Monthly Archives: August 2021

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

If you’re hoping to one day start a business, then you may be waiting until economic conditions are more promising. Unfortunately, you’re likely in for a very long wait.

Life is short, and there’s no time to waste. After all, the UK is currently in the midst of a very “fragile” economic recovery, and things could get better or worse at any given moment. Years of poor leadership and pandemics have destabilised everything, and the only route left is to take matters into your own hands somewhat.

You can still start a business now and have plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Keep reading for some guidance on these matters.

Identify Public Needs

An unstable economy is an unfortunate circumstance for many people. However, it can also be an opportunity for business leaders.

During times of crisis, it’s perhaps easier to read what customers need and best respond to. For instance, online shopping became more popular, giving people a way to peruse and purchase without risking their safety. Some customers may now prefer this experience overall, too.

The appetite for buying things is always present, with some people experiencing a newfound appreciation for shopping after years of lockdown. However, you should try to gain precise results through your market research. Where are other firms falling short in answering their customer’s needs? Has the pandemic changed what types of products and services people are drawn to?

Favour the Digital Economy

As the traditional economy declines, the digital economy arises. In this space, you can start making money more quickly and reliably than ever before.

The digital economy isn’t subject to the boom and bust of the traditional economy. Actually, the former can often be given a boost by the failings of the latter. Your venture also won’t be a prisoner of global events, thriving throughout any circumstances that occur. Obviously, the peace of mind you can be afforded here is unrivalled.

One great way to persevere in trying times is to start an online coaching business. Thankfully, there are many mentors in the industry such as those at Sell What You Know who can help you learn how to sell your expertise online. Your professional experiences in the past can be turned into moneymaking opportunities of the present, giving you certainty and confidence in everything you’re doing. It’s quick and easy to get started, and there’s plenty of room to grow your business too. 

Utilise Let Go Talent

Unfortunately, many people have been released from their employment contracts in recent times. The majority of them will have been good, loyal workers, and they’re now ripe for the picking.

A startup requires dedicated workers who’re willing to go the extra mile. They’ll need to develop the business through its infancy and perhaps even be ready to be a permanent fixture on the payroll. Therefore, only the best workers will do.

In addition to posting job listings the traditional way, try to ask around your personal network about who’s been let go recently and needs a job. It might be that you’ll get access to a desperate good worker who’s fallen on hard times. If you can give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives, they may repay you with loyalty and hard work.

  • August 24, 2021

12 Ways Playing Board Games Improves Your Mental Health

We recently met Michael Adams from Mikko games. Here Michael shares some top reasons why we all need board games in our lives. We may be called The Business Womans Network, however many of our members are business men too. We would love to welcome you to our mastermind group events too. Thank you for sharing Michael. To read the full story head to Mikko Games website here


The first benefit of playing board games that most people probably think of is that they’re fun. They are a great way to pass the time and enjoy spending time with your friends and family. 

A side effect of this fun is laughter. Laughing has been proven to trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. Endorphins have the power to improve conscious and unconscious mind functions, leaving a person feeling cheerful, compassionate and ultimately content.

Colour Brain Lifestyle Photo with people laughing

Action Tip – Don’t underestimate the power of laughing and having fun with your friends. Choose a game that encourages you to be silly and laugh, like Blockbuster or Scrawl. Anything that gets you to break out of your shell and just be in the moment, having fun. Remember, when it comes to having better mental health, time spent having fun is never time wasted.


According to an online survey of over 5000 people by RealNetworks Inc., a casual games developer, found that 64% of respondents said they play games with the primary intention to induce relaxation, and 53% play specifically to reduce stress.

Finding the time in your day to relax and enjoy yourself, such as by playing a board game, has a major impact on both your mental and physical health. Feeling stressed doesn’t just feel bad in the moment. If it isn’t properly managed, your stress can have serious implications on your overall health and life expectancy.

Playing board games can provide you with a much-needed release of energy after a stressful day of work. They help you to unwind, relax, and not let your mind be consumed by whatever negative things are going on in your life that may be leading to stress. Instead, you can have fun and escape into the world of a board game. There’s no need to worry about the trivialities of life for a few hours. Or perhaps the structure of a clear set of rules is a safe barrier against the chaotic world outside.

