The new year is well and truly on its way and we hope you’ve had some great celebrations. Research shows that a lot of us make plans and goals, that we wish to achieve in the New Year. Most of us plan to get fit and more active, some plan to be more organised and save money and others plan to start up their own business and be their own boss. 

This is the best time to plan as the New Year brings a fresh start. We talk about the best tips that anyone would benefit from. Whether you’re starting up as a business, or have been running your business for many years, you need to plan and motivate yourself for what the year is to bring. 

What’s your business idea? Is there a gap in the market you can exploit? Or can you add an additional service to what you are offering? If you’re having difficulty, then involve friends and family to brainstorm some ideas. You never know, they may just add the final touch to your brilliant idea.

An essential part of your business, as mentioned before, is to have a plan. If you intend to apply for funding, then you’ll need a business plan. If you have an idea or thoughts, write it down. As written ideas are more likely to be achieved than ideas still in your head. 

Check out this free business plan template from https://www.startuploans.co.uk/business-plan-template/ to give you a start. 

You should have a separate business bank account from your personal. This will ensure that all your incomings and outgoings are spot on when submitting your tax return. As under declaring can give you a nasty surprise in the future. We see a lot of clients who mix their business expenses and income in with their personal expenses. Separating personal and business banks will make things a lot clearer and a lot of help for your accountant too!

Another tip we strongly recommend is to keep documents of purchases. You can’t claim for expenses if you don’t have the documents. We see it way too often, a brand-new piece of machinery bought for business, but when it comes to doing the tax return, the document is nowhere to be found. 

Create a folder where you can store your documents straight away or maybe plan a day in the week which you will do your filing. If you don’t like paper, then you can always store your documents electronically online. Xero accounts software allows you to directly scan documents from an email if you prefer.   

Whichever route you choose HMRC do always spot check small businesses, so be a step ahead and organise your records.

The most important tip is to always strive for that customer service excellence. Keeping your customer happy will help you grow and prosper. These will help improve your business as word of mouth is a powerful tool.    

Pass that great skill onto your staff too as if they see you are great with your customers, they will follow suit.  It doesn’t have to be you doing everything.  Quite offset we see the staff being one of the greatest assets in maintaining customer loyalty in the long term.

There are training events and funding available for support and guidance, click here https://businesswales.gov.wales/ to find out more. 

Our busiest season has passed with the self-assessment deadline and now it’s the season of love. With love in the air, its time to make your business your valentine. Take the time to make a plan of action for your business. What do you want to achieve in the next 12-18 months?

 

Are you looking to expand your business and grow a larger list of customers? or are you trying to cut back on the amount of expenses your business pays out ? These are all goals that should be in the clear to you. Write down your plan of action, top tip, something that is written down will be more likely to be achieved than something that you have stored in your mind.

 

Having it written down and somewhere in sight will give you the reminder and motivation to try and achieve this. Think of the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Refresh and re-train on yourself in terms of, what are your strengths, work on weaknesses to learn and help achieve your goals.

 

Loving your business will give you opportunities to take it to the next level. However, with opportunities you also must weigh up the risks. This is where you need a forecast for your business, a cashflow can help make the deciding factor whether its time to hold back and watch the spending, or if there is spare cash around to invest back in the business.

 

We are at the start of 2018.   Make it a good one.

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!

Theres been a lot of news coverage regarding the political parties getting ready and promoting their manifestos for the next election to encourage you to choose our next government.

Whichever party is your preference your destiny and your business success is completely in your own hands.

We have as accountants a short timeframe of seasonality before everything hots up again in April/May. We use this opportunity to look at our systems and see what we can do to improve our service to our clients and make efficiency savings, we have found it highly rewarding to see the changes over these last five years.

We also actively speak to our clients about changing their systems to make themselves more efficient to take their businesses to that next level of growth.

Ways that can be useful.

  • Purchase higher specification software to make the service a lot more standardised.


  • Look at the process itself and find ways of doing the same job for less time.


  • Negotiating with suppliers for a greater discount, certainly if youre spending more on that product.


  • Get to know the customer better so that you can tailor the service better


  • Take out the human element, if a machine can do it cheaper use it, this will save a lot of cost on a volume product, and probably better too as you’ve taken away the potential for human error.


  • Create a little production run, and run through it with your staff, can there be short cuts, or cut out duplication. Review it and make it smarter. Particularly good with the restaurant and pub industries as well as manufacturing.


  • If youre wasting time doing the little things and not getting the bigger picture tasks dealt with, maybe you need a member of staff. Use someone cheaper than yourself so that you can concentrate on the improvement of your income.


  • Outsource, if you either don’t have the time or the expertise, definitely look at this for marketing and finance particularly.

Larger companies have a lot of duplication in them, don’t let that be you, it’s the quickest way of increasing the costs.  If get yourself in this routine whilst your small, youll never suffer from large company syndrome and make more money than your counterparts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.