a coffee shop, can become far more efficient. No more leaving the queue out of frustration, customers can order their favourite brew, know it’s registered, and expect it to see the delivery quickly.

As you can see from the above, it would be a mistake to think that AI is exclusively the bragging rights of tech powerhouses like Amazon and Google. In more ways than one, small businesses should not be afraid of harnessing its power and consequently drive their business forward.