David Presutti

5 Things to Know to Become Self-Employed

5 Things to Know to Become Self-Employed

Becoming self-employed is a big decision, as to choose such a way of living will mean giving up a regular income from an employer and then being responsible for your own earnings. If you have a family who rely on you financially, you will want to believe that you can make enough to support them to at least the standard that you did before. In favour of being self-employed, your earning potential is now only limited to your ability to grow the business. Of course, it doesn’t all have to be done yourself. There are teams of people that can help, such as sales professionals who can shed some insight into effective sales techniques to make sure you make enough revenue to run a successful business. They might suggest using a subscription revenue model to try and get customers to re-purchase every month, allowing the business to easily predict their revenue. Perhaps that’s worth doing. Sales professionals could always help you to grow the business. Additionally, this article will look at some of the things that you ought to know to become self-employed in the UK.

Type of Entity

Many business people will start off as sole traders, or partnerships if sharing the knowledge and expertise of running the business with one or two other persons. A decision that is important is whether, in the case of a small business, to make it a limited company. The advantage of this is in being able to protect personal assets, such as a house that is being lived in by a business owner and their family. The disadvantage is in the time and expense to set up and register a new company with Companies House and in the documents required to continue to run it. Specific documentation is required, including a certificate of incorporation, a memorandum of association, articles of association, and share certificates. In addition, statutory registers need to be kept up to date, including a register of members, a directors’ register, a register of directors’ home addresses, secretaries’ registers, and charges’ registers. If the business has not become an incorporation yet but they are planning to, they may want to click here now to see how this can be done before registering with Companies House.

Generally, limited companies fair better than non-incorporated businesses in terms of the tax that they pay, because rather than paying income tax, they pay Corporation Tax on their profits, which at the time of writing was 19 percent. In addition, they can claim a wide range of tax-deductible costs and allowances that are set against profits.

Staffing

The decision about staff may come later in the life of a business if you are to first establish the business on your own and then grow it to a size that means staff is required to help run it. Conversely, you may straight away require additional knowledge and support to help you run the business from its infancy. If you are employing staff in the UK, a relatively new law requires that employers automatically enroll workers in a workplace pension scheme when they are at least 22 years of age, but below pension age, and earn at least 10,000 per year.

To pay staff, you will also need to find out about HM Custom and Excise’s PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme, which was set up to collect the required tax and national insurance from employees on behalf of the government. Alternatively, if you can afford it, you could enlist the services of a bookkeeper.

VAT

Being VAT (Value Added Tax) registered has its advantages and disadvantages. It costs money administering the scheme on behalf of the government, but on the other hand, it allows you to claim back the VAT on your purchases. You will, however, have no choice over whether to VAT register if your turnover, in the UK, exceeds the 85,000 threshold permitted. This applies to 12-month periods ending 2020/21.

The Financial Help Available for Businesses

Banks and similar financial institutions will offer financial assistance to small and larger businesses. To be given a start-up loan, a good business plan is required. This is like a household budget and should include all the anticipated income and expenses that the business is likely to receive and incur during a trading year. It should factor in the fixed costs required for start-up and the projected variable costs incurred in running the business. It is also usually necessary to show projected profits for the next 5 years. Long-term, banks can also offer business loans and overdraft facilities to help with cash flow problems and seasonal variations.

Market Research

To establish demand for your product or service it is vital that, before starting your business venture, that you have conducted your own thorough market research. If not your own, that the research is from a reliable secondary source.

In conclusion, there is much to think of to start-up and run a business of your own. Hopefully, this article has given you some idea as to what is involved.

Posted by David Presutti in Self-Employment, 0 comments
The Different Types of Shares Offered by Companies

The Different Types of Shares Offered by Companies

As companies grow, they are often no longer funded by just their founders, but instead, shareholders. A shareholder is defined as an individual or institution who own more than one share of the capital of a private or public corporation. Shareholders are in effect investors in the company but considered members. We shall explore the different types of shares that are available, some more common than others.

