Blog

Marketing for Valentines and beyond

Posted 12th February 2020 at 9:00 am

marketing

Valentine’s Day is approaching this week, sending couples into a frenzy of romance-themed shopping (unless your other half is an accountant in which case they will most likely tell you they’ll buy you twice as many roses for half the price next week!) If you sell chocolates, wine or flowers, or run a fancy restaurant, you may not need to create a special marketing strategy to see an upturn in sales. But how can the rest of us capitalise on the holiday spirit?      Mothers’ Day  Everyone knows a mum, has a mum, or is a mum, so this holiday... Read more

Coping with Snow Days as an SME

Posted 5th February 2020 at 4:02 pm

snow day

Remember when you were a child and your school got closed for a snow day? The elation! The freedom! The sledging! Unfortunately like many things that thrilled us as children, snow days don’t tend to evoke the same emotion in adulthood, especially if you are a small business owner! So far this winter we’ve mainly avoided snow disruption, but as the climate becomes more unpredictable, we should be prepared for anything to happen between now and the Spring. It’s important to have a plan in place that can be actioned at short notice to ensure that your business is impacted... Read more

Which way next with Brexit?

Posted 29th January 2020 at 9:36 am

Brexit

Both the UK and the EU need to ratify the withdrawal agreement by 31 January 2020. There will then be an implementation period until 31 December 2020 while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements. Until this implementation period ends, there is no easy answer as to how Brexit will affect UK businesses! However there are some ways that your business can prepare now for the UK’s exit from the EU. For information on what to do if you import goods from the EU, visit this link: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-import-to-uk-after-brexit If you export goods to the EU there is advice here: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-export-from-uk-after-brexit... Read more

How happy is your workplace?

Posted 22nd January 2020 at 2:17 pm

mental health

This week started with what is said to be the ‘most depressing day of the year.’ Whether or not this is correct, the down period after Christmas with its dark winter days and unpredictable weather is pretty miserable for everybody, and can be a trigger for those of us with mental health issues. In the workplace this can lead to low morale, less productive staff, and increased sick leave. So how can we make our workplaces happier and healthier?   Spruce up your office It may be grey and miserable outside, but that doesn’t have to extend to the inside... Read more

Are you up to date on your Payroll know-how?

Posted 14th January 2020 at 6:54 pm

payroll

Did you know? Eligible employees for Auto Enrolment must receive a total minimum contribution of 8%. Of this, a minimum of 3% must come from the employer. Did you know? Payslips must show the total number of variable hours worked. This means that if employees have worked overtime, or if they get paid differently for working certain hours, these variables must be detailed on their payslip. Did you know? Employers must calculate all deductions, issue employees with payslips, and report to HMRC on or before payday each month. Did you know? Payroll reports must be kept for at least 3... Read more

Are New Year’s Resolutions bad for you?

Posted 7th January 2020 at 4:43 pm

resolution

We’re a week into 2020, and some of us will already have broken our New Year’s Resolutions, with others struggling to go the distance until the end of January, let alone the end of the year! For many of us, and particularly for those with mental health issues, resolutions can become yet another thing to fail at, causing us to feel bad about ourselves. However, given that on average, 80% of resolutions are abandoned by February, is it really the person that is to blame, or the whole idea of resolutions that is inherently faulty?   Willpower is finite The... Read more

A poem for those with election fatigue

Posted 11th December 2019 at 8:00 am

election

On the eve of the election We send God a little prayer (Even those of us who don’t believe that he is there)   God save us from the tax raises that send our business spinning (Whichever of the parties is the one that ends up winning)   Please God, sort out Brexit In whatever way you choose (And thank you for not placing us inside the PM’s shoes!)   Please God fund our NHS, our road networks and schools Give us, God, a government that don’t take us for fools   Help us heal our differences, and make a... Read more

Three ways to make the most of your tax benefits this Christmas

Posted 2nd December 2019 at 8:34 pm

christmas

1. Reward your staff with Trivial Benefits of up to £50 in value Did you know that if you reward staff with Benefits in Kind, you can save tax on these by meeting certain conditions? This means that as an employer you can buy gifts, pay for meals, or give shopping vouchers to your employees as a Trivial Benefit, exempt from tax. To find out more about Trivial Benefits click here.   2. Claim up to £150 per head for your Christmas party Tax rules allow an exemption for an annual staff social event, such as a Christmas party. So... Read more

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: How to cope as a small business

Posted 27th November 2019 at 9:36 am

Alongside pumpkin spiced latte and the commercialising of Halloween, the biggest Autumn trend to hit us from the US in recent years has to be Black Friday and its online sister, Cyber Monday.   What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Black Friday made its way over here in 2014 and has become increasingly popular with the larger retailers including supermarkets and department stores, as well as with online retailers. This year Black Friday falls on 29th November 2019. Cyber Monday is an online sales event which falls the Monday after Black Friday. This year it therefore takes place on... Read more

Making sense of the General Election 2019

Posted 22nd November 2019 at 5:02 pm

General Election

This year’s General Election is probably the most complicated in living memory! There are so many different party and individual MP stances on Brexit to take into consideration alone, not to mention all the other issues that politicians are supposed to focus on! With so many MPs stepping down or changing parties, it’s no wonder that many people feel they have no idea who they want to vote for! Fortunately, the lovely people at Sky News have put together an interactive manifesto-checker so that you can compare at a glance the different party stances on the issues that matter to... Read more