Posts tagged ‘Money’

May 1960 Pay SlipNew powers to tackle PAYE debtors

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will have new powers to tackle companies which fail to pay their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions.

Upfront demands

From April, HMRC will be able to demand an upfront security from firms it deems to pose a serious risk of not paying.  In particular, HMRC will be targeting companies which deduct money from their employees’ pay packets but have no intention of paying it to the tax office.

The new measures are an extension of existing powers which HMRC has in respect of VAT, insurance premium tax and  environmental taxes.

It is hard to believe that this a “new” power as without it compliant taxpayers are not being treated fairly.

PenaltyPossible penalties

Businesses failing to provide a security will face a fine of up to £5,000 which will be enforceable by the courts.

HMRC have said that employers facing genuine payment difficulties will not be affected by the change.

Source: Total Investor website.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

Fundraising

Spread giving (e.g. a 24 month pledge) often exceeds the value of a single donation, beyond the cost of the cashflow.

Steering donors towards set gift levels, on a proportionate basis such as “donate £5 for a mosquito net” can be dangerous as if it is perceived to be too high a price you will alienate your supporters, if it is too low you will miss out on larger pledges, as supporters will give the amount requested and then walk away with the perception that they “have done their bit”.

Marines hike full marathon to raise money for wounded troops

Strategy

When creating a fundraising strategy, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. Is your strategy beneficiary focused or donor focused?
  2. Are the options available to the donor actually diluting the overall impact?
  3. Is the money really needed?  Can all the costs be justified?  Why are retained reserves being utlised?
  4. Have you done enough research about you potential supporters?  What are the demographics of your constituency?
  5. Are there any active, influential leaders that could champion your cause?
  6. The principles of pereto and economies of scale apply.  Don’t underestimate the importance of philanthropists.
  7. Personal approaches will always be more successful, but are time consuming.  A direct mailing will generate no more than a 1% return.
  8. Have you considered approaching other voluntary organisations such as Churches ans Sports Clubs?
  9. Make sure all staff and volunteers are properly trained and understand the objectives of the charity as well as the strategy of the current fundraising efforts.

 

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

 

If not, you are probably not making the most of your best clients by allowing the less important, or less profit making clients distract you.

So honestly, how well do you know the profile of your client portfolio?  

Have you ever stopped the frenetic daily routine for a moment to sit back and think about who your clients are?  Why you work with them? What contribution they make to the profitability of your business?

Sometimes it can be very interesting to do just that. You might be surprised by what you find out and you may even be disappointed.

Many businesses are so busy going about their business that they don’t find the time to think about their customers, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to ask:

  • 3D Character and Question MarkHow many clients do we have?
  • What does each client give us?
  • What do we give to them?
  • How much of a contribution does each client make towards the bottom line?
  • Are we maximizing the opportunities from each client?
  • Are we over servicing any clients to the detriment of others?
  • If we changed the mix of our clients could we make more money?

He who shouts loudest…

It’s often the case that the clients who shout the loudest or are the most needy are those that are draining a business of its precious resources which could better be used elsewhere.

Perhaps it’s difficult to face up to this because when you do find out, you then have a decision to make – do you disengage from them or is there an opportunity to turn them into a worthwhile client through conversation and negotiation around what you do for them and for how much.

Recommendation

If you haven’t reviewed your clients for a while I would recommend getting some help to do this by a professional that is qualified to analyse your business and come up with some suggestions as what your options are. It may cost you a bit of money in fees to do this but it could be a very worthwhile exercise and it may change the way that you do business in future. 

Doing this yourself can be time consuming and emotionally draining, after all, we all have clients that we prefer, but are they really the best clients for your business?


Related post from my fabulous Twitterbuddy and blogger extraordinaire, Jim Connolly : How to attract better clients

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

From 1st October 2010, workers who earn the national minimum wage will see a difference in their pay packet.

What’s changing?

  • The age threshold and the hourly rate are increasing
  • The hourly rate for young workers is increasing
  • Apprentices are now covered by the minimum wage legislation, albeit at a lower rate
  • Employers will be able to offset the national minimum wage by £4.61 for each day that accommodation is provided.

Planned changes

While these new rules come into effect on 1st October 2010, further changes relating to temporary workers are set to come into force from 1st January 2011.

In particular these regulations focus on “potentially exploitative arrangements” surrounding tips and expenses.

Need more information?

