Now the dust has settled and a lot of the detail has now been released, I thought we’d take a closer look at what was announced in the Chancellor’s spring budget. I’m just going to be looking at things specifically related to small businesses here, but the full budget can be found on the Government website.
It’s now been a couple of weeks since the Chancellor announced the latest financial support for businesses feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out what’s available and what you’re eligible for, head over to COVID-19 financial support post. Understandably, it’s just the top level details that have been announced at the daily briefings, with the finer details following later, and often being drip-fed into HMRC’s guidance. This has led to a lot of speculation being passed around as fact, so I thought I’d look at some misconceptions that I’ve seen being discussed. I’ll be concentrating on the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) here, but will be covering limited companies and some other schemes available in future posts.
I know that many of you are worried about the current situation, and the effect it could have on your businesses. The original financial support measures announced back in March were designed to take us through to May/June. As a result extensions and changes have since been announced in order to provide further support for the next few months.
So many people put their tax return off until the last minute, and the HMRC phone lines are inundated with callers asking for advice and support throughout January; it can be a terribly stressful time of year, and - coming directly after the expense and frivolity of Christmas and New Year - can see pennies stretched to their thinnest—so I always advise getting yourself organised well ahead of time, meaning that you don’t have the pressure of that deadline looming over you as your next exciting year begins.
Time flies when you’re having fun - and when you’re focussed on running your own business the months can rush by faster than you anticipated, meaning that things slip down the to-do list waiting for the right time to be actioned. I’ve written about payments on account before - but here’s why it matters today:
You’ve got a fantastic business idea and you can’t wait to get going with it and make it a success. But what type of business should you be? It’s not as exciting as sorting out your branding, or planning your marketing strategy, it’s definitely worth spending some time thinking about what type of business you’re building.
After what has felt like the longest greyest Winter we had a week of sun, where it felt like we’d just jumped straight over Spring and into Summer. Although we’re now back to more normal Spring-like weather, the sun made a huge difference to my mood and it was so nice to not be completely drenched each day!
Although you wouldn’t think it to look at the weather, Spring has sprung. The majority of my clients have their year end as the end of March, so this time of year is generally pretty busy and filled with looking back at the previous year and planning what is to come.
Starting a business can be complicated. Not only do you need to provide your services or products to your clients, but you also suddenly have to deal with all the other sides of running a business such as the finances. VAT in particular seems to confuse a lot of people, so let’s bust some VAT myths.
February gets a bit of a kicking from a lot of people, but it’s one of my favourite months. It’s not as dreary and cold as January, and Spring is just around the corner. It might be the shortest month, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t packed full of great meetings and great people. I had lots of interesting conversations and I’m heading into March feeling really excited about the future.
Do you ever look at your business and wish that you could tell which areas were most profitable and which ones probably need a bit or work? Well with tracking categories in Xero you can do just that! Knowing exactly which areas of your business income is coming from, and just as importantly where you’re spending money, enables you to make proactive business decisions.
I can often be found reading blogs, whether for business purposes or in my never-ending pursuit of the perfect eyeliner. My favourites are those where you really get to know the person behind the words, as well as learning new things, with Lenka Koppova and Rachel Extance both doing this very well. In fact, I enjoy Lenka’s “What I learnt this week” series so much I’ve been inspired to do my own version, so join me as we go behind the calculator!