Economic conditons rise and fall but one thing is certain the most successful small to medium sized businesses always keep growing and increasing their profits. So how do they do that? Well here at Tax Affinity we are expert business advisors and we help and support thousands of business owners in the UK and overseas with exactly that.
Giving business owners tailored and specific advice to help keep their business growing and increasing in profits no matter what the economic conditions. In short giving everyone the same level of guidance and support that large corporate CEO's get but for a fraction of the price.
Why? Because we feel everyone should have access expert support especially small and medium sized businesses because they are the engines and driving force of every economy.
So here is a quick list to get you started and when you need more specific and tailored support contact us and we will be happy help.
1. Change the way you do things
Simply you will need to generate more sales while decreasing expenses. Sounds easy but in reality it can be quite hard. To increase your sales you may have to change the way you do business and start offering new goods and services that complement your current goods and services.
To reduce expenses, keep an eye on expenses and start to identify which ones are excessive and a waste of income. Find out if some parts of your admin work that can be outsourced to reduce wages bills eg accountancy, payroll, vat etc. We at Tax Affinity often help clients by taking over the work load from business owners helping them cut costs and increase profit. Look closely at employees and identify the ones who are less productive and cut down their hours to part time from full time or simply let them go. Switch suppliers of utilities and explore new cheaper or free energy sources such as solar power or a rain collection tanks on the roof for the washrooms.
2. Motivate new customers to try your product/service
Another quick fix to increase profits is motivating new customers to try your products and services with specials deals, discounts, or short-term giveaways. Maybe think about a relationship-based sales model that gets customers coming back by offering monthly or annual subscriptions, or a grouped bundle of visits at a discounted price.
3. Stay in front of the customer make sure to be available
See what can sets you apart from your competition. Regularly check and promote your positive reputation. Use your website, emails and social media to connect with clients. Think about sharing advertising with a complementary business and find ways to get referral sales using affiliate marketing to get new customers. Plus get rid of old, unproductive business alliances that may be dragging you down. Check their reputation - if they are going down then your perceved to be the same too by association. Do more marketing and networking by setting up group meetings online, offer online downloads and access to shared info.
3. Maximising your cashflow
Cashflow is king and making sure you always have enough is very important. Chase customers to pay on time and make sure that you add charges for late or delayed payments. If they do pay late then you will be paid more. Some people say offer a reduced monthly payment plan to lock in clients longer term, we don't agree because its a universal law that the cream always rises to the top and the best don't discount because they are the best. Get better instead of cheaper.
4. Dump useless employees
All businesses have employees who steal, or work purposely slow etc. Identify them and replace them with new more enthusiatic and efficient ones. They are just another asset in the business and your not responsible for them and their families. They should have bore that in mind before being lame at work. Think about automation which may allow your business to use software or robots for work and reduce monthly wages bills .
5. Make Everyone a Salesperson
From telephone to email to face-to-face meetings, every employee has the opportunity to spread your company's message and engage in potential sales-generating behavior. Everyone needs to pitch in to help by cutting costs, selling, networking on the web, marketing, and more.
If you can get your employees invested and motivated to sell your message by encouraging self-development through roundtables, conferences, lunch meetings, and webinars you'll be well on your way to creating an organization that is built around increasing profits.
Remember, it pays dividends to reward your employees that seek continuing education, or who make an extra effort to represent the company inside and outside of work.
By Anni Khan at Tax Affinity Accountants
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts Business, Tax and Accountancy. With branches in Worcester Park and Kingston upon Thames and Epsom and Ewell they are considered in the Industry to be expert business accountants and tax advisors for both individuals and small & medium sized businesses (SME's). Helping and supporting both individuals and limited company owners / self employed people throughout the UK and the world, they regularly help clients grow their business providing tailored advice and support. Their support has been considered invaluable by many clients and key to their success.
For more information visit www.taxaffinity.com. To read more interesting articles like this visit www.taxaffinity.com/blog. Please feel free to comment and share this with your friends.
CIS: Sub-contractor Tax in the construction industry
The Construction Industry Scheme, CIS, details payments for sub-contractors from contractors. As the name suggests, it is only applicable in the construction industry. When a contractors needs work from a different skills set (like an electrician, plasterer or plumber), the person(s) they ask to complete the work will be a sub-contractor.
The rules as to what qualifies as construction are complex and it worth seeking professional advice to ensure you are not over paying tax. If you are a sub-contractor in construction, you need register under CIS and be registered as self-employed.
As the contractor gets a sum of money for the work as an entirety, it is the contractor who is responsible for paying the sub-contractor. As it is a service based position, income tax and NI contribution are taken off the wage of the sub-contractor by the contractor and paid to HMRC at a rate of 20% of the total pay.
The tax year for any sub-contractor or self-employed persons is 6th April until 5th April the following year. During this time, all gross pay and deductions will be added together to work out a total pay. Then the profit for the sub-contractor will be worked out after deducting cost of materials and then any other business expenses such as training, travel or phone bills from the income.
If, at the end of the year, the contractor is below the personal allowance threshold (£9,440 for the year ending 2014, going up to £10,000 for the year ending 2015) they will not have to pay any tax. Therefore any tax paid by contractors to HMRC out of the sub-contractors pay will be refundable. See below example for Mr J Bloggs, a plasterer:
As we can see, the profit for the year is below the personal allowance for the year ending 2014 (£9,440). Therefore, Mr J Bloggs should not have paid any CIS deductions so he is able to reclaim the £2,400 from HMRC at the end of the year. See below example for Mrs J Smith, an electrician, when the profit for the year is above the personal allowance:
In the above example, the profit for the year is above the personal allowance by £5,360. Therefore tax paid should equal 20% of £5,360, which is £1,072. However, we have paid £4,400 from CIS Tax deductions. This means that Mrs J Smith is eligible for a Tax refund of £3,328.
The same tax rules apply for sub-contractors and self-employed persons as those in employment meaning when you hit the upper threshold (£41,450 in the year ended 2014 rising to £41,865 for the year ending 2015) you will have to pay 40% tax on that amount. The summary is below, using the 2015 figures:
To try to make the above simpler, we will look at how much tax should be paid by Mrs O McKenzie who had an income (profit) for the year of £55,000:
If all of her income came from sub-contracting, the amount of CIS Tax already paid would be 20% of £55,000 which is £11,000. She is due to pay £11,627 so she would have to pay HMRC an extra £627 to avoid a potential fine in the future for Tax Evasion. This profit figure is very high so most sub-contractors who register under the CIS as self-employed will get a tax refund. It is advisable that if you qualify for this scheme, you do so as it will more often than not result in you getting money back from HMRC at the end of the tax year.
There are also National Insurance (NI) contributions that need to be paid. These are more complicated as the amount you pay will vary with the amount of profit you have at the end of the year. There are different classes and different personal allowances depending upon what type status of employment you have and what your level of income is. It is worth seeking a professionals help at this point to ensure you do not make a mistake and pay the wrong amount.
If you are still confused, or think that you should get a refund, and want to know what the next step is, get in contact with us here at Tax Affinity. Use any of the contact details on the website and we will gladly assist you on the next stage.
By Owen Cain at Tax Affinity Accountants
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