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Business Planning Posts

Friday June 28, 2013 at 12:11pm
If you don’t know where you are going how do you know when you have arrived? Most of us have plans of some sort but action is needed if those plans are ever to be realised. Inaction may occur for quite subtle reasons. This may be because the plans and goals we think we should have do not fit with our own core values, in other words they are the wrong goals for us. It may be that we simply can’t figure out what we need to do to achieve the goal or plan. It may be that we are afraid to....
Thursday May 23, 2013 at 11:43am
In business, and in our day to day life, we make decisions all the time. So do our customers and potential customers. By understanding some of the science behind how decisions are made you can really increase your chances of getting the results you want. Here’s how. When making decisions, especially in business, you would expect people to use all available information, right? In fact the opposite turns out to be true. Because we have such busy overloaded lives we take short cuts and apply ....
Thursday January 3, 2013 at 9:00am
Towards the end of last year, the bank-funded Business Monitor revealed that just one in three firms planning to apply for a loan or overdraft were confident their bank would agree to the request, down from more than half at the start of 2012. And so with confidence in traditional bank lending potentially at an all-time low, small business owners may need to explore other funding options in 2013. But where to start? There are of course a whole raft of Government initiatives, from grants for hi-t....
Thursday December 6, 2012 at 9:00am
With many small business owners working flat out to keep their heads above water in the recession, I wasn’t surprised to read in a recent survey that only 24.4% of those questioned said they would close completely over the festive season and 32.7% will close their doors for just 2 days. Not wanting to miss out on potential sales, covering staff leave or simply taking the potentially quieter period between Christmas and New Year to take stock, do some important business planning for the yea....
Thursday November 29, 2012 at 9:00am
Earlier this month saw a real focus on entrepreneurs as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced a number of initiatives for Global Entrepreneurship Week. Encouragingly BIS pledged its support for small business, announcing that two entrepreneurs will be given advisory roles in government, helping to advise on small business issues and to make sure the needs of entrepreneurs are properly considered by policy makers. In times of recession, start-up numbers tend to increa....
Thursday September 13, 2012 at 9:00am
Although few would welcome recent reports of a stagnant economy, the resulting government incentives for small business investors could help entrepreneurship to thrive. Certainly the government continues to introduce some attractive proposals for SMEs. Just this week Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans to launch a bank for small businesses, saying they would be able to gain access to 'multi-billion pounds' of funding. Investing in a ready-made business can be appealing for entrepreneurs who....
Thursday July 19, 2012 at 10:00am
So, the Olympics are just around the corner and whether you will be there or watching on television, it’s sure to be an exciting time. But is there anything Olympic performance can teach us about business performance? The first trait most successful athletes have is a passion for what they are doing. If you enjoy it, you will go a lot further than if you don’t! This applies to everyone in your business. Owners and employees alike should enjoy coming to work. It’s so obvious rea....
Thursday June 28, 2012 at 10:00am
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) quarterly survey ‘Voice of Small Business' Index suggests small firms are still having it tough.Confidence amongst Britain's small businesses and entrepreneurs has fallen in every industry sector except those working in health and motor services. The property and financial services sectors see the biggest decline in confidence. Results include the fact that 41% of small firms applying for credit are refused finance from high street banks. And one in....
Thursday April 19, 2012 at 1:37pm
The recent Budget saw a concerted attack on tax avoidance, especially the practices used by the super-wealthy. And when you look at some of the headline figures, it’s hardly surprising the Government saw this as a ripe target. Many were dismayed when Gordon Brown abolished the 10% tax band for the lowest earners. However, with a little creativity, 10% tax still exists – only this time for the UK’s highest earners. HMRC found that 10% is the average rate of income tax paid by th....
Friday February 17, 2012 at 9:00am
Being in business is about facing challenges. You may have devised a growth strategy and know where you hope to be in, say, three years' time. But even the best strategy has two shadows looming over it: a struggling economy and the government. Broadly speaking, you can do little about the state of the economy. At best, you should remain positive and continue looking for opportunities. The shadow the government casts is a different matter. Government policies or inaction can hold you back. What y....
Friday February 10, 2012 at 9:00am
Investors and start-ups take note. From 6 April 2012, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers tax breaks to individuals investing in small companies. In 2012/13, these tax breaks could be worth 78% of the investment.SEIS conditions SEIS builds on the success of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The government's idea is to help riskier start-up companies raise the finance they need. In order to qualify: Companies must have 25 employees or fewer Their assets must not exceed &po....
Thursday January 12, 2012 at 9:00am
Amidst all the doom and gloom of 2011 I was encouraged to read that according to recent research 470,000 new businesses were created last year an increase of 18 per cent on figures for 2010. Even taking account of the high number of insolvencies there was still a net gain of 455,000 new limited companies. It’s not unsurprising as in previous recessions when large numbers of people have been made redundant many have elected to set up their own business, often offering their skills and exper....
Thursday December 8, 2011 at 10:00am
I was reading the results of a survey recently which looked at how equipped entrepreneurs are to succeed in business. The results were somewhat surprising. Fail to plan and you can plan to fail! In this survey 16 per cent of entrepreneurs didn’t have a written business plan. Now, I’m no advocate for the kind of business plan you might learn how to write in business school. But I am in favour of a set of measurable goals and detailed strategy outlining how the goals will be achieved. ....
Thursday October 13, 2011 at 9:30am
Cash is king. How many times have you heard that? Too many perhaps, without a full explanation of what it really means. When business advisors and accountants talk about ‘cash’ being king they are really warning against the dangers of overtrading – in other words celebrating the success you’re having in selling without paying adequate attention to the overall financial health of your business. You’d think that sales growth was a good thing – but if you expand ....
Thursday October 6, 2011 at 9:30am
Times are tough and they are likely to remain challenging for many businesses. So what do businesses have to do to ensure that they succeed in the economic environment of the next few years?There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this business planning question. Different businesses will have different requirements but here are a few tips observed in businesses that have succeeded in past tough times: Put your customer first  For the next few years, arguably more than ever, co....
Thursday September 15, 2011 at 10:00am
There will be few business owners who haven’t dreamt of being offered a multi-million pound inducement to sell their company. But for most it remains just that, a dream. You can take some steps towards making that dream a reality however, once you’ve decided that selling your business is the right move for you. Business succession planning or exit is something many business owners put off, often to the point where it’s too late. My advice to every business owner is the same &nd....
Thursday August 11, 2011 at 9:00am
That’s the beauty of outsourcing, the contracting out of a business activity, usually carried out in-house, to a specialist provider. Of course for many SMEs and family owned businesses it’s not just the tasks that they don’t like that can be outsourced, it’s non-core activities, those that add limited value or require specialist expertise. I recently wrote a blog (It’s time for accountants to offer more) about how the accounting profession needs to step up to the p....
Thursday July 21, 2011 at 9:00am
You may have read about the tax planning carried out by UK PLCs to reduce their corporation tax bill and thought 'Why can't we do that?' Well, maybe you can. You may not be able (or want) to commit to some of the cross border tax planning strategies that a much bigger, global business can. But there are simple tax planning strategies available to pretty much any business. Firstly check whether you are making the most of your legitimate corporate tax reducing opportunities and, at the same time, ....
Friday April 29, 2011 at 10:00am
Most businesses create a business plan at the start of each year which outlines where the business is today, what happened last year and where they want to be at the end of this year. But as we enter the 2nd quarter of 2011, how many business owners have reviewed the business plan and where necessary updated it. Every well managed business prepares monthly accounts, but what about a monthly or even quarterly update to the firm’s strategic plan?Reviewing and updating your plan ensures that ....
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