9 Advantages of Being a Female Entrepreneur

Before I am labeled a “feminist” by anyone else, let me proudly state that I am absolutely that! Being a feminist today means that I have a strong sense of self, am comfortable in my own skin, and realize that I can do anything I set my mind to doing. In fact, I have made it a personal mission to understand exactly what feminism brings to entrepreneurship, and why women can be so successful. They really do have qualities that differentiate them from their male counterparts, and these qualities are especially helpful today. I have narrowed my list down to 9 advantages of being a female entrepreneur, though I could probably come up with more!


I think women are just better listeners. Male entrepreneurs tend to be fixated on how they have all of a customer’s answers when they may not in fact know what the customer’s needs are. Women seem more willing to ask questions, listen to responses, and then advise a customer, based upon those responses.

Tolerance for Pain and Rejection

It’s interesting to watch the responses of men and women when a customer rejects what they are selling. Women tend to reflect on the rejection and ask, “Why?” This may bring new insight into how it should be done differently. Men tend to blame the customer rather than engage in self-reflection.


While men tend to “go it alone” (perhaps this is a throwback to some visceral need to be completely self-sufficient), women are willing to collaborate with others, sometimes even their competitors, so that all can achieve success.

Social Networking/Personalization

I realized this from my own personal Facebook account. As I looked at my own home page, reading posts and comments, and then as I accessed others’ timelines, I began to notice that far more women than men post comments and responses to comments. I think this speaks volumes about where our “heads” are. Women seem to want more social interaction, and that desire bodes well for business culture today. Remember, building a business is as much about building relationships as it is other things.

Company Culture

We are really “over” the traditional office structure and procedures. Running a business today requires leadership, to be sure, and men tend to have great leadership skills. However, the cultural aspects of contemporary business operations have changed markedly, and women seem to have adapted to these far easier. Businesses run by women more often offer flex-time, job-sharing, working from home and both maternity and paternity leave, as just a few examples.


Whether it is because she has felt “left out” of the “good old boys’ club,” or whether she has simply learned not to ever give up, women in business do not take “no” for an answer and will attack an issue from several angles until it is resolved. Men tend to be more linear in their thinking and more willing to scrap an idea that “bombs” the first time out.


Perhaps it is because many women run a household and have the bulk of the responsibility for the children, while they still pursue their careers, they just seem to be better at “juggling” many tasks at the same time. In today’s lean business models, this is an absolute must!


Again, this may be a factor of running a household and raising children, but females do tend to have more patience. With that patience comes less impulsivity and perhaps more considered business decisions.


This is such a trite term, I hesitate to use it. But it really is a factor in how women conduct business. They tend to get first impressions quite quickly and “go with their gut.” A good friend of mine own a lodge and restaurant. She states that she knows within a few minutes whether a job applicant is a “fit,” just by the way they walk into her office and sit down! And she maintains a great and loyal staff.

Today’s business culture requires a paradigm shift from old business models, and women seem particularly well-suited to thrive in this new environment.

About the author: having a Master’s degree in Journalism and love for traveling, Julie Ellis is financed by her freelance writing to investigate and explore exotic places of the world. Being a Chief Editor at Premier Essay she, as well, features articles for journals and magazines around the world.

The post 9 Advantages of Being a Female Entrepreneur appeared first on Small Business Can.

Email Marketing Tips: Boost Your Efforts

Most businesses take a laid back approach to marketing, and they’re surprised when they get lukewarm results. That’s stupid. If you want a good response rate from email, you have to crush it with your message. Read on for some meann email marketing tips.

Stop Using Popups

Why, oh why, do businesses still use popups on their website? It’s truly baffling. According to the usability experts at Norman Nielsen Group, people hate popups. They hate them. Hate them! 95 percent of people strongly associate popups with a negative view of the company or an overzealous marketing department (that makes it an almost universal truth), and 69 percent of users install or use pop-up blockers to avoid them.

Among the chief complaints are that popups obscure what they’re looking it, forces the page to load slowly, tries to trick you into clicking on it, and some of them don’t have a “close” button.

