Origin Shared Workspace

Would a co-working space suit my business?

When working remotely, whether from home or in co-working spaces, it’s important to set structures in place that ensure working hours are effective, sustainable and beneficial for both employers and employees. Thanks to the power of technology, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with colleagues and keep communication flowing to check in regularly whilst enjoying the flexibility of working out of an office.

Great for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, freelancers, developers and teams to meet, co-working spaces are becoming ever more popular. For some, replicating the office environment eases the isolation of working alone at home, and provides the mental shift to get into the zone whilst remaining independent and flexible. However, with working alongside like-minded people shared work-spaces are also a great way to network, have a sounding board to bounce ideas off and even collaborate with other businesses or remote workers.

Co-working spaces also encourage users to develop a routine whilst discouraging the ‘work creep’ - when employees struggle to be off the clock, and before they know the fragile work/ life balance starts to skew. By having set hours in the day that are dedicated to your work it’s much easier to clearly establish when you’re receptive to emails, phone calls and other communication and keep to those times.

Working alongside professionals, rather than beside your dog, can give you that extra boost of motivation to achieve your tasks for the day, instead of going for a nap or procrastinating around the house. Plus co-working spaces offer the comforts of modern amenities like Wifi, large desks, tea and coffee, comfortable chairs, relaxing areas with the added bonus of conference rooms, to create a relaxed environment you can still be productive in.

 

Our TOP 4 Co-working spaces in Bristol:

 

Fortunately if you’re local to Bristol there are plenty of co-working spaces around:

 

DeskLodge Old Market, Bristol https://desklodge.com/bristol-coworking-office-space

Redbrick House Co-working Space, York Court, Bristol https://redbrickhouse.org.uk/

Origin Workspace, Berkley Square, Bristol https://originworkspace.co.uk/

Pollen Place, Backfields Lane, Bristol  https://www.pollenplace.com

 

Give these spaces a try to see if you can benefit from working in a shared space!


Accountant at desk

Do I really need an accountant?

I can do it myself.

 

How many times have you decided to do something yourself, rather than delegate or wait around for someone to get the job done?

 

As a business owner, the onus is often on you to stay on top of things, and make sure that the cogs keep turning and the machine keeps running. That may be something that you can stay on top of at the beginning, but as your business grows, the less time you will be able to dedicate to everything. To borrow from the game of strategy- Risk, spread yourself too thin and you’ll find the enemy troops (or competition) ready to swoop in and take over your lands.  

 

Changing the mentality you have, from thinking that in order for something to get done you need to do it yourself, to being able to delegate appropriately, will allow you to focus on the growth of your business, rather than drowning in a series of never ending tasks. 

 

Hiring an accountant is one of the ways you can reduce the work-load and give yourself the piece of mind that your accounts are in the safest of hands. We get that not everyone wants to take on an accountant, perhaps they feel like it is an unnecessary cost or simply haven’t thought their business requires one. 

 

However, there are some important factors that you should consider before disregarding the value of an accountancy practice for your limited company.

 

Time saved

With each year, new tax laws and changes are brought in. The most important one for this coming tax year is Making Tax Digital. If you, or your current agent, are not prepared for MTD, it really is imperative that you get a move on.

Do you have the time to keep up with the new systems and tax changes? Things move quickly, and HMRC has a zero tolerance policy for mistakes made due to negligence. Completing your accounts and tax returns will take you time, time that could be better spent on your business.

Software

Rather than spending several hundred pounds a year on commercial tax filing software, your accountant would be able to do the same job, which will be spread across their clients rather than falling to you.

Corporation Tax Return

The CT600 corporation tax return only covers a period of one year, which means that in your first year of trading you may have to do two returns if your accounting period is a couple of days over one year. This can get pretty complicated, and is worth going over with an accountant.

Fines and Penalties

 

Some of the fines and penalties you can incur from filing a late tax return can get very expensive. HMRC’s penalty regime is famously strict, and if you are a sole trader, you could be facing fines of up to  5 percent of tax due if you are later than 12 months. The minimum amount you will owe for filing one month late will be £100.

 

Lite Tax is a chartered accountancy practice based in Nailsea, that serves businesses across and around Bristol. If you would like a free consultation then give us a ring at  01275 541807 for your free quote.


How To Protect Your Finances As A Freelancer

As a freelancer there are probably a million and one things you have to think about amiright? Job might be a good’un, but there is no such thing as finishing your 9-5 and calling it a day. The health of your business requires you to put in the extra hours and often make sacrifices in order to lead the life you want to live.

While it might not be all sunshine and rainbows, the satisfaction of building your own business up, and seeing the hours of labour translate into something you can be proud of is certainly worth it. 

Setting yourself up for success means more than having a solid business plan, or having the right work ethic and dedication to your service or business. It also means being careful, very careful, when it comes to the way you manage your finances.

The three types of insurance:

There are three main types of insurance for self-employed people:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Employees liability insurance

Public Liability insurance protects you if someone gets injured/ their property gets damaged while working for you or you are deemed to be responsible. It's worth knowing that some contracts with clients will specify that a business they work with must have public liability insurance. Professional Indemnity insurance is a whole other kettle of fish, and will provide cover should you be accused of  providing inadequate services/advice to a client. This insurance covers a wide range of scenarios from loss of goods or money, to unintentional breach of copyright. The third type of insurance you might need is Employees Liability insurance. This is a legal requirement if your business employs one or more people and essentially covers you and your business if your employees are ill or injured at work.

Get organised

If you don’t have your business budget in check  then it's high time you do so. First things first, get yourself a dedicated bank account for your business. There's nothing worse than managing several accounts for different jobs/services and having to try to make sense of your accounting at the end of the quarter. Decide on an accounting system that works for you and make sure you (or a dedicated person on your team) track your revenue, costs, and itemise your assets in any colourful spreadsheet table that suits you.

Set aside a sum each month for tax

It's not likely that you’ll forget to set aside a percentage of your income for the tax man at the end of the year, but do  make sure you are aware of the tax bracket you fall into and set aside a sum accordingly, staying mindful of the tax deadlines you need to meet.

Get yourself an accountant

Navigating the ins and outs of the IRS can be a tricky business. Having a dedicated accountant to help you do this can make life so much easier. Apart from avoiding the painstaking process of filing your tax returns, they can help you find ways to save money as a business owner.

Keep your receipts!

This is pretty basic, but having an organised recording system in place for your receipts can save you so much hassle when it comes to your bookkeeping. Consider investing in reliable accounting software to help you keep track of your bookkeeping. Cloud-based accounting software such as Xero will help you manage your numbers, while Receipt Bank is a great little resource that grabs snapshots of your receipts and invoices, categorising them quickly and efficiently.

And save a little more…

It never hurts to have a little extra put aside for any unexpected costs that might come up. Particularly when you are a new business and still finding your feet. After the initial start-up costs of launching your business, the other costs such as insurance, legal fees and taxes will also need to be met. The little costs that really add up might be administrative costs (laptops,phones,office supplies) or employee expenses depending on the nature of your business.