Keepers Accountancy's Blog

Keepers Client Spotlight: Afterbuild Ltd

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Nov 15, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Are you a residential developer or housing association? Afterbuild Ltd provides a professional, unique solution to help you manage your duties throughout the Builder's Liability Period 


In the UK, every new-build residential property requires the developer to provide a recognised 10 year warranty (e.g. NHBC certificate). This is to protect both the mortgage lender and the buyer in the event that build problems arise later. Years 1-2 are known as the Builder's Liability Period (BLP).
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Topics: Client Spotlight

How to brand your small business on the cheap - Part 2

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Nov 10, 2016 5:00:00 PM


If you are planning to start your own business - whether you already have a few clients lined up, or nothing more than a name - here is the second part of our guide to build your brand without spending too much.

In our previous article we talked about how getting a logo and a website are the starting points of a brand  - and how relevant content can give your website a SEO boost and drive more visits. We continue our guide on branding on a budget by talking about the importance of social media, networking and good customer service.
 
Social Media
 
Branch out on social media to reach out to as many people as possible, with very little investment. A profile on the major platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, can be an invaluable tool for communicating with potential customers. Depending on your type of business, Pinterest and Instagram might also be worth considering, for example if your products or services have a visual/aesthetic element to them.

The content you post on social media should be consistent with your image, and you should make sure it reflects your values. Social media can also be a great way to find out what your customers think about you - just encourage feedback. Starting discussions around a topic is also a great way to engage customers and get them to communicate, so that they feel a connection - remember, people buy from people!  
 
Customers rely  on your brand's online presence to gather more information about your business and your products - so cultivate your social media accounts as you would a virtual shopfront. 

Networking

Even though social media has such an important role in making your brand known these days, face-to-face networking can still be an invaluable tool. It might take some time but participating to local business meet ups and networking events will get your name out. 

Word-of-mouth is still a key way of obtaining new clients for many businesses - with consumers still relying heavily on relatives and friends' recommendations to choose where to shop.
 

 
Customer Experience
 
Creating a good customer experience that differentiates you from your competitors can really help you build a strong, positive brand image. For a start-up, listening to feedback is extremely useful as it will help you build the experience your customers are looking for. If you are targeting a particular type of person with your marketing, you should try to step into their shoes and gain an understanding of what service levels they expect. You could run a simple survey or just ask their opinion about the service at the end of the phone call. 
 
By giving your customers advice that is in their interest, beyond the simple sales process, will help you build a relationship of trust with them. Show them you can deliver even more that you promised - to strengthen your brand and its position within the industry.
 
In conclusion, the first step to brand your small business on the cheap is to create the relevant social media accounts. This will help you reach out to your potential customers online - while face-to-face networking will get your name out and strengthen your reputation. Lastly, make sure your customers are getting the service they expect and much more, as good customer experience can form the backbone of your brand.
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Topics: business tips, start up advice

How to tackle late payment - free tips for SMEs

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Nov 3, 2016 5:00:00 PM

According to a YouGov poll, 85% of SME's are affected by the issue of late payment. If you are one of them, here are out tips for tackling and preventing it

 
 
Late-paying customers can have a major impact on a business. They can create lasting damage to its financial health, with many SME's forced to borrow money or in turn become late payers themselves. Here are  our free tips for SME's on how to tackle late payment and prevent it from having a damaging effect on your cash flow and credit rating.
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Topics: business tips

The 5 traits to look for in a small business employee

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Oct 27, 2016 5:00:00 PM


As a small business you are very reliant on your team - that is why it is essential to find the right person

Bigger firms can often rely on a large network of staff and HR personnel to recruit new employees. As a small business, you have limited resources - and that is why you need to get it right. You will need staff members with the flexibility to take on varied roles and cope with changing needs. So if it's time for your SME to recruit, here are the 5 traits of the perfect small business employee.
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Topics: business tips, Employees, start up advice, recruitment

How will Making Tax Digital affect small businesses?

