Tuesday, 29 March 2011

First Aid DVD - version 2

Our enhanced Version two has now been received and is available for purchase. The latest version includes the latest resuscitation guidelines, scenarios to bring the training to life and a downloadable evaluation questionnaire to help check your knowledge. For more details, please see www.firstaiddvd.co.uk

Friday, 18 March 2011

VAT Flat Rate Scheme

If your annual net turnover is less than £150,000, have you considered the Flat Rate scheme for your VAT? For some businesses, there can be a saving against the standard calculations especially if you make a large number of zero rated or exempt purchases.
In addition, if you are in your first year of VAT registration you get a 1% reduction in flat rate. This means you can take 1% off the flat rate you apply to your turnover, until the day before your first anniversary of becoming VAT registered. Note that the entitlement to apply the reduction runs for the 12 months following the date of registration for VAT and not the date you join the FRS.For more details please see the HMRC web site
week included first aid refresher training, PPA meeting, supporting local college event for students, BBC Radio Oxford

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Treehouse play centre in Didcot will host part of the BBC Radio Oxford Breakfast show on Wedneday 16th from 7am. www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_oxford

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Using Facebook to raise your profile

Controlling the personal use of Facebook in the office can sometimes be the biggest headache for many business owners, but perhaps channelling that interest of an employee for the benefit of your business can be a excellent move.
Use of Facebook and other social media continues to grow. With the launch of a new app for the Iphone almost every hour and the media driving online readership, online usage for our messages will only increase.
Having seen the benefits of Facebook recently for a new product launch as part of a marketing model we implemented, we have recently then seen the potential downside if your presence is not managed. It was fantastic for raising awareness of the new product, even exciting to see the 'following' numbers grow and grow. It was also another way of interacting with the potential customers, as comments have to be proactively managed and the postings reviewed regularly.
However human nature appears to be a strange animal to manage! Very few people added positive comments, although many 'likes' were clicked on a regular basis as the product launch took place. But then a negative comment gets added to the page without even being raised with the business! So it is too easy for someone to comment from a distance as it is less personal for them or is our culture changing so much that this is how people now work and communicate?
One key move we have made for this Facebook representation is to work closely with a small group of the followers, so now if anything even slightly negative appears (sometimes from the competitors, so obvious!) then these followers jump on the comment with overwhelming positive reactions. Thereby now making the fear of potentially receiving negative comments something the business looks forward to!

Friday, 11 March 2011

week included Marketing support, Emergency First Aid at Work delivery & thank you for invite to local sportsman dinner with Shaw Gibbs
The Treehouse play centre has been shortlisted as a finalist of the South Oxon New Business Competition. See www.sonbc.co.uk

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Discussion Forums

Over the last few months, we have been exploring the use of forums and if it is a good use of our time. We have found that if you find the right forum for your business, then they can be invaluable, however, choose the wrong one (a bit like a networking group), then it can be a total waste of time.
We have recently won new work from discussions within a financial based discussion forum, learnt some new useful information to integrate into our business model and also generated enquiries for our bookkeeping franchise, simply by sharing our expertise or creating new discussions. By launching forums for a couple of our clients and voluntary groups, we have found a new strategic direction for consideration when areas of interest in that business or group have been discussed in the forum.
However can we rely on everything that is posted? We have seen a number of replies or comments acting as advice to a question that has been technically incorrect and sometimes very misleading. So, as always, we recommend to check the sources with other information when approriate. As always continue to measure the value of using areas like forums, but we do believe the right ones can help your marketing, competitor awareness, research and decision making.

Friday, 4 March 2011

week included bookkeeping, VAT returns, first aid assessing, volunteering to assist the 'Take the plunge' event in Oxford, a game of golf!

National Insurance contributions up to state pension age

You pay National Insurance contributions throughout your working life. They currently build up your entitlement to the State Pension and to certain social security benefits. You stop paying them when you reach State Pension age. From 6 April 2010 the State Pension age has started to gradually increase from 60 to 65 for all women born after 5 April 1950. The DirectGov web site has a calculator to help calculate such actual State Pension ages and this is particularly helpful if you are running a payroll that includes employees in this age range, as the NI contribution no longer simply stops at 60 for Women.