Talent Management Planning: Why Do It?

Talent management planning is a term we often hear floating around the business world, but what exactly does it mean and why should we do it?

To help you gain a clear understanding, we’ll explore what talent management planning is, what it consists of and, most importantly, why it’s beneficial to both you and your employees.

What is talent management planning?

Talent management planning is all about implementing effective strategies to attract, retain and nurture skilled professionals.

What should a talent management plan consist of?

Each company’s talent management plan will look slightly different based on its unique set of goals and objectives. However, each company’s plan should focus on improving these primary features

  • Recruitment
  • Training and development
  • Employee retention
  • Performance management
  • Employee engagement
  • Succession planning

Why is talent management so important?

Talent management planning helps ensure you’re getting the most out of your teams by implementing systems and processes to support their development and improve their performance.

In short, it is the blueprint for hiring and maintaining a highly-skilled, high-performing workforce, which, as we all know, is imperative to your company’s success.

How does talent management planning benefit your business?

Besides the obvious advantage of strengthening your overall workforce, there are several other benefits to implementing a talent management plan. Some of which include:

  • Increased engagement: by demonstrating a keen interest in your employee’s goals and personal development, you will find they are more engaged with their work, making them more productive and more profitable.
  • Efficient recruitment: you can utilise recruitment software to streamline your recruiting process, filter applicants and ensure you’re attracting only the highest quality candidates.
  • Improved staff retention: by offering your employees consistent opportunities to enhance their skills and advance their careers, you’re providing them with a clear incentive to retain their position within your company.
  • More candidates for succession: by adopting formal performance management techniques, you can see which employees are most suitable for senior roles and adapt their training to prepare them for these positions.

How does talent management planning benefit your employees?

Perhaps the best thing about utilising a talent management plan is that it’s mutually beneficial. To demonstrate our point, here are just a few of the benefits your employees can enjoy as a result of effective talent management planning:

  • Better onboarding process: by refining your onboarding process, employees will be more engaged and more at ease from the get-go. So do your best to make the onboarding process as personal as possible.
  • More training opportunities: by facilitating regular training opportunities, you’re providing your team members with the necessary tools to upskill and advance their careers.
  • Greater career autonomy: by partaking in mentorship programmes, you’re able to support your employees with their own career goals by offering advice, recommending training programmes and aligning them with appropriate internal opportunities.
  • Positive working culture: by assisting employees with their goals, funding their training and fostering a culture of growth and development, your employees will be more motivated, engaged and invested in your business.

Don’t underestimate the value of talent management planning

There are countless benefits to developing a talent management strategy, so don’t overlook this opportunity to strengthen your team! Invest in their development, support their career aspirations and focus on creating a compelling company culture. Your employees, profit margins and performance metrics will all thank you for it!

How to combat rising wages and staff shortages

It’s no secret that hundreds of small businesses are suffering from increased wage costs and staff shortages. These issues span multiple industries, from hospitality to construction, and have only intensified since the beginning of the pandemic.

So, how do you handle rising demands with limited labour?

To help you navigate these challenging times, we’ve curated a list of strategies to boost your staff retention, improve your recruitment processes and increase your profit margins.

Here are our 5 strategies for combating rising wage costs and staff shortages:

1) Hire graduates, and interns, and apprentices

Graduates and interns offer an effective and inexpensive solution to staffing shortages.

Straight out of college or university, these young adults are primed for training, ready to be moulded to your company’s exacting needs. What’s more, studies have shown that hiring graduates can significantly increase your staff retention rates. Approximately  57% of graduates still retain their position five years later.

Hiring an apprentice, whilst quite an investment in time, can also be beneficial for many companies.

Although hiring a graduate may not be a quick fix, it’s a brilliant way to source new talent – plus, the ROI is second to none.

2) Invest in your employees

Loyalty is a two-way street. Therefore if you want your employees to remain loyal to your company, you need to invest in their development.

Provide them with opportunities to upskill, fund their training and encourage them to diversify their skillset. Not only will it improve your retention rates by 30-50%, but it will also allow you to cultivate a team of highly skilled professionals.

3) Utilise mergers and acquisitions

More and more companies are deciding to partake in mergers and acquisitions. Why? Because resources are limited and successors are few and far between.

By combining forces the parties involved gain access to a larger workforce, a greater array of talents and more viable candidates to succeed their business.

Plus, with an increased market share, companies are better equipped to manage rising wage costs as they acquire more capital and increase their profit margins!

4) Delegate administrative tasks

With labour dwindling and demand rising, our employees are really being pushed to their limits. So don’t exacerbate the problem by burdening them with non-essential responsibilities. Instead start automating repetitive tasks and hiring administrative staff to handle any paperwork.

Although investing in new employees and tech can be costly, they can notably increase productivity, profits, and employee engagement. Stop placing unnecessary strain on your staff and start streamlining your administrative tasks!

