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Michael's Industry News & Tips

Open Source Alternatives For The Small Business

open-source-softwareIn a time where most need to look at the spending it can make a lot of sense if there are ways to avoid unnecessary expenses.

This is particularly true for all those small or medium business owners where every expense needs to be carefully evaluated in terms of its return of investment.

For the typical business owner,  needing to purchase mandatory software packages such as Windows, Excel, Word and so forth can quickly become a major expense.

Did you know that you can save a lot of money if you use freely available open source software? There are free open source alternatives for almost any type of software today.

Here’s a list of my recommended open source software packages that you could consider instead of expensive, commercial software packages

For accounting, Edoceo Imperium it’s my recommended open source alternative. Tt replaces the commercials of the package is Quicken.

If you don’t want to spend good money on Microsoft Office you should look into the Open Office software suite. Open Office can replace a whole bunch of commercial software such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.

To read and to send your office mail you don’t have to use expensive Microsoft software as well. Instead of Outlook you can use various free alternatives such as Thunderbird or Group Office. In some cases, the freely available software packages may even offer you more functionality then the commercial counterparts.

If you just look around on the web, chances are you will find free software for almost any type of task your business. There is no reason having to spent big money with so many quality software packages available for free.

The above tips for software for your small business are brought to you by CloudTrade. With electronic invoicing by CloudTrade, any type of business can significantly speed up to invoicing process. I recommend you visit CloudTrade if you want to know more about the numerous benefits of electronic invoicing.

Apprenticeships in the United Kingdom

When someone asks me for career advice or someone wants to know how to go about finding a job, I always tell them to look into apprenticeships. Apprenticeships work for almost all career fields in the United Kingdom. Some professions like Carpentry can actually only be gotten into via apprenticeships.

Why do I tell those people to look into apprenticeships?

There are at least two major reasons for that.

One of them is that an apprenticeship can be a shortcut to get into a career without having to look for a position for many months on end. This is simply because many apprenticeships turn into full-time positions later on so that the apprentice can basically cut out months that would otherwise be spent searching to get a job.

In the United Kingdom, in some fields the percentage of those whose apprenticeship turns into full-time employment is as high as 95%! So, saying that an apprenticeship is probably the best guarantee for work there is today is definitely no exaggeration!

The other major reason why an apprenticeship is the best for our young people is that it’s the best way to get hands-on experience in a field. I see it all the time that people may have all the papers and grades required for a job but they’re otherwise inexperienced given that they just finished school.

This wouldn’t be a major issue if our economy would be better and employers would recognize that not everyone can obviously start a position with a lot of first-hand experience. But because our job market is extremely competitive, employers today want the best people they can get and this means that inexperienced people are often at a severe disadvantage.

In the UK, the many available apprenticeships in Nottingham would be where all those in the greater Nottingham area can get this type of experience but of course this applies to all major British metropolitan areas. This is where the job markets are often extraordinarily competitive. If you want an edge there you need job experience and an apprenticeship can give it to you along with other benefits such as specialized training that can be obtained during an apprenticeship.

UK Businesses Say They Are Lacking Support by The Government

Business startups in the United Kingdom say they don’t get enough support from the UK government. Too much of the help offered today is merely focused on London’s start-up scene. Those are the findings of a new study conducted by The British Library.

Over 500 people that own businesses  in the UK had been surveyed and more than 50% of those asked said they felt they would have benefited from some sort of local advice but did not get it.

A majority of those surveyed stated that the British government should be doing more to encourage people to set up a new company. Seventy percent said  this would have helped them in the early years after they started their business.

About The Relationship Between Education And Success

While proper education is not always and necessarily a guarantee for success later on in life, most of the time it can be the one deciding factor. Good education means to give our children knowledge and to teach them the many skills and values that will come in handy at the later stages of life. The sooner this happens, the better.

Private Schools In the UKToday, many parents have good reason to doubt whether public schools are sufficient to grow them into responsible and successful adults. Here in the United Kingdom along with several other Western nations we’re comparably well off since our public schools are amongst the best in the world. Education standards can be a lot worse in less developed countries.

But then, your child’s education may also depend on individual circumstances since not every public school in the UK is the same. Especially when the child would have special learning needs or it would be desired to nurture individual talents, a public school could be a rather poor choice.

Often, the large number of pupils alone makes it difficult to focus on individual children and teachers may not be as committed to them as one could wish.

This is exactly the reason why private schools in the UK are now getting more into the spot light. Independent schools can help to achieve things that would otherwise be impossible within the public school system.

A private school means that your kid can be attended to all year long, not only in regards to its education and school curriculum but also when it comes to the not-less important activities outside the class room. Whether it be in sports or to learn growing up responsibly together with others, a private school can help teaching those values a lot better than any public school. And it’s exactly those traits and qualities that can make all the difference later on in life.

Fortunately, parents have numerous choices today when it comes to selecting a school in the United Kingdom. Our nation has a vast selection of excellent independent private schools such as the Kingshottschool private school Hertfordshire. With the best education that you can often only get from excellent private schools you’re opening the way for your children’s success.

Fastest Expansion in UK Business Investment in Two Years

Recent numbers show that business investment in the UK grew by 5% in the first three months of this year. This is almost double the prior estimate of 2.7%.

Although business investment is among  the factors used to assess the amount of “spare capacity” in an economy,  the Office of National Statistics kept its estimate for economic growth in the quarter unchanged at 0.8%

In the beginning of this year, the Bank of England estimated there was between 1% and 1.5% of spare capacity in the economy.

This spare capacity usually arises from underinvestment by businesses. It is the Bank of England’s way of gauging how far the nation’s GDP is below its potential growth. According to the Office of National Statistics,  investment contributed 0.4% of the 0.8% of growth in the economy in the first quarter.