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There are basically two ’schools of thought’ when it comes to analysing financial data and making assessments about the general performances of a business or a company. The first is the one which tells you that analysing financial data is not as big of a deal and that you can easily judge a financial situation by doing some basic calculations and looking at the certain numbers. The second is the one which advocates that a more thorough and meticulous approach needs to be conducted in order for these numbers to actually mean something.

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Having good cash flow is fundamentally essential for any business wanting to run smoothly and successfully. A recent UK study found that, on average, SMEs spend more than £1m a year on business-related expenditure such as staffing costs, rent, office equipment and supplies. This highlights how vital it is for SMEs to have a solid grasp of their incomings and outgoings so they can plan ahead and meet these costs.

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One of the highest accolades a company can ever receive is to be named as one of the best companies to work for. Over the years we have witnessed quite a range of fantastic businesses such as InTouch Games from the Midlands managing to pick up this title, and it has served both employer as well as employees extremely well in terms of long term success, satisfaction and efficiency.

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Many business owners struggle to explain their accounts and numbers (we’ve all seen this on Dragon’s Den).  However, unless you understand the story your numbers are telling you, you are likely to be running your business on luck alone.

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Readers Questions:  I’m buying a business with customers, can I contact them or not because of GDPR?

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Readers question: As a director of my Limited Company, the majority of my income comes from my contracts, plus my properties and land. Can I still take a £2,000 dividend tax-free regardless of my other earnings which take me to the 40% threshold?

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These days the move to digital documentation has gone a long way towards reducing the level of physical space businesses need to devote to documentation and storage, however, it has not necessarily reduced any of the other challenges involved in creating an effective document storage system.

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Is there anything more important than customer satisfaction when it comes to ensuring that your business achieves the best results? Well, unless you’re selling your products or services to people who have no basic knowledge of what quality product means, the question of how important of a role customer satisfaction plays in business marketing cannot be undermined in any aspect.

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Nowadays there is absolutely no reason why your business should not be recycling. Many would argue it is even negligent to not have some form of  recycling system in place, even if it could be more efficient (the chances are it can.) By not recycling at all, you are likely to be spending more money on waste than you should be and your bin area is likely to have overflowed into a mess at least a couple of times before.

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Web-based services are an important part of many modern businesses. Some companies even craft whole business models entirely on the internet. These types of service can provide their own unique challenges and rewards. No matter how technologically savvy you believe your company to be, there are a few essentials that every big, web-operating company needs to have in order to be successful.

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“Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession” – said Marc Cuban, a well-known American entrepreneur. Running a startup is much harder than many aspiring entrepreneurs could have imagined. You might have difficulties in different spheres including communication, project management, marketing, and sales. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are well prepared and equipped with reliable tools to handle such activities.

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There is no doubt that accounting software can come with great benefits for your small business. From helping you keep up with the tax deadlines to making it easier to keep records of your business finances, accounting software can be a great help. But how do you choose the right one?

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As a small business involved in overseas trading, there lies a high risk due to fluctuating currency. More specifically, the volatile nature of the marketplace and mitigating factors which directly impact the value of selected currencies, both at home and the trading country.  As a small limited company or an overseas contractor, it is vital to actively measure the risk and equip your business against changing exchange rates. Failure to do so could tip your business towards financial difficulty, disrupting company cash flow and the overall profitability of the company, writes Keith Tully of Real Business Rescue.

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Readers questions: A small limited company has signed an agreement with me to provide certain services when its building project is complete. So my question is if the company is sold on, does the acquiring company have to honour this agreement with me?

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There are probably a few people who still doubt the power of social media. Long gone are the days where we’d log on to simply keep in contact with those closest to us; social networks have now developed to a point where we can shop, stream and even report a crime, all without closing an app.

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Most of us dream of at some point in our adult lives, being able to work doing something that we really love. After all, according to the National Office of Statistics, most people spend at least 37.5 hours a week at work. To be doing something that we hate isn’t good for us.

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Many business owners, including contractors, may have found it difficult to secure a competitive mortgage in the past. However, more enlightened lenders are happy to provide a mortgage for limited company directors, who may find it hard to prove income on a ‘traditional’ basis.
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The thought of establishing your own business, where you can be your own boss and steer your business in the direction in which you’d like it to go, remains only a dream for most people. However, if you’re among the few who have been brave enough to start a small business, has turning it into a profitable franchise ever crossed your mind?

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To be an entrepreneur is both a reward and a challenge. An entrepreneur’s to-do list is neverending and there’s always a new task to complete.

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For a lot of people, starting their own business requires a huge leap of faith. The reason behind this is simple – it is most often a step into an unfamiliar world, where you cannot be sure whether any of it is going to work out, even if you have a brilliant business idea. However, the very fact that you are seriously thinking about it is already enough for a good start. You are aware of the risks, and you have already heard all the intimidating statistics on startup failure.

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