Are you selling online? 20% more will be sold online in 2014 Reply

dreamstimefree_111433

Last year in was reported by BBC News….

A record amount of online shopping was done in December 2013, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Close to one in five non-food items was bought online last month.

There was also a 19.2% growth in internet purchases from a year earlier, the fastest increase in four years……..

According to Law Donut….

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?

steve@bicknells.net

Sales Forecasting using Weighted Averages 2

Profitability

For project based businesses you need to understand the sales pipeline inorder to produce a forecast, a typical sales pipeline looks like this:

  1. Prospects and Leads
  2. Qualified Opportunities
  3. Visits/Meetings
  4. Proposals
  5. Revised Proposals
  6. Sales

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.

The key to Sales is to Always Be Closing!

steve@bicknells.net

Will you be supporting Small Business Saturday? 3

Small Business Saturday Chalk board Sign

Small Business Saturday will be on Saturday 6th December 2014.

Over 99% of Business are Small or Medium Sized! and 47% of employees work for those businesses.

https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/#small-biz-100

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.”

steve@bicknells.net

Have you got undeclared Credit Card sales? Reply

Kartenlesegerät, geld überweisen,  Kreditkarte, Hand

The Credit Card Sales Campaign is an opportunity to bring your tax affairs up to date if you’re an individual or business that accepts credit or debit card payments.

Who can do this

This opportunity is for you if:

  1. you accept card payments for goods or service
  2. you haven’t declared all your UK tax liabilities

Get the best terms

You need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you either:

  • haven’t registered with them
  • have failed to declare all your income

This is called a ‘voluntary disclosure’.

What happens if you should disclose but don’t

HMRC has details of all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses. This information is used to identify individuals and businesses that might not have paid what they owe.

Credit Card Sales Campaign Helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 9272
From outside the UK: +44 300 123 9272
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

steve@bicknells.net

Do you have a Second Income? own up now! Reply

sholder bags

On the 9th April 2014 HMRC launched the Second Income Campaign….

A second income could come from:

  • consultancy fees, eg for providing training
  • organising parties and events
  • providing services like taxi driving, hairdressing or fitness training
  • making and selling craft items
  • buying and selling goods, eg at market stalls or car boot sales

You need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if your additional income hasn’t been taxed through either:

  • your main job
  • another Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme
  • Self Assessment

This is called a ‘voluntary disclosure’. To get the best possible terms you need to tell HMRC that you want to take part in the campaign.

You’ll have 4 months to calculate and pay what you owe.

You can find out about the campaign and how to make a disclosure here

The criteria used to assess if an activity is a hobby or a business are:

  • The size and commerciality of the activity.
  • The frequency of the activity and transactions
  • The application of business principles.
  • Whether there is a genuine profit motive.
  • The amount of time devoted to the activities.
  • The existence of arm’s-length customers (as opposed to just selling your wares to family and friends).

If you have a Second Income its better to disclose it now rather than wait till HMRC find you.

steve@bicknells.net

How to Monetize a Blog 1

Online Shopping

Basically research shows that you have the following options:

       Advertising

       Paid Content and Affiliate Marketing

       Donations

       Paid Subscriptions

       Consulting

       Journalistic work for other media

Advertising is the most popular and is based on:

Popularity of the Blog (number of visitors)

Stickiness (time spent by visitors)

Loyalty (number of repeat visitors)

The visitors are measured in CPM (cost per thousand visitors)

Adverts are 125 x 125 Pixels

A blog with 100,000 monthly hits might charge 50p CPM which works out to £50 per month (£600 per year)

 

eMarketer estimates that retail sales via smartphones and tablets have more than doubled to £8.2 bn in 2013, accounting for 18% of total UK ecommerce sales. Tablet commerce has seen particularly high growth, reaching £4.8 bn. In 2014 mcommerce is expected to increase by 53.3% in 2014, more than triple the 15% growth rate for retail ecommerce.

 

UK mobile ad spend is expected to pass the £1bn mark in 2013, according to eMarketer, reaching £1.2bn (19% of total digital) – a 126.1% YoY growth. Mobile ad spend is expected to nearly double again in 2014 to almost £2.26 billion (32% of total digital).

 

 

Would you sell advertising on your blog?

 

steve@bicknells.net

 

Are you benefiting from the Online Sales Boom? Reply

Online Shopping

Just in case you haven’t been watching the BBC News….

A record amount of online shopping was done in December 2013, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Close to one in five non-food items was bought online last month, according to the BRC survey.

There was also a 19.2% growth in internet purchases from a year earlier, the fastest increase in four years……..

The online retail boom was very much in evidence in late 2013, with many High Street chains expanding their internet offerings, and some shops reporting record figures for the amount customers purchased online around Christmas.

In a recent AccountingWEB survey on average survey respondents said more than 80% of their customers use a smartphones or a tablet and almost all expect this number to increase over the next 12 months.

Without an online presence your business is likely to be become invisible to your customers.

Its not just about having a website either, there needs to be something that will keep your customers visiting your website and you probably need an app….

steve@bicknells.net

4 business models where customers fund your business Reply

fotolia_491138_s1.jpg

Finding ways to fund your business can be a challenge so hear are some business models where your customers provide the funding.

