What’s really important?
With the constant news surrounding the economy, interest rate uncertainty, and high inflation, its difficult not to worry about these issues and lose sight of what’s really important – the health and welfare of you and your loved ones.
The issue we all face is a potent mix of inflation, recession, high debts, and the core reason for it all, a wartime energy shock. It is not the market driving the crisis; it is geopolitics, diplomacy, and conflict. On an individual level these events are not within our control, so what can we do to keep rational whilst this crisis unfolds?
It is worth remembering a quote from the singer Celine Dion: “Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this”.
Firstly, know that you can only control your life and those close to you. Everything else going on is typically uncontrollable just now, so take time to set some long-term goals to give you a sense of agency and control. Next, List the things that make you happy and safe, by doing this you can focus on the good things and not the other stuff. Thirdly, take time out to do things you enjoy. Doing something you are good at reinforces a sense of self-worth and purpose.
If you own a business, then:
- Take time to review your personal objectives – the business is there to provide you with what you want from life, not the other way round!
- Look at where the business is now: its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will give you a clear understanding of its position in the marketplace, the competition, the systems, and the way things are done and the improvements that could be made.
- Focus on what the business is to look like when it is “complete” or running profitably and successfully. You can then determine priorities – the big issues that need to be focussed on.
It is also a good idea to look at where you are now and plan for a range of “good and bad” scenarios so that you can be flexible about the direction you should take.
Ask us about our One Page Analyst, a “what if” scenario planner which takes your projected 2023 figures and allows you to work out the effect on profit of reducing expenses, increasing sales, increasing, or decreasing prices.
If you need help during the next few months, please call us – we are here to support you!
Business asset finance explained
Business Asset Finance is an agreement that enables businesses to obtain the assets needed to manage and/or expand effectively and spread the cost/outlay.
Regardless of the size of business, the decision to invest in assets is always difficult but take a look at some of the benefits:
- A great alternative to a traditional bank loan;
- Increased tax benefits;
- Payments can be budgeted according to cash flow; and
- Lenders secure against the asset.
Specialists can advise on:
- Hire Purchase – allows you to buy an asset and pay for it over a period of time, spreading the cost via an agreement with a finance company. An initial deposit is payable; and
- Finance Leases – a rental agreement through which an asset can be obtained for a fixed term. At the end of the initial term, the agreement can be extended, or sold with a rebate of the sale proceeds to the client.
You will need to ensure your management accounts are up to date, you have current detailed lists of debtors and creditors and all assets, and you might need up to date projections before a lender will consider your application. Please talk to us about finance, we can introduce you to finance specialists who have many years of experience and success in advising business across a wide range of sectors.
Bill discounts for energy and trade intensive sectors
Applications have now opened for energy and trade intensive sectors that are most affected by the rise in global energy prices to claim further discounts on their bills between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.
Ceramics and textiles are among the wide range of sectors potentially in line to benefit. These companies use high amounts of energy to deliver their goods, but also are exposed to strong international competition, meaning they cannot raise their prices to cover the increase in costs they have faced.
The offer is part of the government’s new Energy Bills Discount Scheme, launched last month, which will continue to automatically give businesses across the UK money off their energy.
Businesses are advised to, as soon as possible, find out their eligibility and what they need to do to apply. Discounts could be reflected in bills from as soon as June, with support backdated to 1 April. This could save some around 20% on predicted wholesale energy costs.
Royal Mail strike
Royal Mail offered a settlement that has been agreed by the Communication Workers Union’s (CWU) Postal Executive Committee (PEC) and accepted by CWU members who voted on the offer via a ballot. The agreement includes a pay offer as well as the improvements made during negotiations. Hopefully there will be normal postal services from now on.
See: CWU: News
First aid at work: the basics
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced ‘basics for your business’ webpages offering health and safety advice, whatever industry you work in.
The basic step-by-step guide on first aid at work explains how you can have the right arrangements, including:
- a first aid kit,
- training workers,
- first aid for homeworkers, and
- appointing first aiders.
Other ‘basics for your business’ topics include reporting accidents and illness and ensuring you have the right workplace facilities.