Wednesday, 24 June 2015

7 Tips for effective Employee Management!

Working with the guy who shows up at 9.15am with the remainder of last night’s party on his breath is fun for no one. Nor is dealing with the undecider who takes days to produce a one-page report.
Difficult people can drive you batty, but there are effective ways to tolerate this in the workplace.

1. Listen

We’re all human - we have bad days, but bad days shouldn’t turn into weeks and months in the workplace. If an employee is difficult, it may be because they are unhappy in their position, or there are personal issues. As a manager, you should always give your employees the opportunity to express their side first. Don’t be a school teacher where you don’t give your team the chance to explain their side first, before jumping to the dark side.

Listening shows you care and it may also highlight that the solution is a quick fix solvable by you.

2. Feedback Meetings

Complaining about employees for months, or even years, is not a constructive way of dealing with difficult staff. The situation will not miraculously resolve itself. Be proactive.
Hearing you haven’t done so good on your latest task isn’t the best thing to hear, but you shouldn’t be afraid to tell staff that you disagree with what they’re doing. If your directions are clear, the meeting can lead to huge progression.

Giving honest feedback is uncomfortable for any manager, but it doesn’t have to be a dire process.
Make the meetings regular—every six months is great, because it doesn’t allow             employees to get off track.
Make feedback meetings structured, so everybody knows what is expected of them when they close the office door and sit down at their computer. Use the meeting to inspire your team to work harder. Specific targets and clear deadlines will mean that staff have no excuse for uncompleted work, unless they don’t understand - in which case, ask if they have any questions. They shouldn’t feel uncomfortable   asking. If they do, there is a definite need to make changes to your management style.

Begin feedback meetings by asking employees how they view their own work ethic. Having an understanding of how they view themselves is a great starting point. A great manager gives their employees a chance to explain their side of a story.

3. Be Consistent

If there are set rules, don’t occasionally allow some staff to break them. A person shouldn’t be punished for not doing something, and then let off the following week. This is unreliable management and staff won’t know where they stand, and the likelihood is they won’t take you seriously when they are penalised.

4. Help Staff Get Back On Track

A good manager doesn’t just tell their employees what to do, and then leave them to it. They help their employees. That doesn’t mean holding their hand and checking up on them every five minutes. But regular reviews will keep them heading in the right direction, so they don’t fall off track.

The best teachers at schools are those who explain what students need to do, and are very approachable, so students never fear asking them for help if they're confused. At times, being a manager is similar to the role of a teacher.

Coach the difficult employee through their problems and find suitable solutions if current ones aren’t working for them. Try new methods.

Don’t make employees feel like a failure, but give them time to    adjust their behaviour and        actions, with deadlines (of course, you can’t keep hoping they will change).  

5. Get Involved Soon

Don’t allow the problems to build up and spiral out of control. If an employee hasn’t worked to the company’s standards, step in. Don’t wait until there is another problem and then another, until some action is taken. This invites trouble.

It’s easier from the beginning if employees know where they stand. One problem is easier to deal with than ten.
If an employee thinks they are getting away with regularly texting during work hours and subscribing to YouTube videos, they will persistently do this, which over time is costing your business time and money.

6. Don’t Just Focus On The Negative Things

This probably goes against everything you’ve just read, but honestly, if a manager only focusses on what an employee is doing wrong, they won’t notice when something is done right.

A manager should believe in their staff; after all, they hired them because they’re skilful and talented. Baby steps in the right direction are better than continuing with a poor work ethic. Remember that.
If an employee who never gets in on time suddenly starts showing up ten minutes early, they don’t deserve a gold medal, but this progress should be recognised.

7. Know Staff

Getting to know staff can make life easier. They will feel that they can communicate their issues to their manager, and the manager can also notice when things aren’t right.

A bad manager hides in their office all day and lets their staff get on with their work unsupervised – never asking how they’re getting on. A good manager understands their staff, sees through their fake smile and     notices when they aren’t typing away like they usually are.

Having a close relationship with all staff members makes life easier. Asking regularly how they’re getting on can stimulate the quiet ones in the office to approach you if they’re quietly stressing. 
020 89310165
☏ 07900537459

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Amazing Power Of Persuasion

Whether we like it or not, as business owners we are in the business of persuasion.
Persuasion covers many different facets of our business. We need to use persuasion to elevate prospects to customers. Customers need to be persuaded to buy more frequently from us. The team around us need to be persuaded to do the things we want them to do things they like and don’t like doing. 

Even suppliers from time to time need persuasion to deliver the things we want from them, whether that’s in terms of products or services or service (with a capital ‘S’). The point is, if we can get good with ‘ethical’ persuasion, then the effect on our business will be significant.

Subconsciously, many of us use persuasion without even realising it. Our children master persuasion at an early age too! But what’s more interesting is that there is a science to persuasion that can be measured.

