business software for small businesses

Is Free Business Software Good or Bad For Your Business?

Cressida Johns Business Advice Leave a Comment

Full article with thanks to: Free business software isn’t always the second best. In fact, some of the best software is free, enabling your business to benefit from up to date, highly capable applications without paying a penny Types of free business software The easiest way to find free business software is to look online. It tends to fall into one of four categories: Freeware. Freeware is available at no cost and with no restrictions. Freeware tends to be simple software designed to perform one or two tasks. Free trials. Previously known as ‘shareware’, free trials enable anyone to try out an app for a limited period of time, after which a fee must be paid for continued use. Vendors may also choose to disable certain features during the free trial period. Open source. Open source software can be freely adapted by anyone with the knowledge to do so. The open source …

payroll guide

Guide On Payroll For Your Business

Cressida Johns Uncategorized

Full article with thanks to: If you employ any staff, or plan to do so, you’ll need a payroll. Many accounting firms can provide this vital function for you, but it’s still important to have a good grasp of how payroll works. Whether you run your payroll internally or outsource it, here’s a simple breakdown of the key things you need to know. This article covers: What is payroll? How do you set up payroll? How much should you pay your employees? Pensions & benefits and other payroll deductions Tax reporting (PAYE) via payroll How to run your payroll You can also talk to your accountant about your best options for payroll. What is payroll? Technically, your payroll is just the list of all your employees and how much they earn. However, it has come to mean the actual process of managing your employees’ pay. This means the payroll process includes: …

business partnership

What is the Advantage of a Partnership Agreement?

Cressida Johns Business Advice

Full article with thanks to: The principal law governing partnerships is set out in the Partnership Act 1890 (the “Act”) which defines a partnership as “the relation which exists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit” (section 1 of the Act). The question of whether a partnership exists or not is therefore a matter of fact (not necessarily agreement). It is therefore not something that the parties can simply determine for themselves. While the relationship can be governed by a written partnership agreement, the essence of a partnership is the continuing relationship between two or more individuals, personal as well as commercial, with the contractual partnership agreement being only an indication of the relationship. The reason why it is important to have a written partnership agreement is that where there is no written agreement, the provisions set out in the Act (which is …

advantages of websites

Why SMEs Should Take Advantage of Updating Their Website

Cressida Johns Uncategorized

Full article with thanks to: A new study has found that shoppers spend 54% less with small businesses that have not updated their websites compared to those that have. The research, conducted by Censuswide for Yell, polled business owners and consumers for their views on the importance of websites. In addition, Yell analysed more than one million SME websites. The results show that many businesses are neglecting to update their websites, with the average site last updated 15 months ago. The data suggests that this could have a direct impact on revenue from online sales, with the study finding that consumers spend 54% less per month on average on websites that have not been updated regularly versus those that have. When asked what element of a business’s website would most likely increase their chances of making a purchase, 42% of shoppers polled cited up-to-date information. The findings come at a time when online …

hiring, first employee, small business, start-ups

What’s The Best Way to Hire Someone for The First Time?

Cressida Johns Uncategorized

With full credit to: Hiring your first employee is a big financial (and emotional) commitment, but it’s also exciting that your business has grown big enough to create a job opportunity. What started as your dream has now become a growing business. It’s no longer just you. Work in your business can potentially now go on even if you’re not there. You’re also in a position to help somebody else by creating a job for them. That’s quite an achievement. How to employ someone for the first time To ensure that your first hiring experience is as smooth as possible, you need to have an idea of the basics. Here are some of the things to think about when you’re hiring your first employee: What kind of employee do you need? Do you need ‘more of you’ or do you need to introduce new expertise into the business? What …

Cropped view of hands typing on laptop with IR35 written boldy

What is IR35 and is it likely to affect your business?

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Full article with thanks to If you’re a freelance contractor working for an end client, you should be aware of the IR35 tax regulation, commonly known as the ‘off-payroll working rules’. New rules around IR35 come into effect on 6 April 2021, after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has said that the idea behind IR35 is, “to ensure that people working like employees, but through their own limited company, pay broadly the same tax as individuals who are employed directly.” The new rules bring sections of the private sector in line with the public sector. Does IR35 affect me? Before 6 April 2021, a self-employed person who provided services to clients in the private sector via their own limited company, known as a Personal Services Company (PSC), could decide their own tax status and bill them through that limited company. If the end client was in the public …

Red-haired woman analyzes data and makes accounting report

Finding an accountant

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Full article with thanks to If your business is taking off and you find yourself spending too much time figuring out financial admin, it might be a good idea to hire an accountant. A good accountant can be a real asset to you – they can help free up your time. Here we cover the basics of what you should consider before hiring an accountant. One thing before we start – remember that if you’re a Starling business customer, you could also try out our Business Toolkit, with all kinds of bells and whistles for accountancy and VAT. What does an accountant do? An accountant can help you comply with your tax and Companies House obligations by filing the appropriate forms and accounts. A good accountant will be able to offer tax advice so that you’ll have more money to reinvest in your business. The best sort of accountants will …

Business sales funnel infographic

The Beginner’s Guide to a Sales Funnel

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Full article with thanks to The Beginner’s Guide to a Sales Funnel. Everyone who has an online business needs to create a sales funnel in order to convert their website visitors into paying customers. If you fail to do that, you will hardly make any money. Your primary goal with your sales funnel is to move people from one stage to another until they are ready to purchase. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to create a sales funnel for your online business. What is a Sales Funnel? A sales funnel is a marketing concept that maps out the journey a customer goes through when making any kind of purchase. The model uses a funnel as an analogy because a large number of potential customers may begin at the top-end of the sales process, but only a fraction of these people actually end up making a purchase. As …

Maternity pay for self-employed mums

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Full article with thanks to Navigating the ins and outs of maternity leave while you’re in full-time employment is one thing, but figuring out maternity leave when you’re self-employed can be even trickier. Fortunately, there are a few different options available for self-employed mothers. From applying for Maternity Allowance to freelancing during your maternity leave, there are a number of different ways you can protect yourself financially during this time. What is Statutory Maternity Pay? Statutory simply means ‘required by law’, and Statutory Maternity Pay is the pay that employers must provide to their eligible contracted employees. Am I eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay if I’m self-employed? Unfortunately not. To be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you must have a full-time employment contract with a company that pays you through PAYE and deducts National Insurance and tax for you. You’d also have to have worked for that company for at least 26 …

Smiling chef with food on chopping board in kitchen

Starting a food business from home

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Full article with thanks to Guidance on how to get compliant and protect your customers when starting a food business from home during COVID-19. This guidance is for individuals starting food businesses from home. Read in conjunction with our food hygiene and food safety guidance, following these steps will ensure hygiene standards are met, and your customers are protected. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic many have turned to the kitchen during lockdown. While a pastime for most, others have looked to turn this into an income. With more people cooking and baking from home, some have started to sell to their local community or online as a source of revenue and a potential career. Equally, some catering and hospitality workers have switched to their own kitchen to operate food delivery businesses from home. As part of our Here to Help campaign we are providing support and guidance to help food businesses further adapt during COVID-19. …