 

Ordinary Shares

Ordinary Shares receive a dividend and carry voting rights which entitle the holder to one vote per share. Often companies will create more than one class of this type of share. For example, have “A” Ordinary Shares” and “B” Ordinary Shares. The advantage of this is that it gives a company the flexibility to pay differing dividends to different shareholders.

 

Deferred Ordinary Shares

In the case of a deferred ordinary share, the company will only pay a dividend to these classes of shareholders once all the other shares have received minimum dividends. In the event of liquidation, they will be last to receive anything.

 

Non-Voting Ordinary Shares

Voting rights on shares can be restricted. It is also possible that non-voting ordinary shares carry no voting rights at all. This may exclude the shareholder from attending the AGM (Annual General Meeting).

 

Redeemable Shares

With redeemable shares, the company has the option of buying the shares back in the future. There can also be options for the shareholder to sell the shares back to the company rather than on the open market, although this is not common. More often than not the redeemable price of the share will be the same as the issue price but can be set differently.

 

Preference Shares

As their name suggests, preference shares entitle holders to a fixed dividend payment that takes priority over that which is paid to an ordinary shareholder. The advantage of this is in cases of liquidation when an order of creditors is determined. The preference shareholder will be ahead of the ordinary shareholder in this situation in terms of receiving any arrears of dividends and their share capital back.

 

Cumulative Preference Shares

With the cumulative element of this type of share, any dividends that cannot be paid to cumulative preference shareholders in lean times, can be made up for at a future date when the company is experiencing higher profitability.

 

Redeemable Preference Shares

This type of share combines the features of redeemable and preference shares. Those holding them receive the benefits of preferential rights to dividends whether the shares are cumulative or non-cumulative. The company can redeem the shares at pre-agreed terms in the future if they wish.

 

Many companies will start off, for simplicity sake, by just offering one type of share, which will be the ordinary share. It provides the shareholder with equal voting rights and a dividend. Where companies do offer different types of shares, there is nothing to stop a shareholder holding different classes of share at the same time. This allows them to benefit from the different rights on offer, with respect to voting and entitlement to future dividends.

So, this gives an idea on the main types of shares that you are likely to come across with a company, whether you are in education wanting to learn about the different types or a private individual or business looking to invest. In terms of investment, there are several options open to you in terms of knowing which companies to invest in. Financial institutions, advisers, and share dealers, know the market well and there are various websites which specialise in financial advice. The Financial Times newspaper is an excellent source for finding out about what is going on with companies and the economy, apart from providing lists of the current share prices and their movements.

Posted by David Presutti in Money and Shares, 0 comments
Key Ethical Practices to Keep Any Business Competitive

Key Ethical Practices to Keep Any Business Competitive

I always try to ensure that my business is competitive by taking a brutal analysis of my ethical behavior and striving to set an excellent example for everyone around me. In industry, ethical behavior refers to conduct that applies fairness and honesty to colleagues and clients. Treating everyone ethically helps our businesses by building customer loyalty, attracting and retaining talented employees as well as avoiding legal problems. The following are some key ethical practices I follow that I have learned over time are crucial to the competitiveness of a business.

 

Building Customer Loyalty

Treating customers unfairly, for example, by overcharging them is unethical. If clients are unjustly treated, they will not become repeat customers, and they may end up spreading the word to their peers, which leads to losses in our businesses. Having a strong and loyal customer base is one of the critical successes I have seen in companies. I find that serving and working with an existing customer is more economical than acquiring a new one.

 

Improving Company Reputation

Having a good company reputation helps create a positive image of any business. Reputable businesses can expand their client base through word of mouth referrals more than adverts put on any platform. Although, incorporating the best online reputation management software into the running of your business will do no harm to your chances of being able to build a positive reputation. In fact, it will only enhance it. However, having a reputation for unethical dealings in our companies may hurt any chances the company might have of obtaining and retaining new customers. This is especially so in this era of social media and networking where dissatisfied clients are quick to spread negative information about any bad experience they might have had when dealing with our companies.