Still marketers rationalize them because they “get great conversions.” But, when you look at engagement and conversion to sales, or activity on the list, you see a huge drop off. Yeah, more people might sign up to your email list. But, many of those people won’t buy your stuff. Stop using popups.

Use Social Data To Segment Lists

Segment your list. When you do this, you create more meaningful connections on your mailing list because you’re better able to target the message to a particular group of people. For example, if some prospects are interested in “product A” on your site, and some are interested in “product B,” having your list segmented into “A” and “B” lets you send targeted messages to both groups, thereby pleasing everyone.

Send Real Content

If you’re using this mortgage software, there’s no reason why you should need to send people a pitchfest via email. Let the lead management software handle the sales aspects of the campaign. When sending emails, send out real content – editorial stuff – not sales pitches.

Ask Questions

Ask users questions via email, and ask them to respond. It’s natural for people to respond when you ask them to. If you don’t ask, people won’t. All you need is a simple like like, “What are your biggest challenges concerning ________? Hit reply right now and tell me what you think.”

You will get a flood of responses.

Be More Personal

Being more personal doesn’t always mean using the personalization features found in every autoresponder program. But, more and more, businesses are turning away from generic sales  emails. According to Hubspot, the CTR of an email is higher when the recipient’s name is in the subject line.

But, don’t overdo it. Experian found that “you/your” are better perceived than “I” and “we.” Finally, try to write your emails as though you were speaking with a friend.

Use Social Sharing Right In The Email

When you put social sharing buttons right in the body of your email, your message will get shared more than if you don’t. Social sharing buttons have a 158 percent higher click-through rate than emails without.

Send At The Right Time

According to HubSpot, weekends are the best time to send emails. Specifically, Saturday at 6AM. Use it.

The post Email Marketing Tips: Boost Your Efforts appeared first on Small Business Can.

Blogging Tips: 4 Common Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

The idea of starting a company blog nowadays is quite a popular one. Look online and you’ll find that leading brands such as Innocent, Argos, Whole Foods and even Tesco are managing to create a social hub around what they do, maintaining customer trust by keeping them informed and offering useful, engaging content.

But many smaller businesses with much less market share are hesitant to start a company blog, for various reasons. In the same way that social media was once dismissed by leaders as an unnecessary extra to their marketing efforts, brand blogging currently remains a pool of the unknown into which businesses are afraid to dip their toes.

However, many reasons for not blogging are simply down to either a lack of understanding about the platform, or a result of negative conjecture from the ones who executed it badly.

Here are some common myths about brand blogging you shouldn’t believe.

1. ‘There’s not enough to write about.’

Not knowing what to write about is perhaps the first and most common stumbling block for brands wanting to start a blog. The important thing to remember is that your blog doesn’t have to be limited, as long as you’re aware of your target audience (the people you’d like to be able to sell to) and will be posting things likely to be of interest to them.

Product guides, monthly round-ups, top-ten lists and tips are all easy, recyclable templates for producing content your audience is bound to be drawn to. Keep it relevant to your industry or field, and perhaps pay special attention to the kinds of problems or challenges your customers are likely to face on a day-to-day basis.

If you’re trying to bring a more transparent, human element to your brand, maybe you can give weekly insights into the goings-on of your office or workplace, and even hone in on individual employees who can share their own tips and advice. Be sure to stay in the know about ongoing developments in your field, so you can be the first to inform your customers when something changes. This will help them to see your brand as a reliable authority figure, and builds trust.

For some examples of brands that are doing a great job of content, click here.

2. ‘It’s just another advertising platform we don’t need.’

You might think that with SEO, PPC, and possibly video ad campaigns, your company is all set for the marketing side of things. But a corporate blog shouldn’t just be seen as ‘another marketing tool’. It’s so much more than that – it’s a way for you to open up to your readers; establish your brand identity and build up a long-term relationship with customers both new and old.

It’s here too that many business leaders make the other mistake of only using their blog to talk about their own products and processes. Not only will this bore customers to death and probably make them lose interest over time; it also yields little benefit in the long term. Customers will buy from brands usually by the way they make them feel – whether this is through TV adverts; shop window displays; social media banter or the type of content they push out through their blog. It doesn’t matter how much you tell your customers how great your new product is – they need more from you before they can believe it.

3. ‘It brings no direct reader-to-customer conversions.’

This one isn’t technically a myth. It’s true that blogging is a difficult tool to measure when it comes to customer conversions. However, the fault lies with businesses seeing conversions as the main goal in the first place.

When somebody reads your blog for the first time, the chances are they won’t immediately buy a product there and then. But if the same reader has been finding themselves drawn to your blog time and time again (for information, advice, or maybe just entertainment), who will they think of first next time they need a product or service in your niche? It’s true that blogging doesn’t bring fast results when it comes to increasing sales, but it will steadily bring results in many other ways you may not have considered. These include:

  • Building the authority of your website, leading to higher rankings on Google and therefore more organic web traffic
  • More exposure of your brand through higher rankings
  • Bigger and stronger brand identity, helping customers to really relate with you
  • More shares on social media, if you post content your readers really like
  • Insight into your most popular products and topics, which lets you know what customers want more of
  • Encouraging customers not to just choose your brand, but to stick around and give you their repeat business.

4. ‘It requires too much time/resources/manpower.’

Another frequent reason for leaders writing off the blog idea is that they don’t believe they’d have the time or manpower to make it a success. But the truth is, managing a company blog really doesn’t take much upkeep, if you know how to do it efficiently.

There are a few ways to go about producing and scheduling blog content on a regular basis. One way is to delegate a post per week or per month to every member of your team, so everybody can choose a topic they feel is relevant and contribute individually. This could be sharing updates about current business projects, or putting together some tips or advice on a recurring challenge your customers are facing. If you choose to do it this way, make sure your team members are all competent writers; otherwise have posts checked by a resident copywriter to keep grammar, spelling and discourse in check.

Secondly, you could outsource a copywriter with experience writing content in your field, to deliver a company post every week or month. Not only does this help take the strain off for a minimal cost; it also won’t be eating into anybody else’s time. However, it’s advised that all ideas and topics are still discussed within your team and that the content writer is fully briefed before posting. If your blog is to properly convey your true brand image, you’ll want to have as much control as possible over what’s being pushed out there.

The post Blogging Tips: 4 Common Myths You Shouldn’t Believe appeared first on Small Business Can.

8 Leadership Mistakes to Avoid

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

– John Wooden

We all make mistakes. However, it is important to realize that every mistake has a take-away from it. Get that right and the mistake can turn out to be a great learning opportunity. But nothing is better than not making mistakes and doing things right from the very start.

Being a good leader isn’t easy. It never has been and probably never will be. With so many responsibilities on your shoulders, there are bound to be times when you feel overwhelmed resulting in panic and mistakes, despite your best efforts and intentions.

Irrespective of how much you hate to admit it, not all your decisions are going to be good ones. Of course, as a leader you’ll have to take risks, with or without the complete knowledge of all the factors involved. Some mistakes may result in temporary setbacks, others may put a full stop to your career. But what largely matters is how you deal with the mistake and its consequences.

The best leaders are those who accept their leadership mistakes and use them as stepping stones to success. They believe in learning and growing not only from their own errors, but also of others.

Mentioned ahead are a few common mistakes that leaders make, but can be easily avoided.

1. Trying To Do Everything Yourself

Good leaders know their teams well and understand the importance of working with them rather than doing everything by themselves. They make the effort of figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and delegate tasks accordingly. Not only does this help in the timely and successful completion of the task, it creates better team dynamics.

Leaders who think they know everything, or that they need to do the task themselves in order to get it right only end up antagonizing their team in the long-term. Irrespective of how smart you may think you are, know that nobody likes to be led by someone who thinks he’s omniscient and show little faith in his team.

Good leaders know how to get the most from their team, that there is always more to learn and actively look to gain new knowledge every day.

2. Poor Communication

Poor communication or the lack of it can lead to major miscommunications and/or communication gaps. There are, however, solutions like time tracking, collaboration tools, and scheduling applications, which if utilized optimally, can help alleviate the road bumps that can possibly occur.

While it can be difficult for leaders (who are perpetually swamped with work) to send out and receive messages all the time, it is important that they set aside some time to do so.

Good leaders make it a point to convey to their teams all the information they need to do their job quickly and efficiently.

