It's that time of year again, the leaves have fallen from the trees, you're counting down the days to the first window of your advent calendar (I lacked willpower this year and have an M&S beauty one, so very excited for the 1st), and it's time for the Autumn Statement.
Let's have a look at some of the changes that were announced, and the impact on small businesses.
Whether you're about to launch a shiny new business, or you've been going for a while and are thinking about the next steps, you might be coming up against the age old question of whether you should trade as a sole trader or limited company. You start speaking to other people in your industry, turn to Facebook groups, or even family who have never run a business. What to do, what to do? So here I am with the definitive answer once and for all.
Do you know how much you've made in sales in your ecommerce business so far this year? Where would you go to find this information? If your answer would be to check the money received in your bank, then this post is for you.
While some businesses can rely on this method, it's very different for ecommerce businesses. The amount of money you receive is not the same as how much you sold. You might have a jumper for sale for £60, but once the payment provider has taken their fee and you've paid the marketplace commission, the amount you receive in your bank account might be £53. If you were to just go off your bank account, it would be recorded as £53, rather than the actual sale of £60. If the customer used a gift card then you wouldn't have recorded it at all as there'd be no money hitting your bank account.
Last week saw me take my final calls of the summer with two clients who both take August off from their businesses. Both calls involved agreeing what we'd be looking after while they take a step back, and what their priorities will be when they get back. We effectively act as a finance team for them, so invoicing and paying freelancers, etc. can all still happen while they take a complete break.
A month off each year is the goal for lots of business owners I speak with. But for others it's not concentrated time off they're looking for, but regular time off for travel, or a 4 day week so they can explore other interests. Freedom to work when they want is a theme that runs right across all of our clients.
At the Spring Budget 2023 earlier this week, the Chancellor confirmed that corporation tax will be increasing from 1st April 2023. It's quite a big jump, from 19% to 25%. Although it was originally announced a while ago, from speaking with business owners recently it seems as though the impact of this isn’t really understood. So if you’re not sure about what it means for your business, get comfy and we’ll get started!
Corporation tax applies only to limited companies, so if you’re a sole trader with no plans for a limited company in the near future, you can jump off here. You directors, buckle up.
I’ve been speaking to a lot of people about their goals this month, ‘tis the season and all that. There’s been a common theme, and that’s been around building a 6 figure business. 6 figure chat seems to be everywhere I look at the moment, particularly in the female founder online space, so it’s not surprising that it’s on a lot of people’s 2023 vision boards. Having a financial goal is a great idea, as when you know where you’re going you can use your numbers to plan for what will happen along the way.
But often when I start drilling down into what 6 figures means to them, they don’t have a clear definition in mind of this, or how they’ll know when they get there.
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.