News in brief: start-ups, FSB, accountancy, cloud

News in brief
News in brief

Appear Here wins major start-up award

Appear Here has been crowned as the Simply Business Startups Business of the Year in a ceremony at the underground vaults of Vinopolis, London.

Appear Here is an online marketplace for short-term retail space. It enables landlords and start-ups to lease and rent flexible space in key retail locations around the country. More than 1,000 spaces are currently listed on the site and, having recently bagged $7.5m (£5m) equity investment, international expansion is on the cards. The company also scooped the Venture Funded Business of the Year award.

More than 200 of the nation's most talented businesspeople and spectators alike gathered to celebrate the UK's start-up scene's 'ones to watch', with 16 awards presented by nationally renowned and award-winning comedian Alun Cochrane.

The FSB rebrands for the digital age

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has undergone a re-branding, alongside a major digital investment, to better reflect the UK’s dynamic small business sector. The move is intended to enhance the organisation’s appeal to the ever-changing makeup of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses. It will also make it easier for smaller businesses to see what the FSB has to offer, streamlining access to its membership services, joining processes, and campaign activity.

Federation of Small Businesses Director David Miles said: “UK smaller businesses are world leaders in their use of technology and customer care. As the voice of small business we need to reflect these fantastic businesses and I think the new brand demonstrates this.”

Accountants aim to have their clients using the cloud within a year

Accountants are leading their clients to the cloud, according to a benchmarking study on the UK accountancy profession by global business advisory software specialist, Panalitix. The findings show that UK accountants are focused on tripling the numbers of clients using cloud accounting software over the course of the next 12 months.

The study carried out in October among 103 firms found that on average 11% of clients are using cloud accounting solutions such as Quickbooks online, Xero and others, but within 12 months, the average goal is to have 35% of clients using the cloud. To put this into perspective, the 103 firms currently have 6,733 clients using cloud accounting and their plan is to have 24,024 clients in the cloud within a year.

More SMEs expected to take up cloud services in 2016

As we approach the end of the year, disaster recovery specialist Databarracks predicts that 2016 will see more small and medium organisations move towards cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 to relieve the growing headache of managing security in-house.

Databarracks Technical operations manager Oscar Arean claims that Office 365 will grow to be huge in 2016 because Microsoft has made the process of setting it up so slick and intuitive.

He said: “Every year, more businesses reach the end of life of their onsite hardware and are faced with the choice of on-premise - or move to the cloud. Office 365 will be the default for most small businesses because it's so simple to use. You don't need particularly advanced IT skills to set it up and in many ways it takes the headache out of security because you know Microsoft has a vested interest in protecting your data. The damage to their reputation would be huge if they were to suffer a breach.”

SMEs urged to check they were not victims of Black Friday cyber-theft

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, global cyber-security firm IDT911 is encouraging retailers and small businesses to check recent transactions and ensure they haven’t been the victims of cyber theft.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have left retailers at heightened security risk, due to the increased volumes of transactions and internet traffic.

Small to medium-size retailers are in danger, with the UK government estimating that such businesses are putting a third (32%) of their revenue at risk because they are falling for some of the common misconceptions around cyber security. In 2014, 60% of small businesses experienced a data breach, with the average cost of such breaches approximately £65,000-£115,000. This can be a significant portion of revenue for independent retailers in particular.