JK Online, Clockwork Moggy and Dragon Co-Working, all based in Medway, set up Together Self Isolated Business Networking on Facebook.
In just under three weeks, the community has gathered more than 1,000 followers.
One of those behind the network, Karl Cowell, set up his business JK Online, which offers digital marketing solutions, with best friend Joe Bennett two years ago….. Read more about what they have been doing HERE…..
Let us introduce Jack, he recently shared with The Kent Foundation some really useful information for the Kent business community entitled Coronavirus – Where are we now? So we thought we would share a little more about him, and his business.
Hello, my name is Jack Sales, I am a Chartered Tax Adviser and I am the owner/director of TN Accountancy based in Tunbridge Wells. Outside of work, I am passionate about motorsport and used to race karts and Caterham 7 cars until the end of 2017. I set up TN Accountancy in September 2018, having previously worked at other accountancy firms (including a ‘Big 4’ accountancy practice and another top 10 firm) since 2011.
One of the most frustrating things working elsewhere was being hamstrung by inefficiency; too much time was being spent on administration and red-tape, meaning less time was being spent on providing clients with the service they pay for.
I therefore set up TN Accountancy to be extremely efficient, so that as much time is spent serving clients and providing all important tax advice as possible. Rather than being fixated on annual financial targets (as is so often the case in the industry), the wider picture is considered; I firmly believe that if we do a great job for clients and offer great value as a result, this will benefit our business in the long term.
Biggest success to date
I would have to say that the biggest success to date was making the final in the Tolleys Taxation Awards in 2019, where we were listed as one of the top 5 best new tax practices in the UK.
For me, the first 6-9 months were extremely challenging trying to get clients onboard, which then turned into a cashflow challenge. What I would say off the back of this to anyone looking to set up their own business is to be patient and to budget for a slow start; it took me 3 months to raise my first sales invoice, but now after 18 months, TN Accountancy has over 100 clients and is continuing to grow.
Plans for the future
My plans for the future are simply to grow the business. So far I have gone from working from my mum & dad’s kitchen table to operating out of an office in the High Street in Tunbridge Wells (although now due to Coronavirus I am back on the kitchen table, but not at my parents!).
The next steps will be to build a team of people as the client numbers continue to grow.
Tips for other young business owners
As alluded to above, as a general rule, be patient and allow/budget for a slow start; it takes time to get going.
More specifically to current times with Coronavirus, it is imperative to make sure that you fully understand what government support you might be eligible for in the current climate, as most businesses have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in some way.
If you would like to find out a bit more about us, please visit https://tnaccountancy.co.uk/ where you can also find information on the government’s Coronavirus business support.
Free website to support local businesses in Kent stay in business
digitalbeans, a leading digital agency based in Canterbury, has launched YourLocal.Delivery, a free website solution which will help local businesses in Kent who are impacted by the Covid-19 situation and unable to service their customers. This free of charge service from digitalbeans will allow restaurants, toy shops, art shops, garden centres, small convenience stores and those on Kent’s high-streets to launch their own online store, by signing up to the free website solution.
YourLocal.Delivery is a swift solution for many local businesses who would not have been able to set up their own online service in such a short space of time. The bespoke free-of-charge package includes a branded web page, individual to each company, so they can continue to take orders, online payments and display listings of an unlimited amount of product/menu items. Each website will be created manually by a member of the digitalbeans, who are kindly giving up their time to support this service.
Once local businesses have set up their profile online, they will need to share the link with its local community, accept the order and then offer a click and collect or delivery option to the customer. Thanks to Spark Film Production, also based in Canterbury, each business will have the opportunity to receive a free marketing package which includes eye-catching visuals to promote their new online store.
The agency recommends that all Kent businesses, that are keen to use this service, are following the government requirements for food/product delivery and social distancing to ensure they are qualified to carry out this service to the local community.
Piperis Filippaios, Managing Director of digitalbeans, says “The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life as we know it and for our high-street and local eateries, business is far from normal. A number of local businesses are starting to shift to digital solutions in an attempt to continue to serve their customers, including personal delivery services. Unfortunately, many are having to pay extensive fees to companies as they do not have an efficient online platform to host such a service. We have launched YourLocal.Delivery to help and encourage local businesses to continue during these uncertain times by getting online. YouLocal.Delivery will give local businesses the opportunity to continue selling products to the local community with ease and enable them to survive during this difficult time.”
Jack Sales of TN Accountancy takes a look at the measures announced so far.
Support for Businesses
The government has put together a package of measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
Information on the above, including eligibility criteria and how to access the various schemes can be found on the Government website here which is continuously updated as things develop, so is the best source of information for businesses.
