So you’re running your business as a sole trader and wondering whether it’s time to switch to limited. The main benefit of incorporating as a limited company is that your liability is limited and you can pay less tax, but there is more paperwork and there are legal considerations so there is no need to switch for the sake of it.
As a sole trader you’ll currently be paying tax after your £12,570 (2021\22 tax year) personal allowance, and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as you would if you were an employer and you can’t carry profits over to the next tax year. If you are running a business where there is no risk, you are testing the market, or your enterprise is a hobby then there’s really no need to switch.
However if your income is growing (even if you are a contractor or consultant), or you want to expand by taking a loan or some lease agreements, then a limited company is definitely worth considering. If you are branching out into new markets a limited company status may help with the sorts of clients you can secure, because some won’t deal with sole traders and like the security of dealing with a company.
If decide to go limited, you will become the employee of your company and profits will belong to the company as will any losses.
The setting up process is a bit longer than the sole trader route, as you need to notify Companies House and get a certificate of incorporation, but this can be done in as little as 48 hours. You will also need to determine if you want to be limited by shares or guarantee. Do get in touch with us or your accountant if you would like to do this.
The taxing process is also a little more complex, but you can pay yourself a salary with dividends which are free from National Insurance. Yes, there are statutory legal requirements, and as director you are responsible for providing prompt and accurate accounts each year, but should anything happen, such as you choose to stop being self-employed or someone chases you for an amount you aren’t able to pay, that will rest with the company and not with you personally.
There is no right or wrong business structure, just the one that suits your individual situation, and if your business needs are becoming more complex, it’s well worth thinking about.
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Would you like your accounting practice to solve the problems your clients are looking at solutions for?
Financial Compliance & Processing + Financial Management + Business Advice
Enlightened practices have recognised this and are looking seriously at acquiring business consultancy skills to be there for whatever their clients need, and these are the practices that contact us at RBSS Consulting Ltd daily. When graduating to this ultimate level they secure clients who pay well, never leave, and have very close relationships, wherein they become a fundamental part of every client’s progress through business and life, and are therefore inseparable.
And through this their practices develop very high exit capital, thanks to higher; fees; recurring revenue; lifetime client value.
RBSS Consulting, with our partners Runagood® can provide this if you are ready for a 12-month development journey at the rate of 4 hours per month and therefore costing from £250 per month to acquire consultancy skills, marketing support, software licensing and coaching. The result to that usually will be that their first 1-2 clients pay for the above expense, all within a few weeks of commencing.
Book a free 20-minute discovery call to answer all your questions and for us to learn about you, your practice and objectives. We’ll then set up a thorough readiness assessment.
MD – RBSS Consulting Ltd
A 5% cut to duty on draught beer and cider served from draught containers over 40 litres will be introduced.
From February 2023 a new simplified alcohol duty system will be introduced. Drinks will be taxed in proportion to their alcohol content, making the system fairer.
A new temporary business rates relief will be introduced for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England. The temporary relief will mean over 90% of eligible businesses will receive at least 50% off their business rates bills in 2022/23.
From 2023, a new business rates relief will be introduced to support investment in property improvements. This will enable businesses to make improvements that support net zero targets.
Funding will be provided for full association with Horizon Europe. If the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe, the funding will be allocated to UK government R&D programmes.
The British Business Bank's regional funds will receive over £1.6 billion to provide debt and equity finance to smaller businesses.
The Regional Angels Programme will receive £150 million to reduce imbalances in access to early-stage equity finance across the UK.
The Government will continue to fund the Start Up Loans scheme.
The Recovery Loan Scheme will be extended until 30 June 2022.
Museums, cultural and sporting bodies, such as regional libraries, will receive £52 million to support recovery from Covid-19 and an additional £49 million in 2024/25.
A new small producer relief will be introduced for cider makers and other producers of lower alcohol drinks.
Apprenticeship funding will increase to £2.7 billion by 2024/25.
