Small Business Saturday Blog

A Pension Solution for small businesses tackling automatic enrolment

Tuesday, December 01 at 10:11Finance | Quick Guide | Small Business | Small Business Saturday | Small Business Saturday 2015 | Top Tips

Joanne Segars, Chief Executive of The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, highlights how small businesses can prepare for automatic enrolment.


Automatic enrolment will require every UK employer to put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. We know this may seem a daunting task, which is why we've launched Pension Solution. It has been designed specifically for small employers, to take the hard work out of implementing a workplace pension scheme for the first time.

Planning and preparing for automatic enrolment means thinking ahead: what you need, and whose help will make it easier to complete key tasks and estimate costs. These are the key steps I’d recommend to take when getting your small business ready for automatic enrolment:

  • Find out your staging and declaration date  using your PAYE reference from The Pension Regulator’s website
  • Go through a step by step guide to setting up, get familiar with what automatic enrolment means for you and your workplace.
  • Research and select a pension provider that suits your needs
  • Communicate and explain how automatic enrolment will affect your workforce 

Pension Solution helps with each of these steps. The online service will provide the know-how and tools you need to tackle automatic enrolment confidently and successfully. We also offer access to a free half-day face to face training course for those who prefer the human touch.

We’re delighted to be supporting Small Business Saturday for the first time this year because we recognise the vital role small businesses play in the UK economy.

Over 67,ooo employers have already enrolled their staff into a workplace pension, with 5.5million employees now benefitting from a workplace pension and saving for retirement. 1.8 million small and micro employer workers will now join over the next three years if they earn £10,000 or more a year, increasing the amount that is being saved in workplace pensions by around £15 billion a year, according to the DWP Automatic Enrolment evaluation report 2015.

Through Pension Solution we are bringing 90 years of expertise in workplace pensions to help small businesses through automatic enrolment and beyond. It is our status as an independent not-for-profit trade organisation with an impartial view that makes us different.

Automatic enrolment is our best chance of getting the nation into the habit of saving for retirement, and we must focus on making the process as straightforward as possible for small businesses like you in particular.

Pension Solution does just that and we warmly invite you to join our membership on Small Business Saturday so that we can help, represent and work for you.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association will be supporting Small Business Saturday UK on 5th December 2015 by offering a 70% discount on the normal £49 subscription to join Pension Solution as a member. Use voucher code BIZSAT1 when joining online. Follow us on Twitter: @SolutionPension

Meet the businesses on the bus: Gough Quarters

Thursday, November 26 at 07:51Bus Tour | Inspiration | Small Business | Small Business Saturday | Small Business Saturday 2015

The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is now under way! The tour is supported by TalkTalk Business and we are delighted to feature the logos of fifty TalkTalk Business customers on the #SmallBizSatUK bus!

Hear from Aaron Gough of Gough Quarters, a Bristol-based business featured on the bus...

What is your small business?
A property management and lettings agency

Where did you get idea to start your business? 
Having worked for a property management company for five years, my knowledge of the market meant I could start on my own and provide a high level of customer service.

What's the best thing about working for a small business?
The flexibility to provide a tailor made service of what is required rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

What makes your business unique?
We keep as much as possible ‘in house’ – as little as possible outsourcing to third parties. From reference checks to inventory’s everything is carried out by us meaning that we know our properties inside out.

Meet the Businesses on the Bus: Unflatpack

Friday, November 20 at 12:13Bus Tour | Inspiration | Small Business Saturday 2015


What is your small business?
Unflatpack takes away all the hassle from self assembly furniture by sending a friendly trained furniture assembler to do the job quickly and professionally. What began as business to consumer service in London has grown into a national business with a rapidly developing commercial arm building the in-store display furniture for some of the UK's leading furniture and undertaking office fit out and large commercial furniture installations.

Where did you get idea to start your business?
After moving to London in  2004 and doing some property development in which I installed a few Ikea kitchens, friends of my junior doctor wife asked if I could help them install other flatpack furniture. I quickly realised that there wasn't a service sector for something that was a widely felt pain and set about creating one.

What's the best thing about working for a small business?
The freedom to wear as many hats as you choose.

What makes your business unique?
The Unflatpack management team combines a blend of expertise and passion for the work we do with a solid understanding of marketing and how the business fits into the wider commercial landscape. We are also committed to using technology at every staged of the business to improve the service we give our customers and help us punch above our weight




Meet the Businesses on the Bus: Recipe

Friday, November 20 at 12:08Bus Tour | Inspiration | Small Business | Small Business Saturday | Small Business Saturday 2015


What is your small business? 
We are an independent advertising agency called Recipe.