Self-employed and business owners
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme was announced yesterday which will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
This scheme will allow individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
Individuals cannot apply for this scheme yet – it is not expected to be available until June.
HMRC will contact individuals if they are eligible for the scheme and will invite them to apply online. Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.
The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:
Further information regarding the Self-employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.
Directors of Limited Companies
Individuals who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme, but should be covered for their salary using the Job Retention Scheme.
Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
One area that will affect the vast majority of our clients is the announcements that VAT and income tax payments will be deferred.
VAT payments have been deferred for 3 months (the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020). Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period and taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.
For the self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.
Keeping up to date
The UK Government website (see link to the support for businesses page here) is continuously updated as things develop, so is the best source of information for businesses on an ongoing basis
Please note that the above is for general information only and does not constitute financial or tax advice. You should not rely on this information to make or refrain from making any decisions. You should always obtain independent professional advice in respect of your own situation.
Hey – my name is Ben Abbott and I run a creative marketing agency called Abbott Media (I know… original right?) we specialise in helping businesses to increase their revenue through innovative marketing strategies and consistent social media content. To put it simply, we help you make more money.
My business started when I was in my last job, I started getting the itch to do my own thing and within a month I had a business plan put together and I was raring to go! I decided to hand in my notice December 2017 and I launched Maximum Media (now Abbott Media) back in January 2018, after noticing a large gap in the marketing industry for the use of podcasting and marketing techniques that focus on return on investment rather than likes. But aside from that, I’m really passionate about marketing and I love what I do. It’s what keeps me going in the tougher times!
What’s been my biggest success/proudest moment to date? Making it to 2 years trading, this is when sadly most start-up businesses have failed, and I can see why! I should celebrate this stuff more really, but even with the struggles you get. 2 years is a win!
My biggest challenge has been CASHFLOW! I’m sure every young business has the same problem, it’s something that you have to look after. I’ve learned to manage it by implementing a better process but it takes time.
My plans for the future? To grow the business and work with larger companies, but also to help the small business community too. I’m really excited about a new Marketing Mentorship for small businesses that we will be launching shortly, it provides support and training consistently, on a monthly basis without the cost of actually employing an agency for your business.
My top tips for other young business owners
Whenever you are having a moment that feels like you want to give up, remember why it was you started in the first place to refocus you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can seem daunting and even embarrassing sometimes, but it’s key to growing as a business owner.
Oh, and before I forget (again) celebrate every win. Running a new business is hard at any age and sometimes we get so focused on where we want to be we forget to celebrate the wins along the way! I have only just started to do this, it will make you put the losses into perspective and keep you pushing for success!
Find out more about Ben’s business by having a look at his website.
Hi I’m Katie from Pretty Please by Katie, and it’s my job to transform women from their everyday self into the most beautiful of brides. I provide bespoke hair and make-up services on their wedding morning, which means they can rest assured, not only look amazing, but they get to feel it too!
Quote “I don’t need to make you look ‘different’ to make you look and feel like ‘a bride’. Together we simply create the very best version of you for your big day so that you can not only look amazing but feel it too. “
Many years ago, when I was first asked if I did wedding hair, I had no idea where this journey would take me! Now, several years later I can proudly say that I’ve styled hundreds of brides, countless bridesmaids and lots of excited mums! Being a wedding hair and make-up artist means that it’s my job to make my clients look and feel beautiful, so that they know as they step down that aisle they are stepping out as the very best version of themselves.
I often tell people ‘I don’t go to work; I go to weddings!’ and that’s so true. I take great pride in my work; I love what I do, and it really is something special to be asked to share that wedding morning.
Wedding hair and make-up is all about the detail. I really believe that on the big day it’s the little things that matter, and it’s only right that I put as much love and care into everything I do as my clients have into the preparations of the whole wedding day.
As well as being a wedding hair and make-up artist I’m also wife and mummy. We live in the beautiful Kent Countryside with our cute white fluffy dog and our very cute five year old daughter. When I’m not playing with peoples hair or trying to recruit people to let me decorate their faces with all the new make-up I like to buy, then you’ll find me walking the dog at the beach or hiding away somewhere in a coffee shop.
My top tip for other business owners is ‘don’t forget to clap for yourself!’. Sometimes we get so caught up in what other people are doing or what we think we should be doing, and we don’t stop to look back and congratulate ourselves on just how well we have done and just how far we have come. Be proud of yourself! Business is hard and in a world where it’s so easy to be impressed by someone else or something you see on social media , don’t forget to stop and take a moment to appreciate all the things that YOU have achieved no matter how small they might be. It’s the little things that make a big difference. You got this!!!
To find our more about Katies business and follow, see below