Monthly Archives: May 2017

Why you should join the Insiders

In business, it can be lonely not being able to turn to the right kind of people to get advice. Not just the plethora of “you’re awesome, just go for it” comments that social media is saturated with but genuine ideas and help to work out if this is what your business really needs. So many business owners experience the Shiny Syndrome where they are on a focused path and get distracted into something else because it came along at that time. “Does it fit, or is it right for you right now?” doesn’t feature as you get distracted by the shiny syndrome.

The Insiders is a great way to ask yourself “Do we really need this for our business or are we getting distracted?” It’s like having your own team to challenge, inspire, support and ensure you stay focused on what really needs to happen!

The affiliates list is also growing and you can now get at least a 10% discount on things from laptops, web sites, and coaching, to policy documentation, printing and training on social media. Even our Founder’s Mandie Holgate’s courses and coaching is reduced for Insiders, and they were inexpensive in the first place!

Have you checked out who you could be doing business with for a discount as an Insider?

One business owner told us that in their first month of being an Insider the savings they’d made had paid for 2 years on the Insiders!

The other great thing about the affiliates is as an INsider you can suggest webinars that the affiliates host for you, sharing a level of content they don’t share anywhere else! Affiliates are happy to deliver personalised webinars just for our group!

££££ of training on top of everything else, for free!

Don’t see what you want or need?

Got an idea for us?

Then you know you can always talk to us. The Insiders is here to help you grow personally and professionally to create a business you love, to sustain and grow it. So if you think we could help in another way, just say.So are you in yet?

Do you want to know how this gets even better?

You can also get a discount on sponsoring the BWN website (reduced to £250 for 2019) AND access full day face to face training days for just £75!

We aim to over deliver in everything we do. So join us on the Insiders!

  • May 21, 2017

5 ways to get more out of being an affiliate

It’s great that you’ve joined the Insiders but are you getting the most out of The Insiders? Here are 5 ideas to help. Remember this group has helped business owners achieve more, sell more, appear in international publications, choose the next step in their business growth, redesigned websites, helped with exhibitions, and overcome some big obstacles to success, what will we achieve together next!


When someone posts on the Insiders share your views. Help the other Insider’s with their needs. In doing this you get to show case your knowledge and experience and help others. And we all know that building good relationships is very important to business success.


If you need something ask for it. So often in business, we struggle on alone, not sure who we can turn to for help and advice. On The Insiders you will get more out of the Insiders if you tell us what you need. Do you need advice on an idea? Do you need to work out what is next? Should you get a press release or blog out and are worried that it’s no good? Use the Insiders as a place to ask anything. It’s confidential and we will do all we can to support your success.


So you don’t know whether your next idea is any good, share it with us and let us share our ideas. And that means you need to share your ideas for others too. Maybe pop by once or twice a week if you are busy and just see what posts people have added and share your ways to help them. It’s not easy to ask for help, so providing a non-judgemental zone to challenge yourself in a kind and supporting way is important when making those big decisions.


Just as we are slow to ask for help, we are never that keen to challenge ideas either. Here it is safe to do so. It doesn’t mean you have to be mean about it, but sharing the opposite view or challenging ideas can be really helpful. Ever noticed how you suffer from shiny syndrome disease? Shy Syndrome is where you are working towards a business goal then something else comes along and before you know it you’ve changed direction. Challenging others shows you are up to being challenged too. And that is going to be good for business as we become an extension of your business. Your very own sounding board!


The affiliates list is growing and you can now get at least a 10% discount on things from web sites, and holidays, to policy documentation and training on social media. Even my courses are reduced for Insiders, and they were inexpensive in the first place! Have you checked out who you could be doing business with for a discount? The other great thing about the affiliates is if you see one that you would love some advise for they are happy to deliver personalised webinars just for our group! ££££ of training on top of everything else, for free!

Don’t see what you want or need? Got an idea for us? Then you know you can always talk to us. The Insiders is here to help you grow personally and professionally to create a business you love, to sustain and grow it. So if you think we could help in another way, just say.

  • May 21, 2017

Our Colchester, Braintree and Halstead charity of the year.

Here Jenny Animashaun from JA Business Services and who hosts our Braintree and Halstead The BWN events shares news about one of our charities of the year.

This year Colchester and Earls Colne BWN have joined together to support Tendring and Colchester Women’s Refuge as their charity of the year. The decision to support this charity was, for me, a personal one. Ten years on I am now able to talk about what I went through and how it affected me and my family – but at that time it feels like there is no way forward or no where to go.

The women’s refuge provides a safe place for women and children to go to. Also providing various support and resources, J A business Servicesthe refuge and its many volunteers gives residents hope for the future. Vivian Smith, a project worker for the refuge will be at Colchester BWN on 19th May to give an insight to the work that the refuge has done in the area for the last 40 years.

Lottery funding for the refuge has this year come to an end and to showcase what that has achieved Vivian has organised a private event for those that have benefitted from the refuge and their supporters. The event will be mostly focused on the residents and their children with entertainment, activities and The Mad Hatter competition with prizes for winners.

