We covered looking at your balance sheet some time ago, and wanted to refresh you on why it is so important.

Building up your balance sheet can help you with your future with the business, if you were ever to sell your company on to a potential buyer, this is an important area that the buyer will be looking at.

Its not just about profitability and turnover, the balance sheet is an indication that you are growing your branding, a business that has thought about strengthing and building up the balance sheet is worth considerably more than one that focuses just in the present.  ie turnover and profit.

The example we have below, is fine for a small business and will probably have a good credit score as its positive in both the net current assets (Working Capital) and the overal value.

But if youre talking about a business thats worth selling you are going to need a plan, this could be a 5-10 year plan, its certainly not short term.

Will need to be assets in both the fixed assets sections and current assets, this could be by buying equipment or machinery to make yourself more efficient and do a higher volume, buying a company with skills or equipment that brings Goodwill into the assets section, quite a lot of larger companies do this, they purchase mailing lists, and client lists, from smaller companies, to rapidly increase their net worth, and increase turnover.  

Current assets would be building up your turnover, and therefore your debtors increasing. Keeping an all important eye on the costs, and keeping the creditors to a reasonable level.

Long term liabilities are usually loans that are paid more than one year ahead, and maybe the director loans, if the owner hasnt taken back all of their investment.

The balance sheet value needs to increase tenfold, and self sacrifice for the owner is a must for this kind of exercise.  Its not all about your current year anymore, but your long term future, and future sales opportunity.  Think of it as a potential pension plan?  Investment for the house by the sea, whatever your dream future this is your opportunity to make it a reality.





balance sheet

This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

What to do with your business if things have quietened down over summer

This may not be affecting you, but a lot of businesses suffer at some point during the year from seasonality or the great British weather affecting the productivity of their business.

Ive worked in the travel industry where if the weather is too good the telephone stops ringing, but Boxing Day the phone lines are maxed out.

Manufacturing tend to have a shut down over Christmas etc.

Everybody seems to be on holiday in July and August!

This might be adhoc or happens the same time every year, you know its going to happen, so planning ahead for that potential sales fall is vital to keep the operation moving and generating income for when the good times come back.

Keeping a buffer in the bank account certainly helps, you may need to scale back for a short period of time.

But for an ever growing business you are not going to want to scale back you want to keep on going.

Increase the marketing, do a special offer to either get things moving again in the Autumn, or get things moving now. The choice is up to you, but you are going to have to do something about it. Sitting on your laurels will not generate that income.

Use the time to look at your operation, are there systems you can tighten up on, costs to trim down. Think efficiency all the time, if you can do it better, add value, or save some time, its all a good thing.

Or a topical word at the moment, Collaboration. Get together with your network, maybe a couple of you have connected skills, and can promote each other, or do an event together and share the proceeds. What have you got to lose.

The important thing is to not sit back and wait for it to come, you make it happen.







This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

Most business owners don’t realise that unless you have secured your name and logo through registering a trademark that you may not actually own your own brand.

Registering at Companies House is not enough to stop somebody else using your logo and claiming it as their own.

Please take a look at the following website.


The Intellectual Property Office, are spending time informing business owners of the benefits of registering their business logo as a Trademark,. If you get the opportunity to go along to one of their seminars it is highly recommended.

Business Wales have advisors that can also help you with Intellectual property or patents as it was formerly known. http://business.wales.gov.uk/

To register a trademark is quite simple and costs £170 for 10 years, then you renew after that. You don’t need to be Kellogg’s or Tesco to see the Importance of this registration, the trade mark registration will increase the value of your business should you wish to sell it, plus you will definitely need it if you have planned to set up a franchise of your business, again this increases the value of the business.

If you have ever watched Dragons Den, it is one of the first questions the Dragons will ask the owner of the business. There are many options for you to protect but starting with your name should be the first point for increasing your business success, and definitely its value.






This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

Employing a new member of staff can be a scary thought for any employer even the most experienced ones. Will that person fit in with the team, can they do the job, what will they cost me.

It depends on what type of job you are trying to fill as to how strict you need to make the interview process.

A lower paid non responsible role might be at minimum wage whereas a manager or professionally experienced person might be at a much higher salary so you need to make changes as far as getting the right candidates to apply. Be clear from the outset what it is that you want. Do you need a full time or part time person, is the job permanent or casual.

Put together a job specification which will list all of the jobs and responsibilities the person has. Do they need specific qualifications to do the job.

A person specification this is where you are looking at the personality of the person, the experience that is required, what type of specific jobs are they essentially needed to be experienced in, to get a chance of an interview.

Grade every candidate with a score depending on how they fit with your specification above, it’s a little more time consuming but will quickly discard candidates who don’t fit your requirements.

