Business Essentials

Business Essentials

Every business needs to be compliant, buy services, appoint experts and look at ways to improve their productivity. This section gives advice on how to make the right choices to save you time and money.

YBC Academy : Accounts and Your Limited Company

Do you need a New Accountant?

Limited Companies

Congratulations on setting up a Limited Company! What’s next?

  • Do you know the most tax efficient way to take money out of your company?
  • You do not pay tax on any dividend income that falls within your Personal Allowance
  • You also get a Dividend Allowance each year
  • Have you filed your Annual Accounts on time?
  • Late filing penalties fees apply from the date the accounts are due, ranging from £150 to £1,500, if more than six months late

Director’s Loan Accounts

  • Do you owe your company money?
  • An overdrawn director’s loan account is effectively an interest-free loan
  • You will have to pay tax on director’s loans
  • Corporation tax of 32.5% is payable nine months and one day from the end of the relevant accounting period
  • Your company can reclaim the Corporation Tax it pays on a director’s loan, that’s been repaid.

Register as an Employer

  • Have you registered as an employer?
  • You must register as an employer even if you’re only employing yourself as the only director of a limited company
  • You must register before the first payday
  • Don’t forget to claim Employment Allowance
  • Employment Allowance allows eligible employers to reduce their annual National Insurance liability by up to £4,000

Running Payroll

  • An employer running payroll has to complete certain tasks during each tax month
  • Every time you pay an employee, you must report their pay and deductions to HMRC, on or before your employees’ pay date
  • HMRC will send you a late filing notice if you have paid any employees and did not report this to HMRC on time. They may also charge you a penalty.

Register for VAT

  • You must register for VAT with HMRC if your VAT taxable turnover is more than £85,000
  • Could you benefit from the flat rate scheme?
  • You cannot charge or show VAT on your invoices until you get your VAT number. However, you’ll still have to pay the VAT to HMRC for this period
  • New Brexit rules apply on VAT charged on exports and imports of goods and services with the EU
  • Is your business ready?

Cloud Accounting Software

  • Get yourself a HMRC approved and secure, IT solution, with no maintenance costs and real time financial data at your finger-tips
  • Some are available for free
  • Some can submit your Tax returns directly to HMRC and Annual Accounts directly to Companies House

Monthly Management Reports

  • It’s not enough to have money in your bank account
  • How is your business doing?
  • How are you performing compared to budget?
  • What is your profit forecast for next year?
  • How long can your business survive?
  • Management reports can help you see into the future
  • Your business and your numbers work hand in hand

Data Clean up

  • Have you tried to go it alone?
  • Have you been doing your own accounts?
  • Has it got out of control?
  • There is no problem without a solution
  • Make sense of your data
  • Book in for a data clean up exercise
  • Get your numbers talking

Do you need a new Accountant?

  • Your accountant should be someone you trust
  • Your accountant should be someone you rely on for support in the everyday running of your business
  • Your accountant should save you money
  • Your accountant should offer more than compliance and filing of tax returns
  • Your accountant should add value to your business
  • Your accountant should support you all year round
  • If you are not happy with your accountant, you should move.
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YBC Academy : Anyone Can Fly A Drone

But what are they used for these days?

Literally anyone can buy and fly a drone – they range from around £20 for a toy and to over£100,000+ for those used in Industry. All a hobby flyer needs in the UK is an ‘Operational ID’ (a drone license is about £9 for 3 years from the CAA) and the number that the CAA provide you with to be displayed on the side of the drone.

To get started safely however for all ages, I recommend doing a brief course. The recognised one is the A2C of C. It takes about 1 week to study and the exam costs around £60. This will teach you safety, things to avoid causing problems with the drone to others, losing the drone (called a fly away), breaking by-laws, aviation and airspace laws, planning flying to avoid being prosecuted and meteorological affects.

Qualified Pilots, offering Commercial services must hold relevant qualifications (called A 2CofC, GVC or PfCO) and these are required to allow them to get insurances. So when they are carrying out a project you, your business and your team have re-assurances should something go wrong – it rarely does but at least you know you have recourse in the event of injury, damage or other issues.

Aside from being fun to fly as a hobbyist, in business which I am going to focus on here, drones save
– Save Time
– Reduce Health and Safety issues
– Reduce Costs

WHAT DOES A DRONE COMPANY ‘DO’?
Fundamentally a drone is a ‘data capture’ tool. Capturing either photo, video, thermal orGPS co-ordinate information (satellite location of the drone, similar to how your phone knows where it is). There are increasing uses for larger drones, to carry and deliver items large and small including ‘Covid testing kits and results in 2020ʼ and ‘Amazon deliveries in the USAʼ.

There are 4 main stages to a drone operation whether the drone flying work required is for a few hours, a day or a few weeks:

1. Agree a brief with the customer: what do they need, how quickly, outputs, accuracy that will be delivered, limitations
2. Pre-planning: Flight safety, equipment to use, location, airspace, notifications (to air traffic controllers, police, local residents and land owners), risk assessments and preparing software to ensure accuracy for surveying work.
3. Flying / Data Capture: on site preparations, ensuring accuracy, controlling the environment of the flight, safety management.
4. Post flight production : preparing the information gathered for the customer, post production (e.g. video editing, photo editing, combining data for surveying and mapping)

WHAT ARE DRONES USED FOR IN BUSINESS?
Photography / Videography
This is probably the most obvious area and use of drones capturing stills or videos to use for social media, websites, weddings, special events, promotions, film, TV…
And there are thousands of posts and videos all over social media, from across the world with some stunning results!

The difference between flying for a hobby Vs. Professional is the quality of the cameras themselves and importantly the photographer/videographer.

As with traditional photography and video taking on iPhones etc. anyone can do it. However to get the level of results you often see on Countryfile or Blue Planet requires a much higher level of planning, skills and post production expertise. That requires a professional.

360 Virtual Reality and Tours
Also known as ‘walk-throughsʼ these are becoming quite prevalent in use by Estate Agents and give an immersive experience. A way for people to view a property, venue, conference centre, restaurant, new building, offices, hotel, resort…..(the list is endless) without having to visit first. This saves time travelling and for the person/business who has the Tour created for them it allows a showcase to be shared locally or internationally, broadening out their market to new customers.

Viewers can look at these creations either on laptops, phones, tablets and on virtual reality goggles.

I have included it here as drones can take ‘virtual realityʼ photography and videos in some cases, which can be combined with the ‘walk through. This provides a view of the surrounding area relative to the venue or premises. A fully immersive experience.

Here is an example of a 360 virtual reality tour (can be viewed with or without virtual reality goggles)

Land and Quantity Surveying
Often required to speed up and reduce the costs of traditional land-based surveying. And known as LIDAR. A drone can fly and capture highly accurate measurements from say 100m in the sky and cover vast areas, sometimes not accessible by foot or road access. Using satellite or ground surveying points (known as RTK) accuracy can be as much as 2cm vertically and 1.2cm horizontally. Traditional surveying, using laser based ‘ground pointsʼ, can increase this accuracy but there is a trade-off between ‘cost and timeʼ to do so.

