Also in the news this week - 29 May 2015

The rise of the DISCO entrepreneur

More than half of small firms have at least two sources of income, according to YouGov research for eBay. It found that 57% of SMEs fit the profile of so-called DISCO entrepreneurs (Double Income Small Companies), with additional sources of income or side businesses. The findings show that 33% of business owners are driven by fears about the economy, 21% want to "future proof" their finances; and 21% say their main source of income is not sufficient. Outside of their primary online business, the researchers found that 36% have one other source of income, 16% have two sources and 5% have three or four additional sources of revenue.

An end to exclusivity in zero hours contracts

The ban on the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts has come into force this week. Nick Boles, minister of state for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income." However, the CIPD said the legislation should have gone further. Gerwyn Davies, CIPD labour market adviser, said: "There should be some compensation to account for that employee who has travelled for a shift that has been cancelled at short notice."

Bullish small firms looking to grow

A new survey of 2,300 SMEs by 123-reg has found that 69% have grown in the past year and 37% are planning to hire a new employee in the next year. However, lack of digital skills is still hampering many of the smallest firms, with 24% of SMEs admitting that they didn't set up a website until 12 months after they started their business. The research shows that those businesses that do have a strong web presence and good Google rankings are more confident about the future.

SMEs committed to energy efficiency

Research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found overwhelming support for energy efficiency among small firms, with 90% seeking to be more energy efficient in their own business. Two in three small firms said enhanced tax relief would encourage them to become more energy efficient but many are not aware of support already available or find it hard to navigate. John Allan, FSB national chairman, said: "There are several initiatives in place to help businesses become energy efficient, including the Green Deal. But Government and energy companies need to do more to understand the different circumstances and motivations of small businesses to help promote further action on energy efficiency."



via Business Feeds

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