One thing that nobody warns you about when you decide to make the leap and become self-employed is the Inland Revenue. Not only are you responsible for keeping aside your own money for tax, but you need to register with them as self-employed and fill out a tax return at the end of each financial year. That doesn’t sound too bad, you might be thinking.

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Running a business is full of pitfalls, but making a mistake isn’t the end of the world. Read on to find out some of the most common business blunders, and how to make sure they don’t happen again…

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Even the savviest entrepreneurs make business blunders now and then, but the important thing is how they deal with them.

If you feel like you’ve made a small business slip up recently, then don’t panic – all is not lost. Read on for some of the most common start up mistakes and how to rectify them…

Ignoring the details

So we’re not all numbers people. In fact most entrepreneurs are big picture thinkers, so we’re great at coming up with ideas, having a vision and being creative, but when it comes to the nitty gritty details of running a business…..? Nnnnnnnnot so great.

Getting the numbers right is so integral to your business’s success that if you’re not confident getting them straight for yourself then you should definitely enlist the help of an accountant or financial adviser to take care of the figures. Many businesses start out with too little capital, so it’s important to outline your start-up costs so you’ll know exactly how much you need – try using a starting costs calculator. You should also create a budget to ensure the profitability of your business.

Trying to do everything and be everything

Whether you’re trying to cut costs, save time or keep control over every aspect of your business, it can be tempting to be a one woman show. However by trying to wear a million different hats at once you’re setting yourself up for a fall. 

Be realistic about what your strengths are and focus on the areas of running the business that you do well. For other tasks consider outsourcing or taking on new staff who have expertise in that area. While additional salaries may feel like a drain, in the long run you won’t burn yourself out and often two heads are better than one. Make sure your staff are all pulling their weight by tracking performance. Recognising their achievements is equally important, as the Business Insider recently pointed out, a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

Forgetting what works

One common mistake many new businesses make is not sticking with what works best. Rather than focussing on the most profitable part of their business, many are quick to introduce new products in the hope of riding the initial buzz of a successful honeymoon period.

The lesson? If you make ice cream and your best seller is strawberry flavour: keep making plenty of strawberry flavour ice cream. Remember too, that while a product may seem to sell itself, a solid marketing campaign is important to keep the customers coming in the long run.

Embrace social media to stay on the pulse of what your customers really want and communicate new product news. Get a good deal on your business mobile and you can even update Twitter and Facebook on the go. Don’t have a website? Step into the 21st century – if you’re not into ecommerce you’re missing a trick. Check out Chris Ducker’s guide to creating a simple but effective website.

Failing to plan for the future

Not thinking about what happens next is some companies’ biggest pitfall. While it’s important to focus on the day to day running of your business, it’s important to know where you’re going too in the future.

Think about your mission and vision – what drives your company? What are your aims? Consider where you are going and what steps will get you there. If you don’t already have one write out a plan and strategy – just seeing it written down can often spur you on when you feel stuck in a rut.

What business mistakes have you made? Tell us how you fixed them…

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Richard Hawkins writes on finance and entrepreneurship for a digital marketing agency.


Top Corporate Finance & Accounting Conferences 2013

A financial professional looking to refine his/her skills, expand contacts and grow their business can benefit from attending a conference. Luckily, 2013 is rife with corporate finance and accounting conferences. No matter where you are and what your particular needs, there is a conference available that will expand your knowledge and help you grow your business. Read on for information on some of the top conferences going on this year.

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Accounting technology has come a very long way from the days of manual ledgers and file boxes that are stacked to the storage room. You can now save years’ worth of information on a memory stick that can be stored inside of a small lockbox. The reduction in office space alone is a reason to simplifying your company’s billing procedures and step into the world of online billing, but there are so many more valuable benefits.

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How Accountants Stay Organized

On May 18, 2013, in Software, by admin

How Accountants Stay Organized

Many small business owners find themselves wearing several hats, including an accountant’s visor. Keeping track of a business’s records can be difficult if you have other tasks tugging at your attention, but staying organized can help. To keep your accounting tasks running smoothly, use the same strategies accountants do to stay organized. Here are some methods to keep in mind.

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In early 2013, the government outlined their plans for state pension reforms, but what does this mean for those of us currently in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s; will we be better or worse off than those currently in their twilight years?

Flat-rate Scheme

The government’s proposed reforms are to introduce a ‘flat-rate’ scheme, which will replace the current state pension; it’s thought that this will be in place by the beginning of 2017.  Of course, as time moves on, state pension age increases and the government has decided that it will first increase to 66 before finally settling on a retirement age of 68 so for most of us it could be quite a while before we see any of our pension funds!

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use intuit for your payrollsThere’s no denying the fact that managing company payrolls is a lengthy and downright tedious task that can be quite frustrating at times. Whether your business is big or small, trying to work out the details of a payroll is a difficult process. The good news, however, is that Intuit offers a wide range of Quickbooks products and services designed to simplify company payrolls, allowing you to focus your time on more important aspects of your business.

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Senior officers said lives were at risk on roads blocked by queues of motorists rushing to fill up after ministerial warnings of fuel running out or being rationed. The government sent out a message urging everyone to fill up with fuel and stock up with jerry cans, warning that a petrol tanker strike was on the way. The panic petrol buying saw an increase of 80% on the first day this warning was issued, which tax accountants say, earned the government an extra £32m.

With queues forming at petrol stations around Britain, furious retailers and motoring organisations accused the Government of “creating a crisis”.

Susie Tizard, 29, an accountant from Highbury, needed fuel to visit her father in hospital in Surrey. She said: “I saw someone walk out with a big tank of petrol, which is annoying. If they just filled their cars it’d be fine.”


Denise Coates, Stoke Accountant and founder of bet 365, is just one of the Staffordshire locals to receive an honours award from the Queen this year. Alongside her for the award is former police superintendent Mick Harrison, who served a 33 year career with the Staffordshire police force.

“It’s an incredible honour to receive this award. It would not have been possible without the fantastic support and commitment of everybody at bet365.” Says Denise.

After recently investing £50,000,000 in Stoke City FC,  manager Tony Pulis said: “Everyone associated with Stoke City is indebted to Denise and delighted at this fully deserved honour.”

Denise’s father, who invested the start up cash into bet365, says he and all the family are incredibly proud of her.

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