Keeping Your Records Neat Is Simple With These Tips
If you’ve ever experienced cashflow problems as a small business owner, follow this accountancy advice to simplify the number-crunching.
57% of small business owners have experienced cashflow problems, leaving one in seven unable to pay staff. The latest research conducted by Quickbooks also reveals that negative cashflow issues force business owners to turn down future work worth an average of £26,000. Small business owners are often under significant pressure to keep costs low, which results in them taking on multiple tasks including front-of-house, marketing, tech and also accounting. But not having a dedicated accountancy team in place, can be the difference between a thriving business and one that is forced to fold. Follow these top business accounting tips to give your small company every chance of success.
Inputting manual accounts figures into an Excel spreadsheet is a laborious task, and one that is likely to see you waste valuable time. HMRC’s Making Tax Digital has been designed to help business owners keep digital records and easily submit their VAT returns using specialised software. Those with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to submit in this way, but self-employed businesses with a lower turnover are also able to volunteer to do so instead of filing a Self-Assessment return. But outside of your tax filing obligations, using accountancy software will give you an at-a-glance overview of how your business is doing every time you log in.
Separate Personal And Business Accounts
As soon as you start out in business, make sure that you separate your personal account from your business account. Trying to keep on top of your business income and expenditure when you’re searching through a list of personal grocery transactions is a nightmare that you don’t need. Opening a business bank account is simple and will keep your records neat and tidy for your accountant to view.
Raise Invoices On Time
One of the biggest problems with cashflow is late payments from clients. Make sure that you raise invoices immediately and chase unpaid bills as soon as they’re late. The quicker you receive funds, the more money you’ll have to pump back into your business – either paying staff, investing in new materials and affording the bills for your premises.
Delegating Payroll Tasks
Payroll can be a time-consuming job for all business owners, whether you run it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The more employees you have on the books, the more extensive the task can be. Due to the legalities of the payroll process, you may need to contact HMRC from time to time, to ensure that all red tape is satisfied particularly with regards to forms such as P45 or P46. If you don’t have the time or expertise to handle payroll, then this accountancy services Peterborough based firm is available to take the administrative burden off your shoulders.
If you don’t have an accounts team working for you, as is the case with many small companies, then your best course of action is to outsource your accountancy tasks to a professional team. By doing so, you’ll increase the amount of time that you have to put towards revenue-generating activities that will see your business go from strength to strength.
How to earn cash from your old camera
Selling your old camera doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following our tips you’re sure to achieve a quick sale and great price for your second hand equipment.
Selling an old camera is a great way to make a bit of extra cash, but there is a lot of competition out there and it’s not always easy to find a buyer. Luckily, we have some top tips that will help your camera to stand out from the competition, increasing your chances of a quick sale.
Sell at the right time
Selling your old camera is a great way to raise some extra cash but, before you rush in, take some time to consider whether it is the right time to sell. Some items sell more easily at certain times of the year and, for cameras, that time is summertime. During the summer, you can target all the people who are about to go on holiday and are looking for a snazzy new camera to help them capture and preserve their holiday memories.
Clean it up
Before putting your camera up for sale, it’s important to take the time to give it a good clean and get it looking its best. After all, a camera that is full of dust, marks and smears is unlikely to be attractive to buyers. To give your camera the best possible chance, take a soft, microfibre cloth and some rubbing alcohol and give the body a wipe over. An air blower, Lenspen or small brush can help to dislodge any dust and grit that has accumulated in the gaps of the camera body. Cleaning the lens is a bit more of a delicate operation but, as long as you are careful, it can be tackled with lens cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth.
Set the right price
Now that your camera is ready to be sold, it’s time to consider how much you want to sell it for. Obviously, you want to make sure you make as much money as possible but, at the same time, you need to remember that it is a competitive market and a price that is too high could put off potential buyers. We advise doing a little bit of research and looking online to see what similar items are selling for and use that as a guide when setting the price for your own camera. It’s also worth considering if you have a minimum price that you don’t want to drop below. If you do (and it’s realistic), don’t be afraid to stick to your guns.