5) Update your recruitment style

Now more than ever you need to be investing your resources into your recruiting process. After all if you want to solve your staffing issues, you’ll need to attract and attain new employees. So what can you do to improve your recruitment style?

Firstly, you need to be harnessing the power of social media. This allows you to broaden your search whilst offering applicants an accurate insight into your business.

Secondly, you want to focus on your company culture as this can quickly attract or deter applicants. Ask yourself, what makes your company the place to work? Do you offer impressive employee benefits? Do you accommodate flexible working?

Whatever it is that makes your company attractive and unique, make sure to funnel that into your recruiting process.

Take care of your employees

Running a business is never easy, but our current climate is making things even more challenging. We wanted to end this discussion with some words of encouragement.

If your business can survive Brexit, a global pandemic and an inflating economy all in quick succession, it can also survive these labour shortages. Just remember to streamline your processes, adapt your recruitment methods and take care of your staff, as they will take care of your business.

The benefits of using DocuSign to sign your documents

One of the things we pride ourselves at 1 Accounts is our ability to be cloud-based and as paperless as possible. This is because we care about the environment and also because we believe these methods give greater flexibility to our clients. In accounting there will always be documents for which we need your signature, and this is where DocuSign comes in. Instead of making the traditional trip to your accountant’s office to sign off your tax return or your accounts, you can do it from anywhere with an internet connection!

What is DocuSign?

DocuSign is a software that allows you to send and sign documents with an E-Signature quickly and easily. As the documents are sent directly to your email address, you can access them wherever you are in the world on whatever device you have to hand. The signatures are as legally binding as ink is, so you can sign contracts and documents knowing that they will be fully official.

Why do we use DocuSign?

As well as reducing the impact on the environmental by not printing something out that we don’t absolutely have to, using DocuSign’s E-signature method frees up lots of time as you don’t have to go back and forth to our office or the post office whenever we ask you to sign a document!

It also reduce our turnaround time significantly as there can be very little waiting around. Everything can be signed as soon as it is ready just with the click of a button.

DocuSign is a secure platform so your information will be safe at all times, and will never get lost in the post!

How do we use DocuSign?

When we send you a document to sign through DocuSign, you will receive an email saying that your documents are ready to sign. We typically use this for tax returns, accounts, board minutes or other documents for which we need your signature.

Clicking on the “Review Documents” link in the email will bring you into your document in DocuSign where the places for you to sign will be helpfully marked.

Once you have signed your documents, the completed documents will be emailed to you.

Make sure that you download these and keep save them with your records as it will save time if you need them in the future.

You can either click on the link in the email to download your completed documents or save them from the attachment on the email.

We find DocuSign a big help and a huge time saver for us, and we believe it saves time for our clients as well as making their access to their important documents quick and straightforward.

6 key changes businesses should have made over the past 2 years

The pandemic has been transformative in many ways. It has changed how we view our health, how we communicate and, of course, how we run our businesses. Whilst we certainly wouldn’t want to do it again, it has taught us a lot of valuable lessons. In light of the lesson we’ve learnt, we thought we’d share 6 key changes we believe all businesses should have made since the pandemic:

1) Hybrid Working

Before the pandemic hybrid working was a lot less common, however this is no longer the case. Recent studies have shown that 76% of companies have adopted a hybrid working model since the pandemic because it has proven to be so effective!
Employees are more productive, more engaged and generally happier when provided the opportunity to choose their work environment. Your employees and your profit margin will thank you for adopting a more flexible working model!

2) Internal Communications

Learning to navigate a business in social isolation has really highlighted the importance of effective communication, not only between team members but between firm owners and partners too.
We made sure to have daily zoom meetings with the whole team throughout the pandemic so that we all had a chance to see and talk to each other, even if there was nothing particular to report. Without these open streams of communication we would not have been able to adapt our businesses, engage our teams or maintain operations during the Covid-19 crisis.
Therefore, you must continue to prioritise and invest in your internal communications. After all, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that effective communication is a valuable commodity.

3) Digital Processes

Working from home forced us to adapt in more ways than one. However, the most notable difference has been the global shift towards virtual working and digital processes.
Adopting cloud-based software has innumerable advantages, but perhaps the most noteworthy is its ability to increase efficiency. In a recent survey, 48% of respondents agreed that cloud computing increased their efficiency thanks to cloud automation and broad network access.
So, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and start streamlining your processes by using a digital payment process and introducing automation tools to your workflow.

4) Advisory Services

If guiding our clients through the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that our advice is both valuable and scalable. Developing your advisory services is something you need to make sure you are doing.
Offering tailored advice can be a simple way to utilise your expertise, enhance client relations and increase revenue. So don’t limit yourself to debits and credits – expand your services by offering relevant business advice!

