9 Steps to Kick Start Your Business in #2020

As we move forward into another January now is a great time to start thinking about how you can make #2020 one of your best #Business years ever.

#Brexit is finally done and we can finally move on! However, we appreciate that after such uncertain times  there may be some difficult economic conditions and challenges ahead which may in turn have a grave impact on your #Cashflow. For this reason, #WeCanBuildYourBusiness have put together a nine-point checklist that outlines strategies which you and your business can incorporate to assist with growth and success in the #NewYear.

1.Restore Your Vision of Success

The start of a fresh year should be used as an opportunity to take a close look at your business as it stands and ask the following questions – where are the prospects for growth? What improvements can be made going forward? Explore ways to optimise your current business, or look to create new products or services for your current customers. Identify solid goals and objectives that will help guide your business throughout the year ahead.

2. Get organised & Update Your Administration

Now is the perfect time to get organised and on top of your administration before the year slips away. Creating a filing system for paperwork and invoices can take the headache out of credit management. Make sure to dispose of outdated paperwork and stay on top of sales ledger entries, credit notes and adjustments to prevent cash flow problems from occurring and ensure that your business is capable of achieving growth. If you are not using the #Cloud then it may be a good idea to change to an online accountancy package such as #QuickBooks #Xero #ClearBooks or #FreeAgent. Maybe speak with your accountant as these online tools can save you valuable money and time.

3. Improve Your Customer Relationships

Maintaining a close relationship with your customers will help establish a reliable source of sales revenue and minimise issues with repayments throughout the year ahead. Keep an open level of communication between your business and its customers to ensure that you continue to improve customer service standards.

4.Don’t neglect Credit-Checks

While it can be exciting in the current business environment to receive a new business prospect, it is important to ensure you carry out credit checks on new customers. Credit checks can be done quickly and relatively inexpensively, and will allow you to identify trends in a customer’s repayment behaviour and avoid any payment issues in the future. Circumstances affecting existing customers are constantly changing, so it is also worth regularly reviewing their status.

5.Ensure Invoices are issued promptly

To maintain a healthy business #cashflow in the year ahead, it is vital that invoices are issued in a timely and consistent manner. Research has shown that half of #SMEs are experiencing delays compared to a year ago, therefore invoices that are issued early and are diligently followed up will allow your debtors plenty of notice to pay their receivables, which in turn will improve your cashflow. As stated previously use of a cloud based software will allow you to issue invoices “on the go” as you can download the App to a desired devise.

6.Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Competitors

Keeping track of who your competitors are and what products and services they offer will give you the power to stand out in the crowd. Do your research and keep on top of news and developments within your industry. Take note of any new trends. This knowledge will give you exactly what you need to refine your competitive advantage and achieve growth for your business.

7.Get the Most out of Your Suppliers

Now is a good time to assess your current suppliers and ensure that you are getting maximum value for your money in the market. Research and compare rates and prices from other supplies to ensure that you are minimising your operating expenses. Take particular note of any special deals or discounts on offer and try to negotiate longer credit terms. However, don’t forget that a loyal supplier may prove to be very useful when times get tough, so don’t forget the importance of establishing and maintaining close relationships.

8.Be open to use – Debtor Finance

Cashflow is an essential indicator of the health of your business. Sticking to cashflow budgets and ensuring invoices are paid in a timely fashion is paramount. If your cashflow is limiting your working capital, now might be the right time to look into alternative forms of financing. #DebtorFinance providers can pay up to 80% of outstanding invoices usually within 24 hours and also follow up your debtors for you, helping to take control of your cashflow and boost your working capital.

9.Take time out to Relax and Celebrate Your Achievements

It’s no secret that running a small business can be stressful, and there are many challenges faced across the way. Be sure to take time out of your busy schedule in the year ahead to enjoy and reflect on your successes, as surviving in the current economy is a sign of success in itself. Take a well-earned break to renew your energy and focus for the year ahead. Don’t forget that your employees too are most productive when they feel valued and acknowledged, so reward your team for achieving their objectives with inexpensive staff events during the course of the year.