Find the best sales route
The next thing you need to decide is how and where to sell your camera. There are loads of options open to you – from selling it on an established online auction site such as eBay, to putting up an advert on a local college or supermarket noticeboard. Facebook Marketplace is another sales platform that is increasingly popular with people looking to buy and sell second-hand goods. However, if you’re looking for a fast and easy sale you might want to consider going through one of the online second hand dealers that sell camera equipment and accessories. They will usually provide you with an immediate quote and immediate payment, taking all the hassle out of selling your camera.
Box it up
The last thing you need to do before putting your camera up for sale is to pack it in its original box. Research shows that this makes it more attractive to potential buyers, which in turn should help it to fetch a higher price. At the same time, try to locate your camera’s original accessories, such as the camera strap, user manual and software, as this can help your equipment to stand out from the competition, increasing your likelihood of a sale.
If you have an old camera that you no longer use, don’t leave it gathering dust at home. With a little bit of effort and some consideration you’ll find it easy to sell your old equipment and raise some extra cash.
Working for and running a legal firm is a business like any other. Solicitors therefore face all the familiar day-to-day niggles and challenges you find in any line of work – endless piles of admin, difficulties with clients and suppliers, technical glitches and so on.
We asked Hook & Partners, a firm of conveyancing solicitors in Essex, to talk through some of the typical day-to-day problems they faced helping people through the legalities of buying and selling houses.
Hold ups with paperwork
One of the biggest frustrations people face when they buy and sell a property is how long everything takes. It gets to us as solicitors, too – we’re dealing with this day in, day out! It has to be said, from a legal perspective, the change of ownership of property is quite a complex process, and it is just in the nature of things that it takes time. We are also having to deal with a lot of different parties – the buyer, the seller, the other party’s representatives, the estate agents, mortgage providers and surveyors.
Paperwork is the biggest bug bear. If we’re representing the buyer, for example, we have to wait for the seller’s solicitor to draft the contracts in the first place. We then have to wait for the mortgage provider to carry out a valuation and forward us the relevant lending documents. If a survey is being carried out (which we strongly advise), surveyors can take their time first of all getting to the property to carry out the survey and then drafting the report. All of this adds up to delays, delays and more delays!
Managing clients’ expectations
We mentioned how frustrating delays in the conveyancing process can be for clients. As their representatives, we are the ones who have to try to keep them calm through the process and assure them that everything will be alright in the end. This might involve fielding the occasional emotional phone call when they fear a lack of movement means the whole thing is about to fall through. It also means we have to be constantly on top of our game in terms of communication, keeping the client fully up-to-date with what is happening and regularly chasing other solicitors, estate agents, surveyors and so on to try to keep everything moving.
This all becomes most difficult when there is a chain involved – when buying one property depends on the seller buying another and so on. If we’re waiting on completion further down the chain before we can move on our client’s deal, things are out of our hands and it becomes a game of patience.
There is a lot to think about as a conveyancing solicitor. When you have several cases open at once, all at different stages on the journey towards completion, all with paperwork to organise and other parties to chase, you have to be smart about how you prioritise your work. As sales move towards completion, you need to focus more time and energy on getting everything sewn up – obviously the main objective is getting contracts signed and keys exchanged. But at the same time, you can’t let other cases drift, otherwise you will quickly have an upset client on your hands.
Resource management digital tech advancing to meet future needs
Advances in digital technology and software development has already had a profound effect on organisations embracing it; sound resource planning in conjunction with the use of bespoke software makes for highly agile project management that boosts productivity and maximises budgets.
What’s clear is that technology including resource planning software will evolve and adapt to meet future needs and trends. So where is it heading?
Many businesses and organisations have staff who work remotely and outsource to contractors – perhaps when a project demands a certain skill set not offered within the present workforce, or maybe if it’s too highly specialised to warrant employing staff full time.
