Archive for the 'Straight from the Boss' Category

Buy Yorkshire 2015 here we come!

Once again, Balance Accountants will be having a stand at the Buy Yorkshire Exhibition which is being held at The Royal Armouries in Leeds on 28/29 April.

The Buy Yorkshire Exhibition is one of the largest exhibitions of its kind and has proved very popular with the Yorkshire Business Community since it’s inception. This year there will be 2 exhibition halls with 180 exhibitors and 4,000 delegates so that gives you a sense of the size of it. There will also be an inspiring series of business seminars that puts you in front of leading entrepreneurs and the most innovative companies in the UK.

This is the 4th time that Balance have had stand at the exhibition and once again we will be there with all of our finest branding on show and this year we will be launching our brand new payroll bureau service at the exhibition.

So, if you get chance to visit the exhibition then please look for our stand and pop in for a chat and some refreshments!

New Additions To The Team At Balance

There have been several new staff arrivals at Balance Accountants in July. The latest addition to the team is Austen Barrowclough who joins us for a year long placement from the University of Huddersfield.

Austen is currently studying Sports Promotion and Marketing at the University but he has quite a chequered past having tried his hand at building, surveying, personal training as well as playing professional and international rugby league for Serbia.

Austen scoring a try against Russia

At Balance he will play an integral role in developing and implementing our  2013/14 marketing strategy and we are hoping that his knowledge of marketing will help bring a new dimension to the Balance Team.

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough, partner at Balance Accountants.

Penalties increasing for late filing of 2012 tax returns.

Individual taxpayers who are yet to submit their 2011/12 self-assessment tax return are reminded that they will be hit by increasing penalties from next month.

The online deadline for filing self-assessment returns for the 2011/12 tax year was 31 January. Individuals that missed this deadline will have already received an initial £100 late-filing penalty.

From 1 May, there will be an additional daily £10 penalty for each day the online return is late, up to a maximum of 90 days.

For paper returns, which were due by the 31 October deadline, daily penalties began on 1 February.

Further penalties of at least £300 – or five per cent of the tax due, whichever is the greater – will then be issued for returns that are six and 12 months late.

So if you have still to file your 2011/12 self assessment tax return then you need to take action as quickly as possible because in this instance time definitely means money!!!!!!

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough, Partner at Balance Accountants.

Attention all new business owners !

Balance Accountants launch enhanced service for new businesses

Research shows that 4 out of 5 new businesses fail within their first 5 years of trading and that 57% fail within the first 12 months. The good news is that research also shows that careful financial planning and a good accountant are 2 of the things that really make a difference in helping new businesses to avoid becoming just another statistic.

The Balance START-UP SERVICE is squarely aimed at new or fledgling businesses with the sense and foresight to learn the financial ropes, get their accounts in order and then prepare to prosper and grow. It’s our way of helping to tip the balance in favour of short term survival leading to long term success.

So if you are about to start or have recently started a new business then it might be worth a call to Balance Accountants to see how the service that we offer can help your business to succeed!!!!

This post was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough on behalf of The Balance Team.

Tips for a Better Business – from Balance Accountants

4. Market yourself to your existing customers

Research has shown that : 

  1. It is 10x more expensive (in terms of time and money) to gain a new customer than it is to sell more to an existing customers.
  2. One of the reasons why customers leave is because of perceived indifference—they just think that you don’t care about them.

However, the majority of businesses in the UK focus their marketing efforts upon gaining new customers.  What about looking after your existing customers as well????????

Any marketing plan should focus equally as much upon existing customers as it does upon gaining new ones:

  • Call your customers on a regular basis:
  • make sure that they are happy with your services:
  • ask if there is anything else that you can do for them:
  • send them newsletters, press cuttings and other articles that are relevant to your industry/market.

You just need to keep in touch with them but you also need to systemise the process so that it is done on a regular basis, not just every now and then.

If you can retain your existing customers and increase the amount that you sell to them then your business will grow without the need to spend large amounts on expensive and difficult to monitor general marketing to the public.

Balance Accountants specialise in helping business owners to have better, more profitable and more enjoyable businesses. If your business is not performing as well as you want it to then you should contact us now.

Tips for a better business – from Balance Accountants

3. Don’t try to compete on price

There are very few cases where low prices can be sustainable in the long term.  If you make a sale or gain a contract based purely upon price this year then next year it is quite possible that another competitor will come along and undercut and take the business away from you.  So what do you do then? Well a natural reaction is to reduce your prices further in order to regain the business.  But, as you can see, the end result is a downward spiral in prices until it is no longer viable to provide the product /service.

The alternative is to provide a product/service that is differentiated from your competitors by being better.  By providing better value for money.  That way you won’t necessarily be competing with the cheap and cheerful product/service of your competitors.  You will become known for being the best and customers who are looking for quality will gravitate towards you.

Balance Accountants specialise in helping business owners to have better, more profitable and more enjoyable businesses. If your business is not performing as well as you want it to then you should contact us now.

