We’re halfway through the year and 2019 is not slowing down for anybody. There are approximately 5.7 million businesses in the UK, of which 96% are considered small or micro. So, we small businesses are crucial to the UK economy, there is no denying this.

 

Whether you are a start-up and excited for the times ahead, or an establishment renewing your challenges, we all want to be successful with our business. In our latest blog, we talk about tips we think are vital to any business.

 

We all have a vision in mind, of where we’d like to see our business in the future. This vision needs to be translated on paper as your business plan. A business plan is a must for all business owners. This can help outside investors get an insight of your business, for if ever you need funding to grow your business.

 

Business Plan


A business plan should consist of;

·         Summary – What is your purpose, what is your vision?

·         Target market – Who are you likely to sell to

·         Competitors – What is your rivals weakness? Why are you different?

·         Staff – Do you need people to help run your business. What level of skill and pay is required?

·         Suppliers – Who will be your main supplier?

·         Marketing Plan – How will you advertise yourself to the world

·         Operations – Which is the best way to run your business.

·         Finance – How much money do you need? Determine the profitability of the business.

 

Business Structure

As well as a business plan, you will need to have a business structure. Sole trader, partnerships and limited companies all have their own pros and cons. Deciding which structure to choose is not always straightforward. If an asset is owned outright, then you would need to consider retaining personal ownership on incorporation. If you’re not sure which structure model you should go for, then here at Cross Accounting we can give tailored advice to you.

 

Year End

We cannot stress enough the importance of doing your year end as early as possible. Once completed, this will give you peace of mind as you will not have to worry, until next year. It will also give you more time to budget for your tax bill. You will not be in a rush to find the money for the tax bill and not kill your cashflow. Keep all receipts for your expenses, these will all help lower the tax bill. If you buy equipment or tools, mobile phone bills, petrol, these are all deductible. HMRC can conduct random spot checks, so it’s important to keep paperwork, recommended for 6 years.

 

Budgeting

Having budgets in place for your business can help you predict the near future. This allows you to have a spending plan, so you can make sure you have money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. You can see what is eating up your cash and avoid spending on unnecessary fees. Below is an example of a very simple budget.

 

 

Month 1 (Budget)

Month 1 (Actual)

Variance

Month 2 (Budget)

Month 2 (Actual)

Variance

Month 3 (Budget)

Month 3 (Actual)

Variance

Starting Cash

10,000

10,000

0

11,630

11,600

-30

 

 

 

Income

2,500

2,500

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Income

2,600

2,600

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rent

800

800

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile

50

55

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel

20

50

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gas and Electricity

100

95

-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Expense

970

1,000

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income - Expense

1630

1,600

-30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tips will keep you motivated and more importantly give you an idea of where your finances lay, helping you to quickly identify if there are rainy days ahead.

If you need expert tailored advice, please do get in touch as we are always happy to help.

Welcome to our latest blog. Christmas is around the corner and it’s our favourite time of the year here at Cross Accounting. It’s the time of giving and is there any other way to give your business a boost a grant to get your finance in place.

 

A business or an individual will be given a sum of money for a specific project or purpose. A grant usually covers only partial costs involved. Grants are given depending on your business activity, the amount of jobs that will be created due to this investment or if you are in a specific industry sector. Sometimes grants are linked to geographic areas. Such as those areas in need of an economic transformation.

 

Business Wales can support in finance, take a look at their finance locator to see if grants and other finance your business may be eligible for at https://businesswales.gov.wales/zones/business-finance/funding-search-tool-form

 

You should ensure that you meet the requirements of the scheme before applying for grants and finance. You’ll have to ensure you are ready to put up some of your own money as grants only cover partial costs. You’ll also need to have a detailed description of your project or purpose and a work plan with full costings. We can assist with a budget and full detailed cashflow to secure the finance you need.

 

The application process for grants can sometimes be time consuming and there usually is a lot of competition but on the plus side, most grants don’t have to be paid repaid giving your business that extra boost.

 

If you’re looking for that push to reach some New Years goals, the Development Bank of Wales can support to get the finance your business needs to succeed. Visit https://developmentbank.wales/ to get you ready for the New Year.

 

You will need to have a polished business plan at the ready.  If you would like us to look at your business plan, then you can book in for a free one-hour consultation where we can discuss how to start the New Year strong. Visit our website on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk or call us on 02920 653 995. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

There has been a change in the VAT Flat Rate Scheme since April 2017. The government are concerned that some businesses are using the scheme to pay less VAT than appropriate. Read our blog to be reminded of the rules and regulations.

 

The Flat Rate Scheme is designed to simplify your records of sales and purchases. It allows you to apply a fixed flat-rate percentage to your gross turnover to arrive at the VAT due.