 

Retention of Good Employees

Talented employees at any level in our businesses and organization want to be fairly compensated for their dedication to the work they are doing. I try to reward them by advancing them in their careers through job promotions depending on the quality of their work and dedication and not at all by favoritism. Our employees want to be a part of a company whose management tells them the truth about how the business is faring in case there are instances where there will be layoffs and reorganizations. When we practice fairness in our organizations and deal with the employees reasonably, we will have a greater chance of retaining the talented ones.

 

Avoiding Any Legal Problems

A few business and company owners tend to cut corners to maximize their profits. We may decide not to comply with the environmental regulations, labor laws, and might ignore workers’ safety or even use substandard raw materials while making products. When the law catches up with us, we may end up paying hefty penalties such as legal fees and being fined by government agencies. In the long run, this ends up impacting our business negatively and even more financially from a large number of fees and fines that will be charged.

 

One advantage that companies may enjoy when they observe the regulations put in place by government agencies is having a good image in the eyes of the law and the public. They also avoid financial losses associated with breaking these laws.

 

Conducive Work Environment

Employees also have a responsibility to be ethical from the moment they are interviewed. They should be honest about what they are and what they are not capable of and the level of their experience. When the employees are ethical, we, as the employers and their superiors in the organizations, will be assured that the team we work with can have a great and positive co-existence. We will also be able to trust them with the organization’s confidential information and business secrets.

 

Employees who are caught up in lies ruin their chances of being advanced by their supervisors and might end up getting fired. Some of our business might end up facing significant losses, for example, in some industries like restaurants and grocery stores where untrustworthy employees steal foodstuff or in finance departments where employees might steal money or misappropriate funds leading to massive losses in our businesses.

 

We always try to cultivate a culture of honesty and ethics among our employees. We have a simple but detailed code of conduct that we need our employees to read and commit to when we offer contracts. We also hold regular training programs to help our employees understand ethical behavior for their own good, the good of the business, and that of our clients.

 

These are practices I believe can contribute to the competitiveness of any business in all sectors of the economy.

Posted by David Presutti in Industries Talk, Money and Shares, Self-Employment, Think Business, 0 comments
3 Ways to Save Time in Business

3 Ways to Save Time in Business

In business, time is money. Clients are invoiced by solicitors for the time that is spent on a certain case, accountants will end up charging more where a set of accounts needs to be fully constructed from inside a used carrier bag, and the amount of time it takes to deliver parcels will determine how much a courier can make from each parcel. Let us consider how a range of businesses could save money in terms of the time a range of tasks they are completing are taking.

 

Videoconferencing

A great cost saver for a business is not only to hold less meetings but when they do, to hold them online. This saves the expenses that employees are paid in traveling to the meeting, if it is off-site, and the time it takes for them to travel there. They are on a business’s time when traveling between sites during the working day.

It may not be sensible to discuss complicated business plans by email or even in group chats, but over an internet connection that allows facial expressions, the occasional smile, nodding heads, and voice tones to be noted, it is surely possible, without everyone needing to be present at a physical meeting.

Current providers of videoconferencing include Avaya, BlueJeans, Cisco, Crestron, Google (Hangouts Meet), Enghouse (Vidyo), Gather (lotum), Intrado, Lifesize, Pexip, PGi, Poly, Zoom, Microsoft (VCaaS play with Skype / Teams), RingCentral, StarLeaf, Vonage, and 8×8. So, quite an extensive list to choose from.

Those using Skype, which is based on SIP and H.323 standards such as Polycom and Cisco, can seamlessly join Hangouts Meet via Pexip Infinity Platform.

Backgrounds can be chosen which are more attractive than might otherwise appear behind you. For example, a shelf of books verging on collapse need not be rectified until well into the future, while you continue to work from home when a computer-generated background can be opted for.

