Could your business benefit from mentoring?

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Setting up a business can be a real challenge and it's not always easy to know how to take your company to the next level.

Seeking professional advice is a popular way to ensure an operation is on the right track - at least in theory.

Research from Sage has found that while 88 per cent of small business leaders believe mentoring could help them to succeed, only 22 per cent currently use it, HR Magazine reported.

Figures suggest that limited companies and sole traders should hurry up and jump on the mentoring bandwagon, however.

Indeed, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that 44 per cent of business who used mentoring reported an increase in turnover over the past month. This is compared to the 23 per cent that didn't

Brendan Flattery, chief executive officer of Sage UK and Ireland, explained to the news portal that the Federation of Small Businesses also found that "70 per cent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs".

Seeking advice outside of a business isn't a new concept for the self-employed, of course. In fact, many draw on accounting services to ensure they're in compliance with tax and employment law, have a healthy cash flow, and are operating efficiently.

Business advisers are also able to coach small companies on changes to regulations and how to make the most of them.

For instance, the Queen's Speech unveiled the small business, enterprise and employment bill, which contains several proposals designed to help small businesses if they take advantage of them.

The draft legislation will make it easier for limited companies and sole traders to access finance and improve payment practices between themselves and their consumers.

Red tape will also go under review to ensure regulations are either changed to remain effective or are abolished. This will change the business landscape for companies and assistance in navigating the new environment will come in useful.

James Roberts, digital content and development manager at Brookson, said: "New limited companies and sole traders have lots of experience gained throughout their professional lives, however the jump from employee to a self-employed individual is a big one and a little advice can never go amiss. Business mentors are a great way for companies to create a solid growth plan and ensure they have the skills they need to thrive. Likewise, accountancy services can help companies get their financial and tax affairs in order, so they can concentrate on running their business.

"Over recent years we've seen the landscape change dramatically for small businesses and the new government bill will see things transform again. In order to get the most from new regulations, consulting an expert may be the best course of action."

Businesses will also need to know how to navigate the National Insurance Contributions bill, which will simplify the collection of the levy by moving to self-assessment.

Follower notices and accelerated payments will also be introduced in tax avoidance cases.

By Victoria McDonnell

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