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Angel’s Business Solutions Ltd – Back to Basics for Business

In this blog we will be examining the following:

  • What is a Business Plan?

  • What is in a Business Plan?

  • Setting, sticking to and achieving realistic business goals

  • Keeping your business brand “alive”

  • Business banking

  • Accounting software

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that sets out and details the structure and goals of your business. For new businesses with no historical data, this is setting the future direction of where you want your business to go and how.

Established businesses will be taking into account historical data and current market position when setting the goals and growth plans for the future.

What is in a business plan?

  • Executive summary

  • Company Description

  • Market Analysis

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Description of Management and Organisation

  • Breakdown of your products & Services

  • Market Plan

  • Sales Strategy

  • Request for funding

  • Financial Projections

You should be reviewing your business plan on a weekly basis to set your tasks and ensure you’re on track.

Remember, be flexible and adapt for modifications as the market changes.

Setting, sticking to and achieving realistic business goals

What does any of this mean? Simply put, it means to assess where your business is at now and plan where you want it to be in the future than translating this into daily, weekly and monthly tasks to achieve this goal.

This is done by preparing a business plan. In effect, once you know your market position and have completed your business plan, you can start setting your weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks to complete to ensure the sustainability and growth of your business.

Keeping your brand “alive”

Is it important to prevent your brand from “dying” and keeping it “alive” in the market place. In other words, do NOT let both your current and potential customers about your business.

Simply if you stop having a presence you risk your customers (both current and future) going to your competitors.

  • There are a number of ways to keep your brand in the market place, with some being profitable. Here are a few examples.

  • Importantly, identify the challenges your business is currently facing

  • Embrace technology, Zoom, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram to name a select few.

  • Keep your website and social media up to date with regular posts. Share these posts to other online groups.

  • Blogs, live virtual events, articles, updates and notifications

  • Can you modify an existing service/product? Consider hiring a digital/online marketing export or copywriter to help you.

  • Is there a new service product you can offer? Expand what you do now.

  • Reach out to and stay in touch with your current clients even if our services/products are not being currently being used. Don’t let them forget you.

  • Lastly, look at what your competitors are doing.

Business banking

When starting a business, you will need a bank account to receive income and process payments. For limited companies, they need a business bank account in the company name. You cannot use your personal account.

If you’re self employed, you can have either a business bank account or use your personal account.

We do not advise using your personal ever day account for your business. Either set-up a business bank account or a separate personal account to only be used for business transactions.

The are various business bank accounts available, with many attracting fees.

Many banks offer new businesses a fee free period for between 6-18 months, depending on the bank.

You can choose from many of the high street banks such as NatWest, RBS, Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, HSBC, Nationwide, Metro and Halifax for example. There are also online banks to choose from such as Mettle Challenger (supported by NatWest) Starling, Tide, Monzo and Metro (though Metro do not have high street branches)

Whilst the traditional banks have high street presence, which some people prefer, online banking offers value for money as they usually have either zero fees or minimal fees.

If choosing an online bank, make sure if you need to bank cheques and cash, there is an option to do this.

This could be using the post office to make do any over the counter banking.

Are they protected by the FSCS and look at who the regulator is. What you want to know what protection you have.

It is advisable to have at least two bank accounts for your business.

A current account for your everyday transactions and a savings account. Your business current account is for all transactions coming in and leaving the business – your everyday use account.

The savings account is to cover savings for the future tax liabilities and as a business buffer.

Depending on your business structure, it is advisable to put at least 15-20% of turnover away each month to cover taxes. Plus an additional 20% if you’re VAT registered.

Accounting software

There are many different accounting software packages to choose from on the market. Some are free, some are paid in full up front and some are paid by monthly subscription.

There is somewhere which is loaded onto your PC/laptop and others which are cloud based. Some are very easy to use, others would require you to have bookkeeping knowledge or to hire a bookkeeper.

Why should I pay for accounting software when there are free options on the market?

Free accounting software offers value for money and is generally very simple to use. The downside is that it might not be regional (specific for the UK), or minimal to no support and lack compliance.

For example RTI for payroll and MTD for VAT (to be rolled out to cover all tax returns, including for Sole Traders).

Paid software will be regional (for example set for the UK), be compliant (cover RTI and MTD) and have good support.

Examples of the most common paid software:

Sage (PC/Laptop installed)

Sage Online (Cloud Software)

Quickbooks (PC/Laptop installed)

Quickbooks Online (Cloud Software)

Xero (Cloud Software)

FreeAgent (Cloud Software)

Sage and Quickbooks are suitable if you have used these before and/or have a bookkeeper to process your books.

FreeAgent and Xero are designed to give business owners the freedom to process their own accounts and are both very easy to use.



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