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What are the key issues Brexit will cause for businesses

WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES BREXIT WILL CAUSE FOR BUSINESSES

Posted on: 15/10/2020

 

Whilst much of 2020 has been swallowed up by Covid, the UK’s transition period post-Brexit is still marching on. Come January 2021, new rules will impact on every aspect of our lives. Every business will be affected in a different way, depending on their sector and size, but here’s a checklist of the key issues that businesses need to know.

Supply chain

A 2020 survey, carried out by Descartes in July, reveals that the biggest concern for businesses is delays to...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Top Tips

Becoming a charity trustee: why, how and what’s involved.

BECOMING A CHARITY TRUSTEE: WHY, HOW AND WHAT’S INVOLVED.

Posted on: 15/10/2020

 

Charities rely on volunteers throughout their organisations, from those who work in shops to those who help run the charity. A trustee is a volunteer who does the latter, a member of the governing body who is responsible for the general management of the charity. Trustees are unpaid (expenses are often covered) and not full time and, depending on the charity, expected to attend board meetings at monthly or quarterly periods.

Why become a trustee?

Charities do not have the...

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Categories: Business Support, Top Tips

Pandemic Leadership Programme

PANDEMIC LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Posted on: 25/06/2020

 

NED Solutions is pleased to be sponsoring a series of workshops under the heading “Pandemic Leadership. Some lessons for today and tomorrow (in our remote new normal)”.
NED Solutions recognises that the lockdown impact on its clients will result in long term changes that need to be thought about now and is presenting this workshop initiative with its business partner, CoachDirectors. The workshops are being made available free of charge and the introductory first session will run...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

What can business do to survive COVID-19

WHAT CAN BUSINESS DO TO SURVIVE COVID-19

Posted on: 16/04/2020

 

Many of us wake up these days and ask ourselves whether the world has been involuntarily entered in a bizarre socio-economic experiment. Every code we live by and every norm we have come to accept are now fair game for an invisible organism that guards its own code and timeline with absolute secrecy.
Society continues, as it must, with universal uncertainty as a new travelling companion and undefined hope as a faraway beacon.
Continue we must, drawing comfort from anything good that remains...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Top Tips

Is Your Networking Not Working?

IS YOUR NETWORKING NOT WORKING?

Posted on: 30/10/2019

 

Networking can be a highly effective way of making new businesses contacts and finding new opportunities. But if you don’t approach it in the right way, it can also be a waste of time and something you do simply to go through the motions. So how can you make networking work for you? It’s quite simple – ask the right questions.
It’s natural in all aspects of our lives to feel drawn towards people you like and respect. When you are at a networking event, ask the right...

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Categories: Business Development, Top Tips

Making a Good Case for Charity

MAKING A GOOD CASE FOR CHARITY

Posted on: 30/10/2019

 

Businesses that invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) have been proven to be favoured by both employees and customers. Those seen to be actively involved in philanthropic causes appear preferable to work for and to do business with. Some of the huge US corporations donate enormous sums to charitable causes – the top ten businesses give in excess of £1.5BN. And it seems that charity begins at home with these companies too as their employees actively participate in volunteering,...

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Categories: Top Tips

Finance Options for SMEs

FINANCE OPTIONS FOR SMES

Posted on: 30/10/2019

 

Finance Options for SMEs
Small and medium sized enterprises - SMEs - account for more than 99% of all businesses in the UK. That’s 5.7 million businesses who employ between 0 – 250 people, amounting to 60% of the private sector workforce. 
Economic uncertainty has seen a slight fall in numbers of businesses but a noticeably larger decline in external financing, with only around a third of SMEs seeking finance. This suggests that expansion and development plans are on...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Understanding Business Fraud

UNDERSTANDING BUSINESS FRAUD

Posted on: 12/08/2019

 

The Risks and Cost to Business
Being deceived out of money is on the increase and you may well know someone who has been the victim of fraud. They probably handed over their money after a sophisticated and elaborate ploy – convincing enough for them not to question it. And it’s not just individuals who fall victim to fraud. Businesses are increasingly falling foul. So, what are the key points to look out for and how can you protect your business?
Invoice Fraud
A study...

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Categories: About NED, Business Support, Top Tips

Are You Making Tax Digital?