5) Outsourcing

In a time when we had to adapt quickly many businesses had to outsource labour and resources to operate, and that continues to be the case. Labour shortages have forced us to seriously evaluate what we can and can not deliver in-house.
Yet, despite the great resignation and the global pandemic we’ve come to find there are actually many benefits to outsourcing.
Outsourcing can improve revenue, increase efficiency, and reduce operational costs. What’s more, it enables you to delegate tasks outside of your expertise, allowing you to channel your energy into what you do best. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you’ll need it if you want to scale your business.

6) Refined client base

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. Whilst the pandemic did present us with many hardships, it also allowed us to take a good look at our client base.
If you’re yet to do so, we highly recommend reviewing your client base as well. Who are your high-value clients? Which clients drain your resources? The aim is to identify which clients you can afford to let go in order to save yourself both time and money.
Although culling clients is never easy, refining your client profile can be extremely beneficial if done respectfully. This will help you make space for more clients that fit your ideal client profile!

Future-proof your business

Unfortunately Covid-19 won’t be the last challenge we face. There will always be another bump in the road or another fire to put out. By implementing these suggestions you have the ability to streamline your business, optimise your performance and keep up with your competitors, all of which are essential when preparing your firm for the future.
Try not to be despondent when times get tough. Remember, challenges are also opportunities for growth and innovation.

Sole Trader VS Limited Company: Which is better for you?

Have you been thinking about switching to a limited company because of the upcoming changes due to Making Tax Digital? Has anyone told you that you could be paying less tax as the owner of a limited company instead? We will take you through what the differences are and ultimately help you make the right decision for you & your business.

Regardless of whether you stay a sole trader or become a limited company, if you make a profit in your business then you will have to pay some level of tax. Changing your company structure may change how you pay tax and may be beneficial for some, however there are other factors to consider as well as tax.

What is the difference between a sole trader and a limited company?

If you are a sole trader, then HMRC and the law view you & your business as the same thing. This doesn’t stop you from hiring staff or taking on premises, but what it does do is mean that you are personally liable for any losses or debts that your business makes. The good news is that as a sole trader you can keep all your business profits! Just remember that these business profits will then be taxed as part of your personal income.

A limited company however is a separate legal entity. It will have its own finances and legal reporting requirements, and Its finances must be kept separate from the business owner’s personal finances. As your limited company is a separate legal entity this means that as the director of your limited company you will have limited liability on any losses or debts incurred by the business. However, it is important to point out that if your company takes on any borrowing then the lender may place a personal guarantee on the directors of the business. In other words, if the business is unable to pay back the loan then the directors will be personally liable to pay back the loan.

What are the advantages to being a sole trader vs a limited company?

Setting up as a sole trader is comparatively straight forward. You simply need to register with HMRC for income tax and national insurance to receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and you can start your business straight away.

There is also relatively little paperwork or administration, although the changes being brought in by Making Tax Digital mean that sole traders will have a legal obligation to keep their accounting records digitally up to date. You will no longer be able to only keep paper records and hand your receipts to your accountant once a year. This makes it easier to understand your finances, your profitability, and how much tax you are likely to pay, and see it in real time. As there is less administration and filing responsibilities, it also means a smaller accountants bill compared to a limited company!

One of the little realised advantages of trading as a sole trader is your financial affairs are very private. They are between you, your accountant and HMRC. There is no requirement, such as with limited companies, to put your annual accounts into the public domain on Companies House.

In your first period of account, if you are likely to make a taxable loss this can be relieved against profit from the past, even if this is from a prior employment, whereas in a limited company this can only be carried forward until a profit is made.

And finally, as a sole trader you are in complete control of your business affairs. You don’t need to consult any shareholders or partners to make decisions.

What are the disadvantages of being a sole trader vs a limited company?

Banks and other investors tend to prefer working with limited companies. This means it can be harder to raise finance as a sole trader. Whilst it is still possible to grow without external funding it can be much slower. After all, most businesses need to buy some equipment, vehicles, stock, or tools to be able to start trading.

It’s not just banks and investors who can look down on sole traders. Many businesses and customers prefer to work with a limited company vs a sole trader as they believe, whether rightly or wrongly, that they will have more protection with a limited company. However most ‘Business to Consumer’ sole traders are unlikely to have this problem with credibility. For example, a householder is rarely concerned whether a plumber is a sole trader or a limited company, they just want a good job done.

Historically the tax rates on sole traders have been more punitive than owners of limited companies. However, over the last 5 years or so this tax gap has reduced significantly with the dividend tax relief being slashed. Currently sole traders pay 20-45% income tax, whereas limited companies pay from 19% corporation tax. However, directors of limited companies must still pay personal income tax between 20-45% on any income from the business via payroll. Dividends from the business are also taxed.