We Can Build Your Business #smallbusinesssupport in #Manchester can offer solid advice to small businesses. We are happy to help you as we have a team of professional partners on hand who can make a difference to your business success!



e. hello@wecanbuildyourbusiness.com

 t. 0330 133 0092


6 Helpful Strategies to Manage Your #SmallBusiness Finances

Every business large or small, is always concerned about one thing –#ManagingMoney. Good financial management is so very crucial to surviving a volatile economy and the industry competition. Small businesses, especially, need to be extremely careful with their financial decisions from the very beginning. It takes more than just a good idea to run a business. Every business needs a financial structure that generates a profit to stay credible. #Entrepreneurs need to be equipped with good money management abilities to turn their new business venture into a success story.

At #WeCanBuildYourBusiness, we always encourage our clients to be on top of their finances and manage them effectively.

Here are 6 strategies that can work well for you:

  1. Educate Yourself 
    One of the first things that you should do is educate yourself about the various aspects of finance. For starters, learn how to read financial statements. This is one important statement that tells you all about your #money– where it originated from, how many hands it changed, and where it is. Financial statements contain four essential details –  cash flow statement, income statement, balance sheet, and statement of shareholders’ equity. The cash flow statement analyses operating activities, investments, and financial in/outflow. The balance sheet provides information related to the company’s assets, liabilities and shareholder’s equity. The income statement reflects the revenue earned within a specific period of time. Shareholder’s equity represents the amount by which the company is financed through common and preferred shares.
  2.  Separate Personal and Business Finances
    Always keep your personal and business finances separate. This entails getting a business credit card and putting all related expenses on it. This should help you track your outlays and keep you in control. You will also do well in opening a savings account dedicated to your business, wherein you can transfer a certain amount of money from each payment that you receive and gradually build a considerable corpus. You can use this money to pay taxes.
  3. Cut Costs
    It is important that entrepreneurs stay thrifty and tightfisted to keep their expenses in check without jeopordising customer satisfaction. This, especially, holds true for small businesses. Every business endures two types of costs – fixed and variable. While fixed costs have to be borne irrespective of whether your business is making money or not, there is always ways in which you can save on variable costs.
    For example, instead of buying costly branded software, you could work with free, cloud-based, open-source software, which is equally good. Conduct free online calls, video conferences instead of travelling lost distances. You could also try bartering your services with other professionals and cut costs.
  4.  Invest in Cloud-based Accounting Software
    While you can definitely download regular accounting software to manage your finances, it will never give you the kind of convenience cloud-based accounting software can. Web-based software provides you with real-time insights as most allow you to store, update, track, and access data from anywhere at any time. Whether you’re at home, office or are travelling, you can conveniently work with your data from anywhere you like. It is error-free, hassle-free and dependable.
  5. Monitor and Measure Performance
    It is crucial that you, as a business owner, keep tabs on the movement of your money, especially when large amounts are involved. Keep looking at your company’s financial performance in comparison to the past financial statements to project your future revenue, expenses and cash flow. Being aware of these aspects will help you make informed decisions for your business.
  6. Hire Professional Help
    Everyone needs help, especially a budding entrepreneur interested in making a huge success of their venture. Sometimes, it most definitely pays to engage the services of an expert, even if it is on a part-time basis. They can help you determine where your business is, where it is heading by using and analysing your data. However we would always recommend that you hire somebody who is accredited and trustworthy. Whether it is tax planning for the next financial year, or payment for the current year, their expertise can go a long way in guiding you and assuring that you have total peace of mind.
    While owning and running your own business can be exciting, it can also be extremely nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to handling finances in a lucrative manner. Don’t let your business suffer due to poor money management. Keep the above tips in mind and give your venture a bright future.

If you want to know more about managing your finances for small businesses, please do not hesitate to contact us. We Can Build Your Business  #SmallBusinessSupport in Manchester can offer solid advice to small businesses. We are happy to help you  as we have a team of professional partners on hand who can make a difference to your business success.


e. hello@wecanbuildyourbusiness.com

 t. 0330 133 0092



My turnover is over the threshold. Should I register for VAT?

For many small businesses, VAT is something they could manage without. Finishing returns can be tedious and on the off chance that you make a mistake, HMRC can push serious punishments. However you may be able to make it work for you… Regardless of whether your turnover is below the enlistment limit of £85,000 you can seek voluntary enrolment

The main question is who are your clients? In the event that you bargain essentially with purchasers, VAT is an expense to them that they are unable to claim back. So being VAT registered is an extra cost to them. At which point your customers may decide that they are able to do business with another company who will not charge them extra for VAT..