Applications vary but include measuring coal or other product heaps (quantity surveying), creating models ready for architects, construction, land and property developers to use in CAD (Computer Animated Design software) to build models. Here is an example of a mine in Russia being drone surveyed using a technique called “Point cloud capture”

Agriculture is a rapidly expanding area, to assess crop yields, spraying effectiveness, blight and geographical issues that may reduce the yield for a farmer.

Building Inspections
Commercial and residential properties obviously need maintenance.

For a residential customer being able to spot say damage to a roof (tiles, flashing, guttering) normally involves someone building a scaffold or using a ‘cherry pickerʼ to inspect the area and advise on what actions are needed (if any). On average that scaffold alone will cost £1000 for a week. A drone pilot can fly a roof in an afternoon, capture detailed pictures and annotate them for around 1/5 of that that price.

The pictures can then be used to seek out a repairer or negate repairs being advised that are not necessary.

In the commercial world, applications include Solar and Wind Farm inspections; building inspections that are hard to reach/dangerous for people, chimneys, oil rigs….the list is almost endless. EDF recently used drones to check the integrity of cooling towers at oneof their power plants, saving huge costs, but most importantly assuring the safety of their maintenance teams.

Pinpointing areas of damage or repair may also require thermal drone cameras as well as drones small enough to fly through ducting, drains, air conditioning systems. Many of which would be impossible for a human or require deconstructing to assess or audit any issues.

Emergency Services
Fire, police, ambulance, search and rescue teams in the UK are all starting to adopt drones into their operations. They have specially trained personnel who qualify as pilots or outsource to reputable drone services companies to support them. Often thermal and infrared are used to pinpoint say the hottest part of a fire to concentrate on, locate a missing or injured person (as their body heat shows up relative to the background temperature) or to surveil criminals.

THE FUTURE
Deliveries

I say “the future” but this has already begun. In the USA Amazon have passed trials for deliveries of products to people’s homes and in certain States this is being trialed now in the ‘real-world’. It is inevitable that they will seek to do the same in the UK and other countries.

The NHS have been delivering Covid tests and kits to remote areas in the UK and the Post Office carried out their first delivery to a lighthouse in Scotland. Small packages at this stage but as drone technology and lifting weights increase so can the size of the products being delivered.

Taxis

Trials have already been carried out and in Dubai they are testing for readiness to go fully live with services within 5 years. Whilst the adoption into broader society is a way off yet, the capability to do so is already here.

HOW MUCH DO THESE SERVICES COST?
As with all services, there are a host of suppliers emerging – some specialise, some are generalists. Some projects are relatively simple (taking 2-3 days to complete), larger more complex projects can take months to prepare and carry out post-production.

My advice would be to check experience, expertise and qualifications (as well as insurance). Then shop around, prices vary dramatically.

HELPING YOUR BUSINESS TO FLY

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YBC Academy : Being Fit for Business

Starting and running your own business is hard, rewarding, tiring, stressful, lonely, and hectic, especially in these unusual times. I am going through this myself and find our regular networking a weekly sanity check!

To be the most successful version of yourself whilst under this amount of pressure, remember to look after yourself. You will be no good to your business if you end up burnt out, or ill. I am including a few tips to keep yourself functioning in top shape so you can focus on your business!

1 – Sitting Still.
It is so easy to become engrossed in what we are doing, that before you know it, the day has passed, and you have not moved from your desk. Not only is this bad for your posture, but for your entire body and brain! Make sure you set a timer, every hour, get up, walk around, get a drink. Try to look away from your screen every 15 minutes to give your eyes a break. It is also a good idea to invest in a blue light filter too. Especially if you spend a lot of time looking at screens.

2 – Social Media rabbit hole
A lot of us must rely on Social Media to advertise our Business, but these platforms do their job very well. You go on to do something business related, and before we realise, we are looking at something entirely different and have forgotten what we are there to do in the first place. This is where the Pomodoro Technique is good for training you.

3 – Hydration
Sounds obvious? A hydrated brain is a better functioning one! If you have a busy day ahead, take a jug of water to your desk…. aim to drink at least 2 litres a day. This can include tea, coffee, and other non-fizzy soft drinks. If you drink a lot of coffee, try having a glass of water after. You may find you will start to drink less!

4 – Switching off.
Make a mark in the day when you stop work. Stick to it. When we run our own businesses, we very rarely “switch off”, so make use of the apps out their like Trelo, ToDo List, or just a good old fashioned notebook! Keep one by your bedside, so you can write things down and “get them out” of your brain. This helps you get to sleep.

5 – Sleep
This is an important one. Our cells rejuvenate when we are asleep. If you can, try to get into a regular sleeping pattern, whatever it maybe, try to go to bed and get up at the same times every day. This really helps ease brain fog, and leaves you feeling a lot more alert. If you have trouble getting to sleep, try keeping away from all screens for an hour before bedtime. The blue light given off from these devices stimulates Cortisol that prepares your body for wakefulness.

To help release Melatonin, try taking your mineral supplement at night, a handful of almonds before bed can help as they contain melatonin. A magnesium supplement can also help aid sleep.

6 – Diet
Did I Eat That?!
A healthy diet leads to a healthy gut, which leads to a strong immune system as well as a good mental health. If you can, plan your meals weekly, this avoids you reaching for the desirable, but not-so-good-for-you snacks. If you cannot keep away from the biscuits, split the packet into portions of 3 or 4, and just have a few.

One of the primary reasons we are still hungry after fatty, sugary high carb food is because these C.R.A.P (Carbonated drinks, Refined Sugar, Artificial, Processed) foods are nutritionally empty. So, you have eaten food, but your body still does not have the nutrients it requires to keep going. Therefore, sends message saying you still hungry!

7 – Supplements
Supplements are exactly that, SUPPLEMENTAL to your diet. They should never be taken in place of a particular nutrient. You will only get the best out of supplements if you have a good diet to start with!

Unfortunately, our food is no longer as nutritionally dense as it once was. If we had a plate of salad from 1970 and wanted to match it in terms of nutrition value with the same food items now, we would need approximately 50 plates to match the one from 1970.

So, taking a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement can really help your body get what it needs. Good quality means: know what is in it! A lot of food supplements on the market today are packed with fillers. The essential vitamins and minerals are: Vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene (A precursor to Vitamin A) and Selenium. By essential, I mean our body cannot make them and we must get them from our food. Vitamin D is also an important one in the winter months here in good old Blighty. The angle of the sun’s rays between October to March means we do not get enough UVB rays for our body to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can be one of the most common reasons for excessive fatigue symptoms.