Apart from the distraction that playing board games can provide, a 2017 study on stress management found that playing certain board games can help train your body’s fight-or-flight response (the body’s natural response to stress). This means that by playing board games, you’re giving yourself healthy opportunities to practice facing stressful situations to develop your coping skills for when you feel stress in the real world.

Scrawl 12+ Lifestyle Photo

Action Tip – If you find yourself stressed and unsure of how to handle it, try getting some friends together to play some games. It will help you relax and enjoy yourself and will take your mind off of whatever else is going on in your life and make you happy – even if only temporarily.


When you suffer from mental health issues like anxiety and depression, it can be extremely difficult to go out and socialise with others. Consequently, people who suffer from mental health problems tend to report increased loneliness, which is a contributing factor to worsening mental health. However, board games solve a lot of these problems as they offer a structured way to meet others and provide a social world in themselves.

Playing board games allows you to socialise with a group of people without having to worry about coming up with things to talk about. For people who have mental health problems such as social anxiety, playing games can be a great chance to work through their issues and socialise with others without the presence of any additional social pressures. Playing games also fosters positive relationships and can help fight off feelings of isolation by giving one a sense of community. 

While you may not be an overly social person, and believe that you’re completely fine spending time by yourself, studies have shown that socializing with other people and experiencing more human connection is the most effective way to lead a happy and fulfilling life. 

The Chameleon Lifestyle Photo

Action Tip – If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, reach out to a few friends and try to create a group you can regularly play board games with. Or, if you still live at home with your parents, start to play games with them so you begin to remember what it’s like to interact with other people. 


When you suffer from mental health issues like depression it can feel like you have no energy at all. Sometimes even getting out of bed feels impossible. This is understandable and not anything to be ashamed about. When you finally feel ready to break the cycle of doing nothing you may wonder where to turn to.

Real-life chores or work might still be too much for you but a board game can be a great place to start. It’s an activity that’s designed to be fun, and while you’re playing games you will naturally start to gain more and more energy. If you really focus and put your heart into it, you’ll find that being involved in something interactive gives you the boost you’ve needed. 

What Came First Lifestyle Photo

Action Tip – Consider board games as the first step on your road to better mental health. When you feel low and don’t feel like doing anything, try playing a board game to give you the boost of energy you need to start feeling better again. 


When you suffer from mental health problems like depression, you can lose confidence in yourself. You can struggle to believe in your abilities and feel useless. Board games can help more than you realise. Not only will board games make socialising easier, but they also help you to become more self-assured.

To express your love for Michael’s blog article and business you can connect with Michael’s social media accounts via the website here.

It really helps small businesses when you like, comment and share their articles and posts, so share away and feel free to tag us too!

Need some help getting started with blogging or your marketing failing? Join us on our mastermind group – it’s just £5 a month and gets you 70% off of our Founder Mandie Holgate’s courses too. Join here.

  • August 20, 2021

Key facts about tax for furnished holiday lettings owners

Author GoSimpleTax

The ongoing British “staycation boom” is welcome news for furnished holiday lettings (FHL) property owners throughout the UK. Although international travel restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have been a key driver in 2021, the UK furnished holiday lettings market has shown strong, growing demand for years. That is expected to continue. 

The UK furnished holiday lettings market continues to attract many investors. Some are buying furnished holiday lettings for the first-time, to generate additional income now and/or in their retirement. Experts consider furnished holiday lettings to be a good investment. You may be considering investing in a furnished holiday lettings property of your own, so, what key tax facts should you know?

What qualifies as a furnished holiday let?

Properties that qualify for tax purposes as furnished holiday lettings are subject to separate tax rules. To be considered a furnished holiday let, from a UK tax perspective, the property can be in the UK or the European Economic Area (ie EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). And, as the name suggests, the property must contain sufficient furniture that visitors can use while staying in the property.  

