Tag Archives: economy

Top 10 Business Tips for 2009

2009 will be a very difficult year: every media carries on giving us terrible news and dark predictions.

And 2009 could be a very hard year moreover for new and young businesses: “the credit squeeze and the onset of recession could combine to make the trading environment during 2009 somewhat challenging”, explains the Westbury Blog. So here are some top tips written by Howard Graham to make you stand above the crowd and ensure that your business is well placed to grow and prosper during the year:

1. Have a plan.

2. Differentiate yourself.

3. Know the numbers.

4. Use your time well.

5. Get good people around you.

6. Streamline internal processes and systems.

7. Get online.

8. Manage that cash.

9. Work “on” not “in” the business.

10. Continually improve yourself.

Do you need to know more about them? Click on Westbury Blog!

Vat reduced to 15% to push our economy

As you know the VAT rate has been reduced from 17.5% to 15%. The Change of Rate Order is valid from 1st December 2008 to 31st December 2009. The Chancellor announced this decision in the Pre-Budget Report on 24th November 2008 to cut the prices of any sales and services in an attempt to push the economy.

The proposal of cutting Value Added Tax comes from the European Commission to help the worldwide financial situation and promote the Internal Market (production and use of energy-saving materials and energy-efficient appliances and equipment) and UK government accepted a challenge that should positively impact all of us.

Services relating to many sectors (including housing construction, renovation, repair, maintenance, cultural heritage and historical monuments) will see their rates reduced. Only standard-rated sales are affected, so there are no changes to sales that are zero-rated or reduced-rated for VAT, similarly, there are no changes to the VAT exemptions. The 15% rate will remain until 31st December 2009, and from 1st January 2010 it will revert to 17.5%. Genuine commercial transactions should not be affected. All the details are in the written statement to be made by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 25th November 2008.

So enjoy the reduction and think positively and don’t forget to update the prices of your products and services.

How to save money – Lesson 1

Every penny counts, now more so than ever. So what better time for some handy saving tips? Look after the pennies and, well you know the rest…

Lunchtime eating:

1. Cheap Deals: Many restaurants have some kind of “early-bird” deal, normally around 4.30 – 6.30. You are obviously choosing from a limited menu but more often than not the selection is just the same as the normal menu with a little less choice.

2. Special Offer: look at toptable.co.uk and you’ll find special offers for every taste.

3. New times: If you simply must eat out then why not try going to a restaurant for lunch instead of dinner, the lunch set menus are normally far better value.

4. Drinks: ask for tap water and save money on pricey drinks. Or even better keep some squash at work and make it last for weeks.

5. DIY: Sick of buying the exact same ciabatta from the exact same Italian sandwich bar? Whether you make your packed lunch in the morning or buy the ingredients and make it at lunchtime, you will save an incremental fortune over the course of the months of your practical planning. How long can you make it last?

British Gas: the biggest one-off increase in energy bills

Businesses and homes, beware: The biggest gas increase ever has hit us! The Telegraph.co.uk heads with the article, “British Gas hits customers with biggest one-off increase in energy bills ever recorded”. Families are paying £400 more a year for their energy than they were at the start of the year. The price increases, people tremble and the British Gas owners become richer everyday. The Times Online reveals that “British Gas owner makes almost £1bn profit”. BBC News speaks about “Anger over £1bn Centrica profits” and the Guardian.co.uk says: “British Gas provokes fury with biggest ever price rise”.

It’s a neverending history that splits the society: we need to use energy and we must save it. In the last years our society has to become more respectful of the world’s resources and the recent price increase of all the kinds of energy has helped the new saving policy. But even if the environmental activism is taking advantage, common people are scared. The Earth claims respect, but on one side billions of pounds profit earned by energy companies on the other millions worries about the escalation of the prices. Business Made Simple has addressed the problem and invited you to get involved and say what you think about the crisis. British Gas has promised it will not increase its bills again before the end of the year, but most energy experts were expecting a further round of price increases this winter. Can customers look on the bright side of this unbelievable increase?! What do you think?