News

Is Your Business Prepared For Pokemon Go?

Unless you’ve been on holiday for the past few weeks you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go, the latest craze sweeping the nation (in fact, you’ve probably heard about it even if you were on holiday). In this mobile game, players wander around the real world using the camera and GPS technology in their mobile phones to track down wild Pokémon creatures in an attempt to ‘catch them all’.

It’s largely harmless fun, designed to get people out and about but we are already seeing a number of ways that the game, and its popularity, are having an unexpected impact upon businesses. Is your business prepared for Pokémon Go?

How Does Pokémon Go Work?
Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS in much the same ways as Google Maps does, showing your current location upon a map of local roads, streets, and landmarks. Wild creatures called Pokémon appear on your map and by walking to where they are located in the real world, you can interact with them and attempt to add them to your collection.

Some Pokémon are found all over the place while others are much rarer, encouraging players to explore their local area to find them. Meanwhile, local landmarks are transformed into special areas where players can obtain helpful items or compete with others.

It’s simple, addictive fun, and incredibly popular too. But how can a mobile phone game like this affect your business?

Accidents May Happen
Pokémon Go has only been available for a few weeks and already there are dozens of stories of people injuring themselves by paying too much attention to their phones and not enough attention to their surroundings as they try to catch the best Pokémon.

What this means for your business, particularly if you have a shop floor or an area where members of the public can cross, is that you may find people who are apparently oblivious to what’s around them, and therefore a lot more likely to injure themselves.

This means you need to take even greater care to quickly remove or signpost any potential hazards as there’s a greater chance that an inattentive member of the public walking around with their phone out will slip on a spillage you haven’t cleaned up yet, or trip on a loose flooring tile you haven’t replaced yet. (more…)

Cyber Attacks On Small Businesses On The Increase

The number of small businesses falling victim to cyber-attacks is on the rise throughout the world, the Telegraph reports.

Law authorities and top cybersecurity experts are now warning that it’s not just blue chip companies, governments and celebrities that are under threat from cyber-crime. As more and more start-ups and entrepreneurs enter the business world, a growing number of cyber criminals are setting their sights on them.

According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, over the last four years an increasing number of cyber thieves have been targeting small businesses, viewing them as ‘easy targets’. That’s partly because larger companies have ramped up their security and firewalls following big-name cyber security breaches; but many smaller companies are failing to do the same.

Symantec’s research shows that nearly half (43%) of global cyber-attacks during the course of 2015 were on small businesses – those with less than 250 employees. Criminals exploited the digital weakness of smaller firms to steal data, crash websites and send spam to customers. (more…)

1 In 5 First Time Buyers Are Under-Insuring Their Homes

A new study reported by Money Market UK has revealed the biggest insurance mistakes that first-time buyers make when purchasing a home, including under-insuring their property and its contents.

According to the research, underinsuring their home is one of the most common mistakes being made, with one in five (20%) buyers aged 25-34 admitting to buying only buildings or contents insurance, but not both – leaving their property and belongings exposed.

Across all the demographics surveyed, nearly one in 10 (9%) first-time property owners confessed to only purchasing buildings insurance after they had moved in, despite the fact that having this in place from the date of exchange is a key purchaser responsibility. A further one in five (19%) had no contents insurance set up before they moved into their new home. (more…)

Stolen Bikes Top Household Theft Claim

More than an estimated 376,000 bicycles are stolen each year in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics, and industry research shows that those thefts comprise nearly 46 per cent of all personal theft claims—making them the most common item cited in household theft claims. One explanation for the high theft rates is that an estimated 2.5 million Britons are opting to cycle to their destinations at least twice per week, rather than drive or take public transit.

With the warm summer weather encouraging more Britons to take their bicycles on the road, preventing bicycle theft should be a chief concern. To protect your bicycle from thieves, follow these three pieces of guidance: (more…)

Being Honest Can Save You Money

Nearly 1 out of 3 Britons enter incorrect details into motor insurance price comparison websites, according to a May study from Consumer Intelligence (CI), further highlighting how those websites are unable to provide bespoke and comprehensive cover.

In fact, CI’s research revealed that in 80 per cent of all instances, the premium quotes for respondents who completed them honestly were cheaper than those who invented details. Specifically, on average, honest respondents were offered premiums that were £126 cheaper than their dishonest peers.

