Monthly Archives: February 2021

How To Market Your Restaurant On A Small Budget

When you first set up your dream restaurant, you might have a vision of the theme for the place and the menu that you will serve. Once you have got everything in place – the staff, the menu, the décor and the opening date, you still have a few more things to consider including marketing. How will you market your business and get those valuable customers in the door with a small marketing budget?

The good news is that it is possible to become a successful restaurant on a small budget, but you will need to put the work in. Below, we are going to give you some tips that you can use to make this a reality. Read on to find out what they are.

Invite Some Influencers Over

In 2021, influencer marketing remains one of the best options for businesses who want to spread the word about their brand. When it comes to restaurants, you’ll find that there are so many influencers already out there who head to their local restaurants and review the food and experience. While you may get lucky and have some influencers come in by themselves, due to the launch, you can also create partnerships to encourage them to do so.

For example, if you are hosting a launch party for your restaurant, why not invite some local foodies along? They might require payment for posts on their channels but if you stick with micro-influencers, you can achieve the desired result without breaking the bank. Start small and you’ll build up an audience along the way with their help.

Use Your Mailing List To Your Advantage

Once you start getting bookings in, or have people showing interest online, you can start to build a mailing list. This can be an incredibly useful resource for restaurant owners who have a small budget but still want to engage in some restaurant marketing. With emails in a list, you can send out reminders about your restaurant, details of new promotions, menu changes and much more.

There are some excellent email marketing services that you can use to build these emails in no time at all. Additionally, when you target customers who have already visited your restaurant, you can have more confidence that they will take note of your emails and possibly return.

Make Use of Free Tools

Another great way to market your restaurant business on a small budget is to make use of free tools that are at your disposal. You don’t need to pay an expensive graphics designer to work on things like your logo, flyers or even content for social media when free tools exist. If you have any kind of creative flair, you can easily use tools like Canva to create graphics that stand out. Just add your logo and photographs of your food and you are good to go!

This kind of content can save you a lot of money and it can help you to create some brand awareness on social media. Just make sure to create a cohesive style and use your brand colours. That way, you’ll be posting out some instantly recognisable content. On top of graphic tools, you can also find free video editing tools, email templates and website builders online.

Try Video Content on Social Media

Social media is arguably the best tool for restaurants to use in 2021 when it comes to marketing on a low budget. Social media is not only free to use for anyone, but it can also be very effective when it comes to targeting a new audience. One of the best ways to really increase your reach on social media and stand out is to use video content. The good news is that you don’t need to hire a videographer to help you create and edit this content as often, raw footage works well on these channels.

So, for example, you can simply use your phone or camera to film live cooking demonstrations, host live giveaways or even show some sneak peeks of the restaurant. Maybe you could even feature some of your staff members and show them to your followers! Use your free video content wisely and you could really build your brand online.

 Try These Tips

If you are planning on marketing your restaurant in 2021, you should try to take on board the tips that we have given you. Influencer marketing should be your first step but remember to budget a bit if you want some excellent content out there. Additionally, you should try out email marketing and start targeting those who have already visited your restaurant. Over time, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t and will have a successful restaurant soon!

  • February 25, 2021

2020 in review, important changes to be aware of and what we can expect in 2021

As the pandemic continues to impact our way of life, it’s never been so important to manage finances and plan ahead. Understanding the latest tax changes and how they will affect you can be hard to get your head around, especially with everything going on. 

One change that self-employed taxpayers had to keep on top of was the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), as there was different criteria for each grant that you could claim. 

There were also further changes when HMRC waived the late filing penalties relating to the 19/20 self-assessment tax return, this gave breathing space to 1.8 million individuals who did not submit their tax return by the 31st January deadline.

We appreciate that it’s difficult to stay on top of tax law at a time of such uncertainty. That’s why we’ve asked Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to break down the biggest support package of 2020, and how it could impact you in 2021.

INsiders receive a 10% discount off GoSimpleTax – Get started today and your discount code will be emailed to you.

The introduction of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

On 26th March 2020, Rishi Sunak announced that the government would support self-employed workers in the form of a grant worth 80% of their profits for a period of three months. This was capped at £2,500 and applications were closed on 13th July 2020.

To qualify, you had to meet a number of requirements. Firstly, more than half of your income had to come from self-employment. Secondly, to protect against fraud, you had to already be self-employed and have submitted your tax return for 2018/19 before the 31st January 2020 deadline. This enabled HMRC to calculate the grant payment due if you were eligible.