8 – Lunch some health options
Always have some protein at lunch – e.g., skinless chicken, turkey, fish, lean ham, low fat cottage cheese, eggs, lentils, or beans.

Buying your lunch:
Choose from a good quality café or supermarket such as Pret-à-Manger, Crush, Eat, M&S, Waitrose, etc. or a local, good quality salad, sandwich, or sushi bars:
• Baked potato – hollow out some of the flesh and add some protein such as tuna, chicken, beans, cottage cheese or hummus. Have with plenty of salad.
• Salads with some protein, e.g., chicken, fish, egg, lentils
• Omelette (if not too greasy) with large salad.
• No Bread’ sandwich from Pret or a sandwich with one piece of bread.
• Fresh soup (not tinned or packet). Go for the chunky vegetables – the thicker the better. Lentil and bean-based soups are a good choice. Avoid creamed soups. Make sure they contain some protein (e.g., chicken, beans, or lentils) or have some on the side, e.g., hummus with Ryvita/oatcakes or crudités. You could even add a tin of beans (e.g. cannellini, butter beans etc.) to a vegetable soup for extra protein. Covent Garden is a good brand of fresh soup, or you could make your own. Take a minute to check the sugar and salt content and wheat and dairy if you are avoiding these.

NB If you have a sandwich, choose the ‘grittier’, more solid bread. Rye bread is best. Aim for open sandwiches or discard the top slice. Avoid mayonnaise – yogurt is a good alternative.

Making your own lunch:
Top tips:
• Make extra helpings of your evening meal, so that you can take some into work for lunch the following day.
• Think about preparing several lunches at the weekend and then freezing them so that you have a lunch for every day of the week.
• Salads are cheap and easy to make. Even if you only take a basic salad into work, remember you can always buy extra ingredients such as a tin of tuna or some chicken and top up the nutrient content (see below for salad ideas).

Below are some ideas for home-made lunches during the week or at the weekend:
Bean Salads
• Use a can of beans – kidney, haricot, or chickpeas (rinse before use) and mix with:
• Parsley, cucumber, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, etc.
• Dress with lemon juice or red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, pepper, chilli.

Greek Salad
• Lettuce (the darker green the better), chopped cucumber, olives, sliced red onion, feta.
• Dress with dried oregano, lemon juice, pepper.

Chicken or Goat’s Cheese and Quinoa Salad
• Quinoa with mixed herbs (add coriander, chives, parsley), cherry tomatoes, rocket, and pieces of chicken breast or goat’s cheese.
• Dress with olive oil, lime juice, chilli powder and a small amount of honey.

Mackerel with Salad
• Peppered mackerel with salad such as carrot, asparagus, green leafy lettuce, a hardboiled egg.
• Dress with olive oil, lemon, small amount of hummus (black pepper to taste).

Tuna Salad
• Tuna in olive oil chunks with salad such as carrot, avocado, tomato, green leafy lettuce, and a hardboiled egg.
• Dress with olive oil and lemon.

Rice Salad
• Cooked brown rice mixed with peas, sliced red onion, grated carrot, chopped celery, sunflower seeds, and some protein such as chicken or feta cheese.
• Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.

Falafel and Pitta Bread
• Pack 1-2 brown pitta bread (or rye bread) and falafels in a Tupperware box
• Have with a large salad and some hummus or guacamole.

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YBC Academy : Bookkeeping

Keeping correct and accurate records of the finances of your business is essential to:
– Knowing who owes you money (“debtors”)
– Knowing who you owe money to – suppliers, HMRC and other bodies (“creditors”)
– Complying with your obligation to know your company’s current financial position at any time, and ensure you can pay your bills as they fall due
– Complying with your legal requirement to maintain proper books and records
– And, most importantly, knowing how much you can pay yourself
– Producing appropriate accounts and tax calculations to Companies House and HMRC

There are numerous online systems to enable you to do this.

Poor bookkeeping can result in incorrect tax being paid, erroneous decisions being made and sadly in many cases bankruptcy or corporate insolvency. The stress this puts business owners under can be considerable.

Keeping books and records can be daunting to begin with and many business owners design their own spreadsheets and databases to keep on top of their financial records.

Soon, all businesses will be required to keep their financial records in a digital format by law under “Making Tax Digital” and pencil and paper will no longer do.

Fortunately there are many systems to choose from and the best dramatically reduce the amount of time you need to spend on your bookkeeping. A cloud based system makes the most sense as it avoids the need to back data up, keep that data secure and enables you to access that data anywhere with an Internet connection and share it easily with your accountant.

The most advanced link directly to your bank and can extract the data from scanned receipts or PDF documents, saving you time effort and reducing the risk of error. They can also assist in managing the business and produce good forecasts of what cash you can expect to have in the business.

It is a sad fact that so many new businesses fail in the first year and research indicates that poor financial management, as a result of bad to non-existent bookkeeping, is a common issue.

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YBC Academy : Deferred VAT Payments

Paying your deferred VAT

VAT payments due between 20‌‌ ‌March and 30‌‌ ‌June 2020 that we’re deferred last year until 31‌‌ ‌March 2021.

  • Can be paid in full on or before 31‌‌ ‌March 2021
  • Can be paid in instalments, until January ‌2022.

To pay now

  • go to GOV.‌‌‌UK and search ‘paying VAT’
  • choose ‘pay your VAT bill’ and follow the instructions – please make sure you use the right reference.

To see details of the amount you owe, please go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Business Tax Account’.

To sign in you’ll need your Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don’t have an ID and password, you can create them as part of this process. You can also retrieve a forgotten user ID or password.

To pay in instalments using the new payment scheme
The new scheme will allow you to pay your deferred VAT in up to 11 regular monthly instalments, interest free, beginning in March 2021.

The scheme is not available to use yet, but you can find more about how it works, and get ready to use it, by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘deferred VAT’.

If you need further help to pay
For more information about what to do if you’re not able to pay your deferred VAT, please go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Deferred VAT’.

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YBC Academy : Do You Understand The World Of Financial Planning?

Do you understand the world of financial planning? Most people don’t, which is why I’m writing a series of blogs/Articles regarding financial planning, and our role in your business.

For your reassurance I’m a Chartered Financial Planner and work with individuals and businesses to develop and understand their finances in order to make better, informed decisions.

What are the Common Perceptions of Financial Planning?
The best way to start this series, is to focus on the common perceptions that people have when considering financial planning or getting financial advice.

When looking for a financial advisor, you might think:
• “They’re all just chasing commissions.”
• “What does that even mean? I don’t understand any of this financial gibberish.”
• “I don’t understand why this is so expensive? Are they after my investments?”
• “Can I trust them?”
• “Do they have my best interests at heart?”

To be honest, I can’t blame you for having these thoughts. These perceptions have been created because of many people’s experiences with financial advisors and our industry, in general.