In addition to higher premiums, there are potential legal consequences to providing fake information. If you are involved in an accident and your insurer discovers that you provided incorrect information when you bought your policy, your cover could be invalidated. This would require you to inform all potential future insurers that your cover had been cancelled, which would make it more expensive—the very outcome that you were trying to avoid. (more…)

Brexit’s Effect On International Trade And Recruitment

As a part of negotiations to disentangle from the EU, Britain will have to broker new trade agreements with not only the EU, but third countries as well. To exacerbate this complex process even more, Britain only has two years to establish these connections. While the full repercussions of Brexit cannot be totally foreseen, industry experts have offered their best estimates for how the decision will affect Britain’s trade with the EU and third countries.

The most pronounced uncertainty concerning Britain’s decision to leave the EU is whether it will be able to retain its competitive international trade and business agreements. Business Secretary Sajid Javid has stated that one of the government’s chief priorities is to ensure that Britain retains its access to the single market. However, retaining access to the single market is just one of many challenges Britain will have to face.

As a result of Britain leaving the EU, highly skilled EU workers will no longer be able to freely enter the country and offer their services. This loss could worsen the skills gap already affecting UK industries. In addition, EU nationals who have already been hired by UK employers and are living in the country will be required to obtain immigration permission under UK immigration rules. However, it is not only EU workers that will be affected by the decision. British workers may lose their jobs due to either their parent company withdrawing its business from Britain or as a result of a stalled economy. This situation could be further worsened by the reduced number of new, incoming foreign direct investments. (more…)

Cyber Attacks On Small Businesses On The Increase

The number of small businesses falling victim to cyber-attacks is on the rise throughout the world, the Telegraph reports.

Law authorities and top cybersecurity experts are now warning that it’s not just blue chip companies, governments and celebrities that are under threat from cyber-crime. As more and more start-ups and entrepreneurs enter the business world, a growing number of cyber criminals are setting their sights on them.

According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, over the last four years an increasing number of cyber thieves have been targeting small businesses, viewing them as ‘easy targets’. That’s partly because larger companies have ramped up their security and firewalls following big-name cyber security breaches; but many smaller companies are failing to do the same.

Symantec’s research shows that nearly half (43%) of global cyber-attacks during the course of 2015 were on small businesses – those with less than 250 employees. Criminals exploited the digital weakness of smaller firms to steal data, crash websites and send spam to customers. (more…)

How Will Brexit Affect Your Business?

The repercussions of Britain’s decision to leave the EU will undoubtedly have a lasting impact. While many of the long-term effects of Brexit are still only speculative, the more immediate repercussions are clearer.

A pall has been cast over Britain’s economy, with Goldman Sachs predicting a mild recession by early 2017. The initial signs of this forecast can already be observed in the weakened value of the pound, which fell about 12 per cent the day after the vote, bottoming out at a 30-year low. Furthermore, international investors have already begun to withdraw their support from UK businesses.

Despite Britain’s current tumultuous financial environment, SMEs should remain calm. Britain will remain a member of the EU until the negotiations for the terms of its decoupling are finalised. This process will take at least two years, meaning that UK businesses will continue to have access to more than 500 million EU customers. However, that time should additionally be spent finding alternatives to EU suppliers and customers in case Britain is unable to secure access to the single market. (more…)

Keep Your Home Safe While on Holiday

Giddy about your upcoming summer holiday? Whether you will be away for only a few days or for several weeks, do not forget to ensure that your home is safe and secure. An estimated 80 per cent of burglaries occur when no one is home, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Do not risk remembering a holiday for all the wrong reasons—follow these six pieces of guidance to help you achieve peace of mind during your holiday by protecting your home:

  1. Set up automatic timers that turn on your lights, radios, televisions, etc, when it gets dark. If you do not have automatic timers, you can also ask a trusted friend to stop by at least once per day to check on the house.
  2. Verify that you have locked all your windows and doors, and use a metal rod or heavy wood dowel to block the tracks on sliding windows and glass doors.
  3. Cancel any newspaper or other regular deliveries. In addition, you may want to consider using the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service, which holds your mail for up to two months while you are away.
  4. Collect all of your extra keys that you may have hidden outside your home and store them somewhere safe inside. Alternatively, you may want to leave a spare key with a trusted friend.
  5. Contact your security system company to notify them that you will be gone, and provide them with contact information if they need to reach you. In addition, if your security system has video streaming, make sure that it is working properly before you leave.
  6. Avoid discussing your holiday plans on social media—such as Twitter and Facebook—as burglars could use this information to their advantage.

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