Subscribers

This can apply to many situations ranging from Networking and Memberships to Sky TV or Microsoft Office 365, get your clients hooked on paying a monthly or periodic payments and  it should work wonders for your cash flow.

High Demand

Any product in short supply creates a situation where clients are prepared to pay now in order not to miss out, here is an example:

Microsoft unveils its new Xbox One console Friday, one week after the release of the rival PlayStation 4.

Microsoft says the supply of the new $499 consoles is its biggest ever. But with record pre-orders — more than double those of the Xbox 360 back in November 2005 — the consoles may be hard to find.

November 2013

Pay In Advance

Often used in the home improvement market for example conservatories, kitchens, bathrooms, getting customers to pay a deposit or in some cases all the money upfront (or on finance) puts you in the best possible position especially if you can set up accounts to pay your suppliers on 30 or 60 days.

Market Place

Getting paid to bring people together is a great business model think of ebay, dating sites, or any on line market place where the owner gets paid when a deal is done.

How do you fund your business?

steve@bicknells.net

 

Key Points from the Autumn Statement 2013 Reply

Tax Money

The Chancellor George Osborne presented the Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on 5th December 2013 and things are getting better, economic growth forecasts for this year have more than doubled from 0.6% to 1.4% but the austerity plan is set to continue.

Here is a summary of the key announcements:

Business Rates

Business rate increases in England will be capped at 2% in 2014/15 (they were set to increase by 3.2%) and businesses will be able to pay over 12 months rather than 10.

The Retail Sector will also get a £1,000 discount in 2014/15 and 2015/16, this applies to pubs, cafes, restaurants and charity shops with a rateable value below £50,000.

A reoccupation relief of 50% is being introduced for up to 18 months on premises that have been empty for a year or more and it will apply from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2016.

Small Business Rate Relief has been extended to April 2015 under the scheme small businesses with a rateable value of £6,000 or less can get 100% relief, the relief is scaled down to zero on rateable values of £12,000 and there is a lower multiplier on rates between £12,001 and £17,999.

Income Tax

As previously announced the personal allowance will be £10,000 for the tax year 2014/15.

From April 2015, a spouse or civil partner who is not liable to income tax will be able to transfer £1,000 of their allowance to a basic rate tax paying spouse and as a result save £200 in tax.

State Pension Age

By 2020 it will be 66, by 2028 it will be 67 and by mid 2030’s 68, then in 2040’s 69.

Capital Gains Tax

The annual exempt amount will be £11,000 for individuals for 2014/15.

But there was an exemption for principle private residence  letting for 36 months and from 6th April 2014 it will be reduced to 18 months.

Consultation will start in April on non-residents paying capital gains on property disposals.

Individual Savings Account (ISA)

The limit will rise to £11,880 for 2014/15 and of this £5,940 can be invested in cash ISA’s

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The scheme started in October will run for 3 years and end in January 2017.

Buyers will only need a 5% deposit and the government and the funder will guarantee 15% of the loan in return for a fee.

IR35

Legislation will be tightened from April 2014.

Anti-avoidance

A range of measures were discussed in addition to IR35 and these included:

  • Partnership Tax
  • Controlled foreign companies
  • Charities
  • High risk tax avoidance schemes
  • Dual contracts

Other headline measures

  • Employers NI for under 21’s to be scrapped in 2015
  • Rolling back green levies to allow an average saving of £50 on energy bills
  • Free school meals for infants
  • Scrapping of 1% above inflation rail fare increases
  • Electronic tax discs
  • Abolition of next years 2p per litre fuel duty rise

 

steve@bicknells.net

 

IR35 HMRC Enquiries increase – are you at risk? Reply

Scaring amounts

On the 25th November 2013, the House of Lords Select Committee on Personal Service Companies met with Rowena Fletcher (Deputy Director with special responsibility for the Employment Status Team) and Robin Wythes (Team Leader of the Employment Status Team).

You can read the full minutes by clicking on this link http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/Personal-Service-Companies/uc131125Ev1FletcherWythes.pdf

HMRC estimate there are 200,000 Personal Service Companies in the UK compared to their estimate in 1999 of 90,000. Interestingly, HMRC admit to employing 8 Occupational Phychologists through Personal Service Companies. The risk to the Exchequer is valued at £475 million and  despite the large increase in PSC’s this estimate hasn’t changed since the introduction of IR35 in 1999.

In 2012-13 opened 256 enquiries into cases believed to be high risk and the tax year 2013-14 112 cases were opened in the  first 6 months. In 2011-12 only 59 cases were opened.

Currently it is taking 28 weeks per enquiry which is faster than in previous years when it took between 110 and 140 weeks.

Currently only 5 cases under investigation which are expected to go to tribunal.

HMRC have 40 specialist staff working on IR35 Compliance, they had 1,200 calls in 2012-13 requesting advice and 80 detailed contract reviews were sought. If a contract review is carried out HMRC will issue a written certificate of opinion, the committee was assured that any contract review is totally confidential and not passed to the compliance team.

So are you happy that your PSC would be safe if HMRC carried out an enquiry?

steve@bicknells.net