You must let out the property commercially with the intention of making a profit. If you build up a portfolio of furnished holiday let properties in the UK, they will be taxed as one. Properties within an EEA country will be taxed as one within that country – entirely separate to any UK furnished holiday lets in your portfolio.

Strict “occupancy conditions” apply. For a new let, they apply to the first 12 months after you start letting the property. Thereafter, they apply to the tax year (6 April to 5 April the following year). If you stop letting the property, conditions apply for 12 months up to the date you stopped letting. 

Three occupancy conditions

Each property must satisfy three occupancy conditions:

  1. If you let out the property for 31 continuous days or more and total lettings are more than 155 days, the property will not be deemed a furnished holiday let for that year. It will be subject to different tax rules.
  2. The property must be available for letting as a furnished holiday let for at least 210 days in the year. Any days you spend staying at the property cannot be counted as part of this total. 
  3. Your property must be let to the public commercially as furnished holiday accommodation for at least 105 days in the year. Lets to friends and family do not count, neither do longer-term single lets of more than 31 days, unless circumstances are exceptional (eg a guest cannot vacate because of illness or injury). 

• Visit government website for more on occupancy conditions

INsiders receive a 10% discount off GoSimpleTax all in one income, expenses and tax submission software.

Furnished holiday lettings allowable expenses

You can claim a range of allowable expenses that you can offset against income earned from your furnished holidays lettings property. Allowable expenses include:

  • mortgage interest
  • insurance (eg public liability, buildings and contents)
  • maintenance and cleaning costs 
  • utility bills
  • gardening
  • refuse collection
  • lettings agency fees
  • cleaning products
  • welcome packs
  • advertising, stationery, related business calls
  • accountancy fees. 

You should record all allowable expense costs, as it will make life easier when completing your Self-Assessment tax return. To be allowable, expenses must result purely from commercial lettings – not from use by you, your friends or family. You must calculate and deduct all private-use expenses before claiming allowable expenses for commercial lettings.

If your furnished holiday let is closed for part of the year because you have no bookings, you can still deduct some expenses (eg mortgage interest) for the whole year, as long as you don’t live in the property during the period. If you let part of your property as a furnished holiday let or use the property privately for part of the year, you must apportion costs accordingly.

More good reasons to invest in FHL

  • You can claim Capital Gains Tax trader reliefs (eg Business Asset Rollover Relief, Entrepreneurs’ Relief, etc).
  • You can also claim Capital Allowances for furniture, equipment and fixtures, so these are paid for out of income, not your own pocket.
  • Profit generated from FHL count as earnings for pension purposes, which can later increase your pension payments. 
  • You can split your FHL profit between yourself and your partner/spouse in whatever way you like, which can reduce tax liability. 
  • As self-catering accommodation, business rates are payable on furnished holiday lettings. However, if you let just one property and its rateable value is below £15,000, you may be able to claim Small Business Rate Relief (up to 100% in some areas). 

Need to know! If income generated from furnished holiday lettings exceeds £85,000 a year, you must register for VAT, charge standard VAT to paying guests and pay it to HMRC after completing your VAT returns. 

What if your furniture holiday letting makes a loss?

If your UK or EEA furnished holiday let makes a loss, you can offset it against profits for future years. However, if you have a mixed portfolio of UK and EEA lettings, you must maintain separate financial records for each and the losses of UK properties cannot be offset against profit on EEA properties (or vice versa).

Need to know! If you already have a mortgage on a property you are considering offering as a furnished holiday let, check first with your mortgage provider or an independent mortgage adviser. You may need to take out a different mortgage.  

More information

  • Visit government website for more guidance on the tax implications of owning a furnished holiday lettings property
  • There really is no substitute for tailored tax advice from an experienced accountant when it comes to furnished holiday lettings and tax. If you’re investing in property overseas, find a qualified local tax expert.

About GoSimpleTax

Income, Expenses and tax submission all in one. GoSimpleTax will provide you with tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you might have missed.

The software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for the self-employed landlord, sole traders and anyone with income outside of PAYE to file their self-assessment giving hints and tips on savings along the way. GoSimpleTax does all the calculations for you so there is no need for an accountant. Available on desktop or mobile application.

  • August 13, 2021