 

Group Emails and Chat

When communicating with staff, it can save time to set up groups when using emails and messaging. This will save time when you do not have to create another message for each member of staff to inform them of the same information several staff members need to know. It is well worth the time setting relevant groups up, even if now and again one of those people does not need to know that piece of non-confidential information.

 

Organized Systems

With digital systems, it has become much easier to order information in a presentable way. Individual computer files, for instance, can be grouped into meaningful folders. This, for example on the desktop of a computer, makes the files less daunting to look at when trying to work out which one contains the desired information.

Computer databases can store vast amounts of digital information in an organized way that is easily searchable by a few keywords. Typical inclusions in databases include almanacs, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, guides, handbooks, internet resources, newspapers, periodicals, and yearbooks.

Some examples of popular business databases companies use include IBM DB2, Informix, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Teradata.

For security, computer content can be protected by passwords and encryption.

 

So, just 3 of the ways in which businesses are, through using technology, saving time in business. A lot of time can be spent traveling when meetings can be held online. Information offline can be communicated by grouping several key staff members in the same conversation. Everything can be organized digitally as if it were a physical filing cabinet. Databases allow for a lot more information to be housed in a small space and to be accessible to vast numbers of people. We just await the app that can think for us.

 

Posted by David Presutti in Think Business, 0 comments
Reasons Why the Parcel Delivery Business Has Been Revolutionised

Reasons Why the Parcel Delivery Business Has Been Revolutionised

Technology has changed the way parcels have been delivered in the past and is set to change how they will be delivered in the future, furthermore according to websites like https://www.rmhbangor.org/4-kinds-of-businesses-that-are-flourishing/ the courier business is one of the main sectors that is flourishing nowadays. This article will explore why at every stage the parcel business has been revolutionized.

 

Vehicles

In terms of the word “van”, the first records of one transporting any goods dates to 1829, although a “caravan” is described with the same meaning dates as far back as the 1670s. In modern times, Mercedes-Benz are credited with inventing the first van vehicle. That is one that could take heavy loads, for which they recognized the need. This has certainly paved the way for how quantities of parcels, that can often be large, are delivered, and therefore revolutionized parcel delivery in that respect.

Faster modes of transport, though, have not necessarily resulted in faster delivery, as a Victorian Christmas postcard appearing on an internet auction site can reveal that despite a Christmas card having been posted late on Christmas Eve, it still arrived on Christmas Day. It was not until 1960 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and 1965 in Scotland, that the General Post Office stopped this Christmas Day delivery. Having said that, delivery is not necessarily about speed, more about when somebody wants something to be delivered, assuming it is not on Christmas Day.

The courier service was invented by Jim Cassey, who called his business Big Four Carrier. He was to start courier services in Seattle, USA, in 1907. This company, for which he borrowed $100 from a friend to start up, is today known as UPS. The courier services which have been set up in the UK since have been in direct competition with the Royal Mail, who have competed by extending, through Parcelforce, the various time frame and insurance options that they provide in relation to delivering parcels. Parcels weighing over 2kg in every case now need to go by Royal Mail’s Parcelforce service or an alternative courier. Founded in 1990, and based in the UK, Parcelforce are now a worldwide logistics and courier service. It has built-up a network of international partners to help it to deliver its parcels.

 

Sat Nav

To follow a postman’s route is to arrive somewhere in the shortest time possible. Technology has now made this possible, too, through satellite navigation systems which can be attached to vehicles or mobile phones. Sat Nav has become a courier’s ally in respect of delivering parcels. Just by knowing the postcode, drivers unfamiliar with an area can find their way to the remotest of locations, or thereabouts.

Research can reveal that, in the UK, there are almost 1.8 million postcodes in use, with each one covering an average of some 15 properties, but in some cases between 1 and 100 properties. These postcodes can be programmed into navigation systems to provide a map or vocal guidance that takes a user to within doors of their required destination. It is becoming harder to find oneself lost, whether a delivery driver or someone going on a long walk to improve their fitness.