Perhaps the leader in the ‘field of persuasion’ is Robert B. Cialdini. His bestselling book ‘Influence—The Psychology Of Persuasion’ is an interesting read and covers the 6 major areas of persuasion…

1. Reciprocity
2. Scarcity
3. Authority
4. Liking
5. Consistency
6. Consensus
As a firm, we regularly (and not always consciously!) use reciprocity, authority, liking and consistency but I’d like to just talk about the real impact reciprocity can have on your business. This is the science of giving before receiving. Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of behaviour, gift or service that they have received first.
For example, a recent study carried out at a number of restaurants demonstrated the result of giving each diner a simple mint with their bill at the end of the meal and the effect it had on the size of the tip. The results are quite frankly staggering and revealing (if you run a restaurant, you should implement this immediately!)…

They found that giving one mint with the bill increased the size of the tip by 3%. Not bad. Giving two mints quadrupled (yes, quadrupled) the tip to an increase of 14%. But when the waiter gave one mint per diner, walked away, paused and then turned back saying ‘for you nice people, here’s an extra mint’, tips increase an incredible 23%.
 That’s the power of reciprocity. How can you use it in your business to increase sales and profits? 

020 89310165
☏ 07900537459

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

3 Easy Tips to Recruit Via Mobile Channels!

Are you a small business looking for the best recruit but can't afford big budget for recruitment drive? Small and big organizations are using the mobile platform alike for recruiting the best resource in the market. In today’s mobile world, more and more people are using social media services like LinkedIn to search for jobs. In order to find the best potential candidates, businesses need to take advantage of this trend.

Here are a few tips and ideas you can use to help you find your next new recruit:

1. Post Jobs on Social Media

In addition to listing vacancies on your company's website, post them to social media sites. LinkedIn is a favourite among recruiters, and many job seekers will use LinkedIn’s search functionality to find their next role. 
Image Source: Adweek

Facebook is less business-focused, but people may still look at company pages for jobs. Many businesses also use Twitter to post messages such as, “We are hiring! We are looking for a talented [job title] to join our team. Click here for more information.” The “click here” can then be a link to your company website with full details of the role and information on how to apply.

2. Use Mobile-Friendly Online Applications

Jobseekers should be able to fill out their online application using their phone or tablet. Potential applicants generally want to be able to apply for jobs directly from their mobile devices. If your firm doesn’t already have a mobile-friendly application page or system, you should revise your page so that it is responsive (works on tablets, phones, laptops and desktops), doesn’t require too much typing and lets the applicants easily upload their CV and cover letter. If you are using LinkedIn to advertise a job vacancy, you can even set up the job listing so that the applicant can click on an “apply now” button and then apply using their LinkedIn profile as their CV. This makes it much easier for candidates to apply for the role.

3. Use an applicant tracking system

Each application you receive should ideally be automatically entered into an applicant tracking system. Not only will such a system ensure that you have all applications on file, it will also organise applicant's CVs and cover letters. Your online application can have fewer forms, which are annoying to fill out on a mobile device, because an applicant tracking system can read and organise any documents that applicants upload.
Check and subscribe to our Business Builder Newsletter - Our monthly newsletter is crammed full of easy-to-apply business building strategies.
Share your thoughts as comments below! or  
We're on Social Media too :)

Contact us for all your Business Building & Accountancy needs!
020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 |

Friday, 5 June 2015

What is Experiential Marketing? 4 Simple Techniques to Implement it!

We often hear or read about experiential marketing in the business press. So, what is it and what is it all about?

What is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential marketing is a way of marketing in which the customer/consumer is made to experience the product rather than just seeing and hearing; includes as many other human senses as possible. It essentially involves the promotion of your business and brand in a way that allows both customers and prospects to connect and interact with you and have memorable experiences. Based upon such brand-related encounters, your customers may or may not accept your product or service offering.

4 Simple Techniques to Implement Experiential Marketing:

The success of an experiential marketing initiative depends upon the quality and impact of the techniques you incorporate into your campaigns in order to attract attention. Developments in the mobile world, social networking, and content marketing have ensured that the business environment today is set for experiential techniques.

1. Ensure that the marketing strategy is brand-related

There is no point in running a campaign if prospects are unable to identify your brand. The way in which you promote your brand should communicate that it impacts the lives of your target audience positively. They must be able to relate with your products or services in order for them to accept your brand.

2. Connect with customers digitally

You can reach out to your existing and potential customers via connected devices such as smartphones and tablets. In order to do this effectively, you will have to create content marketing and social media campaigns based upon the interests of your prospects. Focus on the things they are interested in, or that are important for them.

3. Build brand association

Do not forget emotional relevance. By using experiential marketing campaigns, you want buyers to gradually become connected emotionally to your brand and this is what will ultimately secure their loyalty. If they like your brand, what it represents and how it makes them feel, they will take proactive measures to gather purchase-related information. Ensure that your experiential campaign creates a customer experience that becomes synonymous with your brand in a positive way.

