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Blogs & articles

Welcome to the Knowledge Hub

Knowledge is power. And that’s why we help our members stay ahead with all the latest sector information and insights. You’ll find articles, research, factsheets, legal documents and opinion pieces, all right here in the hub.

A definite Maybe* deal

Maybe* helps retailers see results from social media and it is now offering a free trial for all Bira members. Polly Barnfield OBE, founder of Maybe*, explains the service.

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Early adopters

Philip Morris & Sons’ two shops in Hereford may look very traditional but the firm has been trading successfully online for almost 20 years. Managing partner John Jones tells Bira what it was like to run his business at the start of the ecommerce boom.

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Blog Post

The changing face of the high street

As the high street evolves due to consumer needs, retailers have learned to reinvent themselves. Those fastest to adapt to trends are most likely to thrive.

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Make a connection

Tips and tricks on how to turn up your social media volume on a budget.

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Are you ready for the new rules on payments?

With payments technology evolving at a fast pace, we ask industry experts about the major changes that will affect independent retailers and how to prepare for them.

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Blog Post

How should members prepare for Brexit?

The government has provided some general guidance for retail on what to expect after 31 October. Some points require action now, whether we end up with a deal or no-deal Brexit.

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Blog Post

9 essential pages every indie retail website needs

Customers have certain expectations when it comes to visiting a website, and it’s up to retailers to offer an easy way for users to navigate the site.

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Blog Post

How to create powerful customer loyalty

How can independents compete with big stores like Boots and Amazon? We explore how small businesses can effectively keep their customer base coming back and what not to do when creating a loyalty scheme.

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How should employers respond to sexual harassment complaints?

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers may be held vicariously liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by employees in the course of their employment, unless you can demonstrate that you took all reasonable steps to prevent it occurring. It’s therefore imperative to take a firm stance against any behaviour that oversteps […]

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Introducing the RMM for the South and South-West

The RMM for the south and south-west is Gary Mitchell, who lives in a small village in Somerset between Glastonbury and Bridgwater. He has been with Bira since 2017.

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Doing it by the book

The quiet village of St Boswells in the Scottish Borders is an unlikely location for the country’s Best Small Shop. Rosamund and Bill de la Hey prove that with the right concept, an independent business can become a brand and a destination.

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Blog Post

When less is definitely NOT more

Under insurance investigation for SME’s is so serious that experts estimate as many as 35% are not insured for the full value. SMEs are self-insuring without realising it.

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Blog Post

Gifting businesses struggle with what to say on social media

Maybe* listened to the online conversations created by and about online gifting retailers to see how they are using Facebook and Twitter to engage their audience, increase brand awareness and drive positive sentiment.

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Member magazine – July/August

The July/August edition of the Bira Member Magazine of the British Independent Retailers Association, featuring the ‘Big Interview’ with Mainstreet Trading Company, trade news, social media tips, new rules on payments and more.

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Blog Post

Why entering awards is worth your while

Awards are a fantastic opportunity to promote your business. Not only can they encourage more footfall to your shop but they can also lead to greater exposure in the media and on social media.

More
Blog Post

PCI DSS compliance: are you paying more than you need to?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a worldwide mandate that was introduced to assist businesses with card payment processing security and to reduce fraudulent activity.

More
Blog Post

Why benchmarking is critical for every independent retail business

For many small businesses, understanding the impact of their social media efforts is challenging. Are their results in line with their sector, with their competitors, with other independent retail businesses? Without the context of performance measurement, it’s impossible to know.

More
Blog Post

Payments Toolkit – Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

New payment legislation coming into force this September could mean you’re left in an uncomfortable situation of dealing with declined card transactions. Read this guide to find out why this is happening so you can reassure your customers and spare them any embarrassment.

More
Blog Post

4 powerful free marketing tactics to boost your business

How can you attract more customers to your store or website on a tiny marketing budget?  The answer is to get creative with your marketing to achieve maximum impact for minimum cost.

