Without wanting to sound overly dramatic, a business that isn’t in good financial health is rapidly edging towards an unenviable end. The commercial graveyard is home to thousands of SMEs that failed to cure recover their financial health. So if yours is struggling, finding a return to profitable activities is the only cure.


Many failed businesses have been in your current predicament. Then again, it’s important to remember that many successful ventures have also been there. So, how do they manage to turn things around? Let’s take a closer look.

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Waste Reduction


The first step to recovering the financial situation is to start reducing the wasted cash. There’s nothing wrong with spending money in business, but every dollar wasted is another lost opportunity. Given that many of those upgrades can be incorporated almost immediately, this should be the first item on your to-do list.


Take the time to research different options for telephone service providers, web hosts, and insurances. Even if it’s only a few dollars per month, it can make a noticeable difference to those overheads. Just remember that taking the long-term contracts can often secure a better deal. In the worst case scenario where the business folds, those agreements will become void.


Another top trick is to use outsourced IT services. Not only does this save you a huge initial outlay, but it also ensures your systems remain up to date. For the immediate and long-term financial issues, this can be highly rewarding.


Responsible Lending


Often in business, cash flow is the main issue. The company might be moving in the right direction, but it still requires capital to make this progress happen. Borrowing money can feel daunting. In truth, though, it’s often a necessity to unlock the door to future growth and profits. The key, however, is to access those funds in the right manner.


Traditional bank agreements can be difficult to find, not least when the business is still in its infancy. The smartest entrepreneurs get through this issue with unsecured finance lending. Whether it’s to buy equipment or other essentials, the short-term boost can make all the difference. When this option is taken, though, timely repayments are essential.

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Even the biggest companies often take out loans to enable growth and expansion. If it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for you.


Sales Boosting


If money is leaving the business faster than you’d like, it’s also worth encouraging it to arrive a lot quicker too. A short-term sales boost can get you out of a tight situation, and may also work wonders in the war for new clients that can be turned into loyal customers. It can also be the perfect way to get rid of stock that isn’t selling while also creating space in the warehouses.


Hosting a special promotion day can enhance the presence of the company as well as its immediate sales figures. This in itself can be hugely rewarding as the brand identity will influence ongoing consumer trends. Timed offers presented through email streams can be very effective as they force readers to make a decision.


Your marketing strategies are one thing, but the advice of other consumers is what will truly win the battle for new customers. Referral schemes can revolutionise your strategies forever, boosting sales figures greatly. Given that the payments come directly from sales too, it’s a very cost-efficient answer.

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A business that fails to keep track of its activities will always be more vulnerable to errors. As such, learning to monitor everything at all times could be one of the greatest moves you’ll ever make. Not only will it reduce the likelihood of making future mistakes, but it’ll also enable you to rectify issues far quicker.


Monitoring doesn’t just mean tracking income and expenditure. Modern accounting facilities enable you to gain a deeper insight into taxes and similar issues throughout the year. Working blindly until the annual reports are completed can now be a thing of the past, even for an SME. This increased sense of control can only have a positive impact.


Above all else, taking extra responsibility in this aspect of the venture is sure to encourage better habits elsewhere. Even without those indirect benefits, though, taking this action is a must.


Increased Productivity


If money feels tight, you simply need to make it work harder. From a business perspective, this usually involves seeking increased effort levels. Those sentiments can extend to technology, machines, and various elements. Ultimately, though, the initial concerns should be with the staff.


Employees can be the greatest asset at your disposal, but can also drain your finances too. A successful recruitment drive is important. Perhaps more importantly, you need to maintain a good sense of motivation. This can be achieved with great communication, regular perks, and better staff facilities. Those simple gestures truly do make all the difference.

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Streamlining your time is equally vital. Cut team briefings and meetings to 20 minutes, and embrace tech communications where possible. With more time at their disposal, the team will achieve far more. In turn, this can reduce costs and increase revenue.


