Monthly Archives: March 2014

Putting On The Pounds For St Helena’s Hospice

Local business owner, Liz Leatherdale of Colchester Classics and Classical Music Columnist is putting on the pounds for St Helena Hospice, Colchester. Liz Leatherdale said “Yes, I’m raising money for St Helena Hospice again to help them continue their important work in our community. Since my late Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 I’ve been occasionally raising money for St Helena Hospice. He so enjoyed his weekly day-time activities and care from the Hospice.  I’ve raised £1,231 so far since 2009 and this year I’m hoping with your help to raise a further £500 with one of the biggest challenges I’ve done for the hospice.”

Liz Leatherdale is attempting to shed pounds through exercise with the help and support of trainers at Elms Personal Fitness Colchester and Nutritionalist, Angela Attwood.   Liz Leatherdale

Liz commented “While I’m having fun at the gym (yes it actually is) I’d like you to pile on the pounds sterling for St Helena Hospice. As anyone who knows me, the shedding of pounds and going to the gym is a tad challenging – bit like pushing treacle up hill.” 

Thanks for reading this and caring about the important work that our local hospice achieves and if you have a spare £1 or few please – click here to make a donation.

Even if you can’t donate then just a retweet, a like and or a share all helps and its gratefully appreciated. So thankyou!

  • March 29, 2014

Trading as a Sole Trader

 If you’re thinking about going it alone but don’t need a huge amount of capital to get started, and you’re more interested in giving self-employment a try-out before going bigger, then becoming a sole trader is probably the easiest way to establish yourself in business.

This is often the route chosen by for whom the constraints of larger organisations and conventional employment are just too heavy a burden.

As a sole trader, you don’t need to notify Companies House, or to deal with any of the usual accounting requirements that limited companies need to.

However, you do need to register with HM Revenue & Customs as being self-employed. If you’re a sole trader, this simply means you’re running your own business as an individual; you’re ‘self-employed’ and you get to retain all your business’ profits after you’ve paid tax on them.

It doesn’t mean you have to work alone. This is a common misconception. You can take on staff. The “sole” part just means that it’s you who is responsible for the business. You’re also allowed to use “simplified expenses” which allow you to use flat rates instead of working out actual business expenses; the latter necessitates more complex calculations.

HM Revenue & Customs have wealth of information available on their website or by phone on the different ways of establishing yourself in business and, specifically, trading as a sole trader.

For tax & National Insurance purposes, your business income will be calculated alongside your existing personal income. Unlike with a limited company, you will be personally liable for any debts you incur in the running of your business, so it’s best to seek the advice of a good accountant if you need finance for your enterprise.

For accounting purposes, you’ll need to submit an annual self-assessment form to HM Revenue & Customs and to keep accurate records of all business income and expenditure. You’ll pay income tax and national insurance contributions on all profits – but remember too that any losses you incur can be offset against any income you have from other sources.

Naming your enterprise can be good fun. You can call yourself pretty much anything, but you can’t use anything like ‘Limited,’ ‘Ltd’, or ‘public limited company,’ ‘plc,’ etc., of course. Also, you can’t use “sensitive” words or expressions or use any name which is too close to a registered trademark or any existing business in a similar sector; so “McDonalds” may be out if you’re entering the fast food business, for example!” Also, any name mustn’t be offensive – and, finally, you have to include your own name and business name (if you decide to use one) on all official paperwork.


  • March 29, 2014

Reading- Britain’s Silicon Valley

With its origins dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain, Reading, then known as Calleva Atrebatum, was nothing more than a port town. The town played a pivotal role in the English Civil War coming under siege in 1642 by Parliamentary forces looking for King Charles. Literary geniuses Jayne Austen and Oscar Wilde both spent periods of their life there, Austin being educated at Reading Ladies Boarding School between the years 1784-86, as for Wilde, he was imprisoned in Reading Gaol from 1895-97.

However, instead of resting on its history Reading has gone on to become one of the most strategically important settlements in the UK, it is to London what the Silicon Valley is to California.

As the ceremonial capital Berkshire, the might of Reading has helped the county climb to 19th place in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) table of regions’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With a GDP per capita in 2007 $47,516, Berkshire finished two places above of New York and 23 places above California, making Reading is one of the most affluent areas in the world.

In a similar vein to Silicon Valley, reading. Following the initial arrival of International Computers Limited and Digital, who are now Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard , Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Verizon and Xerox have all set up camp in the town. In an area that is just 61km2 it comes as no surprise that office space to rent in Reading is becoming sparse, London by contrast is 1,572km2. Thankfully, due to the high market demand from companies wanting to move into the area the local council have the funds to expand, which they are doing through Benson Elliot, who will develop the Station Hill area in the centre of town. This will see 1.2m sq ft of development, most of which will be much needed office space but there is 32,000 sq ft allocated for retailers, 9,000 sq ft for leisure amenities and circa 300 flats.

Reading is constantly growing, population wise it has grown from 143,124 inhabitants in 2001 to 155,300 in 2011. As the population continues to grow, so will investment. More housing will be needed and infrastructure will have to be updated to cope with the increasing population. If you you’re familiar with Keynesian economics you’ll know how beneficial this will be. With councils having to invest in construction, low level workers will have steady employment, which in turn means they’ll have more money in their pocket thus they have more disposable income which would result in further growth. Per se, every £10 in a workers pocket, £1 will go back into the local economy. Unlike the disastrous Keynesian politics of the Labour party in the 1970s, this is natural growth and one that is sustainable.