Where did you get idea to start your business? 
In 2004 we saw a gap in the market to produce cost effective TV commercials for smaller brands. For the first time they could advertise on cheaper niche tv channels due to the introduction of Freeview and the expanding Sky platform but couldn't get cheap adverts made.

When did the business begin? 
Three of us started the agency in 2004 from one of our founders bedroom and we've been growing organically ever since. We now have two offices in the West End and employ 35 people.

What's the best thing about working for a small business?
We're able to adapt to ever changing market conditions faster than the competition which gives us the edge. The advertising landscape is constantly changing with the frequent introduction of disruptive technologies and we need to constantly evolve to keep ahead of the trend.

What makes your business unique? 
We're the only agency I know that started with three founders who had no experience in the advertising industry. This has meant we've developed a less bureaucratic and more efficient way of working which our clients love and can't be found at other companies.

Meet the businesses on the bus: Riverside Dental

Tuesday, November 17 at 09:48Bus Tour | Inspiration | Small Business Saturday | Small Business Saturday 2015

The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is now under way! The tour is supported by TalkTalk Business and we are delighted to feature the logos of fifty TalkTalk Business customers on the #SmallBizSatUK bus!

Hear from Bim Sawhney of Riverside Dental, one of the businesses featured on the bus...

What is your small business?
Riverside Dental is a state of the art, modern, award winning dental practice in Norwich city centre.

Where did you get idea to start your business? 
I always wanted to have my own business and did not to work for other people long term. As a dentist, my ambition was to always set up my own practice!

When did the business begin?
11-11-11! 4 years ago!

What's the best thing about working for a small business?
Being responsible for the day to day running and seeing how the business flourishes over the years. There is no better feeling as a business owner walking in every morning to see the fantastic team we have assembled and interacting with our loyal patient base.

What makes your business special?
The team, patients, premises, location and our work ethic. These are the reasons we have achieved what we have done and won the awards we have. To find out more see our website www.riversidedental.co.uk and follow us on Twitter


Spot the Riverside Dental Logo!


Making the most of Small Business Saturday in the big city

Wednesday, November 11 at 14:38Collaboration | Inspiration | Small Business | Small Business Saturday | Small Business Saturday 2015

Birmingham has a great reputation for its retail repertoire: with the iconic Bullring, the newly opened Grand Central, and the recently refurbished Mailbox; the second city has cemented its place on the map for being a shopaholic’s heaven. However, perhaps Birmingham’s best-kept secret is its thriving small business scene. In recent years, Birmingham has made moves to embrace its independents.  Initiatives like Joe Schuppler’s citywide loyalty card, Independent Birmingham, have helped locals and visitors alike to swap big businesses for lesser known shops, restaurants, and cafés.

One of the pioneers in the push for supporting independent retail was, and still is, Great Western Arcade. Built in 1876, the Grade-II listed Victorian arcade was restored in 1984 and has since been voted Birmingham’s favourite building. Set right in the heart of the city, GWA is the home of independent retail, representing a step away from the high street, into an emporium of unique brands. The centre houses around 40 of Birmingham’s best-loved small businesses and is a modern day treasure trove. GWA offers everything from freshly made food and the finest wines, to hand-made trinkets and high-end goods from hand-selected designers. Though the businesses may be small, they are not to be underestimated, as many have been recognised both regionally and nationally by various award boards: GWA’s Loki is the most awarded wine merchant in Birmingham having won 11 major national awards in the past two years, whilst traditional delicatessen Anderson & Hill has been profiled by the Guardian as one of the best budget eateries in the city. The arcade has also recently welcomed luxury accessories store Peter Forson and will soon play host to leading lifestyle and menswear brand P&Co. GWA has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and there seems to be no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Opportunities like Small Business Saturday present GWA with the much-needed and appreciated platform to shout about all that they have to offer. The GWA is choosing to celebrate the day as a collective body, rather than as separate shops.

The general premise concentrates on trading out to get trade in, something that GWA’s central location will lend itself to nicely. The arcade is a popular thoroughfare given its proximity to the city’s major stations, particularly for commuters in the surrounding Colmore Business District, which alone has 35,000 professionals. In recent years, a huge focus for us has been making GWA a destination in its own right. For Small Business Saturday, we want to consolidate this, creating a market-vibe in the arcade itself and showing Birmingham what GWA is all about.

Whilst we are keen to be seen as a whole centre, we are equally eager for each seller to be able to express their image in their own way. With such a wide-range of retailers comes a wide-range of activities. For example, the well-loved Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe is planning to give shoppers a taste of something sweet, having special guests from Alice in Wonderland hand out a selection of pick’n’mix treats.

With the spotlight already on Birmingham’s thriving business scene, Small Business Saturday is set to see GWA shine.

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