In the event that you are managing business clients who are enrolled for VAT themselves, they can recover this cost so it is not an extra charge to them.

The second question is, what amount of VAT would you say you are paying out on costs and direct expenses? How about we take a look at a fundamental sample:

XYZ Limited gives consultancy services to organisations. Their principle expenses are offices, phone and broadband expenses. This is the business profit and loss account on the assumption they are not registered for VAT:

  • Sales: 40,000
  • Expenses
  • Rent: 6,000
  • Telephone: 1,200
  • Broadband: 240
  • Total costs: 7,440
  • Profit: 32,560

In the event that the business was VAT registered, all expenses included VAT

If the business was VAT registered, all costs included VAT and assuming all the customers were able to claim all the VAT back so pricing was not affected, the profit and loss account would now look like:

  • Sales: 40,000
  • Expenses
  • Rent: 5,000
  • Telephone: 1000
  • Broadband: 200
  • Total costs: 6,200
  • Profit: 33,800

The time spent finishing the VAT returns has expanded profits by £1,240 which equals £310 per VAT return.

With littler organisations (turnover up to £150,000) it is conceivable to utilise the Flat Rate Scheme. The point of this plan is to disentangle the consummation of VAT returns and diminish the stress over whether you can claim back VAT on your own purchases. With this plan, fundamentally a business could pay less VAT than it would under the typical VAT plans.

Everybody will have their own individual circumstances, so if you wish to speak to somebody, do not hesitate to contact us:

Sole Trader or Limited Company

Business Start-Ups...Should You be a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?

If you are thinking of starting a new business then you may be wondering if you should be a sole trader or a limited company.

So what are the differences?

Here we look at both methods in more detail to understand the pros and cons of both.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce there are over 3.6 million people making a living from sole trading, which most certainly tells us how popular it is. Conducting your business this way is a viable easy option and it can be much more convenient. There are no set up fees, only one self-assessment tax return to file each year and it is easier to keep track of your finances and setting money aside for taxes.

It all sounds well and good but unfortunately there is one big catch…. A sole trader is not recognised as a registered business therefore any capital you put into the business is not protected by government laws. Personal assets such as your house or car could be at risk if your business fails and you are left with debts to clear. Limited companies do not have the same risk as they are seen as a separate entity to your personal finances and if things do go wrong then you will not be personally liable.

Which companies benefit the most form being limited?

When looking at which companies benefit the most from being limited, it really all comes down to how much money your business is making. Most businesses won’t benefit from the perks of incorporating until they are showing profits of around £25,000 a year. This is mainly due to the introduction of registration fees and
corporation tax when a company is incorporated. Once these are deducted from your annual income, you could be left with very little.

However, for companies beginning to turn larger profits, forming a limited company can actually be more cost efficient. Tax reliefs are available on business expenses, so if you have paid for things like, equipment, machinery or uniforms then they are usually exempt from corporation tax. For small businesses producing profits of less than £300,000 a year, this can mean significant savings, especially if you pay your shareholders in tax-free dividends. If you are in doubt over the classification of an expense, then it is worth asking an accountant for their advice.

How will I know when to incorporate?

There isn’t really a definitive answer to this question, but you can usually work this out by considering the above factors. Firstly, you need to consider your liability. Are you largely funding the company yourself? Do you stand to lose a significant chunk of this money if something goes wrong? Because this risk is so high if you are a sole trader, many businesses choose to go limited, even if they are not actually achieving large profits. For example, if you are running a company which involves the general public and one of your customers is injured then you could become liable for any legal claims. Although you can take out insurance policies to minimise the risk, one small mistake or misread clause in the paperwork could leave you vulnerable. The main thing to remember is that you can incorporate at any time. If you begin to worry about the security of your finances, then going limited might be the right step to take.

For more help and advice on how to grow your business successfully


We have a team of dedicated professionals who are happy to assist you.

“Benefits In Kind” & Understanding Your P11D

What is a P11D?

P11D forms must be completed annually and provide an annual report on your ‘benefits in kind’. These are essentially ‘perks’ on top of your salary, including company cars, childcare, private healthcare and travel and entertainment expenses.

