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Have you done your self-assessment?

If you are self-employed then you need to start thinking about completing your self-assessment tax return. If you are completing it online then you will need to have done it by January 2022 but if you want to apply for the fifth grant or have to report your income to tax credits then you may need to complete it before the end of July.

Some people chose to do their tax return themselves whilst others many enlist the help of an accountant. You may wish to keep records and spreadsheets of all incoming and expenditure and then pass it across to your accountant to check through or you may decide that you just want to be able to give them bank statements and receipts and let them manage everything for you. Obviously, the more work they have to do the longer it will take and the more they will charge you. You need to find an accountant or accountancy firm that you can trust as they will be handling sensitive information about your finances. It is often a good idea to use an accountancy firm or individual that has been recommended to you by a friend or colleague.

What does it take to be a good consultant?

If you are thinking of getting into the consultancy business, it’s not all just about the qualifications you have acquired. There are a number of specific skills you need to be a good consultant. Some of these qualities can be learned over time and others are to do with your personality and may be not so easy to adapt to if it does not come naturally to you.

Consulting is not just about telling someone what to do it is also about helping them learn and grow. You need to have a certain amount of teaching skills under your belt and you will need to be patient as some people may take longer than others to pick things up.

As a consultant it is vital that you have the trust of the business you are working with. It can be a quite a daunting time for them as they will need to allow you to have access to personal information and allow you in to see how the business is being ran. Building up trust can take time especially with some companies. BE open an honest with them and always keep them informed of what your plans are and why you want to do something. 

Discipline when working for yourself

There are a huge number of different types of jobs that can be done on a self employed basis. Some will still require you to go out to factories, offices, shops or driving in a car but others can often be done from home.

If you are looking to go self-employed then you must have a certain level of discipline to ensure that you get your work finished on time and to a high standard. Unlike an employed position, where you will often have to report to senior management, you will not have anyone checking up on what you have accomplished. This may seem like a bonus to start with, but if you are not careful it is easy to get complacent.

Time management is often one of the hardest things self-employed people struggle with, especially if you are working from home. There are often a number of distractions in and around the home which can very quickly and easily encroach on our work time. If this happens you will often find you get behind with your work and then have to work late nights or weekends to catch up. You may find it hard to switch off and if clients have your mobile number, they may contact you out of usual office hours. This can make it feel like you are always working and never have any time off.

Can an IT course help you be better at your job?

More and more of us are having to work from home at present and IT is having to come in to play a lot more than we may be used to. It may be the first time you have had to work from home and you might have to do many of your usual tasks online or by using a computer. Lots of people have basic IT skills, especially the younger generation that have been taught it at school, but did you know that IT can really help you further your career and be better at your job.

If you find that tasks on the computer are taking too long then you may consider investing in an IT course. Some employers will happily pay for their employees to go on an IT course if they think it will be beneficial and that it will improve work productivity but even if they don’t you may still wish to attend one for your own reasons. Prices vary drastically depending on what you want to learn, but for a simply online course you may only have to fork out £30-£50.

Many colleges offer evening IT course for students of all ages to give you an overview of what you can do on a computer or on the internet.

Using an accountancy firm

If you run your own business then you have the option of using an accountancy firm to manage the financial side or doing it yourself. Depending on how large your business is and how complicated may mean that you will struggle to do all the accounting yourself. You may have employees and therefore also have to manage payroll.

There are a huge number of bookkeepers and accountancy firms out there that will do as much or as little as you want them to do. You may wish to do all the accounting yourself but then have them audit you every few months to check that you are doing it correctly or you may ask them to manage the whole thing, so you literally send all your invoices to them for them to input. They can also manage VAT returns as well as personal tax and P11D’s. Obviously, the more work you ask them to do the more you will be charged, but this can often free you up to allow you to manage and run the business as you need to so can often pay for itself.  Why not get a quote and find out what an accountancy firm can do for you?

Where to get advice as a start up business

Starting up a business can be stressful and you may worry about exactly how you go about it. You will want to know that you have all the legal requirements covered as well as your business strategy and marketing in place.

England has a very supportive environment for startups, with a flourishing wealth of networks, groups and organisations for all types and style of new business. There are many places you can go for help and advice and much of it is free, so before you go forking out a lot of money, see what information you can find yourself.

When it comes to marketing your startup business you need to have a clear plan of action. Unless you have a very large budget it is always worth starting small and then investing more into your marketing as you start to see a return on your investment.

If you think you will need a loan to get your startup business off the ground, then make sure you have a good business plan that you can take with you to apply for the money as this is definitely something they would want to see.

Choosing the best bookkeeping service provider in Northampton

Financial data is an essential element of any business. It is necessary to maintain financial data to enhance the growth of your business. As a business person, it is advisable to hire someone who will do the work for you flawlessly. Look for best bookkeeping Northampton services to let everything flow well with your business. Read More

Are you disciplined enough to run your own business?

Many people say that it is their dream to have their own business and be their own boss but it is not always as easy as it sounds. To be your own boss you need to be able to be focused and to be disciplined to work as much as you need to. This is especially true if you are going to be working from home as you will often find a hundred and one distractions which can easily take you off task. It is a good idea to have a space in your home which is only used for work and which you can go to when your working day starts. You can then give yourself a lunch break and come away from the room and return after. This will mean that you can get all your work done when needed without having to try and work late at night or weekends if you don’t wish to.

You will also have to be responsible for keeping an eye on your finances, your incomings and outgoings and unless you are going to pay a bookkeeper or an accountant, all of your tax paperwork too.

Help with setting up a new business

When setting up a new business there are many things to consider. Firstly you need to decide which type of business you are looking to set up. You should consider points such as how much time can you afford to commit and how much money would you ideally like to earn from the business? It is important that you are honest and realistic as otherwise, you are only fooling yourself. Answering these fundamental questions will help you to decide whether you need to start a full-time, part-time, spare-time or possibly even a seasonal business. If for example, you want to open a business that sells Christmas decorations then you may only run it from August through to February. You also need to consider if you are going to have a physical location for your business or if it is going to be online purely. Next, you need to decide when you are going to launch your business.

You might want to get your business up and running quickly, but if you don’t sort out the main key points prior to starting the business you may end up failing. You need to be realistic you’re your expectations and understand that many businesses take time to start turning a profit.

How to better yourself as a consultant

The job of a consultant can be very rewarding but the job can also at times be very challenging. As a business consultant, you will be going into businesses and looking at the way the business is run and how you can improve it. This may be within the finance area, marketing area, management or a combination of many different departments.

Firstly as a consultant, it is important that you know about your client and their industry. You need to keep your ear to the ground and be proactive with any marketing that you recommend. Setting up alerts on Google will allow you to be notified when there is mention of the keywords or phrases you choose to track.

Knowing the history of the business and their financial information is vital. You need to be able to memorise some facts and figures such as turn over, profit and loss and where the biggest spend is. As a good consultant, you should look to increase a business’s profits by increasing sales and cutting down on spending.

Research into the businesses competitors is key so you can fully understand who you are up against and how they may be able to attract more business.