ARE YOU MAKING TAX DIGITAL?

Posted on: 13/05/2019

 

HMRC have been talking about Making Tax Digital (MTD) since 2015 and April 2019 saw the first roll out stage. By their reckoning, errors made in the current system of self-assessment and tax returns costs the Exchequer around £9 billion a year in lost revenue. MTD is their solution; digital records and special software to eliminate errors, making it easier for businesses and individuals to be more in control  of their tax and financial affairs. We will all be able to access our own tax...

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Categories: In the news, Business Development, Top Tips

How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

HOW TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Posted on: 13/05/2019

 

Good productivity equals good results. Sole traders know this all too well – procrastination is the biggest drain for them. Small business owners also place high value on productivity in the workplace. After all, greater productivity equals better results. Every member of the team needs to be performing well and at least meeting their agreed targets. But how can you maintain – and even better, increase – productivity at work?
Look after your employees
Small businesses...

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Categories: Business Development, Top Tips

AML how small businesses can protect themselves

AML HOW SMALL BUSINESSES CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES

Posted on: 13/05/2019

 

Anti-Money Laundering: how small businesses can protect themselves
Money laundering is the process by which money obtained by illegal means is concealed within seemingly legitimate business activities and made to look legal. It includes money used to fund terrorist activity and also applies to those assisting in the laundering process. Through a complex series of business transactions, the  money is eventually passed back to the original party with the intention that it won’t be...

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Categories: Business Support, Top Tips

SMALL BUSINESS TOP TIPS

SMALL BUSINESS TOP TIPS

Posted on: 07/02/2019

 

Most small businesses need to keep their costs as low as possible. A minimal budget means careful management of finances is key to success, and planning ahead can make the difference between survival and going under.
 
Here are ten top money saving tips for small businesses:
 
1 - Working to a budget doesn’t mean not spending any money. Rather, carefully select what purchases are essential and stick to these. For example, could you fit the office out with second-hand...

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Categories: About NED, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Creating a Business Continuity Plan

CREATING A BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN

Posted on: 13/11/2018

 

When thinking about creating a business continuity plan it’s easy to become bogged down envisaging worst-case scenarios such as fire or terrorism. However, the key is to not think about the cause of the disruption to your business but rather to focus on the potential effect. 
When considering business continuity concentrate on finding a plan that fits your business’ specific requirements. There are several online...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

The Incomplete Leader

THE INCOMPLETE LEADER

Posted on: 23/07/2018

 

Executive Leadership

Do we still believe that an executive leader should be ‘superhuman’? 
Should they be at the top of their game in all skill sets to effectively run a business or organisation? 
Should they be able to solve the most demanding and impossible of problems? 
Should they have the vision and imagination to inspire and enthuse their employees and generate trust in them as a leader? 
No one person could achieve all this...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Self Employed: to be or not to be?

SELF EMPLOYED: TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

Posted on: 17/05/2018

 

Thinking of starting up your own business and quitting the nine-to-five?
How do you know if you have the right skills and personality traits to make your own business successful? You’ll need more than just an idea and commitment. You’ll need to be dedicated and work long hours so a desire to be sociable may hold you back!
What are the pros and cons of being self-employed? Let’s start with the downside of being self-employed; as well as the obvious (longer hours and no...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

New protection against identity fraud for company directors

NEW PROTECTION AGAINST IDENTITY FRAUD FOR COMPANY DIRECTORS

Posted on: 17/05/2018

 

Companies House holds publicly available information which can include personal addresses of company directors.
Research by Cifas, a fraud prevention organisation, has shown that company directors are among the most targeted groups for identity theft, being twice as likely to be affected by this than any other group of individuals.
Research has shown that criminals are using the publicly available information to commit fraud and other crimes. There is also growing concern that this information...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

THE GENDER PAY GAP

THE GENDER PAY GAP

Posted on: 16/02/2018

 

Is your business ready for the new gender pay gap reporting? UK employers with over 250 employees are now required to report their gender pay gaps by April 2018.
Affected businesses are required to publish the following key areas:
• The difference in mean pay – to show the average hourly earnings of the employer’s female employees and the average hourly earnings of its male employees both taken as a solitary group.
• The difference in median pay - the...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