What are the Common Perceptions of Financial Planning?
The best way to start this series, is to focus on the common perceptions that people have when considering financial planning or getting financial advice.

When looking for a financial advisor, you might think:
• “They’re all just chasing commissions.”
• “What does that even mean? I don’t understand any of this financial gibberish.”
• “I don’t understand why this is so expensive? Are they after my investments?”
• “Can I trust them?”
• “Do they have my best interests at heart?”

To be honest, I can’t blame you for having these thoughts. These perceptions have been created because of many people’s experiences with financial advisors and our industry, in general.

Why do Financial Advisors and Planners have a Bad Reputation
Financial advisors or planners (I will go into the difference between them in a later article) aren’t bad or out to get your hard-earned money. It’s unfortunately just the way that they’ve been trained.

They often talk in jargon, meaning that your understanding of the service and experience of financial advice is marred by a language that only they seem to understand. The service often feels quite impersonal, because a lot of financial advice tends to be transactional, for example:
You book a meeting with a financial advisor because you want to address a need – a pension or an investment, and they make it all about the product.

At this point, your mind would automatically default to those earlier questions – are they just looking to charge me a commission? Will they consider my circumstances?

And this is the biggest problem with transactional advice, and the way that many financial advisors deal with clients. Transactional advice is almost always one-size-fits-all: a problem needs to be resolved (something that needs to be completed or sold) and here is a copy/paste solution.

Another problem is that if you don’t understand the advice that you’re receiving, you will often feel forced into agreeing to a service, and then feel resentful and possibly even hoodwinked. You haven’t been guided or assisted in a way that you feel comfortable with.

At this point, you may feel that the advisor is looking to set up any kind of agreement, just in order to charge a fee; and because of his use of his technical knowledge, often to impress the client, he is able to justify the fee that he is charging.

Sadly, this is the way that many advisors have been trained to deal with clients. And this is why the perception still exists.

We Don’t Do Copy/Paste Planning
We know that clients don’t want that. They want to understand the product that they’re investing in, and have their circumstances understood. They wanted to trust their advisor and feel listened to. They want to feel like they and their assets are being looked after and that whatever action the advisor takes is in their best interest. They don’t want to just be sold a product.

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YBC Academy : Getting Paid

Prevention of late/non payment
Ideally we all want to be paid on time by every customer. However you can never rely upon this happening so please use our checklist as a precaution to ensure you are not put in a position of having to chase too many slow or non-payers.

Chasing the slow payer
Receiving payments promptly is essential to the success of a business. Use our checklist to make sure you do things correctly when chasing payments.

Chasing a non payer
If your customer is simply refusing to pay, use our checklist to try to persuade them to settle your overdue account without you having to take them to court.

Using External Help
For whatever reason you’ve decided not to go it alone. Where else can you turn to for help and assistance in trying to recover the debt? Use our checklist to run through potential next options.

Recovering the debt
If you’ve exhausted all options and intend to use the legal route, use our checklist to help which explains what’s involved in attempting to recover your money.

Enforcing the judgement
Getting a judgement is fine but enforcing it can still be difficult and how successful you are will determine whether you get paid. Use our checklist to run through your various ­options.

To access our checklists, guidance and further information please log in to our document library and select ‘Legal Library’.

Our free advice line can also be accessed by calling 0333 358 3677.

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YBC Academy : HR

Common Mistakes Small Businesses make with People
“We’re a Small Business – We don’t need any HR”

Does this echo your thoughts on HR support as a small business owner? Do you think that HR policies and procedures just aren’t relevant to your business? Do you ever hear yourself saying, “we don’t have employees so we don’t need any HR policies and procedures” … sound familiar at all?

Well, let me tell you something, the chances are that YOU DO!

If there is anyone as in a human being supporting you in running your business – paid, unpaid, employed, freelance, sub-contracted or even volunteering then your business absolutely NEEDS some basic HR policies and procedures in place.

Now, just hear me out on this, just give me five minutes of your time, read on and let me tell you how and why I know this as a business owner and HR professional.
Your business might not need much HR support, but it still needs it even if it’s just you plus one other person involved. If nothing else you just need a basic HR framework and the odd policy or two in place to protect YOU and your business otherwise, what’s all that hard work been for if you’re not going to protect everything you’ve lovingly created? For me, it’s a simple message I want you to take away – where you have people working for you – no matter in what capacity – this presents a potential risk to your business, I promise you; and please don’t think ‘no it doesn’t, all our people are great, there are no problems’. I don’t doubt that’s the case for one minute – right now – BUT things do change, businesses grow, new people join, people dynamics and relationships alter and peoples’ opinions change.

If you’ve been divorced or something similar, then you’ll know exactly what I’m getting at!! So, for example, if you and your partner are shareholders in your business, please make sure you have a shareholder agreement in place … hopefully it’s obvious why you need it … it’s just incase … because people change. Businesses change. And people do not always react well to change.

My HR experience is based not on theory, it’s on practical practice, learning ‘on the job’ and dealing with real life people situations that pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Some of these situations could leave you opened mouthed saying ‘you’re having me on, they didn’t do that did they’? Yep. Afraid so. Over the years I’ve had to deal with some exceptionally challenging and unbelievable ‘people issues’ and carried out decisions that were not popular in order to protect the businesses I worked for.

And don’t get me started on when the absence of good HR practice results in bad leadership and bullying; there are so many detrimental effects from this poor practice that will impact negatively on any workplace, as well as your business productivity and profitability …. but that’s a story for another day!! My final word on that point for now is if you want to build a good team for your business, no matter what people are doing for you, you need to ensure your business is well led and that bullying plays no part in any people relationships – this includes how you deal with sub-contractors and volunteers as well as any employees.

That’s the key to effective and fair HR practices in any company – large or small – it’s like an insurance policy – and it’s there to PROTECT the business and support people including small business owners just like you!

Five years ago, I came out of the ‘employed sector’ and set up my own HR consultancy business. By then I had 20 years of practical people management experience ‘under my belt’ where I’d cut my teeth on a wide range of people challenges from dealing with difficult employees down to sub-contractor and volunteer issues. I won’t say ‘I’ve done it all’ but I have ‘seen and dealt with a lot’ in order to protect any business from the risks which people often pose.

Remember paid, unpaid, employed, sub-contracted, freelance and volunteer – they are all PEOPLE – they present a potential RISK. No matter what type of business you run or who you have working for or with you, people issues are the same no matter what.

So, what are you going to do about some of this after reading this article? Well, I’m pleased to tell you that there’s many quick and easy things you can put in place within your business right now to head off any potential people risks for the future.

As a YBC member of four years, I’m a regular user of their excellent document library where you can download so many useful documents for your business. For example, if you’re employing, there’s the basic employment contract, if you’re sub-contracting there’s the sub-contractor agreement, if you need basic HR policies or an employee handbook, they are all there, waiting for you to adapt for your own business needs. These are the absolute basic ‘must haves’ for any business owner employing and sub-contracting people! The document library provides you with an ideal ‘Starter Kit’ to ensure you have some basic HR policies and procedures in place to protect your business. There’s also a legal helpline as part of your membership package who are there to support you with any of your ‘people issues’ including sub-contracting and volunteering people queries.