 

Drones

Drones will now deliver parcels because Amazon Prime Air is set to run a service that will deliver packages of up to 5 pounds within 30 minutes using small drones. These delivery drones will use between 4 and 8 propellors and have rechargeable batteries to provide thrust. The packages can be attached underneath the drone’s body. The drones will be operated remotely, or autonomously, by operators who will potentially be overseeing multiple drones all at once. As this kind of service takes off, it will no doubt become a cheaper, as well as a more convenient option, for households and businesses to have their parcels delivered. A family will not have to, in theory, even be in, if the items can be dropped safely, and softly hopefully, within the confines of a secure walled garden.

 

So, with advancements in transport, navigation, and ariel possibilities, there has been much to revolutionize the parcel delivery business. The above 3 all provide reasons as to why the increased need for parcel delivery is being more than met by increasingly inventive ways.

Posted by David Presutti in Industries Talk, 0 comments
3 Forms of Financial Help for Businesses

3 Forms of Financial Help for Businesses

Start-up businesses will often receive a loan from a bank for premises, equipment, to buy stock or sundries, and to market or advertise their products or services. After this, there is ongoing help that is provided by financial institutions to help businesses survive financially for the first year and beyond. Money can be generated through turnover but then it needs to be collected in a timely manner so that the cash flow of a business is always maintained. It is this cash flow that is used to generate more business. This is perhaps more so in businesses that sell products as opposed to provide services. More stock might need to be bought before the money from the old stock has been collected. In the service industry, staff may have been paid before the money for the services they have provided has been received. Either way, the same financial help may be required. For the purposes of his article, we shall assume that the financial institution is a bank providing the products but there are other outlets to bear in mind for finance, too.

Overdraft

On many personal accounts, overdrafts are often not publicized to account holders, so it is often possible to overdraw by a small amount before charges are applied. On business accounts, though, any overdrafts need to be arranged and can work out more costly than taking out a business loan. Therefore, overdrafts should only be considered in the short term as a means of managing cashflow.

Business Loans

A business loan, apart from helping a business through a difficult financial period, can provide a business with a fixed amount to fund a business project that will later see a return. Banks will run credit checks and require collateral. This can mean that even if you set up your business as a limited company to protect your house, your house can now be at stake to secure your loan. A bank will also be concerned at your ability to repay the loan. If the loan is over a certain amount it will generally have to be approved by the bank manager, who has more authority than the financial adviser.

Business Advisers

Many banks will also have special business sections that can advise businesses on financial products. It is now the case that these staff will have to take exams to have gained the required knowledge to sell the products. This kind of regulation can only be good for businesses seeking the best kind of financial help. For private individuals, investments are about making their money work for them, while in business it is about having enough available money to continue trading. It is not always as easy as it sounds as invariably some products are paid for later, on account, and those buying them do not always pay up on time. In certain industries, businesses will have to wait long periods until they are paid. This will be known by banks and so allowed for. It should still, however, be factored into business plans.

Research can reveal that industries that take the longest to get paid, waiting more than 100 days for their money, are those involved in automotive equipment rental and leasing, management of companies and enterprises, oil and gas extraction, and technical and trade schools. Down from this are Architectural, engineering, and related services, building contractors, civil engineering and construction, mining support activities, scientific research and development services, and outpatient care centers, all waiting over 60 days to be paid.

So, a few ways here in which businesses can receive financial assistance and advice to help run their businesses and become successful. On an additional note, there are other forms of help out there that can support these financial requests, for example, businesses implementing management software from websites such as https://www.prosymmetry.com/capabilities/adaptive-project-management/ can aid in being in control of financial projects that need this type of assistance. And there is specific software you can use that might help to inform your decision about whether you need to borrow at all. Things like scenario planning and analysis software can be very useful when it comes to finances, as you’ll be able to prepare for every possible situation you could think of!

Posted by David Presutti in Money and Shares, 0 comments