Readers’ question: I’m looking into starting a small business and I’m still not sure what the main differences between a sole trader and limited company are with regards to tax implications. What is the more tax beneficial method of running a business?
A lot of businesses now choose to trade internationally to help their business grow and succeed worldwide. Trading internationally can not only be a great step for your business but can also help you to build your brand awareness and reach more customers. If your business is moving towards international trading then it is important that you know how to reduce your costs to help you save money in the future.
Readers’ Question: I’ve just completed a job for my first client and I need to invoice them but I don’t know where to start. How do I write an invoice and what should I include?
I don’t know about you, but I like to know what I am spending my money on, especially if investing in a wrong marketing strategy can put the future of my company at peril. I am also a great admirer of history because I think that the cause of a crisis can always be traced back in time. That’s why I know when my marketing strategy underperforms because I carefully monitor all metrics that can indicate that things aren’t going as planned. Monitoring these metrics gathers information that enables me to make better marketing decisions.
Readers’ Question: I want to start a business and have looked at both the sole trader and limited company structure. I think that running as a limited company will be better for me. What is the best and most cost-effective way to register a company?
Most working individuals at some point or another have thought about working for themselves instead of investing their time and effort in somebody else’s business. But the whole idea of setting up a business has been scary too, which is why you need to plan carefully enabling you to start small and steady.
Storytelling has become an essential part of PR and marketing. It allows businesses and big corporations to connect with their audience and customers on a human level. By telling a story, you are allowing your viewers to experience emotions, which makes you memorable. Over the festive period, a number of huge companies invest in making emotional adverts that tell a story. These have become an annual event, with John Lewis usually leading the way. They are so popular because they play on emotions. If you are making people think and feel something, then you have their attention.
If you’re an aspiring business owner who needs to raise finance for a business purchase, you have several options. Three of these are bank lending, an angel investment or seller financing.
Although HMRC sends reminders to those who need to file their self-assessment tax return, not everyone meets this deadline. More than 30,000 taxpayers completed their tax return within the last hour on January 2018.
Now more than ever professionals are keen to move away from traditional working hours in favour of a better work-life balance, and as more of life moves online, the idea of working from home seems to make sense. Many organisations are now offering, or at least trialling flexible working hours, but some are still behind the times.
Productivity is a key yardstick on which business efficiency is measured; the more output achieved, the more revenues and profits are likely to increase. For the most part, improving productivity revolves around having efficient, content and well-managed staff, therefore much of what is done to improve productivity is geared towards ‘people’ matters.
2019 is fast approaching, and with the New Year comes new opportunities in almost every sector. Among these opportunities, some of the major ones will include creative new small business ideas.
At this time of year, you may well be planning parties, awards and gifts for staff and customers. As you do this are you checking that you are making the most of the available Christmas tax reliefs or ways to leverage your money this Christmas?
The aim of every business is to grow and expand, and naturally when businesses grow they secure a bigger number of clients. A happy problem with this is that more customers to your business would mean the need to hire more employees; especially those in the sales and support departments. Bringing on board a handful of new employees in a short time span could be challenging because of the time it takes to train them while still making sure that your long-time clients are happy with the services they are provided with.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond stayed away from big bold giveaways in his Autumn statement, but the Budget contained plenty for businesses to digest.
Potential customers don’t change that much. It’s common for businesses to overestimate the attraction of novelty and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behaviour. Marketing is not new, but digital marketing has changed the way that we do things.
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A recent Government report shows that £44.6 billion is owed to small-to-medium sized businesses in late invoice payments. While it’s hard to fathom how much impact this amount of money will have on the economy in general, it’s important to understand the impact it can cause business owners.
Good invoicing is vital for freelancers and anyone running a micro/small business. Sending out well-designed, concise invoices is important to get you paid. It will make it easy for your clients to pay you, that way you’re much more likely to get paid on time. The last thing you want to do is spend all of your time chasing unpaid invoices.
You have successfully set up your dream restaurant or café and now you want to enjoy the freedom of running your own business while enjoying your passion for food and people. For your business to be a success, it is vital that customers have a great experience and want to return to your venue. Keeping the customers you already have happy is important, as they are the backbone of your business and provide a regular stream of revenue. But you should also consider that the customers you retain will actually help spread the word and attract new customers to your business. According to Harvard Business School: “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”
Cat in a Flat founders Kathrin Burckhardt and Julie Barnes feature in our latest success stories, looking at entrepreneurs making a success out of a niche business idea. They discuss having complementary skills, marketing your business effectively, and attracting customers. Cat in a Flat has become an international business allowing customers to find cat sitters for their pets.