Apart from YBC, do sign up to ACAS for their e-newsletters and gain access to their resources, particularly if you need help with writing a policy or you want to ask a question. They have both online and telephone support – and it’s all free! There’s so much out there to support you. Failing that, there’s people like me, HR Consultants, who can assist you with implementing HR policies and procedures into your business and dealing with the ‘people stuff’.
Remember if your people are paid, unpaid, employed, sub-contracted, freelance or volunteering – however you describe them – you need to have some basics in place.

And don’t be frightened of actually employing people ‘on the books’ either. If you want total security and assurance within your workforce (rather than the potential unreliability of sub-contracting work out or using volunteers) then again, there’s plenty of help. Whether it’s joining YBC or speaking to YBC members like myself, there’s lots of help out there to make sure you start as you mean to go on as an employer of people. Many business owners are put off by the thought of employing people – but don’t be – good HR policies and procedures in place from the beginning of the employer/employee relationship will take care of all of that for you! I promise!

Oh, and please don’t forget those health and safety obligations either. No matter who works for you or in which capacity, you have a duty of care, as the business owner, to make sure they are looked after whilst they are working or volunteering ‘on your watch’. Yes, that includes your sub-contractors too!

I do hope you’ve found this a useful five minute read – now let’s put some HR basics into your business to help you thrive and survive in the future – good luck!!!

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YBC Academy : HR Planning

HR is a crucial component for any business. As you become successful and begin to rely on others to help you to achieve your goals you become engaged with HR issues. Regulations apply whether you have employed one full time person or work with contractors.

  • Employing a HR professional removes the stress and anxiety that arise from HR concerns
  • Few business owners realise the power of having a great HR plan of action via an experienced HR advisor will help you to navigate your way safely through the maze of employment rules and regulations
  • Employing a HR advisor removes any concern you may have that your employees know more than you do in this complex area.
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YBC Academy : Intellectual Property

What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property (IP) can allow you to own things you create in a similar way to owning physical property. You can control the use of your IP, and use it to gain reward. This encourages further innovation and creativity. There are five main areas to consider.

IP, employees and third parties
The ownership of IP rights needs to be clarified – is it you or your employees? Use our checklist to avoid costly and drawn out disputes over ownership.

Designs and how to protect them
There are four different types of design rights that need to be taken into consideration. Our checklist provides guidance and will point you in the right direction and offer protection if you’re looking beyond the UK.

What a patent is and how it’s protected
Patents exist to protect things you’ve designed or made. Using our checklist will help ensure that all your hard work doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands.

Protecting your company name
To ensure maximum protection for your company’s name, you need to take a proactive approach – include it on all business correspondence and check the register at Companies House from time to time.

Database rights and protection
When you create a new database a protective right arises automatically. Keep careful records of when the database is made; protection lasts for 15 years.

What can be trade marked?
Make sure you know what protection is available before you embark on what might be an expensive and time consuming exercise.

How to protect a trade mark
There are various hoops you have to pass through to ensure your trade mark ™ is properly protected. Use our checklist to avoid any problems.

What can be copyrighted?
Copyright applies to written and musical works etc. But make sure that whatever you have in mind for copyright protection is an original.

How to protect copyright
Our checklist will help ensure you follow all the steps necessary to protect your copyright, e.g. not disclosing your idea to a third party without them first having signed a copyright agreement.

Access to all guidance and checklists is available in the members’ area. Further advice can also be given by calling our members’ advice line.

To access our checklists, guidance and further information please log in to our document library and select ‘Legal Library’.

Our free advice line can also be accessed by calling 0333 358 3677.

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YBC Academy : IT Security

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown in many parts of the world have forced a large number of employees into working from home.

Switching to remote working can create cybersecurity problems for employers and employees. Here are some things to watch.

1 – PHYSICAL SECURITY
a. If you need to leave your home for supplies or other reasons, make sure your work devices are either shut down or locked—including any mobile phones.
b. If you live with a roommate or young children, be sure to lock your computer even when you step away for just a bit.

2 – SYSTEM ACCESS
a. Access to your computer’s desktop should at least be password protected, and the password should be a strong one.
b. Use password managers to help you generate complex passwords that will make it very hard for hackers to crack and therefore keeping your accounts safer.
Make sure you lock down the password manager with two-factor authentication.
c. Use Two Factor Authentication wherever possible on every account you access using the Microsoft Authenticator App or similar.
d. Check whether data encryption is active on your work machine.
e. If you’re connecting your work computer to your home network, make sure you don’t make it visible to other computers in the network.
f. If you have to add your work computer to your home network, then make sure the option to share files is off.
g. Ensure anti-virus is in place and fully updated. Get Security Everywhere for advanced Cyber Protection if you want you want computers to be protected against UN-KNOWN threats. Four new versions of UN-KNOWN threats (malware) are released on the planet every one second!
h. Check all security software is up to date: Privacy tools, add-ons for browsers and other patches need to be checked regularly.
i. Have a back-up strategy and remember to do it: All important files should be backed up regularly.
j. Never use your computer to charge mobile devices as they can easily infect your Windows or MAC computer. Use a wall charger every time instead.
Make sure your work devices are physically safe, and that you avoid offering unauthorized views of confidential information.

3 – SEPARATE WORK AND PERSONAL DEVICES
a. Keep your main work computer and your main home computer separate (if you have more than one such device).
b. If you can do the same for your mobile devices—even better.
c. Don’t send work-related emails from your private email address and vice versa.
d. Keep your child’s digital curriculum separate from your work device.

4 – SECURE CONNECTIONS
a. Make sure you have access to your organization’s cloud infrastructure through a VPN with encryption.
b. Secure your home Wi-Fi with a strong password, in case VPN isn’t an option or if it fails for some reason.
c. Access to the settings on your home router should be password protected as well. Be sure to change the default password it came with—not 12345, please!
d. Most importantly of all, “self-isolate” all your work computers and devices from the rest of the family, by setting up a Home Guest Wi-Fi and then connect your work devices to the Guest Wi-Fi. Ask your Internet provider to help you with this if you are unsure.

5 – WATCH FOR PHISHING
a. Be wary of phishing emails trying to capitalize on fear related to the coronavirus, questions about isolation and its psychological impacts, or even pretending to offer advice or health information. Scan those emails with a sharp eye and do not open attachments unless they’re from a known, trusted source.
b. Your organization may be sending you many emails and missives about new workflows, processes, or reassurances to employees. Watch out for those disguising themselves as high-ranking employees and pay close attention to the actual email address of senders.

