Government-funded Get Mentoring delivers free mentor training to business people with the aim that they will give free support to a new or growing business. Everyone completing the short training course receives a SFEDI Certificate of Recognition, two year’s free membership of the Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurs and information about mentoring opportunities across the UK. Visit the Get Mentoring website for more information.
The Dover Grammar School for Girls is looking for female role models from the business world to take part in the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work programme. Volunteers from the corporate world are partnered with secondary schools to explore speaking and listening in the workplace through a range of workshops. If you would be interested in volunteering, please contact James Brown.
These free webinars will run throughout December and January. Led by HMRC staff, they are predominantly for sole traders, but everyone is welcome. The deadline for submitting online tax returns is midnight on Thursday January 31, so the time to act is now. Visit the HMRC website for more information and to book.
Data suggests that there has never been a more popular time to start your own business. Company registrations are at an all time high in parts of the UK, and evidence suggests that more and more of us are forking out hard earned cash to attend entrepreneurial events.
Getting going with a business is far from easy however. The obvious starting point is an idea, which may be born out of a gap in the market or seeing a product or service and believing you could deliver it better. Then there is the financial side of things to consider – start up capital is of primary importance in the short term, but longer-term profit and sustainability must also be considered.
Legally, starting a business can be fairly straightforward. Sole trader status is afforded to anyone who registers as self-employed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and with a low turnover would not require VAT registration or the submission of annual accounts.
For most though, registering a company will be important, not least for the prestige that company registration carries in terms of convincing clients that you ‘mean business’, but also as it opens doors to bank finance and tax benefits that are just not available to sole traders.
Company registration is quick and easy and can now be completed online for a small fee. For those who want peace of mind, asking your local solicitor is a good option, as they can talk through some of the basics before you get going.
Company formation is more difficult when there are other parties involved. It is possible to register a ‘one person’ company, with one director and no company secretary, however when more parties are involved you will need to divide shares and may then require a shareholder agreement. This is something you will want to take legal advice on, even if you decide to write it yourself.
The process of starting a business becomes more complex when moving on to consider contracts for sale, terms and conditions of trade, renting of business premises and hiring of employees. Each of these areas is complex, and will again require expert legal advice to get right.
Whether you decide to run a company, or operate as a sole trader, you will have annual paperwork obligations. For a sole trader this will probably extend no further than a tax return, but for a company director this will also include an annual submission of accounts to Companies House, as well as other financial submissions to HMRC.
Getting to grips with your legal obligations early on is vital to avoid nasty surprises later on. This is especially true if you have never been self-employed before. There are financial penalties for the late submission of financial documents, which can be avoided by acting early. It is now possible to do much of the paperwork to run a business yourself, but it is still important to get good legal advice at the outset and from time to time thereafter, to ensure you stay up to date with regulations and to avoid missing important deadlines.
You have just woken up. You feel full of energy. Your mind is clear. Your mood is stable, you are mentally sharp and you are fully focused. You look good, feel confident and are on top of life. This is not only how you could be, this is how you should be! Let me show you how. - Lucy Osborne
Lucy Osborne gave an excellent presentation on optimum nutrition to EKWiB members on October 17, 2012. If you missed it, you can get the main pointers here in her edited presentation.
Lucy Osborne is a naturopath, herbalist and zest4life weight loss consultant. Originally qualifying as a physiotherapist Lucy went to study naturopathy at one of Australia’s leading natural therapy colleges, graduating in 2002. Since then Lucy has worked in private practice both in Australia and the UK. Currently living in Kent, Lucy is excited to be working with Foreman & Jones in Hythe.
I have always wanted to own a clothes shop and I love dress agencies – you can often find real gems that you would never find on the High Street. So I have decided to dip my toe in the water by opening my own online dress agency, called The Clothes Wardrobe.
For those of you not familiar with dress agencies, the idea is that you drop off your unwanted clothes, accessories and shoes and the agency sells them on your behalf. Most dress agencies will give you 50% of the final sale price.
I have been running The Clothes Wardrobe as an eBay shop for just over a month now and things are going well with sales to customers in the UK, Germany and Canada. I’ve even had an enquiry from Croatia!
How it works
- You drop off your items (good condition, season-appropriate) at my studio at an agreed time
- We agree a price and how you want to sell the items – Auction or Buy It Now
- I list the items in my shop for a maximum 30 days (3 listings of 10 days each)
- After 20 days you can decide to reduce the price if it isn’t selling
- When it sells you will receive 50% of the final sale price
- I will transfer the monies to you once I know the buyer is happy or after 14 days
- I will handle listing, photos, postage, contact with buyer and cover all eBay and PayPal fees
- If the item doesn’t sell, you will need to collect it
- Turns unwanted items into cash
- Your item will be seen by lots more people than a shop
- Involves minimum effort on your part
- May be a risk of starting at a lower price than you would want
- You only get 50% of the sale price
So, for items that are just too good to give away let them earn you some money – maybe to put into your new clothes fund! I’m currently looking for Autumn/Winter items, ideally from high-end brands like Hobbs, Phase Eight, Monsoon, Jigsaw, Boden and Crea Concept.
February’s EKWiB event was presented by Sharon Wilding from The Purple Edge. It was a great evening with lots of questions from the group – it seems most of us have accounts but could do more with them. Here is the presentation to remind you of the key points.