Online sales in the run up to Christmas this year are expected to grow by 19.5% over 2013, with UK shoppers expected to spend £17.4 billion online.
Total Christmas sales are predicted to reach £74.3bn according to research conducted by the Centre of Retail Research for RetailMeNot, with the average UK household spending £775 on all of their Christmas shopping.
Are you trading online? do you have a website? do you have an App?
For project based businesses you need to understand the sales pipeline inorder to produce a forecast, a typical sales pipeline looks like this:
Prospects and Leads
In many cases larger contracts require a Prequalification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Tender.
If you want to forecast Sales you have to start by recording the volume of activity at each stage of the pipeline and your success rate at each stage.
Sales is all about activity, the more Prospects you can find the more Sales will be achieved.
Finding propects will be different for every organisation but Social Media and Linked In are increasing being used to find Prospects.
To prepare a Weighted Average forecast you simply use you success ratios and apply them to each stage of the process, so for example if you win 1 in 3 proposals that means you need 3 proposals to get one sale.
You can use this approach to set targets for your sales team.
On submitted proposals you can also apply a probability of success assessed by your sales team.
We want all kinds of small businesses to get involved, so know that whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you!
Research carried out by American Express following last year’s event found that 43 per cent of consumers chose to visit small businesses as a direct result of Small Business Saturday.
Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills Vince Cable confirmed: “The Government is fully behind the Small Business Saturday campaign, which gives people the opportunity to trumpet the valuable contribution they make, not just to the economy but to their local communities.”
Apple and Facebook are now offering to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs!
The initiative is part of the so-called “perks arms race” as Silicon Valley firms battle to recruit top talent and it is hoped the perk will attract more women into a traditionally male-dominated sector. (Sky News)
Fertility specialist Philip Chenette is quoted as saying “providing egg-freezing coverage for employees can be viewed as a type of payback for women’s commitment in a mael-dominated industry where technology firms are often competing to attract female talent” (NBC News)
Its time to review your subscription to company information databases!
Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge. This will make the UK the first country to establish a truly open register of business information.
As a result, it will be easier for businesses and members of the public to research and scrutinise the activities and ownership of companies and connected individuals. Last year (2013/14), customers searching the Companies House website spent £8.7 million accessing company information on the register.
Until it becomes free in 2015, you will still have to pay
Companies House WebCHeck
Company record report
Current appointments report
Monitor Service (per company, per year)
This change will come into effect from the second quarter of 2015 (April – June).
Back in June 2013 the EU passed a directive 2013/34/EU which changed the thresholds for small companies.
Average no. of employees
As before its a 2 out of 3 test. The Audit thresholds are unchanged.
The UK was required to transpose this into UK Law no later than 20th July 2015.
The Dept for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) have just concluded their consultation (24th October 2014) and the plan is currently to implement the change for financial years starting on or after 1st January 2016.
Its the UK Trade and Investment’s 6th annual Export Week (10 to 14 November).
Previous Export Weeks have seen over 17,000 companies in the UK attend exporting focussed events. This week we will again have over 70 events across the UK; there will be at least one event per day in every part of the UK.
According to a recent survey by Barclays Corporate Banking, in new emerging markets 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product which displays the Union Jack.
The survey of 453 SME leaders found that 54% of SMEs now sell products or services abroad. It found that exporting is the biggest growth area for 19% of the UK’s SMEs, and 68% of those who currently export saw export sales increase in 2013 over the previous year. For 18%, exports now account for over half their sales.
HMRC have a helpsheet TH/FS15 which has some helpful advice on importing and exporting.
Actors, singers, musicians, dancers and theatrical artists are permitted to make a deduction for agents fees under ITEPA 2003 S352.
But its more complicated than you might think based on recent cases…
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan (2006) SpC 547 it was only on appeal that the Special Commissioner agreed that their chat show was considered theatrical.
The Special Commissioners also thought that Bruce Forsyth and Ant and Dec qualified.
But that Quiz shows were borderline, for example they felt Jeremy Paxman (University Challenge) and John Humphry (Mastermind) didn’t qualify, but Anne Robinson (The Weakest Link) did qualify and Chris Tarrant (Who wants to be a Millionaire) was borderline.
So do you think the special commissioners would see your act as Theatrical?