Further, good leadership comes from good communication skills. Simply getting your message across without verifying the content may lead to its misinterpretation, which can be detrimental to your growth. Remember, it’s not just your words that can be taken out of context; your actions invite just as much scrutiny.

3. Not Setting Goals

Your team looks up to you for providing them with direction and purpose. This can come only when you set realistic goals which are in alignment with the organization’s objectives. This is a key job of any leader. Without a proper goal, your team is bound to go off-track.

4. Avoiding Change

Change is the only permanent thing, so any attempt to resist it will prove to be futile. If you think you can keep the business environment from changing, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Technology changes, people and processes change and so do organizational goals and objectives. It, therefore, makes sense to prepare and adapt (or even become harbingers) of change, and make the necessary arrangements to address it before or as soon as it comes into effect.

5. Not Providing Feedback

The only way to ensure that your team stays on the right track is by constantly monitoring them and providing them with timely feedback. Feedback can be positive or negative, depending on their performance.

Positive feedback may be followed by rewards and recognition, whereas negative feedback should be followed by corrective measures. Doing so regularly will result in improved employee morale, performance and loyalty.

6. Looking for Shortcut Solutions to Every Problem

Most problems come with solutions which may be quick, but these solutions are not always the best. As a leader, it is your duty to provide ideal solutions to problems.

However, in your zeal to solve problems quickly, do not make a hasty decision or do anything that you will regret later. Some problems take time to resolve.

7. Not Being There for Your Team

There’s no denying that leadership is a people job. You need to stand with your team when they need you in order to gain their trust and confidence.

You may be their leader but when it comes to work, it’s not about you, but about the team. If the overall performance is as a team consistently meets or exceeds expectations, then you’re doing a good job as a leader.

8. Not Making Work Engaging

One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to make work fun for his team. Doing so is important to keep them engaged and look forward to coming to the workplace.

Keep in mind that your people spend the better part of their day at work. It is, therefore, important to make the office a pleasant place for them.


Being a leader is challenging, but being a great leader is even more so. The good news, however, is that everyone can learn from their mistakes, improvise on them and avoid making errors in the future. Leading a team can be an extremely gratifying experience, but it takes time for everyone to settle into their role. Remember, leaders before you have made their share of mistakes too. It is true that mistakes can provide learning opportunities, but taking the time to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become more productive, successful, and highly respected by your team.

The post 8 Leadership Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Small Business Can.

Start-up Story: SqueezeIT – My Fight Back

Read part 1 and part 2.

I then checked out Thebeesknees in California to make sure they were legit, they even phoned me and answered any questions I had for them so that put my mind at ease and I could buy the software in a white label (see Wikipedia) version which meant I would own it outright.

Researching Irish market

So next I decided to research the Irish market again in more detail and be the master of my own destiny – and hopefully business – to see if anyone was specialising in this type of service and found that although there was plenty of web design companies offering mobile site services none were specialising in adapting websites for mobiles so I decided to keep going. I was actually beginning to enjoy my little adventure!!

I even contacted some of them to see if they would be interested in working with me and needless to say I was underwhelmed by the avalanche of responses I received.

I joined meetup and went to various meetings and got mostly positive feedback on what I wanted to do during 2014 as further research and also to network but everyone was “too busy” or wanted to be paid from day 1 which was not possible. Discouraged? Moi? No way Jose!!

Name and resources

I decided on the name SqueezeIT for the company and registered the name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

Actually one company I contacted said that they could offer the same service as me but after four weeks I still haven’t heard from them, so go figure. I also researched pricing in the market and drafted a business plan.

One thing I was adamant about was to use my own resources to get everything started and not rely on others until I had something to “show” for my efforts as I also wanted to find a business partner to work with from a similar technical area as mine to achieve some credibility.

I then researched and decided on my target market – both offline and online – but that I will keep under wraps for now as it has been decided on at this stage but it did take some time. The devil is in the detail as they say.

To be continued…

Written by Aidan Murray. As part of ‘Use SBC as a channel’ initiative, SqueezeIT has an exclusive offer for SBC members: “We will waive the 100 euro deposit for the first five companies that sign up for our service with us and will give a 50% discount for the next five businesses.”