For full details of the changes and rates, please click here

If you are an employer, then George Hay  can advise you on what the new national minimum wage means for your business. We can also help you ensure you comply with the regulations and help you plan around any changes.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

I tweet  and network with many different people working in the charity sector and find that many of them have their ‘Broadcast’ button stuck on.  “Help us…”, ‘Donate here…”, “We need more followers..”   There are a few exceptions to this of course, such as @eczemasupport  and @freshties  who are real people taking the time to support others, and you will see me regularly conversing with them online

Personal and ‘to the point’

So, when I received this message from a charity connection of mine via Linked In, I could not help but be touched.  The author had taken the time to tell a ‘real’ story, with a compelling message that gave me reason to revisit their website to refresh my mind regarding their objectives.  The message was personal and did not overwhelm me with facts and did not feel intrusive.

Focus on IMPACT

It simply focussed on an example of the IMPACT the Charity’s objectives were  having on real people – not the brand, not statistics and not how desperate they are for your money. 

And of course, I clicked the giving page and donated: Perfect charity PR with intended result achieved. 

My opinion

My only comment would be (because I always have to have my ‘two pennies worth’) to take the time to personalise the message, so it was even less of a broadcast and more of a friendly communication and perhaps leave the fundraising link until after the ‘real’ story.

 

 

 

 

Gabby’s Message

Dear Friend

I doubt if you know how flat footed I am, so this personal challenge [5k run] is not an easy one for me! It is also for an extremely worthy cause and I would be really grateful if you would do your bit to support me!

Please visit my fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GabriellaBeddows

27 of the children that we support, spent this weekend at the Malvern Hills Outdoor Centre as part of our Noah’s Ark Activity Weekend. It is a very difficult time for the young people, helping them to discover and understand their feelings.  One of the young ladies wrote on our facebook wall:

“Thank you so much for such a brilliant and life changing weekend! I’ve met such kind, lovely people, and made some beautiful new friends including all the staff that were on camp!  Words cannot explain how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and how it’s helped me!  I didn’t know that I could ever move on after my Grandma’s death and you’ve helped me to achieve that so I honestly can’t thank you enough! “

With many thanks x

Gabby Beddows
Noah’s Ark Trust
Chief Executive

T: 01905 340019
F: 01905 745121
M: 07967 467958
E: gbeddows@noahsarktrust.co.uk
W: http://www.noahsarktrust.co.uk

If you are not aware of the work of this organisation, please take a moment to look at their website.

Working hard…..

Gabby says “Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult, but for a child or young person it can be overwhelming.  Children regularly tell us that they feel isolated, misunderstood, to blame, angry, sad and struggle to cope with the finality of it all.  

At Noah’s Ark Trust  we help them through their bereavement, offering one-to-one support and guidance along with activity weekends where they can meet other bereaved children.  The service is offered free of charge to families in Herefordshire & Worcestershire and there lies our biggest challenge during this current economic climate. Last year we supported over 800 children and raised over £450,000. We are working hard to raise the essential funds we need to help these children towards a brighter future.

Your ‘two pennies worth’

Of course, I am an accountant working in the Charity Sector, not a marketing/PR professional.  If you are experienced in dealing with the 3rd sector, both Gabby and I would be pleased to hear your views on this type of PR activity, please leave a comment.

 


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.


are you sure?

Lots of small business owners seem shocked that anyone would suggest they outsource any of their work.  “I don’t outsource”, “I don’t need to outsource” are just some of the responses (the polite ones anyway!).

But were you to look at your every day circumstances I am sure you would be surprised to know that you do outsource already.

So what is outsourcing?

I perceive outsourcing to be: a system where you pass on to someone else work, projects or tasks that you are unskilled for, doing tasks that don’t move your company forward or bring in more money.

Are you outsourcing?

Have you ever ordered your grocery shopping online? Given someone else your ironing to do? Gone to the dentist for a filling? Paid a hairdresser? Used a cleaner?  These are all examples of outsourcing.

I practice what I preach; I do my weekly shop online. It saves me an awful lot of time and it saves me money, no more temptations from those ends of aisle offers. I also use an ironing lady, she does a better job than I would, in less time than I would, and I make more money using my time elsewhere than the cost of the ironing. It just makes sense to me. It also saves me the stress of performing a task I abhor.