Resource management software is likely to adapt and evolve to factor in those who work for an organisation on an ‘as and when required’ basis.
This way of working presents challenges to project management staff in terms of managing teams possibly spread over long distances, so real time data provision will become more important than ever to check progress and act accordingly.
Previously this kind of monitoring and reporting would have taken far longer in terms of adding information to spreadsheets, but it’s envisaged that evolved resource software will enable admin activity to happen with just a handful of clicks.
The advances in data capture and analysis such as with Big Data will likely herald a major advance in the reporting side of resource management software.
Large amounts of data collected – such as production figures – is not much help unless it can be manipulated and transformed into intelligence to show ‘how things are’ and point the way to action steps that might be taken. More comprehensive reporting will likely feature in resource planning software.
Basic office type software such as spreadsheets and databases won’t be up to the task of making the most of these larger amounts of data, so bespoke packages such as resource management software will evolve to take advantage.
This would include more specific reports such as those under various different financial headings to offer a more comprehensive picture of how the organisation is performing through its activities.
Skills resource management
More organisations are looking to make the most of their employees not only in the core skills that they’re implying them for in the first place, but other ‘softer’ skills they may possess. Resource management software could evolve to take this into account.
Software that ‘bears in mind’ where softer skills lie within the workforce and where they may be needed can help project management personnel fine-tune projects to ensure a full range of skills and abilities are provided from those offered by the workforce.
These could even include outsourcers who offer a broader range of talents than just, say, a certain type of IT skill.
Advances in resource management are possible through developments in tech such as Big Data and the cloud.
The generation of more data and virtual space to store it on – such as the cloud – means organisations of most sizes can capture huge amounts of information and this, in turn, means resource management software will evolve to make the most of it.
Planning and reacting
The twin benefits of resource management software – planning activity and being able to react to changes quickly – are set to be developed and refined as associated tech advances.
Businesses rely on technology more than they ever have before, and software is right at the heart of it. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that most companies nowadays could not function without the apps and platforms they use to run and manage day-to-day tasks.
Given this importance, businesses naturally want to get the right software to do each job required. Here they have a choice – buy an off-the-shelf product, which comes prefabricated and ready to run but which may have features and functions which are either unsuited to or irrelevant to how they operate. Or alternatively, they can develop their own software solutions tailored to meet their precise needs.
Custom software development is a technically advanced process. It means hiring in a development partner and can involve considerable investment. But the rewards are bespoke software suites which work exactly the way you want them to, boosting efficiency and output by reducing waste and duplication in your IT processes.
Taking the leap into custom software development is a big decision for any business. Here are some important tips for getting it right and hiring the right partner.
Focus on business objectives
Custom software development is not something you take on for the sake of it. To reap the rewards, you have to have a clear sense of what you want to achieve and hire a development partner that is prepared to get under the skin of what you want and how your business works. Development should be guided by wider strategic goals with measurable objectives.
Be clear about what you want to achieve
Establishing a good, open working relationship with your development partner is crucial. It is essential that you establish strong lines of communication as the process relies on you explaining what you want, and then them applying their technical skills to put it into action. If you miss anything out or you are uncertain about your objectives, things will quickly become lost in translation.
Expect and listen to advice
The programming specialists you hire are the experts in their field. As part of the deal, you can expect them to be proactive in giving you advice and feedback on your ideas, to take the time to explain different options available, to be transparent about what they’re working on and overall help you to better understand how the solution they are building will actually help your business. Alarm bells should ring if a developer is always waiting for you to make suggestions, agrees with everything you say and does little by way of explaining the technical side of their work.
Take a long term view
It is very unlikely that a single customised piece of software will make a radically noticeable difference to your business. The effects of custom software development are cumulative, the more you shape your software assets to fit the strategic and operational needs of your business, the more of an impact it will have. Don’t expect miracles right away, and choose a partner with a long-term relationship in mind.
