Try online advertising for free: Microsoft adCenter is offering £30’s worth of clicks to get you started

Think online advertising is too difficult, too expensive and not for you? Think again. Here’s some interesting holiday reading, kindly provided by Guest Blogger Cedric Chambaz, who is the Marketing Manager for Microsoft adCenter here in the UK. And if the statistics don’t persuade you to give it a go, maybe the offer of £30’s…


Jump out of the recession and into a franchise

The Small Business Centre news feed picked up a story on franchising last week – ‘Franchising can help grow a business‘. Writing for Business Week, contributing editor Sarah Max suggested that franchising can be good way to expand because other entrepreneurs finance the majority of the costs. Franchisees are generally highly-motivated and skilled, so their…


Business strategies for the downturn

Times of change create opportunities as well as threats – so says Caroline Firstbroo,, Head of Strategy at Accenture. So what measures should we take to ensure we’re amongst the survivors? Here is a summary of the her business survival strategies – you can read the full story on the BBC website.  Take stock. Understand…


Love really does make the world go round

Here’s a story with a warm, cosy feel to it that should go some way to staving off freezing weather and economic gloom. “Starting up a business is similar to falling in love,” said Loic Le Meur, organiser of the Le Web conference that brought the cream of Europe’s web developers together in Paris last week….


When the phones hush and emails subside: guest blogger Emma Jones

One of the most appreciated aspects of December (aside from it being a time for family and festivities) is that it’s a quiet work time that allows home business owners to get the house in order. The phones don’t ring so much and emails don’t arrive so often. It’s a perfect time for some considered…


Word of the Year

The 2008 Word of the Year is – Hypermiling – according to the Oxford University Press (USA). Do you keep the tyres on your car properly inflated to maximise your petrol consumption? Have you removed the roof-rack from your vehicle to streamline the car and reduce drag? Do you turn your engine off rather than…


Book of the month – Publisher 2007

Book of the Month for December is Microsoft Publisher 2007 Step By Step, which is available to Small Business Centre visitors for the knock-down price of just £7.99. Experience learning made easy – and quickly teach yourself how to design inspiring publications and marketing materials with Publisher 2007. With Step By Step, you set the…


Mega Monday

Today is apparently the busiest day for online shopping, when we’ve all been round the shops and failed to find that crucial present for husband/wife/Auntie Mavis. The forecast to be spent online is for somewhere in the region of £320 million – and that’s just today! The internet trade body IMRG says the UK’s Christmas…


Ask the Experts: cloud computing and mobile working

Did you see the BBC feature a few weeks back on Microsoft’s massive new storage facility in the US, and how this all relates to ‘Cloud computing’? This is not an easy concept to grasp initially, because it represents a fundamental change to the way we’ve all got used to buying and using software. A…


Financial help for small businesses

News today on the BBC business site: Lloyds TSB and HBOS, which are in the process of merging, have both announced packages to help small businesses. Lloyds has a new six point charter that includes promising to pass on future interest rate cuts to its customers with turnover below £1m a year. Bank of Scotland,…