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With the turn of the year fast approaching and uncertain times still ahead, business planning is a major topic of conversation right now and the race is on to replace traditional ways of working with more effective alternatives.

A lot of questions are arising about what business owners should be doing now, to adapt to the emerging challenges and effectively plan for the future?

Cashflow forecasts

Life rarely follows the exact path that you plan and some of those key milestones can have a huge knock-on effect when it comes to your finances.

Even though we can’t predict the future, working closely with your advisors to build these milestones into your cashflow forecasts, will paint a clearer picture of your financial future and it will place you in a more robust position going forward.

Unlocking cash from your assets

If your business needs a quick cash boost, then refinancing your business assets could be the answer. By doing so, you’ll unlock valuable cash from assets already owned.

The money borrowed is secured against the value of assets in the business balance sheet, releasing cash which is tied up in capital assets. Whether you’re looking to buy new plant equipment, a company car or take on new opportunities, refinancing your assets can open new doors for your business.

Motivating your team

Attracting and retaining the right talent in your business is always critical when it comes to growth and success. It’s vital to offer the right mix of benefits and incentives to motivate your team, helping them to meet those all-important targets.

Creating an enterprise management incentive scheme (EMI) is a great way to do so. EMIs are open to most trading companies and give owners a way of offering their team options to own shares up to a market value of £250,000.

Strategic acquisitions

Even though a lot of businesses are struggling, some organisations have gained a competitive edge by adapting to the times with new technologies and skills over the past few months.

Whether it’s for financial gain, part of your growth strategy, or if you’re looking to add new products/services to your business, acquisitions and mergers are an effective way to break into new markets, in this rapidly changing marketplace.

Reviewing your operations

In the wake of the pandemic owner managers from all different industries are reviewing and re-imagining how they do business. As such, more questions are cropping up over business’ true operational needs, and the challenges that come hand-in-hand with this.

This stretches from social distancing in the work place, implementing technology and working from home.

However, as a business owner you also need to be asking whether your company structure is lean enough. What role is your office/s playing right now and do you actually need as many people to do the work?

Tax and estate planning

According to forecasts by think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Chancellor will need to raise taxes by more than £40bn by 2025 to stop public debt spiralling upwards. The British Chamber of Commerce has already raised concern over a potential Corporation Tax rise saying it would hamper recovery, while Capital Gains and Income Tax are also in question.

Whatever the changes may be, rising tax rates will have a greater impact on business owners, so it is worthwhile reviewing your position on Inheritance Tax (IHT), recent changes to Entrepreneurs relief and carry out some all-important remuneration planning.

Take advantage of incentives and reliefs

All agile businesses large and small need to continually innovate to maintain their competitive edge, evolve and grow.

There are some invaluable tax reliefs available to support business owners with their innovative activities such as Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief. With the average SME claim amounting to £50K, R&D tax relief can be an invaluable cash injection, helping you to achieve your business goals and ambitions.

When it comes to tax incentives and reliefs, we can help you to identify opportunities and maximize the value of your claim.

Business planning at Haines Watts

As we look towards 2021, navigating the road ahead can seem like a daunting task, but our team are on hand to support you every step of the way.

Get in touch to see how we can help.

Are you unclear on any COVID-19 related issues that your business is facing? Get in touch and we will be happy to assist you

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About the author

Jonathan Scott

Having joined Haines Watts as an apprentice, Jonathan quickly progressed through his AAT, ACA and CTA exams to become a Technical Tax Consultant. His success in specialist tax planning led to his promotion to Tax Partner in 2016, making him the youngest partner in the Haines Watts network to date. With a detailed understanding of tax planning, he provides tailored and proactive advice to clients to ensure they are structured in the most efficient way whether they are preparing for income tax returns; corporate re-organisations; company sales, mergers and acquisitions; inheritance tax or capital gains tax.

Jonathan has developed a particular specialism around research and development tax relief, advising clients how they can secure corporate tax credits through the development of innovative products and services.

Jonathan and his team have claimed back over £27m in R&D tax credits for innovative companies, as well as achieving a further £140m in total enhanced tax deduction. In this time, he’s worked with over 200 businesses, ranging from architects, digital agencies and engineers, to vets, manufacturers, and breweries.

Away from work, Jonathan – who was nominated for the Young Accountant of the Year in the 2015 North East Accountancy Awards – enjoys playing football and golf and walking his dog.

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