Jargon buster

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Just-in-time stock control

Large companies have become very adept at arranging for supplies of raw materials to arrive just in time for when they are needed in a production line. Small businesses, especially those in the catering, retail and manufacturing sectors can benefit from a similar approach. The trick is to make use of all your information about production and/or sales to predict when new stock is required. Too much stock ties up cash unnecessarily, while having too little can halt production or restrict sales.

Off-the-shelf company

The registration of a company is done by the submission of certain forms to Companies House. An off-the-shelf company is a ready-made company which is useful if you require one urgently. Many formation companies exist, and some can provide you with an off-the-shelf company the same day by courier if required. You will almost certainly want to change the name (which will cost a further £10) and you'll need to appoint new directors and perhaps a company secretary, if appropriate.