This is a big adjustment for many people.
When working from home, find a comfortable working area where you can assume a healthy posture, minimize the distraction from others, and where your presence has the least impact on how others have to behave.

Take breaks to stretch your legs, and give your eyes a rest.

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YBC Academy : Mindset (Money)

YOUR MONEY BLUEPRINT
Have you noticed how some people seem to achieve wealth effortlessly whilst others work just as hard but struggle financially?

When you run your own business, one of the key factors as to whether you will be successful and earn the amount of money you think you deserve, is the “setting” associated with your money mind-set, your Money Blueprint.

It is quite logical to believe that the success of your business is primarily dependent on your business skills, your knowledge and maybe your timing in the marketplace. Whilst these do play an important part in your success, your money blueprint is equally as important.

In this article, I will enlighten you about how childhood and family experiences not only shape your view of money, but can also limit your success in business.

How do you know what your Money Blueprint is?
Again and again, research has shown that regardless of the size of their winnings, most lottery winners eventually return to their original financial state, the amount they can comfortable handle.

On the other hand, self-made millionaires, if they lose all their money usually make it back within a relatively short space of time.

Why is this?

It relates to the value of their Money Blueprint.

For example, if your money blueprint is set to £50k then that is exactly what you will earn in a year. If, at some point during the year, it appears that you will earn more than this, then you are likely to sabotage any income that takes you over the £50k, so you bring yourself back to the level of your money blueprint.

Think of it like controlling the temperature in a room using a thermostat. No matter how hard you try to change the temperature by opening windows or adding extra heat, the temperature always returns to the value you have set onthe thermostat. The only way to permanently change the temperature is to change the setting on the thermostat.

How was your Money Blueprint set?
It all started when you were growing up.

Have you ever ‘heard’ yourself using phrases that your parents used, or maybe watched yourself ’doing’ things in a way that your parents or grandparents did?

This is your PROGRAMMING, it forms part of who you are, and was embedded in your memories / subconscious mind when you were growing up. A lot of what you learnt has been beneficial and helped you along your life’s journey, however, what you heard about money could be holding you back.

There are 3 ways your PROGRAMMING could have impacted your money mind-set when you were growing up, they are:
– Verbal: what you heard when you were growing up
– Modelling: what you saw when you were growing up and now copy
– Incident: An event that resulted in you associating money as a bad thing.

To demonstrate these elements, here are some examples:
Verbal:
Some phrases you may have heard when growing up include:
– money is the root of all evil,
– rich people are greedy.

Subconsciously these could be sabotaging your attempts to build a profitable business.

Modelling:
Every time the ice-cream van came along, the young girl would ask her mother for some money to buy an ice-cream. The mother’s answer was always the same “sorry dear, I don’t have any money go ask your father”.

The young girl grew up making the association that her mother and hence all women have to ask their husband for money.

As a woman, she now believes that she cannot have any money of her own, so she is unable to grow a successful business.

Incident:
The young boy often heard his parents arguing about money. One day during a particularly ferocious argument the father had a heart attack.

Now the young man associates money with serious illness, so he subconsciously ignores business opportunities that are placed before him.

How do you change your Money Blueprint?
You can change your programming, by first becoming aware of it, understanding where it came from and then disassociating yourself from it.

So how do you know if your programming is affecting you? First you need to become aware of it so:
– Write down 3 things you heard, experienced or observed about money when you were growing up?

Now that you are aware of these things, you can think about them, where they came from and how they might be influencing your life and your business success today.

Finally…

If you are struggling to earn more than a few pennies from your business AND
✓ you have a product or service that people are prepared to pay for,
✓ you have a plan of action to get you where you want to be,
✓ you are taking action every day to grow and manage your business,

THEN I suggest you create the following:
✓ A Financial Freedom Jar: in which you place some loose change at the end of every day.
Watching the jar fill up, will send a signal to your unconscious mind that you are getting richer!

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YBC Academy : Public Speaking

Public Speaking Defined:
Public Speaking is simply communication to an audience primarily through structured speech. Communication through public speaking usually seeks to inform, persuade, motivate and, or entertain the audience. Public speaking is one of the most powerful tools of effective communication, yet one of the most feared. However it is also one of the most needed and relevant skills for leaders, entrepreneurs, business persons, and people wanting “influence,” to have.

Types of Public Speaking
Public speaking can be seen as:
• Oratorical, for example those given at graduations by valedictorians.
• Motivational Speech which influences the audience to take action.
• Debate, where the speaker justifies his/her points by presenting logical argument to support them
• Special Occasions, for example, the Best Man speech at a wedding
• Forensic, which is typically a public speaker in training

The Importance of Public Speaking:
Public speaking skills are important to build connections and maintain relationships in the speakers’ personal lives and careers. It aids with progression in personal and professional lives; and is a key to affecting decisions and changes in favour of the speaker. In other words, public speaking can motivate the hearers to take actions desired by the speaker. Public speaking is an art and a good skill to have, or to develop. It can be the deal breaker that seals the fate of issues of importance, for better, in personal lives, careers, businesses and other experiences. That’s a big deal!

It is fair to say that the art of Public Speaking has existed since the beginning of time. Effective public speaking has proven over time that good verbal communication complimented by communication of other forms, works. When done correctly, public speaking can be as mentioned previously, the art of persuasion, a useful skill to own. The testament of this can be noted in great orators such as Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jnr., Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Deepak Chopra, Michelle Obama and Tony Robbins to name a few.

So why do so many people shy away from public speaking?
Public speaking has a way of exposing insecurities in speakers, for example, a speaker may be an introvert who does not appreciate the focus, or attention of an audience on him/her. As such, the speaker may prefer other forms of communications such as writing letters, or video presentations. This insecurity may affect his/her confidence in delivering a speech that is informative, influential or even entertaining. In this case, developing the speaker’s public speaking skills will not be a cure for introversion, but an adaptation of that personality type to allow the speaker to flourish at public speaking.

Fear of public speaking may derive from other insecurities that are in some cases related, such as:
• Personality types mentioned previously
• Preferred communication styles
• Low self esteem
• Lack of confidence
• Unresolved issues from childhood and life experiences to name a few

Whatever the reasons are, all fear of public speaking can be overcome. With commitment, active effort, and the correct support, all persons wishing to speak clearly, confidently and influentially can become effective public speakers.

So how do you become an effective public speaker?
First thing’s first. Acknowledging that one needs to work on his/her public speaking skill is important. Seeking the help required is equally important and that is where a public speaker coach comes in.

During public speaker coaching, different aspects of a speech will be focussed on. These aspects that relates to the speech are:
• The speaker – how confident they are, his/her preferred communication style etc.,
• The speech – content, structure, delivery, intended audience
• The audience – who they are, best communication style to use
• Method of speech
• Environs and situations/circumstances
• Complimentary forms of communications – body language, visual aids
• Feedback – getting them and how to use the information gathered from them

Collectively with all of the above addressed in development patterns and learning styles that are conducive to the speakers, effective public speaking should result.