The £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive for employers will continue until 31 January 2022.
The sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) will receive £10 million a year to help unemployed people undertake work experience, learn new skills and retrain in high-demand sectors in their local area.
The Full Budget documents can be viewed at:
Fortunately, it isn’t. This is because it is after-tax cash.
Yet many businesses consider that the most prominent role of an accountant is to work out ways to minimise and preferably eliminate their tax bills rather than show them how to increase profits. I have sat in meetings where the business advisor has taken calls asking for the lowest price that guarantees the lowest tax bill and been bewildered when hearing a price quoted followed by an argument as to why it isn’t less.
I would therefore like to hear from more of the following:
However, I will start by first giving you an insight into the type of clients we work with:
Which of the above four are you?
The accountants we have partnered with have learned to do this and it pays
Let’s now unpick them:
We all love these guys. They are open minded, appreciate continual advisory and brokerage service, are determined to succeed, soak up the knowledge and advice and pay handsomely because they implement your advice, see the effects, and request for your service more.
The bedrock of practice income. They are solid, dependable, not too ambitious but quick to seek and act on advice to keep things afloat. They pay well and are consistent and not too hot on business growth plans.
These business owners work incredibly hard and not always well, resulting in a hand to mouth existence. Yet some have great potential and with nurturing and suggestions for business improvement can improve and grow their business. Hence turning into a winner and paying you back for the low cost fees you charged when things were tough. Such business owners sometimes only find ways to move their business forward through a venture capitalist.
Lifestylers. They have a basic business that makes ends meet and is predicated on not spending anything that doesn’t give an instant return on investment (ROI) They want your services for next to nothing and have no loyalty or appreciation for your value.
With the breaking down of the above, have a look at your client data list and allocate one of the four categories to each and then calculate the revenue from each group and the time/resource input for each. I’ll bet all your ROI is from category (1) and (2) whilst (3) is your investment for the future and (4) is losing you money with no returns and will remain the same so long as they are not interested in long term routes to improve profitability.
You need to help category 4 turn into a category 3 client. We offer that support. If you don’t, then thy could become a challenge to your practice even though they produce revenue in the long run.
Now, back to the aggressive phone call the business advisor has just taken. He now categorises the client. If he perceives him to fall into (1), (2) or (3), he will book a compulsory meeting to discuss exactly how they will help them to achieve business goals which are aligned to their personal goals. He may say the exact pricing is impossible until it is agreed on what needs to be done, and the outcome he has in mind.
If he hears (4) he politely explains that they don’t provide such service because it aims to only work with motivated business owners to whom it can add value and improve its business modelling.
When they finally meet the prospect they will carry out a full business assessment through way of a thorough business health check and match this against the business owner’s ambitions and present him or her with a full array of integrated services which also align every aspect of the business to the owner’s goals.
The business advisor will portray the business as a long-term business partner working together to get results from as many or as few of the services as they decide to purchase.
To embark on the above may appear intimidating and therefore may need some encouragement. The result being, a section of clients disappearing as they are unwilling to pay the increased fees for the added value, which will serve as an excellent ROI, such as helping them get more customers, increased business performance etc. This in turn will enhance profitability.
If you feel you may fall into one of the above categories or need assistance or business advice relating to any aspect of your business or business idea, get in touch with us today. Please feel free to call and speak to an RBSS Business Advisor on 0333 355 1696, drop us an email, or use the form below. We provide real business solutions for start-ups and existing micro and small businesses.
I am often assured that a professional business, such as a consulting firm has a business plan and when I ask to see it, it often isn’t a business plan.
Instead, it’s an income and expense budget with a cashflow forecast. In other words, it is what banks ask for when considering a loan application, such as Start-up loans for access to finance and something small businesses ask their accountant to prepare, for no other reason than for a loan application.