Minimalised Risks


As a business, the basic formula for success revolves around low costs and high revenue. In reality, though, the sale price minus the production costs only tells half the story. Money can slip through the net in many different ways. Tighten your grip on those aspects, and you should see a very noticeable impact.


When selling items, you may let clients complete purchases on credit. When this happens, you trust them to make timely repayments. Not all customers will do this, which is why running credit checks can reduce the threat of bad debts. Once that money has been written off, you’ve essentially lost it forever. Sadly, this will hit profits hard.


Another danger that can hit you hard comes from theft or personal injury claims. A well protected and safe work environment should be the aim for all business owners. Aside from the financial benefits, it should provide a sense of emotional security too. If that doesn’t allow you to focus on the other jobs needed to restore stability, nothing will.

New Hair Do For A Brand New YouThis is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Do you fancy a new hair do for a brand New Year?

I know I do as my hair is not at its best at the moment. When your  children start saying that your hair has every colour in it and you know the roots are rocking 50 shades of grey, it is time for a change.

We have moved recently and when  my son went to the  local hairdressers, he was really disappointed with the results. We had tears and everything. That put me off going and then suddenly the Christmas rush takes over.

So on Friday I am going to get an appointment made to sort myself out in the hair department.

As I get older, I am aware that I consider different options. Should I keep colouring and then not booking a cut on time so the grey roots show up? Should I just let it go grey but then you have that awful in between look like when you are growing your hair from short to long.

Whilst I am reinventing my look, perhaps I should consider human hair wigs for the first time.  I think it is great that the stigma around wearing  a wig has largely disappeared and rightly so. Gone are the days when wigs were ugly and so obviously fake. Nowadays they are made of human hair and come in a selection of styles that can match  your particular taste and attitude.

I could fancy something like the one in the image. I have tried to get hairdressers to dye my hair this colour so many times but they never believe I really do want this vibrant shade and so it ends up more subtle but not what I wanted.

Do you fancy a new hair do as part of a new image for 2018?



My Random Musings

Are you looking for an interesting whisky cocktail recipe? If you are a fan of sloe gin too,  I have the perfect choice for you.


Whisky Cocktail Recipe


Paps sour

Serves one.


  • 35ml Jura Origin 10-year-old
  • Single Malt Whisky
  • 15ml Plymouth Sloe Gin
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Fresh ginger to garnish


Put all the ingredients in a shaker and shake without ice. Then shake again with ice. Double strain over a block of ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a long slice of ginger.


Whisky Cocktail Recipe

Christmas is almost here and a magical time where we relax a bit and find time for family and friends. Very soon, we will have the start of a brand New Year and most of us will have high hopes for 2018 fuelled by positive resolutions. The  question is where to go for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Where to go for New Year’s Eve

With that in mind, it’s time to plan your New Year’s countdown to make it as wonderful as possible. We’ve teamed up with Stagecoach, who offer unbeatable bus prices, to find out what displays you should be heading to, to celebrate the countdown to 2018.


Why not head to the capital of the UK to spend the countdown, join the thousands on the Thames this New Year? The capital is one of the most iconic locations for New Year’s Eve celebrations in the country. I remember a magical year where I went to London to hear Big Ben mark the start of a New Year.

Big Ben’s iconic ‘bongs’ will count us into the first day of the year before the display begins. The fireworks usually last around 12 minutes and are always mesmerising! The fireworks will be accompanied by exhilarating music that will get the crowds dancing for sure!

Tickets are priced at £10 per person and can be bought in groups of four. A second batch of tickets will be released soon, so keep an eye out on the official website.


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival is one that caters to all, which is especially helpful for those families with smaller children, whether you’re ringing in the new year with the family or with your other half. This NYE festival is unlike no other, with many different activities taking place on the day. I have a dream of attending the Edinburgh  display one year and really regret turning down an opportunity to do so when I was younger.

