Friday, 28 October 2011

Week included marketing support, bookkeeping, Chamber of commerce meetings, Treehouse anniversary and kind hospitality at Oxford Utd

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Reviewing your marketing material

How often do you review your marketing material? When was the last time you changed something on your web site or on a printed document?Our experience indicates that many small businesses don't have the time to review their material on a regular basis, so the trend is to leave the content as it is until a major overhaul is required.We would recommend that you are regularly reviewing your online and offline marketing material to ensure the messages are current and are working for you. If you are not tweaking your material, then you are not testing your marketing to see if there is a better way of attracting more business. We suggest that testing and measuring should always be on your marketing agenda. We would also suggest the involvement of a third party in your review. You will know your business better than anyone, you may know what your customers really want, but sometimes the material does not give a clear and concise message to someone outside of your business. The external eye can be invaluable to help put youself in your customers shoes and identify the messages that encourages them to buy.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Treehouse play centre wins local business awards

The Treehouse play centre, also owned by Mike Foster, has won the Best Customer Service and Community award at Didcot's Business and Community awards (BACA's).

Friday, 21 October 2011

week included bookkeeping, firstaid elearning, interview by ICBglobal, Pathfinderclub

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Commercial property owners often pay too much tax

There is generally no tax relief on the cost of a building until you come to sell it. However, a free review by our qualified specialists will often yield an agreement from HM Revenue and Customs to allow 20-35% or more of the cost as qualifying for capital allowances against income tax or corporation tax. What is more, the capital gains base cost is unchanged so you can achieve double tax relief with HMRC’s consent!If you are a UK taxpayer and own commercial property such as offices, warehouses, residential homes, shops or hotels costing £300,000 or more, we urge you to arrange a free review of your position as soon as possible, as HMRC have stated they wish to restrict claims to being made within a year of the property being acquired – we can currently go back 15 years or even more.There is no fee to pay for unsuccessful claims, or where no claim is possible, and no upfront charges whatsoever, so there is nothing to lose and plenty to gain from arranging a free review.

How do we arrange a free review?
There are some straightforward forms to complete, available from Alan Sowden on 01865 379272 or

Friday, 14 October 2011

week included great news that A1 was shortlisted for ICB bookkeeping practice of the year, plus more clients bookkeeping, management accts

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Business Start Up Guide

We are in the process of finalising a business start up guide on DVD and we would welcome your help. It would be useful if you would be able to take a few moments to email us with your thoughts about what you think should be included in the content of such a guide. Perhaps information you wanted to know when you started a business or from your experience of start up businesses.
Please email Mike Foster with your thoughts. Your contribution to our content planning would be much appreciated and therefore in return, we will send you a free copy once available.

Monday, 10 October 2011

VAT Registrations

HMRC has launched a concerted new campaign to tackle businesses trading above the VAT threshold but which have not registered for VAT. Individuals and businesses have until 30 September to tell HMRC that they should have been registered. Those that make a full disclosure will normally face a reduced penalty rate of 10% on VAT that has been paid late. More than 40,000 letters are being sent out over the next few weeks to inform businesses how to register to pay what they owe.Businesses must register for VAT if their taxable turnover for the previous 12 months is more than £73,000 or they believe it will exceed this annual threshold in the next 30 days.The clampdown is the latest in a series of HMRC campaigns to recoup unpaid tax. Last month details were published of a campaign to target traders who use e-marketplace sites to buy and sell goods as a trade or business. HMRC also intends to scrutinise the tax affairs of private tutors and coaches who are able to earn additional, and perhaps undeclared income from their expertise.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

week included recovery from eye operation, bookkeeping, Pathfinder club meeting, BBC Radio Oxford breakfast show in Didcot

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Your LinkedIn Settings

Have you checked your LinkedIn account settings recently? LinkedIn have recently introduced some settings with opt in for everyone, plus some settings perhaps share more than you thought. We recommend that you review your settings on a regular basis so that you are aware of who you are sharing your data with.To view your settings, select the drop down choice beneath your name in the top right. We suggest a look at all the settings but especially:

Profile - who are you sharing your connections with? Are people linking with you just because they want to meet one of your contacts? Or vice versa, do you want people to know you have viewed their profile?

Groups, companies etc - Are you sharing with 3rd party applications?

Account - Social advertising! Are you allowing use of your name & photo to advertise to you?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Developing your business and work / life balance

A1 Director, Mike Foster said: "Working with SMI and undertaking their personal and business development programmes over the last 2 years is quite simply the best investment I have made for my business and my family. Those that know me well, will think back and say how did that already busy fool manage to also start up a childrens play centre, whilst also starting a new family. Well it is simply down to the SMI knowledge and tools. The differentiation with the SMI programmes, is that it is not just about the theory. They provide tools to implement the knowledge that makes a real immediate impact. I am happy to tell people I invested several thousand pounds with SMI programmes and believe it was worth every penny. It reshaped my business approach and changed my personal life for the better"Following Mike's experience with SMI UK, A1 Group have joined forces to set up the Pathfinder Club. The concept is to give business owners access to the knowledge and tools only available previously on a one to one basis. Mike added "I spoke to John Harris about how the SMI programmes could work in a peer group environment. It is a great option for business owners, as the cost is less that 1:1 coaching, but also they network with like minded people which is so powerful for creating the right mindset".To find out more for yourself or perhaps a contact, then please see the pathfinder web pages, speak to Mike direct about his experience or why not attend a meeting (1st or 3rd Tuesday of each month in South Oxfordshire) to see the club in practice.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Treehouse play centre shortlisted for award

The Treehouse indoor soft play centre in Didcot has been shortlised by the Play Providers association as the Best New Site in 2011. Read more here