Often when I ask the business owner which actions are aligned with the business plan to achieve the forecast numbers, I usually get a shrug of the shoulders, a weak smile and a; “It’s just the arithmetic of the number of clients I think I’ll provide a service for throughout the year”.
So, what should a business plan actually be?
Well, before answering that, consider this:
You have a sole trader client who is a self-employed plumber. In presenting last year’s accounts and tax return, he says to you, ‘I need help to grow my business by getting more customers’. He would therefore be expecting help in certain areas, such as; on how to improve business performance by putting business development plans in place.
You probably wouldn’t recommend a business or marketing plan because you don’t have either of these yourself. And if otherwise, it wouldn’t be the right place to begin anyway.
And because you were unable to help him, he falls prey to a more costly marketing consultant or you lose him to a more forthcoming competitor.
However, if your business already had a good business plan it would have identified your plumber’s problem and how to deal with it profitably. You would have the right suggestions for business improvement and therefore strategies to improve business performance which will address the cause of his lack of customers and cash flow.
Back to the business plan. What should it look like if you are to help your plumber client put some business growth plans in place via a business plan?
A sentence that states 5-10 years from now; what status your business looks to achieving to make it stand out. An example would be; “the biggest/most profitable small local business solutions advisor”
A sentence that states what your business does, who for and to what standards. For example; “we help small businesses to solve problems and grow”
Six statements of which must be measurable and achievable to fulfil the Mission Statement and keep moving towards the Vision:
For example; “All round business/financial advisory services to small/medium businesses”
For example; “Practical solutions at affordable prices for permanent income from every customer”
For example; “Automation everywhere to minimise employment and maximise data”
For example; “A small stable group of experienced people that will exceed planned results”
For example; “a 100% return on total assets”
The approaches I will take to ensure that the objectives are achieved.
For example; “Quarterly market intelligence report on competitor activities”
The detailed steps that named individuals will take by specific dates.
For example; “Eric will set up a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system loaded with prospects and clients by 30 June 2021”
The expected expenses incurred by implementing the business plan and the revenue receipts as a result.
For example; “New costs of £50,000.00 to get total sales to new customers of £240,000.00 for 2021”
Monthly management accounts showing actuals compared to budget.
Weekly/monthly KPI (key performance indicators) report of pre-sale statistics and trends.
Meetings to agree to corrective actions and changes. If you are an accountant wanting to grow your business and to understand how to add better value to your clients, then please click here.
If you can resonate with any of the above points or need assistance or guidance relating to a new or existing business plan or any other guidance related to your business, get in touch with us today. Please feel free to call and speak to an RBSS Business Advisor on 0333 355 1696. drop us an email, or use the form below. We provide real business solutions for start-ups and existing micro and small businesses.
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I am struck by how many of the business owners I meet that do not consider this, and when I raise the subject, they usually tell me that they are relying on a private rental property and a modest pension for their retirement with no further access to finance.
They do not see their business as a saleable asset but as a source of cashflow that will have no value when they stop working
And so often when I look at the financial structure of their business, its only assets are the debtor book, (some of which isn’t collectible), creditors at about the same value as the debtors, some cash in the bank and equipment and stock which would fetch less than book value if sold off.
It’s therefore true, such a business is really not saleable, just something to close down and walk away from; as do 250,000 other UK small businesses owners every year for this very same reason.
However, majority could be sold for a six or seven figure sum if managed differently
Such an amount would transform the owners’ retirement finances from ‘getting by’ to luxury.
Yet I get strong objections to the above proposition such as, “this business is all about me, so it isn’t saleable”
I politely disagree with the above and put it to you that any and every business is saleable
Well, it is instructive to first look at big businesses, which are all about money and return of investment (ROI) to see what they do. The aim is to not to be as ruthless as them but to learn for free what you can adapt.