4. Be newsworthy

Make your business newsworthy in order to increase its reach and visibility among your target market. Experiential campaigns can do this very well, provided you implement the right strategies. When your existing customers cannot stop talking about the quality of your products or services, they will essentially be ambassadors for your brand.

Share your thoughts as comments below! or  
We're on Social Media too :)

Contact us for all your Business Building & Accountancy needs!
020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 |

Monday, 1 June 2015

Monthly Tax and Accounting News and Updates - What you need to know on June?

Our Monthly Tax and Accounting News and Updates post is designed to keep you informed of the latest tax and accounting issues for businesses.
We are here to help you if you need further information on any of the topics covered.


Emergency PAYE Tax Code To Be Applied To Certain Pension Withdrawals

The new flexible pension rules came into force from 6 April 2015 for those aged 55 or over with money purchase pension schemes. As announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Budget, these individuals will be able to withdraw as much as they wish from their pension fund but will be taxed on the amount withdrawn at their marginal tax rate. In some cases, the pension fund administrator will apply an emergency PAYE tax code to the payment on a month 1 basis which may result in more tax being deducted than the amount eventually due. This can either be reclaimed at the end of the tax year or during the year if you complete the appropriate HMRC form. Note that we can advise you of the tax implications of the amounts that you are considering to withdraw from your pension fund and, where necessary, assist you in reclaiming any excess PAYE deducted.

Further Budget On 8th July

Following the Election result on 8 May, the Chancellor has announced that there will be a second Budget. We expect this to include a number of Conservative manifesto tax pledges.

HMRC Don’t Yet Have The Power To Raid Taxpayers’ Bank Accounts

HMRC are seeking the power to recover unpaid tax over £1,000 from taxpayers’ private bank accounts and legislation was originally going to be included in the 2015 Finance Act. However the new measures were not included in the first Finance Act but may be included in the next one!

This new power will only be used where the taxpayer has ignored several demands for payment. Additionally, the taxpayer’s bank account should not be reduced below £5,000 by HMRC.  If enacted, this proposed new power will extend to joint bank accounts in the tax debtor’s name, but not those in the spouse’s sole name.

Considering Giving Shares In Your Company To Employees?

More and more companies now give their employees the opportunity to acquire company shares. If correctly structured, this can be a very tax efficient way of attracting and retaining staff, as they are able to share in the success of the company. However, if you get things wrong there can be significant tax charges on the employee and employer. As a general rule, if employees are allowed to acquire shares at less than market value, the discount is taxable as employment income and PAYE; national insurance may also be due. So for example, where the employee pays just £1 for a share worth £10, the £9 difference would be taxable.

The issue of shares to an employee also needs to be reported to HMRC using Form 42 by 6 July following the end of the tax year. There are a number of schemes that you may wish to consider where the receipt of the shares will not be taxed as employment income and in some cases will only be subject to capital gains tax when the shares are eventually sold. It used to be possible to ask HMRC for confirmation that the share scheme satisfied the rigid rules for the tax advantages to apply, but this is no longer possible and employers are now required to “self certify” that the share scheme complies with the legislation. We can assist you with this process if you would like to consider putting a share scheme in place.

Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) Share Option Scheme

The best employee share option scheme currently available is the EMI share option scheme. In order to take advantage of this, both the company and employees must meet certain conditions. The company must carry on a qualifying trading activity and have a gross asset value of no more than £30 million. The employee or director must work at least 25 hours a week for the company and not hold more than 30% of the company’s shares at the time that the EMI options are granted. The main tax advantages of EMI share options are that provided the option price is set at the correct value there would be no income tax or national insurance when the option is granted or exercised. Furthermore, the employee will then usually benefit from CGT entrepreneurs’ relief which provides a 10% rate when the shares acquired under the option are eventually sold, such as on the sale of the business.

Corporation Tax Relief For Employee Shares

A further tax advantage of allowing employees to acquire shares in the company is that the employing company may be entitled to a corporation tax deduction. This deduction is the difference between the amount payable by the employee and the market value of those shares at the time they are acquired. This will generally be the amount taxable on the employee so, for example, if the employee pays £1 a share when the shares are worth £10 each then the £9 per share discount will be deductible for the company.

Forms P11D Due By 6 July

As mentioned in the tax diary, the deadline for filing the 2014/15 returns of benefits and expenses paid to employees is 6 July 2015. Note that there can be significant penalties for incorrect returns so they need to be completed with great care. Remember that unless the employer holds a dispensation from HMRC, employees’ and directors’ reimbursed expenses (such as travel and subsistence) also need to be reported. We can assist you in completing the forms and to put in place control procedures that will satisfy HMRC requirements to grant a dispensation from reporting certain expenses.

Contact us for if you have any doubts or Accountancy needs!
020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 |

We're on Social Media too :)