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Are you on the cloud?

by mike tombs
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Making Tax Digital (MTD) comes into force on the 1st April 2019 (no – it’s not an April Fools!) If you are VAT registered and, your turnover exceeds £85000 you will need to follow the rules for MTD as laid out by HMRC. Essentially MTD means that you will need to keep and file your VAT records and returns electronically; you can no longer just use spreadsheets and manually upload the information. In practice this means you will have to be using some form of cloud accounting. Regardless of whether you want to or not, you will have to do [...]

How fast can you react?

by mike tombs
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Are your reactions lighting fast? Or are you struggling to keep up? Fast reactions are useful in a variety of situations; accidents, emergencies, but also in business. The ability to react to changes in the marketplace is one of the main areas where small businesses can beat big businesses. Being able to judge the trends and changes in a marketplace and ensure that you are in a good position quickly can be an indicator of success. But what has this got to do with accountants? Imagine you have a small company that sells blue widgets, and the big company that [...]

Are you looking for export opportunities?

by mike tombs
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In a recent press release, the Department for International Trade promoted its enhanced Export Opportunities service for UK companies. In a nut-shell, this lists overseas governments and companies that are looking to buy UK goods and services. On the face of it, if you are looking for a source of leads for your export marketing activities, it’s probably worth taking a look. Extracts from the press release and the link to find out more are copied in below: The UK is one of the first countries in the world provide this online service, following the launch of the Export Strategy [...]

What’s in a name?

by mike tombs
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Is it possible to register a trading name for an existing business? Sole traders and partnerships You can trade under your own name, or you can choose another name for your business. You don’t need to register your name.   You must include your name and business name (if you have one) on official paperwork, for example invoices and letters.   Sole trader names must not:   include ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘plc’ be offensive be the same as an existing trade mark   Your name also can’t contain a ‘sensitive’ word or expression, or [...]

Good foundations

by mike tombs
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All good structures are built on good foundations, whether we are talking houses or companies. Good foundations in houses rely on bricks and mortar, whilst good foundations in companies rely on good founders. We have pulled together some top tips to help you be a brilliant founder. Get along with your co-founders: obviously we can’t get along with people all the time, and disagreement is a healthy part of every relationship. However, toxicity isn’t. Learn how to accept constructive feedback, and how to give it! No-one likes to be criticised but feedback is essential to improve. Pull the trigger: it [...]

No money…no problem!

by mike tombs
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People tend to think that you need a large chunk of capital to start your own business; however it is possible to get started without needing to invest large sums of money into it. You might have a great idea, or just want a change of lifestyle that running your business may allow. Whatever your motivation it is possible to start off with a small budget. Here are three great tips to get you going. Reduce your needs: You don’t need flash offices, or the latest laptop. Take a look at what you really need to get going, bearing in [...]

Ignore these pieces of bad advice

by mike tombs
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Advice, like many other things, comes in both the good and the bad. Some people dispense excellent advice, based on a sound understanding of the circumstances, while others simply fling phrases at random, with little or no regard for their helpfulness. We work with businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs to established family businesses, all of whom have received advice of both varieties. Entrepreneurs in particular seem to be in receipt of an astonishing amount of unsolicited advice. Here are a selection that we have come across: “You must have the smartest offices,” – you don’t need a smart postcode. [...]

Helping your business climb mountains

by miketombs
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Search parties have abandoned their efforts to find four mountaineers who disappeared in Nepal two weeks ago. The team, all experienced climbers, flew out from the UK in August for "the adventure of a lifetime". They left their camp in the foothills of the Himalayas on the morning of September 3rd and have not been seen since. Deteriorating weather conditions and sub zero temperatures have finally forced local rescue teams to abandon their efforts to find them. "We have absolutely no idea where they could be," said one local guide. "They just set off without knowing where they were going [...]

Please, Sir! I want some more.

by miketombs
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Here's a question for you. What does your accountant really contribute to your business? I don't just mean all that pen-pushing and form-filling to keep the taxman and Companies House happy. That should be just the beginning; but so often it's the beginning and the end of the service that so many companies receive from their accountants. The sad truth is that too many small businesses accept this; not because they are satisfied with a second-rate service, but because they are unaware of what accountants can and should do for their clients. It's not actually rocket science. As accountants, we [...]

The rebranding blues

by miketombs
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The rebranding blues It seems I have started something big. At the end of April I wrote to my clients with exciting news about our practice.  I was giving up the old blue livery for the brand new claret and grey of TLA Business Services. I wasn't doing it to start a trend. I just wanted to expand the services we provide and make better use of our skills in business planning and metrics. And I wanted my new business to reflect that change.  I really didn't have anything in particular against the colour blue.  And I certainly didn't expect [...]