Posted on: 16/02/2018

 

If you are a business owner, director, partner or sole trader protecting the future of your business is fundamental to your role. So, what would happen if you were incapacitated by illness or injury? Who would take over the running of the business and its financial affairs, and what would it mean for your employees’ financial future?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can make the difference between a business continuing or collapsing if the owner loses capacity. Without one a colleague...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Business Life Cycle

BUSINESS LIFE CYCLE

Posted on: 18/10/2017

 

Whether you are a small start-up or a large corporation, every business has a life cycle. Within this, there are five key stages. Knowing where your business is within this cycle is crucial to planning and understanding what your next steps should be.
The five key stages are:
1: Seed and Development – this is the initial thought or idea of starting your own business. This is the time to assess just how viable your startup is likely to be. Talk to as many people as possible to gain...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Flexible return to work after maternity leave

FLEXIBLE RETURN TO WORK AFTER MATERNITY LEAVE

Posted on: 18/10/2017

 

Returning to work full time after maternity leave can be a daunting prospect. It’s likely that employees will need to make their old job fit around new circumstances, which isn’t always possible with ever increasing child care costs.
Employees have the right to return to the same job on the same terms and conditions after maternity leave: however they also have the right to request flexible working, if they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks (including maternity...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Top Tips

FRC Corporate Governance Rules

FRC CORPORATE GOVERNANCE RULES

Posted on: 18/10/2017

 

The Financial Reporting Council is the UKs independent regulator responsible for regulation and standard setting in corporate governance, accounting, auditing and actuarial matters.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has welcomed the government’s response to its green paper on corporate governance reform. Theresa May pledged to have both consumers and workers represented in the boardroom and she announced a green paper on corporate governance shortly after becoming prime minister.
The...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

What’s in a job title?

WHAT’S IN A JOB TITLE?

Posted on: 12/07/2017

 

A job title is the name given to the person who does a particular job, but what if they have other transferable skills which do not fall under that job title but another? How does a company utilise its employees' skills without compartmentalising individuals and their talents?
It seems that job titles are becoming counterproductive; in organisations full of bright people job titles can create a hierarchy where people become more focused on where they are on the ladder rather than being a valuable...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Strategy for success

STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

Posted on: 11/07/2017

 

The dictionary definition of the word strategy is ‘a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim’.
A strategy is a way of describing how you are going to get things done. It is less specific than an action plan but instead, it tries to broadly answer the question, "How do we get from here to there?”
A key element in the process of strategic planning is the engagement of all levels of staff throughout the business. Staff ‘buy in’ generates...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Planning for the future

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Posted on: 11/07/2017

 

It is essential to be prepared for the inevitable especially if you are a business owner. Your will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this might not be in line with your wishes.
Your estate plan, no matter how complex, can be implemented any time before you die, if you are still legally...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Changes to Data Protection Legislation in 2018

CHANGES TO DATA PROTECTION LEGISLATION IN 2018

Posted on: 04/04/2017

 

On the 25th May 2018 a new law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. The GDPR has been created to update and improve upon data protection laws in the UK. Businesses currently adhering to the Data Protection Act (DPA) may be reassured to know that many of the same concepts and principles will apply when the new law is implemented. However, it is important to stress that for all businesses - no matter their size or industry - some changes for compliance will be...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Finding the Right Non-Executive Director

FINDING THE RIGHT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Posted on: 04/04/2017

 

There are many benefits to hiring a non-executive director (NED) that might quickly spring to mind, such as their ability to bring expertise, fresh perspectives, diplomacy and direction to board meetings. The right NED appointment can strengthen profits and  working relationships and stoke a fire that grows businesses .
NED Soluions offers a fresh approach to completing your Board, an approach that we feel results in your business benefiting from the most appropriate individuals more...