More
Blog Post

Enhance consumers experience with quieter technology

Long term excessive day to day noise can result in an increase to our stress levels, affect our sleep patterns and daily routines.  Sound effects our brain waves, heart rate, breathing, hormone secretion and all our physical rhythms. Technology dependency depletes us and has to be balanced out, this where the search for quietness begins. […]

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Managing employees: how to have a stress-free summer

We’re beginning to enjoy the start of the summer weather – but as an employer, you may be anxious about the chaos that this time of year can bring.

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At the heart of government

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre believes the consistent work the association does in lobbying the lawmakers in Westminster on behalf of independent retailers is among the most valuable service it provides to its members. Here he provides an update to live issues.

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Blog PostFact Sheet

Accept payments on the go with Mobile Pay

In-store or on-the-go, get paid fast with the powerful mobile point of sale app and card reader, from Bira’s preferred Card Processing service provider, Global Payments.

MoreDownload
Fact Sheet

Hints and tips for protecting your business against fraud

Fraudsters have many ways of targeting businesses, whether anonymously online, posing as a customer or in your employment. This guide aims to provide you with some popular hints and tips for identifying potential fraud to help you protect your business.

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4 proven ways to drive foot traffic to your retail store

We’ll explore the many ways to increase foot traffic in your retail business. Go through the tips and examples and see if you can apply them to your marketing efforts.

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Blog Post

Lone Working – Reducing the risks for your businesses

Employers who don’t take steps to reduce the risks associated with their employees working alone will be breaking the law.

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Is now the best time to start a coffee shop?

Is now the best time to start a coffee shop? The current growth in the UK coffee market suggests so. Here, Stewarts of Trent Bridge guides us through their journey so far.

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How to choose the right inventory management system for your retail store

If you’re looking to level up your store’s inventory management practices, follow these tips for selecting the right stock control solution for your business.

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Blog Post

Making Tax Digital for VAT – Are you ready?

If you’re filing your own VAT returns as part of Making Tax Digital (MTD), we’ve identified some key tips to ensure you’re ready.

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Blog Post

Cookware conversation is driven by deals and discounting

What are your customers saying on social media about the cookware industry? Now you don’t have to guess. We’ve partnered with Maybe* to provide you with the latest cookware trends and conversations.

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Blog Post

Independent gift shops should promote their strengths over an online experience

As an independent retailer, you probably don’t have time to scour the internet to find inspiration on the latest giftware trends. We’ve partnered up with Maybe*, to deliver up-to-the-minute insight in your industry!

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The DIY and hardware conversation is being lead by gardening and garden centres

We’d all like to be the first to know what the next big DIY trend is going to be! Here’s how to simply create content for your DIY & Hardware business.

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Blog Post

Why ignoring mental health is bad for business (and what you can do about it)

The association between work and wellbeing is becoming increasingly obvious; despite this, the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers reveals that only 39% of organisations have policies or systems in place to support employees with common mental health conditions.

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A recipe for success

Celebrating its 110th anniversary this summer, Potters of Hockley is a fine example of a long-established independent retailer that has reinvented and revived itself.

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Fact Sheet

How to look after your mental health

Bira are proud supporters of Mental Health Foundation who help drive conversations on mental health and body image to create lasting change. Here’s some advice from the Mental Health Foundation on how to look after you and your colleagues’ mental health.

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Blog Post

Cutting the cost of car scams

Following a spate of fraudster scams pretending to be from the DVLA, we’ve highlighted how criminals are stealing from unsuspecting motorists.

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Member Magazine – May/June 2019

Find out the recipe for retail success in May/June 2019 Bira member magazine. Featuring the Big Interview with owners Tom & Alice from Potters of Hockley.

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Blog Post

Knife Sales – At the sharp end

Test purchasing is back on the agenda.

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Blog Post

Making visual impact through colour

Independent retailers are at an advantage over online shops when it comes to making visual impact. By utilising visual merchandising through texture, shape and colour retailers can create displays that influence customers spending habits.