On 29th May 2020, SEISS was extended by a further three months, allowing those previously eligible to claim a second grant. This instalment was worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single sum covering three months’ worth of profits and capped at £6,570 in total.

The third grant, announced on 24th September 2020, covered the three month period from 1st November 2020 until 29th January 2021. This was worth 80% of average monthly trading profits and paid like before. The fourth is set to cover the next three-month period, from the start of February until the end of April. However, the level of support available will not be published until the Spring Budget, which takes place on 3rd March 2021.

Whilst the support from the government has been welcomed with open arms, by most, it is worth noting that these grants are taxable. Each grant should be reported on your tax return, as income, in the accounting period they were received. This means there may be tax and NIC due on these payments and therefore it may impact your tax liability due 31 January 2022. 

The extension of the Self-Assessment filing deadline 

If this wasn’t enough, sole traders were also made exempt from a late filing penalty, provided that they filed online by 28th February 2021. However, this has proved somewhat confusing as self-employed individuals were still expected to pay their tax bill by 31st January. 

Any individuals that failed to do so would be charged interest from 1st February on any late payments. This became even more costly if you delayed your payment on account from July 2020 (another COVID-19 response measure), as the two payments were both due on 31st January 2021 and each accrued interest.

Important change to be aware of 

In a further curveball announced 19th February HMRC confirmed that the initial 5% late payment penalty on self-assessed tax would not be charged as long as the tax is paid, or a time to pay arrangement is agreed by 1stApril 2021. The self-assessment timeline is now 

  • 31 January – Normal Self-Assessment deadline (paying and filing)
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
  • 28 February – last date to file any late tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment surcharge
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online

If you’re unable to pay your tax bill in time, the government is advising you to pay in instalments. This enables you to spread the cost of your tax bill over a few months. Bear in mind that you must owe £30,000 or less and have no other payment plans or debts with HMRC. Your tax returns must be up to date, and you also have to sign up before 1st April 2021. It’s worth noting that you’ll have to pay interest too.

As there is currently no information concerning the rules for the fourth SEISS grant, we here at GoSimpleTax are urging all our users to submit their tax return immediately. After all, there’s a strong possibility that they could determine your eligibility, and you must do it in order to set up a payment plan.

How taxpayers might pay for the support

Of course, to reap back the money spent on this support, it’s expected that the government will need to introduce significant tax measures. While it has already been suggested that the Chancellor won’t want to introduce any that will impact spending, rumours of changes to National Insurance, fuel duty and pension relief have all continued to circulate.

new tax aimed at online sellers has also made many prediction lists in the run-up to the Spring Budget. Some of these sellers have seen an increase in demand over the pandemic compared to the high street. By introducing new charges, the government may hope to redress the balance.

In the meantime, it’s important that all Self-Assessment users keep a keen eye on the latest support. While filing your tax return may help secure your eligibility, there’s no guarantee that you’ll still qualify despite claiming the previous three grants. Keeping yourself well informed will help you to know where you stand.

About GoSimpleTax 

GoSimpleTax software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for self-employed, sole traders, freelancers and anyone with income outside of PAYE to log all their income and expenses. The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.

Try today for free – add up to five income and expense transactions per month and see your tax liability in real time at no cost to you. Pay only when you are ready to submit or use other key features such as receipt uploading.

  • February 25, 2021

The Crucial Role Of Training In Your Up-And-Coming Firm

Training can determine how far a business will go into the future and how well they’ll court success.

There’s no industry without training, no matter what sector you’re working in. It legitimises your operations and paints a picture of a brighter future also. Everything starts with an aptitude for education, and the smaller firms that understand that best are the ones to watch.

But what exactly makes training so crucial in up-and-coming firms today? Well, it could be any number of the following reasons…

Regulatory Compliance

Business must operate within the parameters of the law, which can be hard to follow and even harder to understand at times. Training can clear things up, however.

Many firms providing solo-regulated financial services must provide annual training to their staff on the Financial Conduct Authority’s “conduct rules”. The Senior Managers and Certification Regimen (SM&CR) first stage was introduced in December 2019, and firms needed to make changes at that time. The second stage should have introduced more changes in December 2020 a year later, but COVID-19 delayed things here.

Companies like Scott Robert have ample experience delivering Senior Managers SMCR training sessions to employees on these matters, bringing clarity with them and encouraging questions for anyone wanting to explore the subject further. Additionally, Scott Robert offers examples of proper conduct, and they tailor their content to each individual business they work with. Keeping up with regulatory deadlines adds a lot of pressure, but no matter what stage your firm is at, help is out there.  