Growth leads to job creation and Reading unsurprisingly is the best place in the country to find a job. With a 51.9% yearly start up rate, the fifth highest in the country, and the third highest ratio of businesses to people, for every 10,000 people there are 396.8 businesses – these in turn give Reading the highest employment rate in the UK at 78.1%. There are upwards of 30,000 people that commute to Reading daily to work, it has a similar sucking effect that London possesses. Reading is growing at an unprecedented rate and by all accounts will continue to do so.

Due to the town being heavily involved in modernised business it has been able to ride the recession wave. Where dated industrial businesses faltered, the IT sector that engulfs Reading has gone relatively unscathed and when you consider that 177,700 people are employed by private sector companies in the town, it just goes to show how stable their micro-economy is. With the average wage being £606, the second highest in the country, Reading will continue to suck in some of the best employees that the country has to offer and as such their GDP will again rise.

Reading is definitely the Silicon Valley of Britain, combined with London they make up an economic behemoth.

  • March 29, 2014

Hitch Then Ditch

‘When will they ever learn?,’ you think to yourself as news of another celebrity marriage]ing the rocks ends up splashed across the tabloids. The most recent high-profile split involves Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. As sure as eggs is eggs though, it won’t be long before they are knocked off the front pages by another high-profile split – or ‘uncoupling’, as Paltrow put it on breaking the news on her Lifestyle blog.

But statistics reveal that your average Joe or Joanna are fast losing the moral high ground, with the divorce rate on the increase again – albeit by just 0.5% from 2011 to 2012, according to recently released figures by the Office for National Statistics. Possibly one of the reasons why celebrity couples split so easily is because they know they can afford to stand on their own two feet, And this seems to apply to the general public too, with the rise in the number of divorces taking place in England and Wales coinciding with the UK coming out of the recession.

As house prices are starting to climb again, couples trapped in unhappy unions may decide to finally call it quits because it’s a more profitable time to split assets. The growing independence and empowerment of women, who are statistically far more likely to divorce, is probably another contributory factor.

The ease with which you can get a divorce must surely help fuel the increase too. Nowadays you can even book yourself into the so-called Divorce Hotel to nip the nuptials in the bud before a mattress spring is sprung. The ultimate ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is in the Netherlands and offers weekend divorce breaks, in the most literal sense of the word.

Weekend hotel breaks (ups) are not the only way to hitch then ditch in a split second. This divorce lawyers’ article on “quickie divorces” talks about the availability of an online £65 separation package that takes only a matter of weeks to be processed if circumstances permit. Naturally, the more complicated the case the longer it will take for a divorce to go through and the higher the legal costs will be. The website is now in its sixth year of trading and incredibly was used by 15,000 people in 2013. Divorcing couples should also remember that they have to budget for the unavoidable £385 court fees on top of whatever they pay to online sites.


  • March 29, 2014

Essex BWN Business Woman Has a Short Story For You, Please Read

 Thanks for taking the time to my read my story.

Yes, I’m raising money again for St Helena Hospice.

Since my late Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 I’ve been occasionally raising money for St Helena Hospice. Why?

Because he so enjoyed his weekly day-time activities and care from the Hospice. Since 2009 I’ve raised £1,231 and this year I’m hoping with your help to raise £500+ more. This time I’m attempting to shed some of my pounds and I’d like you to pile on the pounds (£sterling) for St Helena Hospice. Liz Leatherdale

As anyone who knows me, the shedding of pounds and going to the gym is a tad challenging – bit like pushing treacle up hill. Any encouragement , comments and donations would be great. Thank you for any donation you can give.

Thanks for reading this and caring about the important work that our local hospice achieves and if you have a spare £1 or notes are good too – click here to make a donation. (But just taking the time to read this blog and maybe retweet it and share it will help too. So thankyou.

  • March 26, 2014

Super Star For The Day – Get That Business Womans Signature!

BWN Member by Day – Movie Star by Night Well not quite….but it’s been an exciting week for a small corner of Colchester!

For those who know Nicky Goodchild she is known for wearing an eye catching jacket and promoting her business as a Wellness Coach and Herbalife Distributor, but now Nicky would like to share what is going on in another exciting area of her life…..get ready with your autograph books!

“You might like to know about what’s been going on in my life as an actor recently.

This Monday 3rd March my first feature film was released on DVD, and other ‘platforms’, as they say. I play one of the leads in this ‘Beautifully British Steam punk Ghost Story’, which has won several awards at International Film Festivals.

In a fortuitous moment of good timing, it was released the day after The Oscars, so I managed to secure a high profile interview, which you can see here…Enjoy! here  

Available via Amazon, Fopp, Morrisons, HMV to buy the DVD and Amazon Prime & Blink Box to stream

Nb. Don’t be put off by the UK DVD cover. It was the UK distributor’s idea. It DOESN’T do exactly what it says on the tin! Follow @DeathTheMovie and me @GoodchildByName and please SHARE the love. #WhatMarketingBudget?”

Congratulations Nicky on your new role and can we get your signature while its still in our price range? We know an opportunity when we see one!

(Images courtesy of Jayne Lloyd Photography)


  • March 6, 2014