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Win up to £1000 with VISA

We’re excited to share information on the Visa Spend & Win Competition which is in partnership with the Great British High Street Awards. The competition encourages people to spend money in their local independent stores and rewards both businesses and customers. Running until the 27th May 2019, every purchase with Visa in your store gives […]

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Blog Post

Changes for employers from April 2019

A brief summary of the key changes that employers should be aware of from 6th April 2019.

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Blog Post

5 lessons independent retailers can learn from luxury brands

We’ve shed light on some of the key lessons that independent stores can learn from high-end retail brands.

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Blog Post

Take a break from the holiday pay confusion

There may still be confusion as to what employers can, and can’t do when it comes to holidays. With bank holidays on the horizon, we’ve addressed the many myths and misunderstandings regarding holidays and holiday pay.

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Blog Post

How to start a retail business: 9 Steps to get your biz up and running

If you’re at the start of your business journey take a look at this retail roadmap to get you started on your path to success. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting a retail operation of your own.

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Doing what comes naturally

Twice named Scotland’s independent Health and Lifestyle Retailer of the Year, Dilip Kotecha of Quality Vitamins and Herbs in Glasgow believes in offering a huge selection of specialist products backed up with expert service.

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An exclusive Bira Direct member gift at Exclusively Housewares 2019

Following the success of last year’s show Bira Direct will be exhibiting again this year, with an added benefit for Bira members in 2019.

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Blog Post

Increases in minimum pension contributions – April 2019

In April, the minimum contributions will increase again from 5% to 8%. Increasing contributions should be straightforward but there are checks to make.

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Blog Post

New payslip rules explained

From 6 April, new legislation will require employers to provide payslips to all workers as well as itemised payslips to those whose pay varies on hours worked.

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Who is playing with our rating?

From having only 5-star ratings, Des Count, our man in the gift shop, is being hit by mysterious 1-star ratings which lack any comments. What funny business is this?

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Blog Post

Your guide to safe payments

Global Payments, the approved service partners behind the Bira Card Processing service is sharing information on PCI compliance; understanding risk and how to protect your business with this useful guide from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

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No resources found!
Blog Post

The changing face of the high street

As the high street evolves due to consumer needs, retailers have learned to reinvent themselves. Those fastest to adapt to trends are most likely to thrive.

More
Blog Post

9 essential pages every indie retail website needs

Customers have certain expectations when it comes to visiting a website, and it’s up to retailers to offer an easy way for users to navigate the site.

More
Blog Post

How to create powerful customer loyalty

How can independents compete with big stores like Boots and Amazon? We explore how small businesses can effectively keep their customer base coming back and what not to do when creating a loyalty scheme.

More
Blog Post

When less is definitely NOT more

Under insurance investigation for SME’s is so serious that experts estimate as many as 35% are not insured for the full value. SMEs are self-insuring without realising it.

More
Blog Post

Gifting businesses struggle with what to say on social media

Maybe* listened to the online conversations created by and about online gifting retailers to see how they are using Facebook and Twitter to engage their audience, increase brand awareness and drive positive sentiment.

More
Blog Post

Why entering awards is worth your while

Awards are a fantastic opportunity to promote your business. Not only can they encourage more footfall to your shop but they can also lead to greater exposure in the media and on social media.

More
Blog Post

PCI DSS compliance: are you paying more than you need to?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a worldwide mandate that was introduced to assist businesses with card payment processing security and to reduce fraudulent activity.

More
Blog Post

Why benchmarking is critical for every independent retail business

For many small businesses, understanding the impact of their social media efforts is challenging. Are their results in line with their sector, with their competitors, with other independent retail businesses? Without the context of performance measurement, it’s impossible to know.

More
Blog Post

Payments Toolkit – Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

New payment legislation coming into force this September could mean you’re left in an uncomfortable situation of dealing with declined card transactions. Read this guide to find out why this is happening so you can reassure your customers and spare them any embarrassment.

More
Blog Post

4 powerful free marketing tactics to boost your business

How can you attract more customers to your store or website on a tiny marketing budget?  The answer is to get creative with your marketing to achieve maximum impact for minimum cost.