The key thing thereafter is to continue developing and maintaining ones public speaking skills. This can be done with discipline and commitment by developing habits that will promote effective public speaking.

Conclusion:
Being an effective public speaker can only be an asset to an individual. It boosts self-confidence, influences the hearers in favour of the speaker; helps to develop a good reputation for speakers and their businesses/company and personal lives. It attracts success in whatever forms it comes. Forming healthy habits around effective public speaking is also relevant to being a good public speaker. What do you want to do about your public speaking skills today?

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YBC Academy : The Dark Web

The Dark Web – What it Costs You To Ignore It
Ever wonder what happens to your data if a company you’re doing business with has been hacked? Simply: it’s posted for sale on the Dark Web.

Let’s be clear about what we mean when we say ‘data’. We mean information, specifically, information about you. It will be anything the company that suffered breach held on you. So, it could be your name, address, email addresses, associated passwords, date of birth, bank details, credit card numbers, mobile and home phone numbers – in fact, a whole range of information that confirms your identity.

HOW DOES IT MATTER?
When you use a credit card online, the retailer checks information associated with that card, the information you filled out on the application form. If the details don’t match, the transaction is declined. If a hacker has your credit card information, address and associated email, phone number, etc., there’s a good chance the transaction will be approved and you’ll end up having to jump through hoops to get your money back.

That was a fairly benign example. With all your personal information, a hacker can literally steal your identity, take out loans and credit cards in your name, siphon money from your bank account – and your mortgage too if they’re linked. You begin to see why keeping your data safe matters and why you don’t want it on the Dark Web.

WHAT IS THE DARK WEB?
Like the ‘regular’ internet, the ‘Dark Web’ is a collection of websites. The difference is the Dark Web is an encrypted network. This ensures the sites it hosts can’t be found by the casual observer using standard search engines such as Google or Bing or using traditional browsers such as Chrome and Safari. Websites on the Dark Web are encrypted specifically so their location, owners and activity can remain hidden. Anyone can access websites on the Dark Web as long as they’re using the right tool. Many of these along with instructions on how to use them, can be found with the help of YouTube. Before however, you go in search, we strongly advise you to leave it alone. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could upset a lot of unscrupulous people. For those with darker or criminal intent, the Dark Web is full of possibilities.

Perhaps the most well-known of the sites operating on the Dark Web was (possibly still is) Silk Road – a sort of Amazon for people looking to buy things that aren’t legal, such as drugs, weapons and other awful, disturbing products and services. The other key offering on the Dark Web is people’s data.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR DATA WORTH?
Dark Web Prices for Personal Data:

Full Bank Details: £167.81

Credit Card Details: £56.50

Debit Card Details: £6.30

Passport Details: £39.76

Tesco Clubcard: £4.12

Apple ID: £10.98

Facebook Login: £3.74

LinkedIn Login: £1.49

Twitter Login: £1.20

Gmail Login: £0.75
Source: Dream, Point and Wall Street Market – Feb 2018

Let’s break that down. Were you affected by the LinkedIn breach where 164 million emails and passwords were compromised? That happened in 2012 but it wasn’t until FOUR YEARS LATER the data was offered for sale on the Dark Web. People will often use work email for LinkedIn so hackers have gained access to work email now too. Any sensitive data contained in your email conversations will be harvested and used against you and your clients!

Once your details have been posted on the Dark Web, they stay there. FOREVER. It’s not a question of one buyer attains the rights to your details and they get taken down from the Dark Web. Anyone who wants them can pay the fee and have a go at hacking you – multiple hackers all targeting you, trying to steal your money in various and increasingly creative ways. And they’re using details you used years ago. Which is why you should NEVER reuse a password.

Ever log in to a website using “Login With Facebook”? Or “Login with Google”? If these details have been compromised, a hacker can use them to access any other site you log into using your Facebook or Google credentials.

If hackers get your Gmail details, they can access all your correspondence, your calendar and all your contacts. Does it matter if they have your Twitter login? Imagine the damage they could do to your reputation! Also – do you use the same email and password for Twitter as you do for Facebook? Or your Amazon account? Do you see where we’re going with this?

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YBC Academy : The Employment Contract

You have now reached the point when you are ready to take on the 1st person to help with your growing business. They can be a full time employee or an intermediate category known as a worker which means someone who has a service contract rather than an employment contract to work with you. How to determine this is a subject for another article on employee status. However both categories need a contract and from April 2020 this contract needs to be issued either before they start work or at the latest the 1st day of employment.

Previously the conditions set out below must be included in the contract:

Do you understand the world of financial planning? Most people don’t, which is why I decided to write a series of blogs/Articles regarding financial planning, and our role in your life/business.

For your reassurance, I’m a Chartered Financial Planner and work with individuals and businesses to understand and plan their finances in order to make better, informed decisions.

What are the Common Perceptions of Financial Planning?
The best way to start this series, is to focus on the common perceptions that people have when considering financial planning or getting financial advice.

When looking for a financial advisor, you might think:
• “They’re all just chasing commissions.”
• “What does that even mean? I don’t understand any of this financial gibberish.”
• “I don’t understand why this is so expensive? Are they after my investments?”
• “Can I trust them?”
• “Do they have my best interests at heart?”

To be honest, I can’t blame you for having these thoughts. These perceptions have been created because of many people’s experiences with financial advisors and our industry, in general.

Why do Financial Advisors and Planners have a Bad Reputation
The truth is, the vast majority Financial advisors or planners aren’t bad or out to get your hard-earned money and genuinely want to do the best for their clients. It’s unfortunately just the way that they’ve been trained, me included ☹, so the perception often differs from the reality.

Financial Advisers can often (without even realising) talk in jargon, meaning that your understanding of the service and experience of financial advice is marred by a language that only we seem to understand.

The service may feel quite impersonal, because a lot of financial advice tends to be transactional, for example:
You book a meeting with a financial advisor because you want to address a need – a pension or an investment, and that is okay when meeting with the adviser for the first time. However.Meeting potential subsequent tends to be focused around the product until some sort of conclusion is reached. Again, this is not necessarily all the advisers’ fault. It is/can be, in part,down to training but can also be a genuine fear, for some advisers at least, that when you notice potential gaps elsewhere in a clients financial planning, bringing these to the client’s attention may cause the client to believe that their adviser is simply looking to get more out of them. Again, this isn’t necessarily true.

At this point, your mind would automatically default to those earlier questions – are they just looking to charge me a commission? Will they consider my circumstances?

And this is the biggest problem with transactional advice, and the experience many client may have had. Transactional advice is almost always one-size-fits-all: a problem needs to be resolved (something that needs to be completed or sold) and here is a copy/paste solution.