For more information on this business visit Partner Site: emergo-online.com | Email: squeezeit@yandex.com |Phone: 087 261 7576.

The post Start-up Story: SqueezeIT – My Fight Back appeared first on Small Business Can.


Change your business forever

Innovation has always been our passion. Everyone underestimates how much universities can add innovation to SMEs and make them more competitive and future proof.

As a result we have been asked  by the Dublin Universities (DCU, Trinity and the Innovation Academy in UCD). to look at how they engage with businesses and particularly the ones that normally would not look at universities for ideas and support.  

One day

In one day you will:

  • Discover Ireland’s best kept secret for growth for SMEs  
  • Unleash the power of innovation for your company
  • Get inspired by the innovation and opportunities that universities have to offer
  • Power your company with the greatest minds and resources on your doorstep

The idea is that this one day will give businesses a flavour of the innovation, research and opportunities that universities have to offer and deliver an informative and attention-grabbing day. The day will include a practical information pack,  (non academic) speakers, campus tours, breakfast, lunch and networking drinks reception. As an outcome we expect that some of the businesses will start engaging with the universities. Part of the follow on of the day, will be us supporting and tracking that engagement.

Here is a link to eventbrite to book your ticket


Here is Noel O’Connor, the head of the ICT hub talking about the research:


The Information Technology and Digital Society Research & Enterprise Hub targets the translation of DCU’s ICT-based research outputs into the digital economy leveraging a diverse expertise base that covers data analytics, cloud computing, intelligent content among many other areas.

With increasing global competition the ICT sector is becoming acutely aware of the need to climb the “value chain” in terms of its technical activity, which for the sector means engaging in research and development. Ireland has one of the highest concentrations of ICT activity and employment in the OECD and is currently home to over 200 multinational ICT companies providing many opportunities for innovation.  There are many centres of excellence based at DCU operating in this space. Through the Information Technology and Digital Society Research and Enterprise Hub the university brings together multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, in close partnership with other universities and institutes to address ICT research and development. It also engages with Irish and international industry to understand how best to facilitate this. DCU is committed to assuming a leading role in helping to transform the ICT sector towards the next stage in its evolution.

The post DCU ICT HUB appeared first on Small Business Can.

Foreign Exchange Strategies for Small Business

We all know the immense amount of contribution that small businesses make to a particular country’s GDP, despite of their fairly less percentage among the total number of exporting businesses. In developed countries like USA and Canada the small businesses make up to more than half of the total exports in a financial year which shows the role that small business play in the highly volatile forex market. With power comes responsibilities and so it stays true for the small businesses who need to keep several things in mind when dealing in the forex market. There are several foreign exchange strategies that these small businesses can adopt to keep their resources and budget under control.

  1. Plan Ahead

You do not want yourself to be totally unprepared and without any information about your goals. Make sure you have a close look at what your business needs and build your plans accordingly. Money managing can be one of the major differences in weather a business will be able to generate profit or not. Making a plan not only provides you with a starting point to any task but also helps you to easily handle the daily ups and downs in the market.

  1. Spot Payment Strategy

Spot payments simply refer to when a particular currency is bought or sold immediately at the current exchange rates. This is done during the times when there are certain small payments or the currency needs to be immediately exchanged. Like the name suggests, spot payments take care of those small payments. For best results with spot payments, try to look for providers who charge low fees and compare their rates between various buy and sell spreads.

  1. Foreign Currency Account

If your businesses has constant dealing with a particular foreign currency it is often advisable that you open a foreign currency account. While not many small businesses give it a thought but having a particular currency in stock for international transactions always comes in handy and helps a business react more quickly to any sort of currency risks. If you constantly deal with cross-currency transfers, a foreign currency account helps you save time and inconvenience.

  1. Online Transfers

Internet is said to be one of the greatest human inventions after the Cold War era and has pretty much connected the world. Today in this internet driven age of technology, online buying and selling has become a reality. Thus, it is essential that businesses provide an easy and transparent way of making financial transfers. The best method to conveniently transfer funds from one account to another is online transfer or electronic funds transfer. This not just increases your payment visibility but will also make settling the various overseas invoices more cost effective.

