Now is the time to re-examine your business strategy
With the rise of readily affordable technology and connectivity, it’s becoming increasingly easy to streamline your company and improve efficiency. Give your finances a thorough review this tax year, and look at making some changes that could help your bottom line. Here are my top tips on how small and medium businesses can start the tax year hitting the ground running.
Keep up to date with new and existing legislation
Make sure you keep up to date with current legislation affecting your company. Most small businesses have welcomed the Budget proposed by George Osborne, particularly small business rate relief. From April 2017, 600,000 small firms will not have to pay business rates, while 250,000 will pay lower rates. Other reforms include the cut in corporation tax and a policy that means the self-employed will soon no longer have to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. Similarly, legislation such as the right to request flexible working is also worth keeping on top of, as all employees have a legal right to request.
Challenge yourself and your workforce to work smarter, by using technology and connectivity in the best way possible. 4G enabled smartphones combined with cloud based office software such as Microsoft Office 365 for example, mean you can be productive no matter where you are. According to our research, British workers are now spending 131 million hours a week working from places such as coffee shops, and 46% find these kinds of ‘non-office’ environments more productive than their traditional office setting. To save time, money and energy, ensure your company is mobile. Rather than cumbersome desktop computers, invest in flexible tariffs and technology such as Business Essentials. Business applications are also becoming increasingly popular at the expense of fixed, inflexible IT packages, allowing business owners to hand pick systems to suit their needs.
Expand employee benefits
A happy workforce is a productive workforce, so consider your employees’ health and wellbeing. Happy employees are 12 per cent more productive so it is important to create a culture where people feel valued and cared for. Flexible working practices can help with this – by giving staff greater control over their work-life balance, research has shown morale, motivation and productivity will all improve. Boost workplace health by promoting nutrition and exercise; organise healthy office snack deliveries and workplace workouts. Why not review your benefits package, making sure it fits with the needs your employees. Happiness at work can contribute to a lower staff turnover, fewer sick days and improved morale.
The new tax year gives small and medium-sized business a good opportunity re-evaluate and reassess. Make the most of the policy reforms and consider implementing new technology and ways of working to improve efficiency and productivity.