Small Business Accounting in 2024

With the General Election upon us, and the interest rates being held at 5.25% by The Bank of England, some small business owners may be looking forward with a glimmer of uncertainty, just as the general public are too.

However, it’s not all negative. The Bank of England have held the rates for good reason, and we should hopefully be set to reap the benefits come August. It’s said that maintaining the 5.2% was a “finely balanced” decision. However, the BoE did signal a reduction was possible come the next meeting in August, prompting traders to increase their bets on a summer rate cut.

Although the rates currently continue to be at a 16 year high, good news is that headline inflation fell below the target of 2% for the first time in 3 years, but services inflation was higher than expected at 5.7%, with the BoE deciding to hold rates at 5.25% for now.

With Rishi Sunak previously claiming credit for falling inflation and suggesting his government has paved the way to rate cuts, could this have an impact in the way small business owners vote in the General Election?

Small Businesses in the UK

Making money as a small business or contractor takes time, determination and hard work. It can often take months if not years before a new business becomes profitable, so you need to be passionate about your work and organised with your finances.

When setting up a limited company, there are so many different reasons as to how and why it becomes a success. SMEs are a huge asset to the high street and the local area, providing opportunities for fulfilling and diverse careers. A recent study showed that where you are in the country could impact just how well your small business could do.

Recent analysis revealed Peterborough, Preston and Newcastle as the top three areas to consider living in if you want to work for a small business. The ‘Top 25 Towns & Cities for SME Jobs’ list ranks areas using ONS data on average wage, commute, job density, house price and growth of the number of small businesses.

No matter where you’re based, with the right marketing and glowing testimonials, your business can expand nationwide.

Tips for Making a Small Business a Success

Running a small business in the UK can be a rewarding yet challenging endeavour. With the right strategies and a proactive approach, you can navigate the complexities and set your business on the path to success, no matter what your industry or set up is like. Here are some essential tips to help your small business thrive:

1. Market Research

Understanding your market is crucial. Identifying your target audience, their needs, and preferences and then analysing your competitors to find gaps in the market is a great tactic for success. Use surveys, focus groups, and online research to gather valuable insights.

2. Create a Business Plan

A well thought out business plan serves as a roadmap for your business. Outline your business goals, strategies for achieving them, financial projections, and marketing plans to help you stay on course.

3. Have a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is vital. Invest in a professional website that is user-friendly and optimised for search engines and leverage social media platforms to connect with your audience, promote your products or services, and build brand loyalty.

4. Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Excellent customer service can set you apart from your competitors. Ensure that your customers have a positive experience at every touchpoint but also listen to their feedback and address any issues promptly. Happy customers are more likely to return and recommend your business to others.

5. Embrace Innovation

Stay ahead of the curve by keeping up with industry trends and adopting new technologies that can improve your business operations. Innovation can help you improve efficiency, reduce costs, and offer better products or services to your customers.

6. Invest in Marketing

Effective marketing is key to attracting and retaining customers. Develop a marketing strategy that includes a mix of online and offline tactics by utilising social media marketing, email campaigns, content marketing, and local advertising to reach your target audience.

7. Ongoing Training and Development

Invest in yourself with ongoing training and development opportunities to help you feel more productive and motivated. Continuous learning helps you keep on top of your skill set and keep up with the latest industry trends.

8. Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance

Running a small business can be demanding, but it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Prioritise your well-being to avoid burnout and delegate tasks when possible and make time for activities that help you relax and recharge. Working with an accountant ensures you don’t have to worry about the financial side of the business, as you can work with someone you trust.

9. Manage Your Finances

Keep a close eye on your finances. Monitor your cash flow, manage your expenses, and maintain accurate financial records.

With Gorilla Accounting, all clients have full, all-inclusive access to FreeAgent accounting software to help streamline your financial management and keep accurate records, balance sheets, income statements and other financial information all in one place. We offer expert advice and services through all-inclusive packages, so you know where you are every month, helping you save time and money in the process.

Using an Accountant for your Small Business Accounting

Having a good grasp of your company’s finances is always a good idea, and there are many benefits to using an accountant for handling this. Many contractors or small businesses often try to do their own business accounting, especially when just starting out. However, there are many pitfalls to this:

  • You risk making big mistakes without the proper training

Without experience in accounting, handling your own books can result in mistakes that are often difficult to rectify, including failing to pay bills and being hit with interest, or paying employees incorrectly.

You also run the risk of failing to comply with tax rules and being fined as a result.

  • It can be extremely time-consuming

Small business accounting isn’t a quick and easy task. Running your own business is difficult enough, and keeping your work/life balance in check can be hard work. Adding accounting tasks to your list of jobs is another added stress.

  • It could take you away from other tasks

When you own a business, there are certain tasks that can only fall on you. Your time is much better served focusing on the things you need to do to keep the business running properly, and not focusing on bookkeeping.

Small Business Accounting Software

When you appoint Gorilla Accounting, FreeAgent is included as part of your accounting package at no extra cost. Using FreeAgent allows your dedicated accountant, and you, to have access to your bookkeeping records on the go, wherever you may be.

FreeAgent accounting software is trusted by over 100,000 small businesses, contractors and freelancers and has won multiple awards over many years. It’s specifically designed for small businesses, whether operating through a limited company or as a sole trader.

What FreeAgent can help your small business with:

  • VAT returns are generated automatically
  • Electronically submit returns to HMRC
  • Upload receipts and manage your expenses
  • Automated bank feeds upload transactions from your bank account daily
  • Time tracking enables you to log time spent on tasks and projects
  • Data helps to bill clients accurately and easily
  • Create and send professional, personalised invoices
  • Unpaid invoices can be tracked to eradicate missed payments
  • Clients can pay you quickly and securely online
  • Self-assessment tax returns can be prepared and submitted to HMRC

Appointing Gorilla as a Small Business

Finding an accountancy firm that you can trust can sometimes seem like a daunting process. With potential changes around the corner for your small business after the General Election, you need to work with an accountant that you can trust with your business financing for positive results long term. As the most trusted accountancy firm on Trustpilot, Gorilla Accounting is the perfect choice if you’re looking to hire an accountant.

Success as a small business requires a combination of strategic planning, financial management, innovation, and customer focus. By implementing our tips, you can build a strong foundation for your small business and navigate the challenges that come your way.

If you’re ready to appoint a Gorilla accountant, you can send us an enquiry through our website or call us on 0330 024 0406.