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Open Banking

If you don’t already know what Open Banking is, you should, because it affects every single person who maintains an account at any one of the nine biggest banks in the United Kingdom. The general idea of Open Banking is that the major banks are forced to allow authorized companies to access their data in order to streamline the customers’ process. On January 13th, 2018, the process of launching Open Banking began, dubbed “managed roll out”. During this time, startups applied to the FCA in order to obtain permission to access the data that will eventually be provided by Open Banking. Then, on April 17th, this phase ended and now approved companies were allowed to offer Open Banking services to their consumers.

Obviously, one of the main concerns is safety, but the Financial Services Authority has vetted all of the companies with access to the bank data, and have assured the public that it is as safe or safer than online banking. Also, if anyone feels uncomfortable with their data being shared, they can simply opt out of the program and keep it private.

How will this affect you? There is no way for the banks to release your data without your explicit approval, so if you haven’t given it yet then it is potentially something to look into. If you have a small business, this should help you because you can now work with companies that have access to extraordinary amounts of banking data. Furthermore, this will allow SMEs the ability to take out loans much more easily, as they will have a simple, accessible online record of your balance sheet.

To hear more about Fintech, and other Open Banking related news items, come to our event on July 25th and listen to our panel of experts speak! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/business-funding-growth-alternative-finance-tickets-44184562215

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Business Funding, Growth & Alternative Finance

Mark your calendar! Budget Mastermind will be hosting a wine tasting and networking event in our office building CityPoint on Wednesday July 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Come find out about business funding, growth & alternative finance from a panel of extremely experienced speakers! Join us for a fun and informative evening wine tasting, with guest speakers giving expert advice on a wide variety of business funding and growth opportunities available in today’s market. Hear about alternative finance and discover the latest options while you speak with experts about questions that are fundamental to your business. We’re sure you’ll leave with a great insight into what support your business could gain.

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London Heathrow Airport Expansion

Heathrow airport is already by far the largest airport in the London area, and they’re not done yet. The Airport Commission is pushing for a third runway at Heathrow in the near future. If this project is undergone, it would make Heathrow the busiest airport in all of Europe.

A third runway would mean significantly more capacity for planes both inbound and outbound; increasing Heathrow’s yearly flights by roughly 250,000. This would include extra room for shipping and also increase the number of destinations from Heathrow. This additional runway would increase London’s potential for international trade because of both the extra capacity and the new prospective partners. There have been predictions that roughly 70,000 new jobs could be created within the next 30 years if this addition is successful.

Multinational corporations would not be the only ones to benefit from the new runway, as small businesses would also reap the rewards of the expanded airport. The Federation of Small Businesses even goes as far as to say “without it, the long-term economic health of the UK is at risk”.

The huge expansion of Heathrow means that business as a whole in London will also be looking to expand, with some corporations growing, and others being newly established. The near future could potentially be one of the best times in recent history to either initiate or expand your small business!

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What is GDPR?

Many people have heard of GDPR (Government Data Protection Regulation) being thrown around as something to watch out for, however, few people know what it actually is.

Overview

GDPR essentially takes away some of the power that businesses have held through their use of data on individuals and giving it back to the people. It gives them several rights including to be notified of a data breach, to object to their data being used, and to be informed before their data is gathered.

Although this is primarily an EU initiative, the global nature of companies and the connectedness of the world means it will affect virtually everyone. With so many companies using analytics and working online, these regulations can change the operations of all businesses, small and large.

Key Requirements:

At a basic level, the GDPR requires businesses to follow three rules:
#1 Auditing current data protection procedures
#2 Keeping a record of all information you have
#3 Following the GDPR rules of data protection

How to comply?

A checklist on what businesses can do to comply with the regulations of GDPR can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s website.

Not following the GDPR regulations can have serious consequences, so it is best to be aware of how it can affect your business and what you will need to change!

 

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Time Management Tips for Small Businesses

Time is a small business owner’s greatest asset. It is the one thing that cannot be earned back or reused should it be wasted. Because of this, it is important that you make the most out of the time you have to ensure the success of your business. Here are some tips on how you can improve your time management skills!

#1 Log your time

Keeping a schedule of what you plan to do with your day can help you keep on track with the tasks you need to complete. Additionally, by maintaining a back log of what you did on previous days, you can see where you are wasting time and how you can change your schedule to be more efficient in the future.

#2 Pomodoro technique

The pomodoro technique teaches that you should set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on one specific task during this time. Once the time has passed, you can take a break for 5 minutes and then repeat the cycle again. This has been proven to increase productivity.

#3 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule states that only 20% of your efforts will actually lead to 80% of your results. In order to get the most results, it is important to identify this 20% and increase the time spent there.

#4 Limit distractions

As a small business owner, it is easy to get distracted by your employees or new business ideas. Be sure to stay away from this “shiny-object syndrome” and keep focused on the task that you currently have ahead of you.

Time is a very valuable asset and should be used efficiently. Be sure to follow these tips to help your business succeed!

For more tips and tricks on helping you grow your business, follow Budget Mastermind on LinkedIn or @budgetmastermnd on Twitter!

Budget Mastermind provides business finance solutions to help grow businesses. If interested in our services, visit our website at www.budgetmastermind.com