So the Beast from the East has finally retreated, we’ve wound the clocks forwards and we’ve packed away our winter coats. A brand-new season is finally upon us.
“Spring is the time for plans and projects”, Tolstoy once wrote, and it seems many people heartily agree. After all, this is a popular time of year for house cleaning, DIY projects, or promises to revisit all those broken new year’s resolutions. Yet with a new financial year upon us, April is also a fantastic month to get started on some much-needed business spring cleaning.
Don’t let business matters become urgent
As the Director of Rickard Luckin’s Small Business Unit, the single most important piece of advice I tend to give new clients is to stay on top of business matters from the start. It always surprises me how often, and how easily, company owners will fall into the trap of leaving essential business issues right to the last minute, particularly when such issues directly affect the way they manage their companies.
Just from the top of my head, recent examples include pensions auto-enrolment and the upcoming GDPR, the latter involving hugely significant changes to the methods we use to collect and store personal data. Though GDPR comes into force from May, with far-reaching implications that will affect businesses both large and small, many company owners still look quizzically at me when the subject is raised. They’ve heard of GDPR, they might say, but they haven’t got a clue what it’s all about.
(If you’re one of many who still isn’t quite sure what GDPR is all about, my colleague Ian Plunkett recently shared an informative and easy-to-read blog post on the subject).
In short: when it is easier than ever to educate and inform yourself about key business issues, don’t wait until they become urgent, potentially costing your company precious time and money to resolve.
Get your business spring clean underway
If you’re looking for a good place to begin your business spring cleaning routine, I recommend taking some time to consider Making Tax Digital (MTD), a government initiative intended to make tax calculation easier and more accurate, essentially heralding “the end of the tax return for millions”.
Although MTD will not impact businesses fully until April 2019, now is a very good time to establish a head start, by ensuring your record-keeping is accurate and up-to-date.
To ease your company’s transition to MTD, you could consider implementing an online accounting system, most of which are automatically compliant with HMRC guidelines and will help you keep on top of your day-to-day accounts (if required, our specialist advisers at Rickard Luckin will be more than happy to assist you with online accounting training).
Contact our Small Business Unit for further advice
It can of course be very difficult, particularly if you are in charge of an energetic small business or a fast-moving start-up venture, to keep constantly on top of the ever-changing business world.
Here at Rickard Luckin, we understand challenges like these very well, and our Small Business Unit is dedicated to helping you overcome them. Our specialist advisers offer targeted advice, information and support that will help your company succeed and grow, whilst providing reliable structure in an often confusing marketplace.
If you would like to speak with one of our friendly team of dedicated small business advisers, simply contact us.
In the meantime, I wish you a very happy and fruitful spring cleaning session!