Here is what they do (just in their financial management stream – there are 4 others*):
At face value, much or all of this sounds time-consuming, costly and bureaucratic. To an extent it is. However, big businesses perform the above actions for the very good reason that it works, knowing that time invested in doing this provides a very good payback and ensures their survival.
And remember, every big business was once a little one whose founders had the foresight to introduce strong business performance strategies and financial management at an early stage.
The average big business sells for 14x pre-tax profits. Yet I have seen small businesses making £50K pa close down for instead of selling as a going concern for £500K+
It may seem that chasing another order or dealing with a customer crisis is a better use of your time. However, it should account for all you do. Appropriate business and financial management would make the orders come in automatically and prevent the customer problem in the first place.
Knowledge is power and good financial management and other applicable actions gives you the power to make smart decisions that will build a saleable business worth millions.
Most of what I have instanced above are not difficult to implement. And if you find this a challenge, your Business Advisor at RBSS Consulting Ltd, Romford will do it for you, helped by low-cost apps.
Please note: not every action mentioned above will apply to your business which is a good reason to call in an experienced and professional Business Advisor for expert guidance. If you can resonate with some of the above points or are in any doubt as to which direction your business is heading in, get in touch with us today and you can be rest assured we will point and lead you in the right direction at RBSS Consulting Ltd.
Your first step is for free and takes 15 minutes by
Booking a free assessment here
to find out how much your business is worth today, what it should be worth, and the actions needed to get it there. All in a comprehensive report tailored just for you.
Another RBSS Consulting Business Consultant service…
“Delivering Real Business Solutions”
(*The 5 business streams are Marketing; Operations; Systems; People; Finance)
Following the Budget 2021 announcement, find out what all small business owners need to know.
As you would have heard numerous times, we live in a fast moving world especially where business is concerned. New today, obsolete tomorrow. Selling your product/service is more about reaching out to your customers unlike when, it used to be the other way round. This however, could be very challenging when you are stretched and have limited resources or at least not unlimited. There’s a never ending list of tips on what every small business owner should know. However, I’d like to focus on 5 tips which is a good place to start. Please note this is practical advice for real results from feedback from businesses we have worked with.
One of the prominent ways to prevent your business from being stagnant is to stand out from the competition. One of the most common questions business owners need to ask themselves is: ‘Is my business still relevant to the target market I have and am I presenting or packaging it in the best possible way taking in to account the resources available to me?'. One of the catch phrases in businesses today is; beyond expectations or exceeding expectations. The way to achieve the above, would be to look at your business from a constructively critical view. The following 5 tips can help you revive your business:
There are numerous tips on how to succeed in business for start-ups. However this is practical advice for real results from feedback from businesses we have worked with and ours:
1. Business planning
2. Test Marketing
3. Right Finance
Every business whether start-up or existing micro, small, medium or large enterprise, needs expert and valuable business advice. That’s where RBSS steps in. We provide a full diagnostic on areas of your business or field you may not have thought about, but are important. A business consultant can also be an excellent sounding board to help get you out of some very tricky situations. Some business solutions are ways to raising finance, business valuation and health checks, business planning , growth strategies, profitability and efficiency strategies, business modelling etc. These services are available to both start-ups and existing businesses.
In this blog I will focus on 4 key areas a consultant can add value to your business.
Whilst it is common knowledge and should be the goal of any business to grow and acquire more clients, as they truly say in the business world, it is more cost effective and easier to retain your current clients than to acquire new ones. However, with the stiff competition businesses face today and to help you compete effectively in getting more customers and keeping your existing ones, I’ll be focusing on five tips (not a magic wand) to help you achieve this.
Undeniably, customers are at the heart of every business and you need to keep on acquiring new ones to keep your business afloat. It doesn’t matter what you do, you may be a consulting firm or a bakery or a real estate agent, your business needs new customers. They not only provide increased access to finance but also help in boosting business growth.
However, it is easier said than done. In the competitive business world of today, you certainly need that extra edge over competitors to be able to draw in new customers.