Shane Donnelly's Posts

Offline Businesses Could Generate £8.4bn A Year If They Go Digital

Offline Businesses Could Generate £8.4bn A Year If They Go Digital

UK small businesses that don’t have an online presence could generate £8.4bn a year for the UK economy if they went digital, according to a new report by eBay. The survey of 501 small enterprise owners revealed that 23% of all small firms have no means of selling their product or services online – despite the fact they could potentially receive increased revenue of around £20,000 if they did. It’s suggested more support is needed to help smaller enterprises embrace the opportunity that ecommerce presents. According to YouGov, 23% of small firms surveyed had no website, 40% no social media accounts and 72% had no online marketplace. Despite the obvious benefits of selling to customers all over the world, 57% of businesses without a website said they had no plans to change this in 2017, citi... »

Customer Service Suffers If Employees Don’t Feel Engaged

Customer Service Suffers If Employees Don’t Feel Engaged

UK small businesses are being warned that having unengaged workers can lead to problems with customer service, according to a report by Dragonfish. The survey of 1,200 employees revealed that 64% don’t believe the company they work for has a clear purpose, with the same number believing it solely exists to earn money. Trust appears to be another big issue for respondents, as just 40% have confidence in higher management with 58% of the belief their role has no bearing on the long term future of the business. It’s suggested a main consequence of such employee dis-engagement is decreased customer service, as just 32%of those surveyed see their colleagues ‘putting the customer first’ on a daily basis, while 33% believe their co-workers are good at understanding customer expectations. Richard ... »

Salary Sacrifice Schemes: What Next?

Salary Sacrifice Schemes: What Next?

Towards the end of 2016 The Finance Bill 2017 was published, containing provisions intended to eliminate tax advantages that many previously enjoyed through entering into salary sacrifice schemes. Salary sacrifice schemes are agreements undertaken between employers and employees to provide non-cash benefits. However, changes to such schemes, announced in November’s Autumn Statement, mean that employers who have these arrangements in place must prepare to adhere to the new legislation coming into effect from 6 April 2017. The change is due to the government’s concerns regarding an increase in the use of salary sacrifice arrangements, especially as employees effectively pay for the benefit themselves through the reduction in their gross pay. What changes are proposed? Consultation documents ... »

“Making Tax Digital? Haven’t Heard of It!” Say 94% of Business Owners

“Making Tax Digital? Haven’t Heard of It!” Say 94% of Business Owners

94% of UK small business owners have no idea they’ll be able to pay and manage their taxes online in the coming years despite having problems with the current system, according to a report by 1Tap Receipts. The survey of self-employed workers revealed that an overwhelming majority have never heard of the government initiative Making Tax Digital, which plans to implement a fully digital tax system by 2020. The current system of self-declaration appears to be a significant burden for many small firm owners, as 45% of spend five hours or more completing their tax returns, while 22% spend over ten. Not surprisingly, 55% of those surveyed say they “don’t like” submitting their tax returns. Business owners are reminded that the tax self-assessment deadline of 31 January is vast approaching, with... »

47% of Business Owners Claim Their Bank Gave Them Bad Advice

47% of Business Owners Claim Their Bank Gave Them Bad Advice

47% of UK small business owners claim that advice they received from their bank had a negative impact on their enterprise, according to a report by Amicus Commercial Finance. The survey of 504 small business decision makers revealed that 16% admitted their firm is now in a worse position having accepted such recommendations – with 40% saying the service they’ve received in the past “isn’t good”. The relationship between small businesses and traditional lenders appears to be straining, with 30% of enterprise owners refusing to describe their bank as ‘helpful’, while 46% wouldn’t describe them as ‘flexible’ either. When quizzed about their biggest grievance with modern day banks, respondents cited having to deal with call centres as a means of customer service as the biggest – believing them... »

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign shoppers took advantage of the pound’s weak value by spending over £725m on the UK high street in December alone, according to research by Worldpay. Their study of foreign credit card transactions revealed that spending was up 22% or an extra £130m compared to Christmas 2015, with bargain-hunters from Hong Kong the biggest spenders followed by the US, United Arab Emirates and China. It’s suggested Britain’s decision to leave the EU in June was major factor in the increase in spend, with the pound dropping 8% against the dollar and 12% against the euro tempting ‘Brexit tourists’ to fly over from some good deals. This drop in value also presents an opportunity for exporters however, with oversea buyers now believing they’ll get more ‘bang for their buck’ if they buy UK goods. James F... »

Businesses Urged To Do More To Support Staff Financial Well-Being

Businesses Urged To Do More To Support Staff Financial Well-Being

UK business owners are being urged to make more efforts to support staff financially, as a report from CIPD and Close Brothers Asset Management has revealed the full extent of employee money woes. The survey of 1,817 British adults reports that 25% of respondents have a financial situation so bad that it affects their ability to work, with this figure rising to 31% among 18-24 year olds and 32% for those living in London. Surprisingly, such financial stress isn’t exclusive to low-income earners with 20% of employees earning between £45,000 and £59,999 admitting such anxiety has also impacted on their performance in work. When divided by gender, women are more likely than men to report money worries with 28% of females signalling they have such a problem, compared to just 23% of all males. ... »

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Energy Buying

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Energy Buying

Whether you’re a business owner just starting out, or an already-established small business considering switching energy suppliers, getting to grips with energy buying if you haven’t done so before can be a difficult and time consuming process. For example, data from Utilitywise found that one in five business owners struggle to understand their energy bills. The survey revealed that 23% of business owners don’t double check the accuracy of their bill due to time constraints and a further 23% simply trust that it’s accurate even without multiple checks. Many small business owners simply don’t know where to begin. There are four key areas that small businesses should consider as a starting point to better energy buying and these are: comparing prices and charges; evaluating service levels; ... »

Businesses Urged To Unlock Extra £473m In Interest

Businesses Urged To Unlock Extra £473m In Interest

UK small businesses are being urged to shop around for better banking deals and avail of an extra £473m worth of interest. A new study from Cambridge & Counties Bank has revealed that 30% of all business deposit accounts pay just 0.1% interest or less on balances of £25,000 – suggesting millions of small firms are getting a raw deal. Following the August rate cut by the Bank of England, the average rate available for such accounts has declined to 0.41%, 38% down from the start of the year – representing a missed opportunity for small businesses. UK small enterprises currently hold an estimated £69bn in deposit accounts, with business deposits up 3% from last year. Mike Kirsopp, chief executive officer at Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: “There is a significant spread of rates on th... »

35% of UK Entrepreneurs Lose Motivation to Run Their Business – At Least Once A Year

35% of UK Entrepreneurs Lose Motivation to Run Their Business – At Least Once A Year

35% of UK entrepreneurs lose the motivation to run their business at least once a year, according to a new report by Haines Watts. The survey of 514 UK business owners revealed that 53% said that financial worries was their biggest concern, and that their volume of work (43%) and responsibility to their staff (42%) was draining their passion for running an enterprise. An uneven work-life balance, experienced by 59% of respondents, also appears to be taking its toll on firm owners’ psychological wellbeing with 70% admitting they sometimes flirt with the idea of “doing something else.” Furthermore, business owners appear unable to leave their problems in the office as 38% say their relationship with their partner has suffered as a result of running their own company – with 30% saying t... »

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