Business Advice

Concentrate on that which you can control!

April 29, 2022

What with COVID, Brexit, war in the Ukraine, energy bill hikes - it's time to focus on plotting your own route through the storm. We're here to help!

Here at TAG Accountants, as business advisors we recognise that these are unprecedented times with the remaining impact of the COVID pandemic, BREXIT hangover, increased energy costs, and now the desperately sad and awful Ukraine crisis.

It is easy to get bogged down because of one or more of these issues if your business is struggling a bit. In difficult times it is best to remain focussed on what you can control in your business so you can plot your way through the storm, so we have included below a reminder of the importance of having a plan on how to drive it forward together with some useful updates on various matters that might affect you and/or your business.

Control your business’s vision and plan accordingly

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has certainly created further fiscal uncertainty in the UK and around the world. Economic growth slowed in February and, according to the Office for National Statistics, the UK economy is now only 1.5% above the pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

The pandemic has knocked a lot of businesses off-track in the short and medium term, but most successful businesses take a long-term approach with a clear plan to get to where they want to be focussed on what is within their control. Let’s face it, if you are driving from A to B, it helps massively to know where B is and the directions you need to take to get there.

If you have a vision of what you want your business to look like, then you can drive it towards the vision and monitor how you are doing along the way. Without a strategic plan, your business could wander off course and you might lose control or focus.

If you accept that it is hard to accomplish anything without a plan, then now is a suitable time to start thinking about putting one in place. A strategic plan looks at all the things a business could do and narrows it down to the things it is good at doing. It also helps you determine where to devote time, resources, and money – these are things you can control despite all the outside noise.

So how do you develop a strategic plan?

  1. Take time to review your own personal objectives – for many people, the business is there to provide you with what you want from life and its development is key to you hitting your personal objectives.
  2. Look at your current position, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take external advice, if necessary, so you have a clear understanding of your position in the marketplace, the competition, your systems, the way you do things, and recording what you are good at and what might be better delegated.
  3. Focus on where you want to be in the future (say 3-5 years’ time) and picture what you want your business to look like when it is running profitably and successfully. Then, you can determine the big issues that you need to focus on that form the basis of your strategic plan.
  4. Get the vision and your goals down on paper and then create short-term actions that will move you towards them. Then, monitor how you are doing towards your vision each month, noting which actions are complete and what further needs to be done to keep you moving towards your goals.
  5. It is important to allocate responsibility for the actions and create a sense of accountability for yourself and your team
  6. Monitor, review and adjust your regular activities to keep you on track with your plan.

Here at TAG Accountants, we have useful tools and checklists that can help you analyse where you are now, set a strategy, agree on actions, and then monitor them. Please talk to us about how we can help you achieve your goals – our team has helped many clients’ businesses grow and succeed. Take control of what you can so your business advances despite that perfect storm.

Remain very vigilant against cyber threats

The Government is urging businesses and charities to strengthen their cyber security practices as new figures show the frequency of cyber-attacks is increasing.
Although the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has declared it is not aware of any current specific cyber threats to UK organisations in relation to events around Ukraine, it is nevertheless providing organisations with guidance to reduce the risk of them falling victim to an attack through its Cyber Essentials Scheme – see more HERE

Other guides for small businesses and charities have been published and can be found at this link:

Currently, ten weeks to get a British passport

With demand at an all-time high, people are being urged not to leave their application for a British passport to the last minute. HM Passport Office continues to advise people to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their passport.

Throughout 2020 and 2021 and due to COVID-19, HM Passport Office saw a significant drop in those applying for passports, with over five million people delaying their applications. Now, with international travel returning to normal, those people and more are applying for a new one.

While there is a fast-track service for those who need their passports more quickly, appointment availability is limited, so you are strongly advised to apply early to avoid disappointment.

There is NIC relief if hiring veterans

Under a new Government scheme, businesses hiring military veterans can save thousands of pounds in employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs). From 6 April 2022, employers do not have to pay NICs for veterans in their first year of civilian employment after leaving the armed forces.

Businesses can claim this relief retrospectively for any qualifying employees employed in the last 12 months.

Providing the veterans have not been employed in a civilian capacity since leaving service, the relief is available to all employers regardless of when the veteran left the regular armed forces.

So, if you are considering recruitment for a post that would benefit from being filled by an individual with the skills derived from a military background, this is a great incentive.

Further details can be found at:

A new commercial rent code of practice

There is now a revised code of practice in place for commercial relationships between landlords and tenants, replacing the code published in November 2021. This code aligns with the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022, outlining what is statutory for those within its scope and how the arbitration process provided for in the Act will work. The code can still be used by any business to help them resolve rent disputes even if they fall outside the scope of the new legislation, introducing further guidance on how parties should negotiate when in dispute.

More details can be found at:

TAG Accountants Ltd is here to help you and your business

As the perfect storm rages, it is time to take control of what you can and develop actions to drive your business forward. By acting, you may also get a competitive advantage over competitors who have not yet done so.

As always, our professional team here at TAG Accountants Ltd, Wolverhampton is here to help and has the experience to help you formulate an effective plan of action. With all that in mind, to book a confidential appointment one of our friendly expert business advisers here call us on 01902 783172, or alternatively, click HERE to contact us online and we will be in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you, but in the meantime just get planning!