 

The scheme is for businesses with a turnover no more than £150,000 a year, excluding VAT. The Flat Rate Scheme is a simpler method of working out the VAT you have to pay to HMRC. The flat rate percentage you use depends on your business sector. The correct sector is the one that most likely describes what your business will be doing in the coming year. Click here to find out your sector percentage https://www.gov.uk/vat-flat-rate-scheme/how-much-you-pay

 

From 1 April 2017 the flat rate changes if you’re a limited cost business. The flat rate percentage will be 16.5% regardless of your sector if you are a limited cost business. You’re a limited cost business if the amount you spend on relevant goods including VAT is either, less than 2% of your VAT flat rate turnover or greater than 2% of your VAT flat rate turnover but less than £1000 per year.

 

You will also get a 1% discount if it is your first year as a VAT registered business. If you’re unsure about your VAT and would like to discuss, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Summers out and its back to business

 

Summers out and schools are back in. Those 6 long weeks of entertaining the children are over and it’s truly back to business. As summer comes to an end and we prepare for darker evenings, the new season is the best time to plan for your business.

 

The lead up to Christmas is best to note down and plan for the next couple of months. Its best to hand in your paperwork for self-assessment and year end to your accountant so that you can fully concentrate on the build up to Christmas and New Year. There will be no stress on your behalf to meet HMRC’s deadline, leaving you to focus on what matters most, your business.

 

Since everyone is back from holiday, it is a good opportunity to go out networking. This will build connections and get your business name out there. Meeting new people and old familiar faces will keep your business from being forgotten.

 

Get your cashflow and budget up to date, this will help you plan for the seasonal events to come. Having an idea of your businesses ins and outs can shape your business for the busy Christmas and New Year period. There will be a lot of people spending during this period, so make sure your business is always on its ‘A’ game.

 

As mentioned earlier, note your plans down, as it is better to have something written down and in front of you than in your memory. This will help you achieve your goals and remember planning is key!

Methods of Finance

 

In our latest blog, we talk about the best methods of finance for your business. Sometimes it’s great to have that extra push to take your business to the next level. To attract the best funding for your business, you will need a business plan. We are experts in the field of preparing a cashflow and a business plan and can assist you in achieving the best method of finance for your business.

 

Finance Wales

Finance Wales are set up to aid in funding. They offer bespoke debt and equity investment packages designed to boost your business and accelerate growth. They offer three types of packages, micro loans under £10,000 have an easy two-day process. Have a look at their website, 


http://financewales.co.uk/business-finance-/growing-a-business/micro-loans-under-%C2%A35,000.aspx 


for more information.

 

Bank Loans

Bank loans are probably the most common types of finance for you and I. These types of finance are an amount of money borrowed for a set period with an agreed repayment schedule. The repayment amount will depend upon the size and duration of the loan and rate of interest. The terms and price will vary between bank providers. There isn’t just one type of loan, there are many different types, which I will look in to and describe the differences.

 

·         Working Capital Loan – This type of loan is usually required at short notice or emergency situations. This will usually incur the highest percentage of interest.

·         Fixed Asset Loan – For buying assets, where the asset itself is used as a security for repayment.

·         Factoring Loans – This type of loan is based on money owed to your business by customers or clients.

·         Hire Purchase Loans – For long term purchase of assets such as vehicles or machinery.

 

It’s best to talk to your bank or bank manager, as they will let you know the exact amount you can get for finance. The bank managers love an excellent business plan and cashflow, so make sure yours is current and polished to get in the good books of your bank manager!

 

Overdraft

This method of finance is a sum of money extended to you as credit by your bank, set at a pre-arranged limit when your account balance drops below zero. Usually charged interest on any amount of overdraft you use. The terms and price, like the loans, vary between providers. This is a good source to manage cashflow, but it is probably not suitable if you’re looking for long term financing.

 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, also known as crowd financing or crowd sourced capital is usually carried out online. This allows several investors to individually invest smaller amounts of money in to a business. The individual investments are then combined to help a business reach its funding target. Crowdfunding is an excellent option for businesses that struggle to raise finance through loans or the conventional funding methods. Since crowdfunding is conducted online, you should make sure your idea is protected. In return of the funding, investors usually get a percentage of share of the business.

 

You can find more information by visiting http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help/what-is-crowdfunding

 

Government Offers

Governments usually offer support to businesses in all different shapes and sizes. https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support here you can find from funding and finance, to grants and to mentoring for your business.

 

Caerphilly council are offering a business development grant. This grant can provide up to 45% of eligible expenditure to a maximum of £2,000. Business must be based in Caerphilly and be in the manufacturing or service to the manufacturing sector, or have a minimum of 60% business to business. For businesses in the Caerphilly area, please look at this link http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Business/Business-grants-and-funding/Business-development-grant to get more information.

 

Remember the key to accelerating your business in the positive forward thinking way to get that extra push is to have a business plan and cashflow in place. We offer a one hour no obligation consultation, where we can sit down with a cup of coffee and discuss your business. 


Visit our website on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk or call us on 029 20 653 995 to see how we can assist you.