What records should you keep?

We recommend that you keep a record of:

  • the date and details of every expense or benefit you provide;
  • any information needed to work out the amounts you put on your end-of-year forms;
  • any payment your employee contributes to an expense or benefit.

We would also recommend that you keep any correspondence you have with HMRC. Please note that all records must be kept for 3 years from the end of the tax year they relate to.

Example of records to keep.

Let’s say you reimburse an employee’s travel expenses , then you will need to keep a record of when and why the employee travelled and where possible keep the receipts as evidence.

Why do I need to do this?

Essentially “benefits in kind” increase your overall salary so you will be taxed on them and the company may have to pay National Insurance contributions on them.

Can I get out of it?

Some expenses and benefits are eligible for a dispensation, meaning you won’t have to report them to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Dispensations can cover routine business expenses and benefits like:

  • travel;
  • phone bills;
  • business entertainment expenses;
  • company car fuel.

Find the type of expense or benefit you’ve provided at: https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefitsa-to-z.

You can check whether you can apply for a dispensation so you won’t have to report it to HMRC. https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-dispensation.

There’s no time limit on dispensations, but HMRC reviews them regularly to make sure that they still apply.

Checking your expenses

You can only apply for a dispensation if you have a system in place to check expense claims.

Your employees aren’t allowed to check their own expenses, so someone else within your company needs to do this to make sure that they are legitimate claims.

If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to prove that your claims are covered by the dispensation. In most cases receipts will be enough, but you may be asked for more evidence if your receipts don’t include enough information.

Who files my P11D?

P11Ds are filed by the company, not the employee.

The company must file P11Ds for all company directors or employees earning over £8,500 per year and any company director with a shareholding in excess of 5%.

Where do I get my P11D Form From?

The P11D form is available on www.gov.uk – search P11D form.

When do I submit my form?

The deadline for submitting P11Ds is July 6th following the tax year in question. So for example, your P11D for the tax year ending April 2015 must be filed on July 6th 2015.

If you miss the 6th July deadline you won’t pay penalties immediately, you have around two weeks to put things right. If you submit after this period, your company could incur fines of £100 per month per 50x employees.

If you are interested in discovering how Cloud Accounting could help grow your small business……..

Talk to us today to….
We have a team of dedicated professionals who can assist you.



Simply put, Cloud Accountancy is enabling business owners to stay connected to their data and accounts, online, anytime, anywhere, from any device. Designed for small to medium sized businesses, it is allowing business owners to access their financial information at the touch of a button 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Data storage is a typical concern but contrary to common belief the Cloud is more secure than most technological wizardry you already use – the providers all surpass required data protection laws and have extremely high levels of security. The advantage of Cloud is that your software is always up to date as all upgrades are carried out by the supplier at typically no extra cost.

Additionally, the provider does all of the software maintenance for you as part of their monthly fee: version upgrades, maintenance etc. Many providers offer affordable monthly subscriptions instead of a hefty lump sum which makes it even more attractive.

Cloud accounting enables real time insight to your business, this is invaluable in understanding your current financial position. Online accounting means small business

owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. Additionally, multi-user access typically comes as standard making online collaboration with your team and advisors easy. When your accountant can access your data in real time, they can help you with problems, post year-end journals and there’s no need to mess around with creating and importing backup or accountants’ copies.

Ultimately, the Cloud is here to stay and savvy businesses are embracing the opportunities it affords. It can’t be beaten on scalability and ease of use and it’s totally flexible so you can run your business from work, home, or on the go; and from any device. The way we now work is finally being reflected in new technology and this is where CLOUD based accountancy packages certainly do assist.


  • An affordable fixed monthly cost, so no hidden charges or unexpected “big one off
  • SIMPLE & EASY to use and can be customised to your individual requirements.
  • Online expertise with off line support and guidance available.
  • You can get up to date financial information 24 hours per day 365 days per year.
  • You can keep track of income, outgoings, expenses and financial reports as all your records are stored securely on the Cloud.
  • You can issue invoices and expenses on the move. (If you download the Application onto your tablet or i-Phone.)
  • You can take control of your business and put yourself ahead of your competitors.

Cloud Accountancy Is Cost Effective And More Reliable Than Traditional Accounting Systems.