Business Protection

When training fulfils its core purpose and complies with regulations, smaller businesses have a far easier time.

This is because employees perform safer business practices. For example, staff who work with food need to know all the correct procedures for maintaining quality food storage conditions and practicing good hygiene in the workplace. To be found lacking here could make your company liable for things like lawsuits, fines, and even business closure and jail terms in the very worst scenarios.

Training isn’t just about the employee, but the wellbeing of an enterprise on a whole. It might seem like an obvious point to make, but having high standards in business is essential, and many firms make the mistake of thinking they can get by without them. Sufficient training proves otherwise.

Staff Retention

After developing their skillset, staff are then poised for further opportunities moving forward.

Staff training, though tedious at sometimes, can play an instrumental role in keeping employees happy on a long-term basis. The feeling of progressing a career is what many workers are constantly seeking, endeavouring to work for companies where they can flesh out their personal and professional development. When the demands of their role change, it can also refreshen their interest in their work.

Therefore, staff training could equate to staff retention on some level. After all, happier workers will be more likely to stick around at a company, and if multiple workers have been around since the start then everything will soon run like a well-oiled machine. Training tells employees that you’re willing to invest in their future and that you believe in them. It could be that they’ll return the favour by remaining loyal to your firm.

  • February 8, 2021

Can you really afford to leave your self-assessment until 28th February?

If you have income in the 19/20 tax year you are due to submit your self-assessment tax return – however, have you taken a sigh of relief and welcomed the news of no penalties for filing late or are you one of the millions yet to file your self-assessment due to being adversely affected by coronavirus? 

Whatever your answer, if you are yet to file your self-assessment tax return it may pay to read on…

Having your self-assessment up to date has aided the self-employed with claiming government schemes, filing now may aid any further claims as and if they become available. GoSimpleTax look at filing your 19/20 tax return, the changes that have been made and what help is there for you. 

HMRC recognised that there would be an increase in late filing of self-assessment tax returns due to the coronavirus pandemic and therefore updated their guidance to state that they would not be issuing fines for late self-assessment tax return submissions until 28th February 2021.

However, the deadline of 31st January remained for payments and any late payments will incur interest at 2.6%.

So, the deadline has been and gone you have not yet completed your tax return, let alone paid it for whatever reason you have. GoSimpleTax suggest you complete your self-assessment to know your tax liability and at least pay what you owe as soon as you can.

You do not have to submit it, however, if you have done it why wait?

I have filed, but I am struggling to pay

If you cannot pay as your income has been affected by coronavirus you may be able to pay your self-assessment tax bill via a payment plan. HMRC have an online application for Time to Pay.

You can spread the cost of your latest self-assessment bill if

  • You owe £30,000 or less
  • You do not have ay other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • Your tax returns are up to day
  • It is less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You can see if you are eligible and apply for a payment plan online, you do not need to phone HMRC. 

If you cannot access the online service or are not eligible you should call HMRC at your earliest convenience to discuss your situation. The self-assessment payment helpline is 0300 200 3822.

Think ahead for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax

With MTD for income tax over the horizon, it is mandated for 2023, begin converting to digital software. HMRC’s portal can be confusing – now is the perfect time to switch. 

Digital software allows you to calculate your tax liability in real time if you chose to use it from April 2021 and update your finances weekly, monthly or quarterly. You can be one step ahead, plan your finances and spend more time concentrating on your business. 

GoSimpleTax would suggest submitting your 20/21 tax return on 6th April and then utilising software to stay up to date with your finances. Updating your tax return in real time. You will always be one step ahead and with the uncertainty of the pandemic it pays to be, as you are likely to be ready to claim any future help the government may offer. 

To conclude, if you are yet to file or pay your 19/20 tax return, we advise you take action soon as possible. Whether you need to file your return, pay your tax bill or to seek help from HMRC through the Time to Pay, the sooner you do it the less onerous any ramifications will be. Delaying is just putting off the inevitable – so seek help if you need it.

About GoSimpleTax 

GoSimpleTax software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for self-employed freelancers, sole traders and anyone with income outside of PAYE to log all their income and expenses. The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.

Try today for free – add up to five income and expense transactions per month and see your tax liability in real time at no cost to you. Pay only when you are ready to submit or use other key features such as receipt uploading.

  • February 1, 2021