Another problem is that if you don’t understand the advice that you’re receiving, you will often feel forced into agreeing to a service, and then later feel resentful and possibly even hoodwinked. You haven’t been guided or assisted in a way that you feel comfortable with.

At this point, you may feel that the advisor is looking to set up any kind of agreement, just in order to charge a fee; and because of his use of his technical knowledge, often to impress the client, he is able to justify the fee that he is charging.

Sadly, this is the way that many advisors have been trained to deal with clients. And this is why the perception still exists.

We Don’t Do Copy/Paste Planning
We know that clients don’t want that. They want to understand the product that they’re investing in, and have their circumstances understood. They want to trust their advisor and feel listened to. They want to feel like they and their assets are being looked after and that whatever action the advisor takes is in their best interest. They don’t want to just be sold a product.

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YBC Academy : What Do You Look For When Employing a HR Consultant

What do you look for when employing a HR consultant?
You will by now realise when you have reached the stage when you take someone on you immediately become enmeshed in the employment regulation maze. It doesn’t matter if they are part time or even a contractor. Contracts, handbooks, employee status covid, discrimination, maternity the list is almost endless and government regulations change continually. When confronted with this you just want to lie down in a corner with a damp cloth over your head and hope it all goes away. Regrettably it won’t and, if you want to grow your business, you will need help in this area to avoid mistakes, becoming stressed and unwittingly becoming involved in tribunal situations

You need someone who is competent, knowledgeable and able to respond quickly and accurately to your concerns. You also need someone who is up to date with all the latest twists and turns in government regulations and the impact cases have on the interpretation of the regulations.

Given the job I do running an HR Business, I am, on a regular basis, asked for advice about employment issues when with friends, family and generally out and about outside of work. My business only supports employers so, at times, it’s refreshing and interesting to support friends on the other side of the fence. But, in doing that, I am frequently appalled at the behaviours of the HR staff and business owners they are dealing with. Don’t they ever bother to find out what their legal obligations are? Is it laziness or belligerence?

Staff should not have to fight for their basic employment rights, they should be given them from day one. I accept that some situations are complicated and what the actual rights are is not always clear cut, but, for the most part, it is usually pretty clear what rights people have.

Why should I have to give advice to a group of people this week, that they have rights in the UK to holiday pay? They said that no one in their business (a restaurant) has ever had an employment contract, sick pay or holiday pay. And I won’t even mention the word ‘pensions’. And when the business was sold to a new owner last year none of them were given continuous service, despite many having several years’ service. They were just given a P45 and told that tomorrow they would be working for the new owner.

Their staff have families to raise and rent to pay so I am appalled their employer has no interest in providing even the most basic employment rights. I only wish that such ignorance of the law or refusal to comply with the law was treated as seriously as other legal infringements. It reflects badly on all business owners and I’m sick and tired of being tarnished by the ‘all bosses are bad or greedy’ brush. And the reality of course for the business concerned is that if the staff choose to take legal action, the compensation would be enormous given the multiple breaches against multiple individuals so would probably be sufficient to push the business into bankruptcy. No one wins.

So it’s better for you and your business to be aware of your responsibilities and comply with them. It’s not only better for you and your business it also does wonders for staff morale and helps you retain the staff you want to keep. You probably already have enough stress in other areas of your business so don’t make things more difficult. Ignorance is no defence . Employing a competent HR consultant makes good business sense and will provide pragmatic cost effective solutions.

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YBC Academy : Why Have A Will

This is the story of two brothers, Scott and Joseph, who ran a successful car dealership which they jointly owned.
Tragically, Joseph was killed in a car accident. He was only 51 and, as his family were about to discover, unfortunately he did not have a Will.

Joseph had lived with his long term partner Annabel but as they weren’t married she was entitled to nothing from his estate so she decided to make a legal claim against his estate. The cost of this, win or lose, would be paid for by Joseph’s estate.

Joseph had two children, that he did not have a good relationship with, from his previous marriage and, because there was no Will, they would inherit his entire estate under the intestacy rules. Wanting to keep their father’s money, they challenged Annabel’s claim.
The cost of this legal action was so substantial that Joseph’s share in the business had to be sold to cover it.

But Scott didn’t want to lose half the business to a stranger so he was forced to take out a large loan to buy Joseph’s share from his estate. By this time the family relationships had reached breaking point.

Joseph’s children could see that the size of the estate was decreasing rapidly due to the escalating legal fees so they were forced to settle out of court.

Joseph had spent his life building a successful business and a sizeable estate for his family but, because he’d not made a Will, what was left of the estate was now a mere fraction and his family were no longer speaking to each other.

Annabel and his children got very little and the business was left with such an enormous debt that Scott had to close the company and declare bankruptcy.

All of this could have been avoided with the right Business Will and planning. The business could have continued unaffected by Joseph’s death.

It’s easy to think that this could never happen to us but unfortunately such occurrences are not uncommon.

If you don’t have a Will, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible to ensure your assets are secure. And if you do have a Will, does it protect your family and business as you intend?

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YBC Academy : Writing a Will

WHY DO I NEED A BUSINESS WILL?
Business entities, just like people are subject to the cycles of life which can unfortunately include the demise of owners and partners. Cases of partners passing away and leaving the remaining business owners straddled with debt or forced to fight for their share of the business with the dead partners family members are all too common. In addition, legal fees accruing from lengthy court battles to determine how the business should be shared out between the remaining partners and the deceased’s family can wreck havoc on business finances and even lead to bankruptcy and closure in extreme events. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid these possibilities from becoming a reality by drawing up a Will to determine the courses of action that should be taken when a business owner passes away. The following are a few important reasons why you need to have a estate planner draft a Will for your business.

1. To settle the issue of continuity
A business, especially one which is run by partners rather than being a limited company can usually only continue to run if all partners are alive and well. Moreover, many partners also have personal finances and assets invested in the business and are liable for any debt that the organization incurs. As a result, partners have the option to stipulate whether they want a family member to take their place and help to run the business in the event of their own death. This helps to ensure that the business will continue to operate even after their death, and avoid squabbles and legal procedures between the deceased’s family members and the remaining owners.

2. Settle outstanding debt
A business can help you to specify which of your assets may be liquidated to pay off any debts that your business may have taken and avoid cases where a creditor descends on your home and other assets to demand settlement at the expense of your family’s comfort.

3. Facilitate transfer of ownership
Should your family members display a lack of interest in taking over your place in the business, you can ask your Willwriter to insert clauses to the effect that the other partners have the option to purchase your share of the business and pass proceeds of the sale to your family.

Having a business Will in place will ensure smooth handover of the business to either a family member that would wish to take your place, provide for the settlement of any outstanding debts that you are liable for, and give your partners as well as your family the option to transfer ownership if either party is unwilling to continue with the relationship. A good estate planner will help you to decide on the best option for you and help you to draw up the necessary legal documents to ease the transition for your business and family upon your demise.

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