Tips for a better business—from Balance Accountants

2.  Concentrate on the parts of the business that give the greatest return

There is a well known principle called the 80/20 rule which is the subject of a whole book written by someone called Richard Koch. Essentially the rule states that 80% of what you achieve comes from 20 % of the effort that you put in.  In other words, a few things are important but many other things are not.

For example—20% of customers, markets and products/services generate 80% of profits.

It makes sense to use the 80/20 rule in your own business by identifying the 20% of your customers, markets, products and services that generate 80% of your profits and then explore what you can do to get more of your 20% customers, sell more of your 20% products/services and penetrate more of your 20% markets and channels.  Also explore how you can make your 80% customers, products, services, markets and channels more profitable.  And if that isn’t possible, consider scaling down or even withdrawing from these areas.

Balance Accountants specialise in helping business owners to have better, more profitable and more enjoyable businesses. If your business is not performing as well as you want it to then you should contact us now.

Tips for a better business—from Balance Accountants

1.      Systems are essential for every business

Many business owners do not really have a business—they have a job—and they have the worst boss in the world—themselves—and as a result they end up putting in more and more hours and becoming more and more stressed—sound familiar???  Do you hear yourself saying, “If only my employees could do things as well as me then I wouldn’t have a problem”?

Fortunately there is a solution.  You need to devise a means whereby others can do everything in the same way and to the same high standards that you would do it yourself.  You need to create SYSTEMS for your business—procedures, manuals, written scripts, standard forms, templates, checklists and instructions that can be used to guide and train your employees to do everything in the same manner and to the same high standard every time.

At Balance Accountants we show our clients how to systemise their businesses but we also practice what we preach because our own business is completely systemised and this allows the owners to step back from working IN the business and start working ON it.

Just imagine how much less stressed you will be when the business does not depend on you.  When you know that everything is being done to the same high standard that you expect and when you are in complete control of your work-life balance because you are able to choose how much or how little work you personally have to do.

Balance Accountants specialise in helping business owners to have better, more profitable and more enjoyable businesses.  If your business is not performing as well as you want it to then you should contact us now.

Significant Changes to Capital Allowances

The capital allowances regime will change significantly on 1 April 2012 for limited companies and on 6 April 2012 for soletraders and partnerships.

Currently, there is an annual investment allowance of £100,000 per annum which means that expenditure on plant & machinery, including vans, is fully tax deductible in the year of acquisition up to £100,000 of total expenditure.  From 1/6 April 2012 this annual allowance will fall to £25,000 per annum.  Any amounts in excess of the £25,000 will only qualify for annual writing down allowances of 18% of cost (20% prior to 1/6 April 2012).

For any business with a 31 March year end therefore, there will be a significant benefit in incurring any major plant and machinery investment before the year end when the higher rate of annual investment allowance will apply.

However the position becomes more complicated where the business year end spans 1/6 April 2012.  In this case, any expenditure incurred prior to 1/6 April will get a proportionate amount of the £100,000 annual investment allowance, whilst any expenditure after 1/6 April 2012 will get a proportionate amount of the £25,000 annual investment allowance but none of the £100,000 annual investment allowance.

For example, a business with a year end of 31 May:

If expenditure on plant and machinery is incurred before 1/6 April 2012 then it will attract a maximum of 10/12 of the £100,000 (i.e. 10 months out of 12) which amounts to a maximum of £83,000.

If expenditure is incurred in April or May, however, then it will not attract any of the £100,000 allowance and will only be eligible for a maximum of 2/12 of the £25,000 allowance which is a measly £4,166.

Confused?????? – we certainly were – so if you are thinking of acquiring plant and machinery in the next six months or so, and want some advice on the best timimg, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough on behalf of the Balance Team

Find out the best time to buy if planning on significant additions/replacements to you plant and equipment

Take Control of Your Business in 2012.

For business owners, the Christmas break is often a time to reflect on their business.  For many there will be the realisation that their business could be much better than it is.  They may be working long difficult hours for little or low profits: dealing with difficult customers and staff, struggling with cashflow and declining sales.  And for many business owners, the prospect of returning at the start of the new year can be depressing and demoralising.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.  Remember when you first started in business? You were excited, motivated and looking forward to the freedom and wealth that business ownership could bring.  Isn’t it time to regain control of your business and get back to those exciting times when you first started?

Could we give you a helping hand?

The starting point has to be the creation of a working business plan which you can refer to on a regular basis and adapt as circumstances change.  A plan which involves getting rid of poor customers and getting more of your ideal customer, creating a successful team that are as inspired as you, delegating unnecessary tasks, creating time to work on your business rather than in it, devising new marketing strategies, creating an exceptional customer care programme.  In short, creating that business that you dreamed of when you first ventured into business ownership.

Taking the first steps can be daunting and it is often difficult to know where to start.  So why not work with a business mentor—someone who has already experienced all of this.  At Balance Accountants we perform this role for about 10% of our clients—we could do it for your business as well!!!

Feel free to give us a ring to find out more.

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough.

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