Have you ever wondered how to get investment in your business? For many business owners, it’s something they may never think about or want. But depending on your goals, it’s worth thinking about investment or borrowing, as they can help you quickly grow your business to the level you want.
I must confess, this isn’t an area I’m an expert in, so it was great to have a podcast chat recently with Chartered Accountant and founder of Raised Up Finance, Deborah Edwards, on this subject. So if you’d like to learn more about getting funding for your business, keep reading!
There are many different ways a business can grow. But if you’re looking at growth in terms of funding and investment, it comes down to two key things - the speed you want to grow and your attitude to risk.
The speed you want to grow will help determine the choices you make for your business. But your attitude to risk will also...
Your tax bill is probably one of the most unexciting things to talk about. But it’s something that can often keep business owners up at night. There’s a real fear and lack of understanding around taxes and if that’s something that worries you, know you’re not alone! After all, you don't want to suddenly be surprised on January 25th by a £5,000 tax bill and have no idea where you will get the money to pay for it.
So it does pay to understand your tax and educate yourself on how tax works because that’s the best way not to be surprised by your tax bill when it arrives!
There are several different types of tax, depending on the type of business you have. So if you are a sole trader, all of your income is taxable as income tax and National Insurance. Remind yourself that you should be putting aside 30% of your income less costs if you can. Put that money into another account at the end of each month.
Pricing is one of the big issues business owners and freelancers struggle with. Far too many entrepreneurs opt for hourly billing when they start out, only to get stuck in the cycle of charging per hour for their expertise. It’s a pricing model that limits earning potential and stunts any decent level of business growth. It also makes it difficult to outsource because you’re constantly thinking about your bottom line - it’s why I always recommend moving to fixed prices and packages as soon as possible!
But if you’re currently charging per hour, how can you move to fixed pricing?
I recently interviewed Geraldine Carter, owner of SheThinksBigCoaching.com, on this subject for my podcast. She helps Chartered Accountants with pricing and business strategy, so they can go from overworked and underpaid to nicely compensated with a regular, sane work week. So if you’re looking to stop hourly billing yourself, here’s how to switch to fixed pricing.
How can you pay yourself more? It’s something many small business owners ask themselves and small and micro businesses, in particular, struggle with this. When it's just you, it can be difficult to make sure you're paying yourself because you tend not to think of yourself as a salaried person or an employee in the business.
But actually, you need to start thinking about yourself as somebody else you need to pay and not just an afterthought. It’s not just about paying yourself whatever's left in the bank at the end of the month. Because when you do that, there's a temptation to think that you’re doing really well in your business when you’re not! This is especially relevant if you’re a service business and delivering a lot of the work. You can often find that you’re actually not paying yourself anything and working for free or very little. The thought is its work that isn’t costing anything because it’s ‘just’ your time -...
How can automation help with your pricing? If you think automation has nothing to do with pricing and the other financial aspects of your business, you’re wrong! Automation can help you get more for your time without working harder or longer. It enables you to automate some of your systems and processes so you can work more efficiently. And if you’re charging via fixed cost packages or retainers (as I recommend!), automation enables you to charge more for your time and not get penalised for being more efficient.
I recently had the pleasure of talking to business process automation specialist Kelly Goss. Kelly works specifically with a no-code automation platform called Zapier. It’s excellent for utilising different automations within your business and is perfect for any sized business. Here’s why you need to think about automation, how to get started and how it will positively impact your time and money.
Do you know what you should and shouldn’t be asking your accountant about? That may seem like a strange question, but you're often only paying your accountant to do your tax and compliance. They may do your year-end accounts and maybe some bookkeeping, but that’s essentially it.
The mistake many business owners make is expecting their accountant to deal with many other things they’re not paying for. An accountant won’t tell you about the current position of your business or where you might be going in the future, and they won’t tell you how to plan for taxes and things like that.
So if you’re wondering what else your accountant could not be expected to deal with for you, keep reading!
As the Pricing Queen, you know I talk a lot about pricing - but your accountant will not help you do that. You have the numbers and my pricing calculator to be able to work it out for...
Do you have a contingency plan in place for your business? It’s a subject that can seem quite boring and one many business owners avoid. But it’s an important and essential thing to think about. Because you can’t always forecast when you’re going to need to take time out from your business - but you can have a plan in place that helps cover most scenarios.
So as a bit of background, I’ve been going through treatment for breast cancer recently. And when faced with my diagnosis, I also had to decide what to do about my business. Obviously, it’s not the most important thing to be thinking about when you're diagnosed with something like cancer, but it was important that I try and keep working during this time. Because I'm at home all the time, there's no risk associated with me working, but if I was in an office or something like that, there might have been.
But when you’re faced...
I want to talk to you about why earning more is a good thing in your business. It's always a good thing to be earning more, particularly as women. I hear people say they want to keep under the VAT threshold, or they don't want to go over the higher rate tax threshold, or that they don't want to go limited because it's more work. Actually, all of those things are good. You are contributing to taxes which means that you can be helping other people. You're helping the wider economy by paying your taxes which then helps for National Insurance and the NHS and education and all the things that we take for granted. This is the same even if you're not in the UK, you are contributing to everything that makes up your taxes.
Earning more is a good thing and don’t feel that you are greedy, because you can choose what you do with your money. You can take that home, you can spend it on your house, go on holiday - we all want more money!
More money gives you more freedom. You...
Confidence in your pricing is something that some people find a challenge - I have found that women, in particular, find having confidence in their pricing is tricky. I want to encourage people to start thinking about growing confidence in their pricing, and part of that is thinking about who are you selling to. Are you clear about who you are selling to and what you are selling? Do you have a niche? Can you niche down a bit in your industry?
You all know by now that I'm an accountant, but there are millions of accountants out there. There are also lots of management accountants, which are accountants that work in your business but do not complete your year-end accounts and tax. That's quite a difficult sell because nobody knows what one of those is. I niched into pricing because for most small business owners, pricing is a big problem. And by niching, I have made it really clear who I'm selling to.
I get asked to speak at events, guest blog, be a guest on...
I want to talk to you about why people don't look at their numbers, and how you can overcome that. I know so many people who are terrified of looking at their numbers, a lot of them are women, unfortunately. I think there are so many things that can cause fear of looking at numbers, and I want you to look at what causes that for you.
“I don't want to look at my bank account”
“I haven't earned enough this month”
Or maybe you've earned way more than you expected, and you don't quite know what to do with this money. You might be thinking that’s not a thing, but, it really is. I would encourage you to dig into your mindset and think about what you are going to do with extra money.
I also hear quite a lot of, “I feel stupid, I don't understand it”. You might be coming up towards the VAT threshold for example and be thinking that you don't understand VAT, that you will be losing money, you don’t want to become VAT registered so you keep...