The interview make a list of questions you need to ask and try and encourage the person in front of you to open up and talk about their experience. This will allow you a small insight into their personality.

If this is a role for an experienced or technical job, then give them a test as well as a person to person interview. I tend to do a test at the end of the interview when the candidate is all relaxed. They are more likely to be calm when you are in discussion with them.

Check references always, don’t take anyone on face value, and if you have other members of staff introduce the person at the interview. Other employees feedback is always helpful as at the end of the day they need to fit in with your already established team.

Give them a contract of employment this is required by law, even a casual member of staff is entitled to holiday pay.

An employee is controlled by the terms of their contract with you. You can allocate them any job that is within the remit of their employment.

They tend to be cheaper than a subcontractor but you are responsible for handing over their income tax and national insurance contributions. Plus Employers NI which is currently 13.8% above the lower rate earnings.

They are entitled to holiday pay

Entitled to pension under the new scheme automatic enrollment

There is more chance of loyalty from an employee as you are providing them with their main work

Outsourcing A Subcontractor

This can be useful if you only have a need for a small pocket of time for a particular project or contract. As you are not offering a permanent role.

They tend to be slightly more expensive than an employee as they are responsible for their own income tax and national insurance.

You can expect them to be able to do the task in hand as they are likely to be experienced in that particular field you are employing them for.

You do not control what they do, but should expect a reasonable level of professionalism and expertise.

They are not entitled to holiday pay or sick leave or pension.

They are likely to be working for other people so other than a commitment in a contract you might be waiting for work to be done.

Recruiting someone in this capacity should like employment be done on the basis that they will fit in with the team and that they can do the job effectively. They are not entitled to redundancy payment







This blog is intended for information purposes only, you may have your own suggestions.  Use this a guide only

When you are running a business whether a new company or a well established one, getting the costing of your products or services costed correctly is crucial to your success.

Service Companies

Creating the Sales price.

Your main component of cost is going to be heavily on labour. You’re going to have to make sure that not only have you covered your labour cost, ie Cost plus employers NI. Contribution to overheads plus that all important profit.

A service company needs to have a mechanism for keeping track of those labour costs versus quoting for a job, at the fingertips at all times. The easiest and simplest route to finding this out is to keep timesheets, or cost the time of every element of each procedure. You always compare the timesheet for a particular job, ie the project, versus the original sales price. This will give you an average hourly rate of the job as a whole. You very importantly need to know the average hourly cost of your overheads. Basing this on the number of hours you have available as a maximum for every member of staff.

Ie You have two members of staff, each work 40 hours per week for 5 days work. As a yearly average that’s 4,160 hours at your disposal or 347 hours per month. Your overhead for example is £2,000 per month which equates to £5.76 per hour. A cost of this nature would be labour cost per hour, plus £5.76 overhead plus % profit.

Every business and industry is different, and you’re dictated quite a lot of the time by market rates, or competitors. By knowing your average overheads and labour costs, you will know the price you cant go below or face making a loss.

Hotels have this down to a fine art. They are mainly in the services industry again heavily focused on labour costs. When you have booked your room for the night. They will know ahead of time, the number of rooms they have, the cost of an empty room, and the cost of a full room. They will have broken down in their costing mechanism

The length of time to make a bed!

Cost of cleaning the room, length of time for each room!

Cost of washing the bedding/ towels!

Cost of the tea/coffee facilities!

Heating and lighting for each room!

Your breakfast cost!

Plus a contribution to fixed overheads, and % profit

Whether your service business is hourly project based or procedure based, you need to know the cost of each element.

Manufacturing and product based sales

Again as above you are dictated to by market rates, you might be a low volume business that can charge a premium fee for your product ie Apple Iphone.   Or a high volume business that charges sales at lower margins of profit but has to sell a lot of them. Ie Walkers selling crisps

When costing a product you need first know

Cost of the materials for the product!

Labour time to make it!

Cost of energy to make the product!

The more volume you make the cheaper it should be per product as you will become more automated in your processes plus you are likely to have more negotiation power with supplier costs. You need to build in a little slack as no-one or machine can work at 100% capacity all of the time. You do need to track efficiencies and always look at how you can make things better and demonstrate you are always trying to reduce inefficiencies. This is usually where profit can go down, if a business does not look to always improve its offering.

Supermarkets have just done this in the last 18 months, by offering the self checkout facility, they’ve saved both wages cost, time and rates bills.

The main thing to realise that this is not a static job to do, as you grow and develop or change your product offering you will need to keep monitoring these costs, or you could end up working twice as hard, for a lower gain.

Always be one step ahead.








This blog is intended for information only, you may have other suggestions of your own.  Please treat this as a guide only.