Don’t want your little one to miss out on the celebrations but midnight is way past their bedtime? Don’t worry – midday is the new midnight! At 1:00pm on the 31st December 2017, the festival has its own Baby Love Disco, which allows your little ones to let loose on the dance floor whilst day-clubbing to some of their favourite songs!

If your little one can party a little bit longer, attend ‘Bairns Afore’ which is an entirely new event to the festival itself. The stage will be based at the bottom of Edinburgh castle, which will host family-friendly entertainment and even fireworks before it’s time to put your children to bed.

For those who are plan on staying up a little bit later, there is an outdoor concert where Rag’n’Bone Man will be headlining. Other performers include Ceclan McKenna and Nina Nesbitt!

More about what’s happening at the Edinburgh Hogmanay festival can be found on their official website. Tickets vary in price — grab them before they sell out!

If you’re looking for something a little less crowded, take a look at some of top picks across different parts of the UK:



If you like your upmarket locations, then why not attend the most exclusive New Year’s Eve event at the prestigious Vermont Hotel in Newcastle. Dress to impress and enjoy a Gatsby-inspired gala in the sparkling ballroom with jazz music and plenty of dancing – and don’t forget the vintage alcoholic beverages. With a view of the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside, it’ll be a night to remember. I love Newcastle as it such  a friendly visit and the night-life there is legendary. I quite fancy the event at the Vermont!

Tickets for the first-class event are priced at £159 per person. Book today on the official website to avoid disappointment.


Manchester also offers another upmarket event, the Malmaison in Manchester is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year this year. With an evening of music planned, dress in your finest tuxedo or ballgown and get ready to strut your stuff. . Start the night with a glass of bubbly and prepare yourself for the grand buffet, featuring cooked roasts and local seafood. You see, now I fancy Manchester for all those foodie treats and a chance to wear a gown again. It has been way too long!

Tickets range from £59 to £100 per person. Visit their official website to book tickets today.


As a Yorkshire lass, should I head home?  In Leeds you can go to a rooftop party where you can dance away under the stars. Head to Angelica’s rooftop party for a night to remember. Starting at 21:00pm and ending at 02:30am, you’ll be entering 2018 in the best place possible with an electrifying atmosphere. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment!

So do you have an idea of where to go for New Year’s Eve celebrations? Will you be going to a popular outdoor event or a more exclusive party with your friends and family?

Where To Go For New Year's Eve Celebrations










A third of the UK would rather go without Christmas dinner than broadband

First Utility Broadband launches a guide to a virtual Christmas.


36%[2] of UK population would miss out on Christmas dinner in favour of broadband

37%[1] of people rely on broadband to stay connected with loved ones this holiday

42%[1] of people also admit to relying on broadband to stream their favourite Christmas films.


Whilst the majority (62%[1]) of those video calling their family and friends simply call to wish them a merry Christmas, we’re also likely to share other pleasures via a video call:

●13%[1] said they would share a glass of wine

●13%[1] said they will open presents together

●10%[1] will eat their Christmas dinner with their loved ones

●10%[1] will show off their festive clothing ranging from a Christmas jumper to a cracker hat.
70% of video calls this year will be down to distance with people keen to connect with family and friends living abroad (37%) and in distant parts of the UK (33%). First Utility has launched a competition to pay for one lucky family to come together in person over the festive season.

Best times to speak to loved ones in other countries
This easy-to-use guide allows you to find the country you’d like to connect with, classified both by continent and by the top 20 most popular ex pat destinations.

Once you’ve found your country, you can match the time there with UK time, and decide whether you’d like to call them in the morning, afternoon or evening. Here’s a snippet:




Top movies to stream this holiday

First Utility Broadband research also revealed that broadband is also relied on for keeping the UK entertained over the holidays with almost half (42%[1]) of people planning to stream their favourite Christmas films. Based on the 2,000 people surveyed, First Utility has put together a guide for the top Christmas films to stream this holiday.

The top 5 are:

  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Love Actually







[2] Figures from research carried out by Opinion Matters between 01/12/17 and 06/12/17 with a sample of 2003 respondents