Thinking long term is a key business strategy
We were finally getting over the financial crisis when Covid struck. Then, in the trough of the worst economic downturn in 300 years, we discovered that recovery was driving the FTSE to new heights and the job market into a frenzy. In the wake of that, it became clear that the recovery was overheating and that we are now facing a period of rising inflation and industrial action.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has made things worse. It has not only meant human suffering – it has affected the entire global economy, driving up the cost of food and energy. It adds to the hardship for those on low incomes and means serious food security risks in the world’s poorest economies.
The economy has always had its ups and downs, but its resemblance to a roller coaster is currently more marked than ever.
Businesses of every size face challenges that are now suppressing growth. A business might have a great product or service, but without a strategic plan to help it define, articulate and communicate where it is going, it will be at the mercy of outside events. We encourage our clients to take some time to think long-term about their business and to establish goals or targets that you can control.
A plan starts with identifying and accessing opportunities within your market and should address how your business is going to evolve to meet the challenges of today and the future. The plan gives your business purpose and answers questions about your long-term goals.
The first step is to look at five important areas:
- Think long term – invest time in understanding where the market is going and what this means for your customers. Short-term decisions do not help grow a business.
- Having a good value proposition is essential – this states the relevance of your product or service, what it does and why customers need it. What is yours?
- Expand your reach – who is your target customer and what do you need to do to let them know you exist and that your product or service is relevant to them?
- Growth means new people, systems and (maybe) different ways of doing things. Grow at a pace you can manage.
- How will your marketing get your value proposition to relevant customers?
Once you have taken time to write your plan and decide where you want your business to be in (say) 2 years, the next step is to work out a marketing programme with actions to make it happen.
A marketing plan is a business document outlining your marketing strategy and tactics. It is often focused on a specific period of time (i.e. over the next 12 months) and covers a variety of marketing-related details, such as costs, goals, and action steps. But like your business plan, a marketing plan is not a static document. The plan should outline:
- How you are going to keep existing customers happy and returning to buy more often.
- What the goals are for getting new customers.
- The marketing methods you are going to use to achieve 1 and 2.
We specialise in helping our clients manage their businesses. We do this by preparing and updating detailed forecasts, using the latest and most powerful software.
Please talk to us about strategic planning. We can help with a template so you can do this yourself or work together to produce estimates for various scenarios and help you take control of your business!
HMRC reduce advisory fuel rate for petrol company cars
HMRC has announced their suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car from 1 December 2022, which are summarized in the table below. The rates have been reduced in line with the recent fall in petrol prices. However, diesel prices remain the same and LPG reimbursement rates have increased.
Remember, that provided all private fuel is fully reimbursed by the employee/director, the fuel benefit does not apply.
|1400cc or less
|1600cc or less
|1401cc to 2000cc
|1601 to 2000cc
Where the employer’s policy is that they do not pay for any fuel for the company car, these are the amounts that can be reimbursed to the employee in respect of qualifying business journeys for the payments to be tax-free. Where there has been a change, the rate for the previous quarter is shown in brackets. You can continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.
Note that for hybrid cars, you must use the petrol or diesel rate. For fully electric cars, the rate is now 8p per mile (previously 5p per mile).
Self-Assessment: don’t forget to declare COVID-19 payments
HMRC is reminding taxpayers that they must declare COVID-19 payments in their tax return for the 2021 to 2022 tax year.
These grants are taxable and should be declared on tax returns for the 2021 to 2022 tax year before the deadline on 31 January 2023.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) application and payment windows during the 2021 to 2022 tax year were:
- SEISS 4: 22 April 2021 to 1 June 2021
- SEISS 5: 29 July 2021 to 30 September 2021
SEISS is not the only COVID-19 support scheme that should be declared on tax returns. If taxpayers received other support payments during the 2021 to 2022 tax year, they may need to report this on their tax return if they are:
- In a partnership
- A business
FSB Small Business Awards 2023
The Federation of Small Business (FSB) is celebrating the achievements and contributions of small businesses and the self-employed across the UK. As the largest event of its kind in the small business calendar, the high-profile FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards are free to enter and open to all.
With winners from each category securing a spot at the UK final and a chance to be crowned the UK Small Business of the Year, it’s an opportunity for widespread recognition.
There are 12 categories, and you are welcome to enter as many different categories in your area as you like, however, please only submit one entry per category.
The closing date for Wales is 2 February 2023 with the Welsh final taking place on 24 March 2023.