Value yourself and your time

What value is there in you doing the task yourself?  Because you feel you have to, because you feel you can’t afford not to, or because you don’t like to let go.  Look at things a different way.  If you concentrate on your core business how much can you earn in an hour?  If you do certain tasks yourself is that common sense?  Should you do your own admin or accounts?  If bookkeeping takes you an hour then it has cost you your hourly rate.  However, should you outsource, it could cost you a lot less, it could take a lot less time than it would have taken you, and in that time you could have won a new contract or client.

Buying expertise

There are many experts out there who can make a huge difference to your business, you can outsource your bookkeeping, admin, website design and management, SEO, social media marketing, telemarketing, IT management and even personal tasks such as managing your diary or email, answering your calls, doing your shopping, or even walking your dog.  Remember, it’s all about outsourcing tasks that someone else can do in less time, to a higher level or just tasks you don’t enjoy or have the time for.  It could also enable you to move your business forward.  Working as one man you can only ever achieve a certain amount of work.  By working with an outsourced team or individual you can accomplish so much more.

Leverage

Maximise your potential, by leveraging time and opportunity.

Open yourself up to the possibilities of outsourcing, and move your business on to the next level.

 

 

Guest author:   Helen Stothard is a valuable Twitterbuddy of mine who is successfully growing her outsourcing business while raising a family.

For more information about the services offered by Helen and her team please visit HLS Business Solutions

Multi-millionaire and CEO of ActionCoach  Bradley J Sugarssays  

“STOP IT … stop doing things like cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn … pay someone to do it and put that time into planning your business … remember, poor people spend time to save money, rich people spend money to save time …”

A relevant blog post from the one and only, Jim Connolly :  4 Secrets of the world’s most successful businesses!

This post from the reverent Ann Hawkins made me smile (keep shouting Ann!)

Actioncoach logoOn Friday I attended a planning workshop run by Andrew Kureishy an award winning business coach. 

Andrew is a valued client of mine and his invitation to join his GrowthCLUB for the day was welcomed but to warrant time away from the office I had some expectations for ROI (typical accountant mentality I’m afraid, but I do understand the value of my time)

My primary objective was to see Andrew in action.  As an avid networker and an accountant that believes in adding value beyond the financial numbers, matching a coach’s style with my client’s personality and needs is just as important as understanding the services he offers and the knowledge he can share.

Obviously, I hoped to gain some personal benefit also.  When getting involved in structured learning, I do not expect to be able to absorb all of the information on offer or claim to be an expert by the end of the day, but to take away just a few new ideas or key pieces of knowledge makes spending the time attending worthwhile.

During this day, I achieved my primary objective and will certainly be recommending Andrew’s work to others. I was able to network with a dozen of his clients who were all very complimentary and felt that the money they had invested had been recovered several times over.

I also learned three or four things that I can apply to my business in the next few weeks. I’d like to share two of these with you.

Prioritising

The first is simple.  The things that make the most impact and therefore demand priority are not necessarily the things you want to do

The Action planning workshop used techniques to drill down to just three primary goals for the next 90 days as it would be difficult to focus on more than that in such a short time frame.  These three goals were ‘SMART‘ tested by Andrew and it quickly became apparent which of the three I had to make my priority even though it was the goal I favoured the least as the task at hand is boring in comparison, amongst other reasons.  This process was easy but far from comfortable and I’m less that pleased with the result but I know clearly now that if I reach my target it will have a big positive impact on my work, my position in the firm and ultimately the bottom line of my office P&L and once I have got this task under my belt I will be able to move on to more self-fulfilling goals.

I’ll let you know on 31st March 2010 whether I attained my target !

Time Management

Andrew was quick to point out that whilst diaries, priority task lists etcetera were helpful they are simply tools to make our work more effective.  To really master time management replace the word ‘time’ with ‘self’ and remind yourself of your goals.

Its about Time Series IIThe group decided that poor time self  management was a result of:

  • a lack of discipline, focus and/or delegation
  • firefighting rather than prioritising rationally
  • poor organisation skills
  • avoidance of important tasks / procrastination
  • being influenced by other people’s priorities
  • unrealistic customer demands
  • a needy / untrained team

Andrew challenged this and questioned our motivation.

How defined are your goals?    Does your dream have clarity? 

His advice was to create an avoidance list and ask yourself questions that will help your brain move from negative emotions that promote procrastination to logical thoughts that put the issues/tasks in to perspective.

If you would like to know his seven top questions to promote logical thinking to support your positive attitude, contact him at andrewkureishy@actioncoach.com

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.