The fancy name for Policeman’s Heel is plantar fasciitis, which gets its name from the ligament that runs along the arch of your feet, from your heels to your toes. When the plantar fascia is subjected to a lot of wear and tear over time, it can begin to thicken, and it’s this process that leads to the pain in the bottom of the heel of the foot that’s all-too-familiar to those who suffer from Policeman’s Heel.
People who have flat feet or very high arches are more susceptible to developing Policeman’s Heel, and it’s more common amongst the older generation. That said, anyone who has an active job or takes a lot of exercise is at risk of succumbing to the condition. Wearing flimsy or unsupportive shoes can exacerbate symptoms, too.
It’s not a life-threatening problem, but Policeman’s Heel can have a profound impact on your mobility and your quality of life. It can also lead to more painful conditions, such as heel spurs, if it’s left untreated. So, if you’ve noticed recurring pain in your feet – particularly first thing in the morning, or after sitting down for a long period of time – it’s important to act now if you want to stop your symptoms from worsening.
What can be done to combat Policeman’s Heel?
If the excessive pain and stiffness caused by Policeman’s Heel is beginning to impact your daily life, you’ll be glad to know there are lots of things you can try to reduce any discomfort.
The first thing you can do is apply ice to the area. Cover an ice pack in a clean cloth, then hold it to the bottom of the affected area for around 15-20 minutes, three or four times a day. This will slow down the thickening of the ligament itself.
Certain exercises can be used to stretch out and loosen up the plantar fascia. Toe curls and calf stretches are quick, straightforward incredibly effective; however, if you find they have little to no impact on your symptoms after you’ve tried a few reps a day for a couple of weeks, we’d recommend visiting a trained physiotherapist, who will be able to show you some more advanced movements. Many Policeman’s Heel sufferers also report improvements to their symptoms after wearing night splints, which are designed to stretch out the calves and the arches of your feet overnight.
In more extreme cases, doctors might recommend injecting steroids into the plantar fascia to soothe the pain. This is normally a last resort for patients who have been suffering with the symptoms of Policeman’s Heel for over six months, and who have seen little to no improvement after exploring less invasive treatment methods.
If this sounds like a lot to take in, you’ll be pleased to know that there is an easier way to prevent and treat Policeman’s Heel. Many patients have seen incredible results from wearing orthotic insoles.
How can orthotic insoles help to alleviate your symptoms?
Orthotic insoles work to lessen the amount of pressure being placed on your plantar fascia during everyday activities.
These lightweight, comfortable and highly supportive products can be slotted into the lining of each shoe to cushion the foot arch and encourage even weight distribution.
Orthotic insoles can be worn in all kinds of footwear, from sandals and ballet pumps to heavy-duty work boots. You can use the same pair of insoles if you like, as they are easy to remove and reapply. Some products are even customisable, which means you can experiment with different supporting pads before settling on a combination that works for you (and can trim them down to perfectly fit the shape and size of your shoes).
Best of all, there’s no ‘settling in’ period for Policeman’s Heel insoles. They should feel comfortable as soon as you slot them into your favourite pair of shoes, and you should start to feel the benefits straightaway.
When all is said and done, if you’re looking for a quick, simple and relatively cheap way of nipping the symptoms of Policeman’s Heel in the bud, nothing beats a great quality pair of orthotic insoles!
Devising a Plan That’s Right for You
Another new year, another failed diet attempt? Try taking a more holistic approach to weight loss in 2019.
January is here, and certain routines are as regular as the seasons. The Christmas tree and decorations are back in the loft, the supermarket aisles have returned to some semblance of normality and many of us are looking at the bathroom scales in horror. If the next step in your personal January routine is to try yet another weight loss technique that works for a few weeks then falls by the wayside, maybe it is time to take a new approach.
There are several different factors that affect our weight. Some relate to diet, some to exercise and some to our mindset. By focusing on all three of these, we can make subtle changes to our lifestyle that will result in losing those excess pounds almost effortlessly.
