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For more than a year, business owners and self-employed professionals across the UK have been forced to adapt to an ever-changing health and economic climate. 

We look how you can give your business a plan of action for a brighter future.

Your business plan and budget

Your business plan does not need lots of facts or figures, but instead should focus on what your goals are as life begins returning to the new normal.

If you have a business plan already, you may only need to check and make some revisions so that it is still accurate and relevant to your business and reflects any new opportunities that may have arisen as restrictions are eased.

Doing so will ensure your business stays on track but will also help you and your accountant pinpoint any future tax planning opportunities which could lead to tax savings.

As well as a business plan, a sound budget is essential to safeguard your assets and maintain profitability. Revisit your existing budget or start from scratch, challenge the assumptions within, update where necessary and most importantly think about the cash flow you will need.   

Map out the road ahead

With your new or revised plans in place, you can now map out where you want your business to go and how you are going to get there. Breaking your goals down into more manageable pieces will help you realise they are not as overwhelming as they first appear and ensure meeting them may be easier than you first thought.

Start with the items that you know you can achieve, as this will give you the motivation to work on some of the more challenging items.

Know your numbers

What were your sales this month? Where are your biggest costs? If you know the answer to these two questions, you will have a better understanding of your business figures and be able to make quick and accurate decisions.

Remember to also examine your past figures before the COVID-19 pandemic began  as it will help you better gauge how your business is performing in the longer term.

Embrace technology

Having the right technology not only helps you operate your business more smoothly it can also give you an edge over your rivals.

Are your digital business tools relatively up to date? If not, you could consider using an online bookkeeping software, like QuickBooks or Xero to manage your business’ finances. This will help give you access to the latest financial data wherever you are, which is especially useful if you need to make important business decisions.

Employ the right team

You may be the only one in the business at present, but as things begin to get back to normal post-lockdown, you may realise you need someone to help you grow your business. Whether it is administrative support, marketing help, technical support, or salespeople, employing people is a decision not to be made lightly. Therefore, you will need to work out precisely what you want from your new employee and spend time finding the right person for the job.

Have the right funding in place

Whether you want to grow or need to fill some shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions, you should explore whether your existing funding meets your needs.

Since March 2020, it has been especially hard on businesses which were forced to shut down, faced reductions in demand and many more issues.

Use your budgets and cashflow forecasts to ensure you have the money to repay any debts that may have accrued, doing so sooner will reduce the risk of having any unnecessary penalties to contend with.

Get on top of your taxes today

These may be uncertain times, but one thing is certain – your upcoming tax bill. The last thing you want when trying to manage cashflow is an unexpected tax bill so talk to your accountant about any future tax liabilities and timing of payments. 

You should also consider working with your accountant to submit your personal tax returns as soon as possible. You will not have to pay your tax bill until 31st January next year but by filing your tax return sooner will give you more time to plan and identify business expenses you may not have been claiming for. 
 
There may be tax planning opportunities for you and your business due to a downturn in trade or short-term losses because of COVID-19 may mean that you can claim a tax refund. Your accountant may also be able to recommend additional tax planning opportunities, such as Research and Development (R&D) tax credits, which can help to reduce your overall tax bill. 

Contact us today

By investing some time now to look ahead will mean you will have a comprehensive plan in place for the coming months. If you need any help or advice with the financial aspects of running your business, please contact us today on 01282 864 228 or complete our online enquiry form

Date published 18 May 2021 | Last updated 10 Jun 2021

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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