What’s the story?

That’s a question that we posed to of one of our clients recently. We asked the question as it had been posed to us whilst we were delivering a programme for them. One of the organisations teams was looking to understand what another team did and how it supported the business. The story that the person asking the question was looking for was actually about the strategy of the team. How were they looking to support the business? What was it trying to achieve? Why, and how did this link to what the business was trying to achieve? They knew the people in the team but not what the team actually did. It’s a question we’re increasingly being asked to answer for a variety of teams, internal and ext

Relevant plans

Small businesses often pay more for life insurance, but there are ways to reduce the cost. Many of us will spend our working lives in a large or medium-sized company, and assume that, even if we do not have our own life insurance, then, at least, we can rely on a multiple of around four times our salary from our employer’s group scheme. But most employers are not large, medium or, even, small. And most are not even big enough to run a group life insurance scheme. In fact, around 95% of Britain’s 4.9 million private businesses employ less than 10 people1. While 75% are sole proprietors, another 20% have up to only nine employees. The contribution of these microbusinesses to the UK economy has

Budget 2016

The Chancellor has delivered his Budget Statement in which he outlined measures clearly aimed at supporting those who work, save and invest. ISAs The ISA and Junior ISA allowances will remain at £15,240 and £4,080 respectively for the tax year 2016/17. The ISA allowance will increase to £20,000 from April 2017. No mention was made of the Junior ISA allowance beyond 2016/17. Lifetime ISA The government announced a new ‘Lifetime ISA’ to help those under 40 save flexibly for the long term. This will be in addition to existing Cash, Stocks & Shares, and Innovative Finance ISAs, and will form part of the overall annual ISA allowance. Lifetime ISAs represent a real opportunity for younger people t

True success isn’t just about your business

As a driven entrepreneur, we can sometimes get extremely bogged down in the running of the business and miss out some of the crucial fun elements that can actually have a significant impact on our success as a business owner. Richard Garnett expanded his goals this year to incorporate his personal dream and it had a profound effect on this success. He owns the highly successful Newbury branch of the Ripples Franchise with his wife Diane. Ripples designs and supplies beautiful bathrooms. Not just a standard bathroom but something that would be well placed in a luxury spa or an up-market hotel. If you’re local it’s well worth a visit as the showroom is inspirational. Ripples Newbury is a very

What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

It’s funny, you would never dream of asking your partner to do your dental work or fix your electrics if they hadn’t been trained first so why would you ask someone who hasn’t been trained to do your books? At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we are surprised how often people do. But we’re never surprised that people get themselves in a pickle, especially with VAT. There’s a common misconception that accountants audit a company’s accounts at the end of the year – well it’s true that accountants do audit accounts but you have to have a turnover of over £6.5m and assets worth more than £3.26m so for the majority of business owners this will never become necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a real fan of ac

Employers. . . Do you have an electronics communication policy?

Andrew Egan, an employment lawyer with Charles Lucas & Marshall, explains the significance of a court case which examined access to workers' private messages sent via chat software and webmail accounts. Employees' use of email and the internet - including their activities on social network sites and blogs - can lead to performance issues, damage to the employer's reputation, loss of business and various legal liabilities. There are a number of ways in which employers may monitor their employees' email content and traffic, internet and telephone use in the workplace. The importance of providing information to employees about monitoring means that employers should have an electronic communicat

The engagement of your employees matters

Engaging your employees makes a difference to your organisation because it affects everything you do and everything you’re trying to do. Many businesses are currently feeling the pinch and experiencing significant challenges. Margins are being squeezed, customers are harder to find and even harder to keep, and employment costs are rising along with a skills shortage in the region. We’re not going to tell you that engaging your employees is going to make all this go away, but it can and does make a difference. Let’s look at an example through the eyes of one of our clients. This business is a housing association providing housing and care solutions across the south of England. We worked with

Lis is a keynote speaker

Since 2008 Lis has been working as a personal development coach and keynote speaker. She tells us how membership of BuzzConnect is helping support her exciting plans for growing her business. Lis runs presentation skills workshops and provides one to one coaching for individuals. She has also created a women-only event which looks at the mothering role and how, as women, we are influenced by our mothers. My one-to-one meetings with BuzzConnect Ambassador Graham Hill from Verbatim and Janet Duffield from West Berkshire Council have provided extensive and invaluable advice. Priceless! I have attended two excellent Leadership workshops run by BuzzConnect Ambassador Michelle Bailey from People E

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