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Unfortunately during 2009 more businesses are likely to go to the wall.  As they do, they will leave debts behind them and unsecured creditors will be lucky to recover anything from the fallout.  So what would happen if it was one of your customers that went bust and how can you protect yourself against it happening. Basic precautions to ensure you get paid The following five steps should be undertaken by every business.  Most of

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The current credit crisis shows no sign of slowing at the moment, so it’s important that small businesses keep on top of their cash control procedures. Credit crisis – Tips for survival We’ve listed 5 tips below which will help you keep on top of your business during these tough times: Ensure credit control procedures are working properly. Customers will often pay those who shout the loudest, so, if necessary, make sure this is you.

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I attended a conference last week and one of the speakers shared a really useful gem of a story with the delegates.  It certainly made me think about things a bit more closely.  A professor stood before his philosophy class and picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor

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As the recession bites, risks to cashflow increase with SME’s more likely to be on the receiving end.  Chasing overdue invoices is uncomfortable and many of us fear that rocking the boat will sour relationships.  The most vunerable are those who have been lax in chasing debt previously.  It is far too common for small businesses to allow 60 days to pass before chasing payment of invoices and this sends the wrong message to customers! 

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HMRC confirmed last month that it is phasing out paper VAT returns. From April 2010, if your busienss turnover is greater than £100,000 or you are newly VAT registered, you will have to complete and pay your VAT online.  Those business who fall out of those criteria will still be able to file a paper return. Accountancy Extra are already onto these changes.  If we currently prepare your VAT return, we’ve already started to migrate

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I posted last week about quantifying the difference  between you and your competitors so that you stand out in the crowd. I thought it may be a good idea to share with you a couple of things that local businesses are doing right now to differentiate: A local restaurant has bought two people carriers and runs customers home free of charge after their meal.  Customers find it great as they don’t have to worry about

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The current statutory holiday entitlement of 24 days (4.8 weeks) for a full time worker meaning generally a five-day week is increasing. From 1 April 2009, such workers are entitled to 28 days (5.6 weeks). This is a minimum entitlement, so you can choose to offer more. For part-time workers, holiday entitlement is worked out on a pro-rata basis. The following examples will demonstrate some typical situations: Avril works three days a week so she is

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent quite a lot of time giving advice to business owners on making their businesses stronger, particularly during these tough times. When we’ve sat down and talked, I’ve asked them all the same question, “so why should I buy from you?” Amongst the variety of replies I’ve heard, the question of service seems to crop up time and time again.  “we offer a better service” is often the response

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