April Brings a Shower of Changes.
Most small businesses look out for the perpetual barrier to their growth, tax and red tape, amongst the Budget. Amongst this years’ was a reduction in corporation tax, measures to scrap large amounts of legislation, a three year freeze on new regulations for small businesses, a further year for small business rate relief and… 21 enterprise zones were announced. New business regulations usually come into place twice a year on 6 April and 1 October therefore amongst the first implementations, Corporation Tax – from Financial Year April will drop from 28% to 26%, with returns being compulsory electronically, and Small Companies Rate falls from 21% to 20%. More information can be found on the Business Link site and, as for Enterprise Zones, what are they? Direct Gov will explain in further detail.
Keeping costs down can go some way as an attempt to balance out rising inflation that businesses are experiencing. Re-visit terms or deals with suppliers, think about best value with regard to insurances or consider potential energy savings that might have been overlooked.
More or Less Change?
Good to hear that the number of insolvencies across UK PLC dropped, however, many businesses are still facing tough times for all sorts of reasons. Although quarterly figures such as the GDP showed a slight increase in economic growth to that previously given businesses need to be vigilant and have good insight into their own position, especially relating to cash flow. Late payments beyond trading terms appear to be on the increase for some businesses which only increases cash flow control problems; a vicious circle ensues to which even the most successful business can fall victim. Small to medium size businesses have always been impacted by late payments but this seems to be increasing.
A timely reminder that when any credit is applied for its worthwhile checking through your records first rather than being turned down and effecting your credit footprint. The cost of credit continues to rise and fees on existing borrowing are moving upwards. Lenders facing an increasing amount of expenses due to changing regulations and lack of liquidity, in turn will mean an increased cost for consumers; there is no doubt that lenders are stricter in the aftermath of the financial blowout.
The FSA (Financial Services Authority) has approved collecting money from dormant Bank Accounts for the Reclaim Fund at the Big Society Bank which will support good causes and to is to be run by Co-op Financial Services. It is estimated that the fund will receive around £400 million from current dormant accounts for which part of the money will be held in reserve for customers who reclaim money from accounts they have forgotten about.
Web advertising topped £4bn spend in a record high and eCommerce is showing no signs of flagging as the fastest growing retail sector. Entry barriers are so low that its essential for anyone in business to have even a rudimentary online presence as a marketing tool; without wanting to make online sales available, although selling online is a model which can be adapted to many existing businesses. Although we have come across some that don’t give out contact numbers, the obvious additional exposure to a what a business has to offer is immediate with a website as all types of services and products are sourced online and include trying to find business hours, availability of products or that contact number.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF)