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Setting Up a Business: Knowing What Records to Keep

When setting up a business, it is important to know what records and accounts you need to keep from the very beginning. Starting up any business and dealing with the practicalities makes for a busy time, but neglecting your records can be costly and time-consuming. In the long run, staying on top of your records will ultimately help you to: keep track of your finances and cash flow; avoid penalties; hold accurate information about your business; plan for your business’ future.
The records you need to keep will depend on the type and size of your business, however all businesses must follow basic bookkeeping procedures.
All businesses
All businesses need to keep track of two areas: incomings and outgoings. For incomings, you will need to keep hold of any accounting records, till rolls, paying-in slips, sales invoices and bank statements acquired. Important outgoings records will be: receipts, cheque book records, purchase invoices and bank or credit card statements. These are basic essentials which any business must take care to record properly and keep safe.
Limited companies
If you are a starting up as a limited company (i.e not a sole trade), there are further records to keep. All limited companies must keep the following: dividend allocations and payments; articles of association; details of company share ownership.
Any company which is registered limited must also complete and return a number of documents each year. These include: Company Tax Return (with form CT600); statutory accounts; Corporation Tax; return to Companies House; a signed set of accounts to Companies House.
Depending on the nature of your company, there are number of other records which you may have, such as a register of members or directors.
Employers
All businesses employing workers will need to organise their documentation relating to employee payment. This is very important as it ensures that you are paying the right amount to your employees and allows you to keep track of these expenses. You are required by law to keep the following PAYE records: payments to employees; National Insurance, Tax and Student Loan payment deductions from wages; benefits and expenses paid to employees; statutory payments (sick or maternity leave).
VAT
All VAT registered businesses are required by law to keep the following records for at least 6 years: VAT sales and purchase invoices; a VAT account; all export and import documents.
VAT registered business will need to complete and return a VAT return form every quarter (4 times a year). This will include details of the following: what you owe or are owed by HMRC; what you have paid any supplier; what you have charged any customers.
Whatever kind of business you are setting up, getting to grips early on with your records can ensure that your first year of trade runs as smoothly as possible. With modern computing and accessible data programmes, it is easier than ever to produce a bookkeeping system which works for you and your business.…

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Business News Articles

Unemployed? Put Yourself to Work!

The latest figures show the unemployment rate in the US is topping 10%’s one in ten people out of work! And, the future isn’t looking particularly bright. Recent reports estimate the lack of work will continue through 2011, at least. You can’t sit around and wait for big business or the government to turn the economy around, so it’s pretty much up to you to take control for yourself. How can you get your financial life back on track? Put yourself to work!
Starting a business of your own is the best and only way to take complete control of your work life. Working for yourself means no layoffs, no wage freezes, no begging for a day off, no hoping that the big bossman will grant you a meager year-end bonus. When you work for yourself, YOU set your income goals and work as hard (or not) as needed to reach those goals. YOU develop a company culture that fits your personality. YOU establish your own work hours. And YOU decide when it’s time to grow.
Of course, starting a business requires a good bit of time and effort, but at least the work you do is just for you. When you want to earn more income, you put in more work. When you want a little time off, you take the time you need. Because it’s all on you, you will do the work to control the risks and because you are taking control of your worklife, you are more likely to stay motivated.
For many new entrepreneurs, the toughest part of independence is taking the first even figuring out what that first step would be. If you’re just not sure where to start, start here:
Define Your Goals
Take a look at where you are now and where you want to be. Write it all down and cover all areas of your life.
Make the Tough Decisions
If you are drowning in debt, decide how to handle it. If you hate your job, set a deadline to make the change. If you don’t have any startup cash, figure out how to raise it. Look at the gap between where you are and where you want to be and create a concrete plan to close up that gap. If it seems like it will take forever, don’t let that bother you. If you start today, you are one day closer to where you want to be!
Pick a Startup
Brainstorm business ideas, find a modified version of your own big idea, talk to your friends and family about startup opportunities. It really doesn’t matter where you start with your independence, just that you get started. Most wildly successful entrepreneur change direction a number of times before landing on the perfect opportunity. And, more opportunities seem to appear once you’ve taken the first step.
Educate Yourself
Entrepreneurship is its own separate profession. Becoming an expert requires that you learn the fundamentals of a bunch of other professions, including accounting, marketing, financial management, sales, logistics, even secretarial and janitorial duties. Beyond that, you will learn to incorporate all those basic skills and add the key ingredient to success – innovation. Innovation is finding a new, better way to get things done. It might be a change in the product, the sales process, or even in administrative functions, but innovations are the one factor that will make you a success. To be able to identify those innovations, you have to know the basics.
Watch for opportunity
Once you have taken the first leap into entrepreneurship (which might even just be making the decision to go out on your own!), you will begin to see opportunities all around you. Don’t be afraid to pursue multiple opportunities. As long as you manage your time well, having a bunch of hooks in the water will multiply your odds of catching some fish!…

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Business News Articles

Starting a Business From Home – 9 Tips on Starting Your Business

Starting a business from home can be both scary and exciting at the same time. In today’s economy many people are going into business for themselves and want to be the boss and earn the money that they deserve. This Article focuses on 9 important tips that can help you have success with your new venture.
Tip #1 – Check with you local business agencies or the sba to see if you need any license or permits to run a venture from your house. Some states do require these licenses and without them you can face fines and have your business shut down.
Tip #2 – Build you venture around the skills that you have, if you are a great graphic designer, then make sure to offer that as a service. Trying to learn a new craft and making a living off it is very difficult and it is not recommended at all. Your goal is to start making a living right away from your new venture, use your skills that made you some money in your former job.
This may sound funny but some folks try to build a new business around new skills that they have not polished yet and it ends up costing them their business, clients will leave you quickly and the complaints can build up quickly too.
Tip #3 – Make sure to have a website with a catchy domain name, if you are a graphic designer then make sure to include those keywords in your domain name. This will tell your clients what your business is all about, this builds branding right away.
Tip #4 – Build or have someone design you a professional website or blog. Image is everything and a sloppy looking site or blog will simply tell your clients that your business is sloppy too. If your site looks like a site from the 90s, then forget about having clients take you and your venture serious.
Tip #5 – Check on your competition and see what they are doing and how they are running their business. You will want to do this for sure, see how their site looks. Look at their products and services, see how much they are charging and what their unique selling propositions are.
Smart business owners do this all the time, they get tons of information from their competition and use it to their advantage and build a stronger more profitable business.
Tip #6 – Make it easy for your clients to order from you, do not make it an obstacle. If you plan on selling online then simply add a PayPal button to your website and make sure that your shopping cart works without any problems.
Tip #7 – Make sure that your site is not too heavy on the graphics and flash banners, slow loading sites will drive visitors away and this can reduce your sales drastically.
Tip #8 – Offer great customer support and make sure clients can contact you if they have any problems or issues. Having great customer support was how Dell became such a success.
Tip #9 – Delegate your weakness to someone who is stronger. If you strength is at graphic design, then make sure someone else does your marketing for you. If you are bad at accounting, then hire a cpa. This is very important, you can’t do everything by yourself and need help at times to make your business run smoothly.…

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Business News Articles

Use These Tips To Get Started With Facebook Marketing Today!

There are nearly unlimited points of view about how to most effectively use Facebook for marketing. A lot of the suggestions are trendy and devoid of substance, which means they won’t make you much money. The following advice will show you how to succeed.

It is important that your posts are always professional. Social media often has a relaxed or casual tone, but you still need to present a professional attitude. If you keep it professional, you will gain the respect and trust of your clientele.

You may want to try Facebook ads. Normal posting only adds so much when it comes to promoting services and products. If you want to reach a lot of people all at once you should try buying an ad on Facebook. They don’t cost a lot of money and they can make quite the difference.

Facebook Offers give you a way to promote yourself. Create the offer and then make sure to post it on the wall. If it’s a good offer, it can be promoted to non-fans.

Answer any questions and respond to comments on Facebook. Thank them for contacting you, and try to give helpful answers to their questions. Do not hesitate to share a link to your site if an article or page perfectly answers their question.

Allow interested parties to sign up via your Facebook page. Make a connection to communicate with visitors by asking them to sign up or register and offering them something in return. Consider holding a contest or sweepstakes.

Don’t share irrelevant updates. While current events, political issues or personal problems might be tempting to talk about, you may alienate your fans by discussing them. Your personal account should be used if you have personal things you want to talk with people about.

When making a decision, ask your fans for input. People enjoy being on the “inside.” A great way to do this is by getting them involved in business decisions. For example, if you run a blog you could ask them what kind of posts you should make.

You should post relevant and useful information regularly on your business Facebook page. This does not mean posting 5 times a day, but it does mean regular updates. Make sure you post content with important information that your target audience will find useful.

Always allow comments on your Facebook page. Turning off commenting may prevent inappropriate comments and spam, but it also makes your business seem anti-social and uncommunicative.

Do your best to get your customers to interact on your page. If you find a conversation that was started on a post you’ve made, let people continue it. If you delete something or ask people to stick to a topic, you risk offending them. Only intervene if the thread could offend someone.

Many people tend to follow “trends” they read or hear about in regards to Facebook marketing because they are lazy. This article should give you some great advice about Facebook marketing. You’ll have a successful Facebook marketing campaign by applying what you’ve learned here.…

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Business News Articles

Tips That Can Help You With Article Marketing

Solid marketing processes are necessary to achieve impressive business results. You must seek out the right knowledge in order to find success. This article provides the serious businessperson some expert tips about article marketing. Keep reading.

Every article you write must be entertaining. Always write in an informal style that’s friendly and warm. If your topic is extremely technical, or has a lot of industry specific terms, try to write some of it in layman’s terms so it is interesting for all readers, not just the hardened professional. If anyone can understand what you write, your readership will be large.

Always include “no follow” links within comments on your site. If someone shares spam, search engine spiders will not follow the link and it will not be associated with your site. Links to spam sites will influence the quality of your site.

If you are in a writing rut, try sparking some controversy. Create arguments for or against a celebrity’s actions or a particular company’s products. Owners of other sites will be tempted to link your site to theirs. When you properly edit your content quality, you can revive your blog and increase your standing as an expert in any subject.

Your article writing should make sense to readers at every level of familiarity with your product. If you are trying to market a product in your article that is very technical, include that information. As well as the technical jargon, you will also want to address readers who may not understand complicated terms by explaining things in a simpler manner. You will gain respect and a larger following by appealing to all readers, not purely a small group.

The title of your article is as important as the actual content, if not more so. When the title isn’t engaging, no one will read the article. Titles should be about your topic and should use easy-to-understand language. The title can also clearly inform the reader of the subject matter in your article.

Numbers or bullet points will improve the look of your article. Material organized in this way is easier to comprehend and recall. Numbering your main points is a good way to help readers retain the information.

It is wise to research the market before an individual produces content to be published. By knowing what one is up against, they can tailor their article to be the most effective at marketing for the individual.

If you are doing the writing, write it using your personal voice. Don’t try to sound like an expert if you are still a novice. Make sure you right what you know so you can comfortably sound like an expert on the subject.

In writing, use words that evoke emotions to draw the reader into what you are saying. Good writing should form a bond between the reader and you. People are frequently repelled by writers that sound too aloof and inhuman.

As mentioned before, your marketing initiative will succeed only if you acquire sound marketing skills. Once you learn the best way to market yourself, you will be well down the road toward hitting your earning goals.…

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Business News Articles

When You Need Ideas About Woodworking Fast, Read This

Are you concerned that woodworking may be too hard for you? Knowledge is the key to building beautiful woodworking projects. You just have to be willing and able to learn a few things first. This article will help get you started.