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Categories: About NED, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Apprenticeship Levy

APPRENTICESHIP LEVY

Posted on: 04/04/2017

 

This spring the government is reforming how it funds apprenticeships in England. The changes will result in adjustments to how apprenticeship training is organised and funded which will affect all employers, as well as some larger employers having to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy.
The apprenticeship levy will be introduced officially on 6th April 2017, with the principles of the new apprenticeship funding coming into effect from 1st May 2017. 
Much like other updates at...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Living Up to the Living Wage

LIVING UP TO THE LIVING WAGE

Posted on: 15/11/2016

 

One of the defining moments in any new business is the moment when you take on your first employees. The company immediately takes on a new dimension as something that was once an idea set out in a business plan now becomes a living breathing organisation that is responsible for other people’s livelihoods. For this reason the taking on of new staff is always a serious matter for consideration, it is a moral consideration - can we offer a role that meets with good standards of employment - and...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Commercial Mortgages

COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES

Posted on: 15/11/2016

 

Depending on your business model there may come a time when it makes financial sense to invest in a property rather than lease one. Unless your wish to buy a property is matched by a sizable cash-rich business (if so, lucky you!) it will be necessary to secure a commercial mortgage to bridge the gap between your saved deposit and the full cost of the property you desire.
Commercial mortgages may sound daunting, but don’t let their persona put you off. Investing in a business premises...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

HMRC hit by Bogus Scams

HMRC HIT BY BOGUS SCAMS

Posted on: 12/10/2016

 

At this time of year contact with HMRC is likely to increase, as the rush to meet the autumn deadline looms. It is perhaps not surprising then that there has been a recent uptake in HMRC-related bogus scams circulating the country. Phishing emails and calls have been reported and in response to this crime HMRC have issued guidelines on how to identify their real contact from the malevolent hoaxes.
The focus of their campaign is based on three scams, of which they have been made aware. The first...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Top Tips

Using the Expertise that Surrounds You

USING THE EXPERTISE THAT SURROUNDS YOU

Posted on: 12/10/2016

 

There is never a point in business where everything will now run smoothly. By its very nature a business changes day by day. Staff leave, the cost of outgoings fluctuate with energy bills, local business rates, rents, inventory costs, etc. Therefore, there is never a point to be reached where there is not more to be learned, planned, adjusted for and considered as a company director.
A company is only as good as the team that make it and sometimes being at the top can seem like a lonely and...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Scale Up - Growing Business

SCALE UP - GROWING BUSINESS

Posted on: 10/10/2016

 

Starting a business takes courage, planning, dedication, vision and hard work, but what does it take to grow a business? More of the same, of course, but also added levels of competency in new areas. The managing of staff, payroll, health and safety, practical premises, delegation and risk analysis to name a few. 
In 2014 the government published the Scale Up Report that investigated the challenges faced by business moving from startups to established SMEs. What were the obstacles to growth...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

IOD Up-skills for Directors

IOD UP-SKILLS FOR DIRECTORS

Posted on: 10/10/2016

 

The Institute of Directors has recently launched a Director Competency Framework. This new development aims to help its members, and more broadly all business leaders, to achieve success in their chosen fields. 
The project was set in motion to encourage ‘exceptional leadership’ from directors. The emphasis of the guide is on ‘soft skills’, matching the more obvious and overt expectations of leaders - confidence, financial prudence, responsibility, forward thinking...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

IT Security

IT SECURITY

Posted on: 01/09/2016

 

Increasingly we work in a digital world and business data is everywhere, be it from cloud computing software, CRM systems, website data or social media. The way we organise our information and convey it to others more often than not involves a screen and online data.
It is perhaps not surprising then that there is an increased risk of cyber-attacks, lost data, and legal compliance issues in SME’s IT systems.
Recent research by CareersinAudit.com found that nearly half of the auditors...

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Categories: Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Holidays

HOLIDAYS

Posted on: 01/09/2016

 

You may have noticed over the last few weeks that offices across the country fell quiet, phones rang less and desks were abandoned as people headed off on holidays. A holiday from work can be beneficial not just for the employee - a change is as good as a rest - but also for the employer. Employees coming back from holiday are (generally) rested, positive and refreshed. They are less likely to take sick days - unless they picked something up on their travels - and they can have renewed enthusiasm...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

New Advisory Fuel Rates

NEW ADVISORY FUEL RATES

Posted on: 21/07/2016

 

From June 1st 2016 new advisory fuel rates took effect for company cars. The new rates concern employees using a company car and the updated rates must be put into effect by 1st July 2016.
These new rates, the guidance states, only apply in two circumstances. The first is if you are a business that is paying expenses for business travel that your employees have undertaken in a company car. The second is if there are instances where you require your employees to pay back the cost of fuel used...