Get in the right frame of mind
If losing weight is seen as a challenge or a battle, you are almost doomed from the outset. Before you do anything else, consider some basic psychological tools that will help you along the way. There has been plenty of talk about gastric band hypnotherapy over recent months, and it is a process that has delivered significant results to thousands.
It uses established and medically proven cognitive behavioural therapy to influence your overall approach and attitude to food, exercise and weight loss. Don’t mistake it for a silver bullet, it will not single-handedly get you into perfect shape, but it will equip you to do what you need to do to attain your goals.
The diet question
With every new year comes a new fad diet. Some of them deliver results for some people, but more often than not they lead to misery, disappointment and failure. The key to successful dieting is to ensure you are still eating the foods you enjoy. If you love steak and chips and force yourself to east salad every evening, there is no way the diet will be sustainable in the long term.
Instead, look for small substitutions, such as fruit instead of chocolate for a mid-morning snack or using an air fryer instead of deep fat when you fancy your favourite comfort food. These are steps that you can gradually introduce into your routine that will not make you feel you are following a strict diet or missing out on what you enjoy.
The exercise question
Exactly the same approach applies to exercise. Sure, there are some people who enjoy working out at the gym five evenings a week. Are you one of them? If not, five will become four will become two, as you find excuses not to bother, and soon that gym membership will be nothing more than a drain on your finances and a source of guilt.
Instead, do something you enjoy. Cycling is a great way of exercising a range of muscles and improving cardiovascular health, as well as being an effective means of transport that will save you money. Alternatively, if you enjoy walking, perhaps now is the perfect time to head to the local rescue centre and introduce a dog into the family. One thing is for sure, there will be no excuses, and those walks will become a part of everyday life.
Make Some Extra Cash This Summer
Before you throw your old camera in the bin, see if you’ll be able to earn some money from it.
Are you having a clear out this summer? If so, then you’ve probably found an old camera or two at the back of a cupboard. Most people would just throw them in the bin, but stop and reconsider before you do that. Sites like World Wide Camera Exchange pay for used cameras – so there could be a bit of cash to be made. Now, with the summer holidays coming up, a little extra in your wallet would go down a treat. Here’s how to sell your old camera with World Wide Camera Exchange– and all the benefits that it brings.
Selling is quick and simple
It couldn’t be easier to sell your old cameras. If you head to World Wide Camera Exchange, you’ll be able to get a quote for your cameras immediately. You then send, bring or have the cameras collected from your home. After that, the team at World Wide Camera Exchange will check to see if everything is in order, and then pay you immediately if your cameras are in great condition. All in all the process doesn’t take any longer than a few days, making it super convenient.
Make some easy money
Trading your camera in means that you’ll end up with a bit of spare cash. With summer and all the expenses that that brings just around the corner, that extra money will certainly come in handy. World Wide Camera Exchange treat every single transaction with attention to detail, and will offer the most competitive rates for your used cameras. You won’t be losing out if you sell your cameras to them!
Someone else will be able to enjoy your old camera
The great thing about selling your camera to a site like World Wide Camera Exchange means that someone else will be able to enjoy it. All too often we throw away cameras that still work perfectly, just because we’ve upgraded to a newer model. Well, if you sell yours on you’ll have more cash to splash on your new camera and someone will be able to snap up your perfectly functional one at a great price.
Better for the planet
Selling your camera is a much better option than it ending up in landfill. We all want to do more to help the environment, and making sure your photographic equipment is going to be re-used is a small, easy way for your to do your bit. You might not think that you alone will make a difference, but imagine if everyone did it!
Let someone else take care of the tricky stuff
Selling your camera to a trusted site like World Wide Camera exchange is much easier than doing it all yourself. While sites like eBay and Gumtree make it really easy to sell goods, you’ve also got to think about postage, setting the right price and dealing with enquires. With a camera exchange, all you have to do is hand your camera over and the cash is all yours. There’s no stress or hard work on your part.