When you are working with wood, always think about safety. Always use your tools in the way they were intended to be used and wear safety equipment at all times. Never take the guards off the power tools that you use. The guards are there to keep you safe. You could get hurt if you do this.

Do you know how to find the best height for your workbench? To find the best height, measure the distance from the floor to your waistline. That tells you the best height for a good workbench.

Always select the correct wood for your project. Different types of wood can handle different levels of stresses. Some are stronger than others. If you don’t know how different types of wood will work, spend time learning about both the wood and the project you wish to complete.

When you are budgeting for new projects, don’t forget to set aside money for any tools you need. You may only think about the wood and overlook the tools themselves. There may be things that you need and will have to get which may become budget breakers unless you plan for it.

A stair gauge is an essential item in every wood shop. They are typically used to put down stair jacks, although they can function as a clamp for a carpenter’s square. It will convert a carpenter’s square into your guide for the circular saw. Also, it will improve the quality of each cut.

Do not become too much of a perfectionist with your tape measures. You may find a story stick useful, and you have the option of gradually working toward making a cut. There’s always time to practice a cut on scrap first. Having more than one way to approach a cut keeps things fresh and interesting, avoiding boredom and accidents from mental lapses.

Don’t forget to keep in touch with others. Your shop is a place where you work alone. Some projects will just leave you without inspiration. Talk to woodworkers to get advice in these situations. It’s likely there are others with your question too.

Keep your eye out for furniture that others have tossed out. Many free wooden pieces of furniture can be had free, or dirt cheap. Don’t dismiss any piece outright. Maybe the dresser might be too short for the hope chest, but a simple rearranging of the drawers could turn the piece into something artistic.

If you need excellent circular saw guides, then stair gauges is the answer. Stair gauges are typically used to assist in lining up the notches on stairs. By attaching them to a carpenter’s square, you can use them for circular saw cuts instead.

There, now you have the right information about woodworking. Use the knowledge from this article to complete wonderful projects and hone your skills. With continued learning and practice, you’re going to get better and better. Use these tips found here as the jumping off point you need. Enjoy yourself!…

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Business News Articles

What You Need To Do To Invest In Real Estate

Everyone has heard about people becoming a millionaire, thanks to investing in real estate. There are some people that just want to give it a try. If you fall into that category, you’ll benefit from the following article.

Before making an investment in real estate, analyze the current market and do your research. It is best to compile information on at least 50 properties from your target area and put this into a spreadsheet. Compare things like the costs of repairs, desirability of location and potential return on your investment. This will allow you to pick out great deals instead of ones that are bad.

Understand that reputation is one of the most important aspects that you will deal with when venturing into this business. This means sticking to your word and not lying to your clients. Developing good relationships with clients will also help to build up your own reputation in a positive way.

Check out the value of other area properties. This information will give you a better understanding of the neighborhood. You can make better decisions when you think about all of this.

Keep two things in mind. You want to make sure that you get a fair deal on the square footage. Secondly, do not pay too much for the business. Take independent looks at the value of the physical property as-is, as well as what kind of rental income you can expect from the business. It is important that both of these numbers provide a good deal for you.

Find other investors and talk to them. It’s important to reach out to others and get advice from those more experienced than yourself. It’s also handy to have friends in the business to consult when issues arise. You can find others with the same interests on the Internet. Join a few forums and look into attending meetups.

When looking to purchase an investment property, make sure the rent you will be collecting will cover most, if not all your monthly mortgage payment. This can help you get on the right foot. Nothing is worse than having to come up with money out of your pocket for the monthly rent because your renter’s monthly payment doesn’t cover it.

Stay away from properties that are at the bottom of the selections. Though the price may tempt you, you could get stuck for the long-term when no buyers are to be found. Try spending some time to get something better that can help you earn your money back.

When thinking about the value of a potential investment, be realistic about the amount of rent you can charge. This could net you a lot of money. You can then go on to resell the home and make a significantly larger gross profit.

If you wish to make major income using real estate investments, don’t delay anymore. Now that you’re more informed, you can start investing! Keep the things you read here close to you and you should have no problems with having success.…