More
Fact Sheet

Accept payments on the go with Mobile Pay

In-store or on-the-go, get paid fast with the powerful mobile point of sale app and card reader, from Bira’s preferred Card Processing service provider, Global Payments.

Download
Fact Sheet

Hints and tips for protecting your business against fraud

Fraudsters have many ways of targeting businesses, whether anonymously online, posing as a customer or in your employment. This guide aims to provide you with some popular hints and tips for identifying potential fraud to help you protect your business.

Download
Fact Sheet

How to look after your mental health

Bira are proud supporters of Mental Health Foundation who help drive conversations on mental health and body image to create lasting change. Here’s some advice from the Mental Health Foundation on how to look after you and your colleagues’ mental health.

Download
Fact Sheet

Your step-by-step guide to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Process

Your step-by-step guide to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Process provided by Bira’s chosen Card Processing provider, Global Payments.

Download
Fact Sheet

Making Tax Digital – A bitesize guide for business

Making Tax Digital begins in April. This useful, bite-size guide for business will explain everything you need to know.

Download
Fact Sheet

Your online retail guide

Not only has e-commerce completely shifted how consumers’ shop, the online world is now having a transformative impact on the in-store physical retail experience. Find out how you can start creating meaningful moments across your businesses digital journey.

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Fact Sheet

Managing paternity leave in your business

You may think that every expectant father is entitled to time off, but in fact there are a number of eligibility conditions that need to be fulfilled.

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Fact Sheet

bira’s Business Rates Manifesto

A simpler, standard rateable allowance to help independent retail businesses. Read bira’s Business Rates Manifesto, which has been presented to MP’s here.

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Fact Sheet

Home Office Serious Violence Strategy

The Home Office will today (Monday 9 April) launch the Serious Violence Strategy, which will set out the Government’s response to the recent increase in knife crime, gun crime and homicide.

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Fact Sheet

Cyber Aware’s new Perception Gap Report

This innovative new report evidences the misconceptions the public have towards cyber security, compared to the reality of the threat – a perceptions gap which is eroding our resilience to cyber criminals.

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Video

Northumbria Pets

Northumbria Pets first came across bira in 2006 at a trade show event and has been a member ever since, taking advantage of bira direct’s pre-negotiated terms and discounts with suppliers.

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Video

Advance Performance

Sam Hale of Advance Performance discusses her business journey which started 18 years ago from a back bedroom at home. The ‘running store for everyone’ is now based in both Peterborough and Cambridge and prides itself on offering a high customer service which cannot be delivered by an online-only retail store.

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Blog PostVideo

A recipe for bags load of energy

Ever wondered how you could get bags load of energy? National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) explains how to make the most from items you can find at your local independent Health Store.

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Video

How to login to the Member Dashboard

A step-by-step guide on how to login to the Member Dashboard, available to bira members. Unlock member-only service information, resources, bira member magazines and exclusive content today.

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Video

How to use bira direct Invoice Manager

It’s now easier to keep all of your invoices in one place. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to us bira direct Invoice Manager, available to all bira members.

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Video

Your guide to updating your supplier page

A step-by-step video tutorial on how to edit your bira direct supplier page.

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Video

Toolshop

Meet Vin Vara – Bira’s formal National President and independent hardware business owner of the Tool Shop Group.

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Video

Glasswells

Member testimonial

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Rachel Riley

Member testimonial

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Video

Lords

Member testimonial

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The bira member magazine is created with our members in mind and is exclusively available both as hard copies and online to our members. Our membership magazine demonstrates real membership value and is a means for sourcing advice, support, savings and services. It signposts members towards exciting events and exhibitions, and new products and suppliers. And it ensures our members are well-informed on the latest matters of legislation and compliance affecting their business.
The BAGMA Bulletin is created with our members in mind and is exclusively available both as hard copies and online to our members. Our membership magazine demonstrates real membership value and is a means for sourcing advice, support, savings and services. It signposts members towards exciting events and exhibitions, and new products and suppliers. And it ensures our members are well-informed on the latest matters of legislation and compliance affecting their business.
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