It’s time to start selling!
Now that you know where to trade in your old cameras, why not see what you’ve got hidden away at home? Not only will you be able to earn a little bit of money, but you’ll also be ensuring that your camera enjoys a new lease of life and stays out of landfill. So why delay?
How To Move Your Beloved Pet Overseas
Take the stress out of pet travel by following these steps to relocate them with you in your overseas move.
Around 300,000 UK residents emigrate each year to countries all over the globe. Whether you’re looking to retire to Spain, enjoy a new life in Australia or have secured a job offer in Paris, don’t let your pet be the reason to prevent you from making the move. With a bit of planning and preparation, it’s perfectly possible to take your pets with you, and it’s usually a lot more straightforward than you might realise.
The first step in transporting your pet overseas is to get them microchipped. The chip is normally located around the shoulder region of your pet, and the number is also recorded in the accompanying pet passport.
Many countries require your pet to be vaccinated before travel, but the requirements for this vary widely depending on the country that you’re travelling to. If you have a definite departure date in mind, then make sure that you research the vaccination requirements well in advance, as many will need to be carried out several weeks beforehand, and some may need a follow-up appointment. Make sure that you carry all vet papers as proof.
Method Of Transportation
If you’re moving to Europe, then it is often possible to take your pet with you by road. This is preferable if you do not wish to be separated from your pet, although it is important to use protection such as a crate or seatbelt harness.
For many others though, pet travel will likely involve a flight, but it’s important to check with individual airlines as to their specific requirements. It won’t be possible for your pet to travel with you in the cabin, and there are strict regulations in place as to the type and size of container that your pet can be placed in.
Although it is possible to organise your pet’s travel by yourself, it is much easier to use a professional pet travel company, although you should always ensure that they are IPATA-approved.
How To Get To The Top
Becoming a model takes lots of hard work and dedication, but it really is worth the effort.
So, you want to become a model. It’s a really popular career choice for lots of gorgeous young women. After all, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! If you’re wondering what it takes to become an image model and what to expect from your future career, then look no further. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about how to get the best possible jobs, what to anticipate on each assignment and most importantly, how you can help yourself to get ahead of the competition. Believe us when we say that there’s plenty of that out there in this industry!
When it comes to making it as a successful image model, you need to be confident in both speaking to others and flaunting your figure. The simplest way of putting this is that when you’re working, you need to be beautiful both inside and out! Before you arrive at an assignment, make sure that you’ve been putting in the hours at the gym and the salon. Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to let your personality do the talking too. This isn’t a job for the shy and retiring, that’s for sure.
Embrace the unpredictability
No job is the same – and that’s what makes modelling great! One day you could be helping to open a new nightclub by partying the night away with guests, the next lounging on a yacht to launch a luxury product. It’s important to be as open-minded as possible, and just enjoying the unpredictability that modelling brings. It’s no 9-5 career, but chances are you didn’t want that anyway!
Sign with a great agency
Make sure that you sign with an agency to secure the best possible VIP image model jobs. Many clients will only book models through an agency, as they’ll be guaranteed the best looking girls that meet the highest possible standards. In turn, working with a trusted agency will protect you, as clients will always be thoroughly vetted before a job is agreed. So it works out well for everyone.
Try a little bit of everything
It’s important to take on as many different jobs as possible to build up your experience. Don’t let preconceptions cloud your opinion of a modelling job before you’ve even tried it. As time goes on, you’ll find out where your strengths lie. Likewise, be sure to have a good variety of shots in your portfolio to attract as many clients as possible. A good image model is as adventurous as she is professional, and won’t ever limit herself to one particular kind of work, especially in the crucial early stages of her career.
So there you have it – your guide to getting your modelling career off of the ground. The most important thing you can do is have fun. If you’re happy and confident in yourself, you’ll interact better with the people you need to impress, and success will surely follow. If you’re thinking about going for It and giving modelling a go in 2018, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t! If you take the right steps, it’s a really great way to make a living.