  1. Use Local Currency With Overseas Vendors

Dealing with overseas vendors has several challenges, and you certainly do not add up to these problems with making payments in your currency. It becomes a little difficult for the various dealers to determine the tangibility of a certain offer when it is made in a foreign currency. Using local currency with overseas deals can also help you get a better discount from the dealers. The dealers always add up a certain percentage of the total overseas invoices to make up for the fluctuations in the currency prices which in turn increases the price.

  1. Currency Option

There are certain times when no matter how much you research, the market totally works against your predictions and the demand is totally uncertain. During such times it is best to consider the use of currency option. As the name suggests, if the prices of a certain currency goes in your favor you have an option of forgoing the deal and selling the position at the current price. Although you are supposed to pay a premium for this service, it can totally come in handy and provide you an edge over your competition.

We all are aware of the fact that Rome wasn’t built in a day and it takes years of hardships and constant string of profits that establishes a firm in the market. Being one of the most unstable markets in the world, it is important the small businesses follow the above tips when dealing with foreign exchange.

Author Bio:

Rohit Agarwal is an avid reader of business strategies and several business and finance related books and literature. He likes to write about these topics on various blogs and websites such as forexstars and others during his free time.

The post Foreign Exchange Strategies for Small Business appeared first on Small Business Can.

Climate KIC – deadline extension for Accelerator and Pioneer Programme

Climate KIC is a large pan-European enterprise, research and capacity building programme focused on sustainability and low carbon solutions. Climate KIC activities in Ireland are run in partnership with The Green Way and Energy Cork in collaboration with Innovation Birmingham and Climate KIC. These opportunities are open to any organisation/ individual in the Republic of Ireland.

There are currently 3 open opportunities

1. Low Carbon Accelerator Programme – closing date for applications is 30 March 2015. This is a 3-stage programme and those organisations that progress to stage 2 and 3 will receive unique access to a potential UK supply/ value chain. Applicants that reach stage 3 of the programme can receive a grant of up to €20,000 in funding to support their business development. For more information please go to http://www.thegreenway.ie/opportunities/climate-kic/low-carbon-accelerator/.

2. Climate Launchpad – closing date for applications is 2 April 2015. This is Europe’s largest low-carbon and cleantech IDEAS Generation competition; it can also be described as a pre-accelerator. For more information please go to http://www.thegreenway.ie/opportunities/climate-kic/climate-launchpad/. If you are an early-stage start-up, SME, researcher, student, public organisation, consultancy, engineering company or a combination of these, and have a cleantech/ sustainability idea – please apply. To apply please go to http://climatelaunchpad.org/. Participants of the programme will receive targeted coaching and support to help develop their idea, and 3 finalists will be selected at a National Final to be held on 22 June 2015, as part of the Sustainability Gathering. Gravity Centres is sponsoring the 3 months membership for each of the 3 national finalists in their new Dublin premises with a total estimated value of this prize is €10,000. The three national finalists will represent Ireland at European finals in September.

3. Pioneers into Practice – closing date for receipt of applications is 30 March 2015. This programme connects a new generation of low-carbon specialists, entrepreneurs and policy makers to share knowledge via two 1-month-long internships in six European regions. In these internships, the participants are trained in systematic innovation and will gather first-hand experience in the implementation of innovative concepts. For more information please go to http://www.thegreenway.ie/opportunities/climate-kic/climate-kic-entrepreneurship/

For additional information contact Aideen O’Hora at aohora@thegreenway.ie

The post Climate KIC – deadline extension for Accelerator and Pioneer Programme appeared first on Small Business Can.

Company Car Tax Changes: The Most Efficient Cars

If you’re looking to upgrade your company car this new tax year, there are a few important things to bear in mind. You’ll need to make sure you’re looking at the most efficient cars and that you select the right make and model to fit your business needs, but you’ll also need to ensure that the tax advantages aren’t outweighed by a big initial outlay or high running costs (I’m sure you’ll agree, these are all important factors within the small or start-up business world).

Before we take a look at the options that are available to you, let’s quickly look at what exactly company car tax is…

What is company car tax?

