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SME checklist – 11 things you need to do in November 2015

It’s easy to get swept up in seasonal promotions and complicated rotas ahead of the holiday season. However, doing some morale building and tactical groundwork throughout November, will keep your staff working hard and happy when you need them the most. So, whether it’s an extra holiday day or warming mugs of tea, here are eleven things you should do this November.

  1. Prepare for Black Friday

This year, it falls on November 27, with Cyber Monday on November 30. Check out our guide to making sure you’re ready.

  1. Consider an apprentice

Jaguar Land Rover, the largest apprenticeship provider in the UK automotive sector, has just announced it’s recruiting 200 new apprentices. The company’s engineering director started as one and more firms are signing up to reap the benefits of the scheme. Apprentices are said to boost morale, and they’ll be on-hand to help your permanent staff as the holiday footfall starts to pick up.

  1. Ask for more from your bank

The consumer group Which? wants banks that provide the worst current accounts to be named and shamed, and an overhaul to protect customers from high charges. Look out this month for the Competition and Markets Authority’s provisional findings from its investigation into current accounts and banking services to smaller businesses. If yours isn’t performing well, it might be time for a change.

  1. Book your place at an inspiring event

The Business Funding Show, the UK’s first finance exhibition aimed directly at small and medium-sized enterprises is happening in February in London. Free tickets can be ordered here or check out the Telegraph Festival of Business on November 10, and remember to ask one of your best performing staff to attend too. A little inspiration goes a long way.

  1. Put a brew on

More than a quarter of UK small business workers said employers offering food and drink at work would boost morale, according to a report by Sage, while earlier this year, Tetley revealed the worst office offenders for never making a tea round. We know these little things count. Don’t let them slip, even if you’re the boss. At this time of year, with everyone feeling the chill, it counts more than ever.

  1. Have a social media plan for Small Business Saturday

Make sure you get involved in Small Business Saturday and let your customers know what you’re planning too for Saturday, December 5. It’s a brilliant chance to bang on the drum for local and small businesses.

  1. Get Christmas covered

You’ve probably booked the do, but what else is on your list? Will you offer staff a half day after the party? Have you bulk-bought the wine? Are you sending cards, if so, who to? Note, that app that lets you ‘elf yourself’ is probably past its sell-by date by now.

  1. Create your own ad campaign

You don’t need to be John Lewis. One Christmas, Torfaen Council in South Wales filmed this in their lunch break, using Blu Tac, and whacked it on YouTube. Done well, the results can be spectacular, and show your business is creative and has a sense of humour.

  1. Book a holiday

November is a great time for a cheap holiday, with prices lower after the October half term and before Christmas. Just don’t be surprised if plenty of your staff have the same idea and rush to use the last days of their year’s holiday allowance. For you or your team, a short break before the chaos of December could be a much-needed recharge.

10. Compare business energy prices

Perpetually rising business energy prices are a common misconception. Much like fuel prices at the pumps, business energy rates are subject to a multitude of influencing factors. At the moment, a glut of gas from fracking and exports means that business gas tariffs are low, while criticism of business electricity suppliers means that some suppliers have lowered rates. However, these can both change fast so you would be well advised to give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now to start saving. Our dedicated pages have lots more information about business gas and business electricity

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