To support the event the BWN have agreed to help find 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes suitable for children under 12. The refuge is also in need of a roll up banner which can be used at this and future events. To further celebrate their 40th year the refuge were greatly appreciative of the BWN’s idea to host a charity ball. Initial thoughts on this are for it to take place in September 2018, all offers of help and ideas will be snapped up so please get in touch to make this happen!

We also aim to help them raise funds for vouchers for clothes and duvet sets. Do join us to learn more on the 19th May at Wivenhoe House, Colchester. Essex.

  • May 11, 2017

Navigating Your Personal Tax Allowance

As a conversation topic, tax is quite unique, capable as it is of being both sleep inducing and exciting the fiercest of passions.

Most people also find they have an ambiguous relationship with tax. When it boils down to it, no one likes giving their hard won earnings away. But there is also a widespread recognition of the important role tax plays in funding public services, which has lead to a lot of sensitivity around the issue of tax avoidance, and worse, evasion.

Ultimately, all everyone really wants is a level playing field, where the different rates and allowances are transparent and fair, and everyone pays accordingly. Unfortunately, the peculiar complexities of the tax system can be a obstacle to this.

In many ways, business taxes are more straightforward than personal taxes. Yes, PAYE can be complex from an administrative point of view, and VAT can be a minefield. But at least Corporation Tax is easy enough, with a nice flat 19 per cent rate on profits for everyone.

Not so with your personal taxes. With different rules and rates depending in whether you class as self-employed or employed, and whether you draw a salary from your business or take earnings in the form of share dividends, tax on personal income can be a minefield.

Added to that, the rules have a tendency to change regularly, creating more confusion in terms of what you are entitled to offset and what you are obliged to pay. Here are two examples of key changes to personal income tax rules introduced last year, to dividends and to tax deductible pension contributions.


In April 2016, the tax regulations on dividends changed. The previous system of an automatic 10 per cent tax credit on all dividend earnings was replaced by a system which treats dividends as gross income. The changes also brought dividends in line with the income tax allowance and rate thresholds. In 2017/18, these thresholds are:

  • Tax-free Personal Allowance – £11,000
  • Basic/Ordinary Rates – earnings up to £33,500
  • Higher/Upper Rates – £33,500 – £150,000
  • Additional – over £150,000.

There is a separate £5,000 tax free allowance on dividends, but unlike the main personal allowance this is still counted as part of your gross income. If, for example, you earn £50,000 in overall gross income, tax is only liable on £39,000 overall because of the £11,000 personal allowance. If some of that balance happens to be in the form of dividends, your tax rates are still calculated on the total of £39,000 – you just don’t pay any tax on the first £5000 worth of dividends.

Compared to the previous system, dividend earnings now attract more tax, and must be declared by filling in a self-assessment tax return. But with ordinary and upper rates of 7.5 and 32.5 per cent, compared to the basic and higher Income Tax rates of 20 and 40 per cent, dividends still represent a sound way to reduce personal tax liabilities for business owners, directors and investors alike.

Dividends earned through ISAs and pension funds are still tax free.

Pension Scheme Allowances

Pension contributions have long offered a means of offsetting tax liabilities through Income Tax relief, but as with dividends, the regulations changed in April last year. The existing system of fixed rate relief on gross pension contributions up to £40,000 per annum is still there, but for higher earners, there is now a ‘tapered’ scale which reduces permissible contributions down to a minimum of £10,000 depending on income.

This tapered allowance is triggered if your threshold income – essentially the total income you receive from all qualifying sources – exceeds £110,000 a year. At this point, your threshold income plus the value of any pension savings you have – your adjusted income – is taken into consideration. If your adjusted income amounts to £150,000 or more, then the amount of pension contributions you can make to offset against tax starts to be reduced.

When your adjusted earnings reach £210,000, you reach the end of the ‘taper’, and pension contributions to offset against tax are capped at £10,000.

As with all areas of financial planning, it is always recommended to seek impartial, specialist professional advice when considering personal tax. Fiducial Wealth offers a broad range of award-winning personal and corporate financial and wealth management services. Visit for more information.

  • May 10, 2017

Launch of The Business Mans Network!

We are so excited to announce the Launch of The Business Mans Network. It matters to us greatly that we are there to support your sales, confidence and success. And for years Founder Mandie Holgate had been asked to set an event aimed at men in business. So its exciting to announce this launch on Monday the 8th May at our Wivenhoe House venue.

We know that we will have to work hard to get the right balance and create events as powerful as the ones we already host. The BMN events will have the same structure as The BWN events and there will still be no membership and lots of extra ways we can support you.

We’ve already had a policy that if a business man books a ticket then they are not turned away. We attract some of the top speakers in the UK and feel The BWN has always be inclusive and not exclusive. And the same will apply here. Although we would request that for the first event women in business given business men the chance to create their own core group before you consider attending.

It has also important to us that we do not drop the standard of support, motivation and ideas we give to women in business so please do keep in touch if you feel there is more we could be doing to support you and your success.

Here you can read the full article that appeared in the Gazette this week about the launch. Launch BMN May 2017

To book visit this page. See you there!

  • May 7, 2017