Company car tax is payable on a certain percentage of the total value of your car as declared on your P11D form (your end of year benefits and expenses form, which your employer will send to HMRC).

The percentage you pay is based upon the car’s emissions – hence diesels have always been popular due to their lower CO2 emissions and why hybrid and electric cars are growing in popularity. If you earn £32,010 or less each year, you’ll pay 20% of this amount in tax, rising to 40% if you earn anything over that.

If you earn over £150,000 a year, you’ll have to pay 50%. This tax is usually taken directly from your monthly salary.

It’s also worth noting that there is no maximum price cap on the amount taxable on a company car.

The great fuel debate

So, given that the amount you pay in tax is defined by the amount of bad stuff your car spits out, opting for a low-emissions vehicle would appear to be a no-brainer. But it’s not quite that simple.

For instance, while diesel vehicles have always been a staple among company car and fleet buyers, they’re no longer considered to be a more eco-friendly option. Although they still emit far lower CO2 emissions than petrol vehicles, they throw out dangerously high levels of nitrogen dioxide and other lethal particulates.

And while opting for a diesel now might make sense, if proposed changes in legislation come about to help the UK meet EU pollution targets, you could find you’re hit in the pocket further down the line.

Other factors to consider

Then there is the issue that diesels often have a higher windscreen price than petrols, and this is something that becomes even more of an issue if you’re looking at buying a hybrid or an electric car. While you’ll pay less in tax due to the lower emissions, you’ll have to offset this against the upfront cost of the car to work out whether it’s worthwhile.

Furthermore, you’ll also have to check the performance and range of any electric or hybrid vehicles before you commit, as they simply may not be suitable for the type of driving you do.

The good news is there are an increasing number of low-emission petrol vehicles coming on the market – so let’s take a look at some of the best options out there…

The five most efficient company car choices

Ford Mondeo – £20,795 or £204 per month
The Mondeo has long been the number one choice for company car owners and travelling salesmen the country over, and with good reason. This is a big, practical, reliable family-sized car that is surprisingly enjoyable to drive.

Audi A6 Avant – £32,985 or £338 per month
If you’re after an executive model with enough room to carry everything but the kitchen sink around in, look no further than the smooth and sophisticated A6 estate.

Audi A3 – £18,900 or £240 per month
All the refinement of the A6 Avant – minus the load space – and much cheaper to own and run. The A3 offers a great executive alternative to the VW Golf, and is also available as a plug-in hybrid.

Skoda Octavia – £16,310 or £179 per month
If you’re not bothered by the car’s badge then you need look no further than a Skoda – cheaper than both the Volkswagen and Audi alternatives but no less sound under the bonnet.

BMW 3 Series – £23,555 or £287 per month
If you simply must have the badge to match the performance though, the BMW 3 series offers it all and has long been the go-to car for buyers who want a small, executive saloon.

If you’re looking to buy a company vehicle in the new tax year, let us know what your most important considerations are and what you’ve got your eye on in the comments.

This post has been provided by Ed Scott, who is the voice of the webuyanycar.com blog, the UK’s leading car buying service. As shown by his job and his blog. Ed has a strong passion for everything car related!

The post Company Car Tax Changes: The Most Efficient Cars appeared first on Small Business Can.

Take a bus journey that will change your business for ever

SME engagement with universities has always been a passion of ours. We think it is underestimated how much universities could add to small business and make them more competitive and future proof.

As a result, have been asked  by KTI and the Dublin Universities to look at how they engage with small businesses and particularly the ones that normally would not look at universities for ideas and support.  We decided to book a bus, try to fill them with owner managers and give them access to 3 universities in one day (16 April).

The idea is that this one day will give businesses a flavour of the innovation, research and opportunities that universities have to offer and deliver a informative and interesting day. The day will include a practical information pack,  (non academic) speakers, campus tours and breakfast, lunch and drinks reception. As an outcome we expect that some of the business will start engaging. Part of the follow on of the day, will be us supporting and tracking that engagement.

You can your ticket here. You need to book soon as tickets are running out (maximum 50 are allowed on the bus).

Here is sample of what is available

We blogged about it earlier here and on LinkedIn

The post Take a bus journey that will change your business for ever appeared first on Small Business Can.