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Oct 20, 2016 5:00:00 PM

HRMC is planning the introduction of a new, fully digital tax regime which will apply to all businesses. With quarterly returns now a possibility, here is what small businesses should expect   

 
The plan, named Making Tax Digital, has already been partly introduced, with individuals currently able to log in and view their tax affairs online. HMRC is planning to extend this to all businesses by 2020, in a move that might have a significant impact on SME's - whether this will be positive or negative, it remains to be seen.
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Topics: making tax digital, digital tax

Keepers Client Spotlight: Flying Colours Fire & Security Systems Ltd

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Oct 13, 2016 5:01:00 PM

Flying Colours Fire & Security Systems Ltd is a new and upcoming local business, dealing with both commercial and domestic properties.

It all started when Stuart Rennie, after a career in aviation, decided to go back to what he really enjoyed. Building upon an initial apprenticeship undertaken in his hometown of Fife, Scotland, Stuart founded the company in 2015.
 
Flying Colours Fire & Security Systems Ltd is based in Crawley, West Sussex, and covers the majority of the South East area. It specialises in the installation and maintenance of intruder and fire detection systems, as well as CCTV, door entry and access systems. 
 
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Topics: Client Spotlight

How to brand your small business on the cheap

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Sep 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM

If you are planning to start your own business - whether you already have a few clients lined up, or nothing more than a name - here is a guide to on how to build your brand without spending too much

When starting a business, it is important to begin laying the foundations for growth early on. For this, branding is key: in a world where a strong identity can make or break a business, especially online, building your start-up around a solid concept will help you establish yourself and differentiate you from the competition. To that end, here are a few tips to help you brand your small business on the cheap, with as little initial investment as possible, and make sure you set it on the right path.
 
Logo

A logo is the first th ing ma ny people picture when they think about a company or a product. From the instantly recognisable lettering of Coca-cola to the minimalist shape of Nike, a logo can give the customer an idea of what you are all about and set you apart from the competition.
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Topics: business tips, start up advice

Keepers Client Spotlight: Sussex Soundhouse

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Sep 19, 2016 5:00:00 PM


Sussex Soundhouse supplies a wide range of musical instruments and equipment. Based in Horsham, West Sussex, it was started in 2013 by David and Rebecca

David & Rebecca Thompson established Sussex Soundhou­se at Unit 1, Blatchford Close Industrial Estate, off Redkiln Way in Horsham 3 years ago. Sussex Soundhouse offers a wide range of guitars, bass and drums as well as orchestral instruments, saxophones, trumpets, flutes and violins. They also stock a good variety of ukuleles and even bongos, tambourines and a kazoo!
 
A large range of services are offered - ranging from stringing a guitar, lacquering a trumpet, to picking up drumsticks or leads. It is a general music shop with instruments and accessories.
 
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Topics: Client Spotlight

Auto Enrolment Explained - Part 2 of our Guide to Payroll

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Sep 8, 2016 5:00:00 PM


In the first part of this guide we introduced payroll and gave a basic overview of the tasks it involves. In this post we will discuss specific areas - such as the tricky subject of Auto Enrolment.

Payroll is a term commonly used to describe the set of rules, requirements and practices related to paying an employee - from issuing payslips, keeping records and deducting the right amount of tax from a salary. Some prefer to outsource payroll completely, to avoid having to worry about this side of the business, but for those who decide to do it in house, here is a more in-depth explanation of some of its areas - in the second part of our payroll guide for SME's.
 
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Topics: business tips, What is PAYE, Payroll, start up advice

How do I pay an employee? A payroll guide for SME's - part 1

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Sep 1, 2016 5:00:00 PM


If you are a one-person firm, like the majority of Britain's private sector businesses, chance is you never had to worry about payroll - but if you have decided to take on staff, here is a quick guide on how to pay them

Payroll is a term commonly used to describe the set of rules, requirements and practices related to paying an employee - from issuing payslips, keeping records and deducting the right amount of tax from a salary.
 
Managing the payroll side of your business can be more or less complex depending on various factors, such as number of employees and whether they are paid on a weekly or monthly basis. It can be further complicated by a high staff turnover, which would require frequent changes and might increase the chance of mistakes being made. 
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Topics: business tips, What is PAYE, Payroll, start up advice