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Categories: In the news, Business Development, Top Tips

Build Diversity at the Top For Better Profits

BUILD DIVERSITY AT THE TOP FOR BETTER PROFITS

Posted on: 06/07/2016

 

Alan Joyce, the highly successful CEO of Qantas Airline has recently made the case that being open and genuine about yourself is better for business. Joyce (who is openly gay) argues that when senior staff appear as real people - diverse, human, unique - they create a culture of openness that embraces difference and helps foster a spirit of opportunity in the wider workplace.
Joyce, who turned around Qantas from a financial and PR disaster, explained to the BBC 
"I can say categorically...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Why your family business needs a Non Executive Director

WHY YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS NEEDS A NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Posted on: 26/05/2016

 

Working together as a family business may sound idyllic, but the reality is fraught with challenges. An inability to separate business from personal can lead to conflict both in the office and at home. If personal egos and rivalries are allowed to spill over into the work place it can become impossible to agree on common goals and strategies. Family hierarchy can also cause some members of the family to take a back seat in the decision-making process.  Emotional ties can make it difficult to...

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Categories: About NED, Business Support, Top Tips

Swerving Errors in Candidate Selection

SWERVING ERRORS IN CANDIDATE SELECTION

Posted on: 19/04/2016

 

The workforce of a business is instrumental to its success, this maxim is nothing new. However, how to identify the right talent and evaluate candidates for a position is a dark art for which there is no one right answer. When looking for a ‘how to’ guide for interviewing potential candidates it is sometimes easier to extract advice about what not to do, rather than what to do. To this end, here are a few interview practices that (if possible) can be given a swerve...
Unless you...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Big Ideas Need Failure

BIG IDEAS NEED FAILURE

Posted on: 22/03/2016

 

Research and development is an important element to any business, whether as a means to define your first product, or as a route to develop growth. However, investing in ideas is a risky business, where real value is handed over in the hope of gaining hypothetical returns. Fear of allocating resources to the unknown can lead businesses to feel a pressure to play it safe, producing mediocre ideas, or minimal innovations to ensure likely but limited outcomes. In this environment, fear of failure can...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Dividend Taxation - The impact on small businesses

DIVIDEND TAXATION - THE IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES

Posted on: 29/01/2016

 

Last year, George Osborne announced the dividend tax credit would be replaced with a tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000, with higher taxes on income above that. The change – coming into force on 1 April – has dramatic impacts for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
 
 Dividend taxation: The facts
 
In his Summer Budget speech last year, Osborne stated that those who either pay themselves in dividends or have large shareholdings worth...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Pension liberation - government responsible for £2bn loss?

PENSION LIBERATION - GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR £2BN LOSS?

Posted on: 27/01/2016

 

Pension liberation. It’s a term that suggests that individuals can access their pension funds before the age of 55 without permission from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Fundamentally, pensions can only be legally accessed from the age of 55, apart from in special circumstances, and most opportunities to do so earlier represent scams. Firms offering pension liberation services often convince individuals of a legal loophole that allows them to access the money, but the High Court...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

Automatic enrolment - what has been achieved so far?

AUTOMATIC ENROLMENT - WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED SO FAR?

Posted on: 23/12/2015

 

Millions of people in the UK have not been saving enough for retirement: Currently, 50% to 55% of the working population do not contribute to a pension. This has been the argument at the heart of the UK’s pension reforms, which were set out back in 2012.
The reforms require employers to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and make a minimum contribution. The automatic enrolment duties began in October 2012 and will conclude in February 2018,...

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

The role of risk in business growth Amazon’s path to success

THE ROLE OF RISK IN BUSINESS GROWTH AMAZON’S PATH TO SUCCESS

Posted on: 10/12/2015

 

Success in business depends on the ability to identify potential ways to evolve and the nerve to take calculated risks.
Amazon demonstrated these two qualities earlier this month [13 November] with the introduction of its online grocery delivery service - Pantry - here in the UK.
Pantry has more than 4,000 items available to order and allows customers to order up to 44 pounds (20 kilos) of pantry items that don't require refrigeration for a flat delivery fee of £2.99....

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Categories: In the news, Business Support, Business Development, Top Tips

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