As a sole trader you cannot protect your business name. Anyone can decide to use your business name. This is not the same with a limited company.

What are the advantages of being a limited company vs a sole trader?

The biggest benefit of incorporating and becoming a limited company is the limited liability and the business being legally entirely separate from the people who own it. This means that your personal assets will be secure should your company get into debt or other trouble.

A limited company can also be more attractive to work with – depending on your clients. You can appear to have more credibility and trust as a limited company over being a sole trader and depending on your industry this could make a difference in who decides to work with you.

Another benefit is that you are more able to control your income as a limited company director. By splitting your income between salary and dividends you may be able to reduce your tax bill. Dividends are taxed at a lower rate than income and the first £2000 is tax free.

While you pay corporation tax on all the profit, there is no getting away from paying tax, it is possible to accumulate wealth within the company if you do not need to extract it all and save tax that would be assessable on you if you were a sole trade.

What are the disadvantages of being a limited company vs a sole trader?

Limited companies are more complex to set up and run. There is far more paperwork and administration involved with a limited company. For example:

  • Confirmation Statement with Companies’ House
  • Filing company year-end accounts
  • Corporation tax return
  • Registering with companies house
  • Legal documentation such as articles of incorporation, shareholder agreements
  • Minutes of board meetings and preparation of dividend vouchers

Therefore, having a limited company means it is really advisable to pay for an accountant.

Directors of limited companies still need to:

  • File a personal tax return (which will eventually come under the Making Tax Digital regime)
  • Pay personal income tax

Why change from being a sole trader to a limited company?

When people start in business they often start as a sole trader. After all it is easy to set up and often has less administration or accountancy fees involved than a limited company. There often comes a time when it makes sense to switch over; either because of a desire to involve others in your business in a decision making capacity or pay less tax or become more attractive to potential clients or investors. In fact, when your sole trader profits (not just income) reach £30k it is worth considering changing to a limited company to reduce your tax liability.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and before you decide to make the change do take advice from your accountant. You may find that you are better off remaining as a sole trader.

If you would like more information or advice on whether you should remain a sole trader or become a limited company please get in touch now.

How automation can improve your efficiency and productivity

Automation was already on the rise pre-pandemic, but now it has become a business priority. The positive benefits of automation pay dividends for those businesses that invest in it. Many business owners don’t know that accountants can offer a lot of assistance in this area: streamlining and automating processes to improve business efficiency, so here are the many benefits.

1) Automation reduces the time spent on repetitive tasks and the risk of human error.

Expenses is an area that is notoriously labour-intensive, time-consuming for staff to submit and finance departments to process, and it’s extremely prone to human error. The same goes for invoicing and purchase order processing. However, with a streamlined and automated workflow, the whole process is connected through a single system from start to finish. This means it’s a lot quicker and, therefore, cheaper (less time is wasted, and the risk of manual input errors are eliminated), and skilled staff can now spend their time on higher-value tasks.

2) Automation results in better credit control.

Late payments are one of the biggest causes of stress for business owners, not to mention it has a huge negative impact on cash flow. With the use of digital payment process, however, late payments can be greatly reduced. Automation makes it easier and faster for businesses to chase payments; it increases the chances of invoices being paid on time, and it saves 15 hours on average per week on credit control management.

3) Automation gives you accurate real-time reporting.

Knowing your numbers is crucial for business success. However, it is both time-consuming and expensive to have your staff monitoring every KPI and to have to trawl through all the data. With automation, however, you have the ability to see your overall business performance at any given time. With real-time financial reports, you can then accurately budget and forecast cash flow and make effective business decisions.

4) Automation increases both client and staff satisfaction.

Contrary to what people believe, automation does not take away from human interaction. In fact, it does the opposite. Speeding up and streamlining business processes means that your staff have more time and energy to better serve your clients. It gives them the time and means to respond to needs and nurture stronger client relationships.

As well as improving customer service, automation also leads to higher employee engagement. Your staff will no longer have to concern themselves with paperwork or mindlessly boring manual tasks. They will now be free to focus on higher-level, more rewarding tasks such as spending more time with clients to understand their goals and how the business can help deliver those. Satisfied and engaged staff will directly contribute to growing your business so this is a very important benefit of automation.

5) Automation improves productivity and the bottom line.

Streamlining processes means that staff and the business as a whole work more effectively and efficiently. This time can then be spent on the higher-value tasks that will increase revenue. As well as enhancing workflow, automation can also help solve the current talent shortage as employees can be better trained and developed on the job.

Save time and money with automation

Too often, business owners spend too much time working in the business rather than on it. However, with automation, employees can be relieved from these day-to-day menial tasks to focus on what will directly grow the business.

As well as increasing efficiency and productivity, automation can save you a lot of time and money by eliminating errors and reducing staffing and credit control costs. So, if you want to streamline your business, don’t hesitate to reach out!