In this month’s guest blog, we hear from the fabulous June Cory, founder of pay-per-click ad agency, My Mustard. June shares her expert advice with us on how to make networking work for your business. Over to you, June… [Read more…] about Guest blog: What’s So Good About Networking?
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With a new tax year already here, now is the time to make sure your books are in order. Let’s face it, many people find bookkeeping to be an extremely arduous task. Now is the perfect time to get your business accounts organised! [Read more…] about Keeping track of your bookkeeping
Getting organised with to-do list apps
Time is probably that one commodity that we would all like more of. Most of us would probably say we’d like to have a better work life balance or to simply just get through our never ending to-do-list. But that can be hard to achieve with modern life’s hectic schedules. Writing a list helps. Having a list on an app so you have it to hand everywhere and share it with your colleagues or other half helps even more! To-do list apps is what you need!
There are a number of apps available which can streamline your list of tasks leaving your more time for the important things and actually give you some free time. So here is Hour Hands’ ultimate guide to to-do list Apps.
This free app allows you to manage your work flow easily and simply. You can use the app to create various projects and tasks and even follow their progress on different devises. This makes it useful for sharing with co-workers or even the family. This user friendly app allows you break down your tasks into multiple subtasks so you can keep track of what needs to be done and when you need to do it.
Trello is another great app to help manage your projects. This to-do list app works a lot like having various post-it notes around only it’s all digital; a bit like Pinterest for your projects. You can create your long lists and then break it down into various boards. That way you can track each aspect of the project and keep all the information and links you need in one place. You can even share the app with co-workers and family members so everyone is on the same page. The best features on Trello are free.
Wunderlist is a cross-platform app that works on both on your desktop and mobile device and is one of the simplest of the to-do list apps for beginners to use.
Creating and sharing your lists is simple. You can also create a deadline for the tasks and then set regular reminders. That way you won’t forget to action items on your list!! It’s really simple to share your lists with others and even has smartwatch mode so you can easily check your lists when out and about, all for £3.99 a month.
This is more than a to-do list app as it works a lot like Evernote. Google Keep allows you to keep (hence its name) notes, photos and even audio recordings that you don’t want to lose all in one place. However, what’s great about the app is that you can also use it to keep track of tasks. If you are using Gmail there is a similar system of labels and colours which allows you to separate your work into different areas, for example family and business tasks. It also has some handy alert features such as location based alerts. If you walk past a supermarket it can even remind you to buy milk!
Any of these apps – and there are more – give you the ability to share and prioritise tasks. In busy times it’s easy for things to get missed. With the help of a list you are forced to prioritise and focus. Thanks to technology delegating has never been easier. At Hour Hands we use To-Do list apps not just to keep on track of our own tasks but also to share lists with our clients. They can easily move a task from their list to ours and keep on track of progress.
Running your own business can be difficult but this time of year can bring particular challenges and added pressures. With the deadline to both file and pay your 2014-5 self-assessment tax return fast approaching, alongside VAT returns and PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance deadlines, it can seem like a never ending cycle of admin and legislation.
If you’re currently drowning in a sea of receipts trying to fill in your tax return and keep on top of your books, it may seem that there is no end in sight but you can make things easier for next time.
Okay, it’s not much fun but staying on top of your paperwork can make all the difference when you come to deal with your tax and VAT returns. So start getting organised and you’ll thank yourself later. Simple things like filing away your receipts and keeping accurate books will make the whole process a lot quicker and easier.
It also means that if you need to hire an accountant or other personal assistant services it won’t take as long or be as complex. By taking some time now to get everything in order you will save yourself so much more in the long run.
Running your own business, especially when you are a sole trader, can mean that there are a number of demands for your time, and things like admin can take a back burner. Part of the problem is often that you want to spend your time on the actual business rather than the paperwork.
Or maybe you don’t have enough full-time employees to spend time on admin. You may want a bit of extra help with the paperwork but don’t have the resources to hire a permanent member of staff. By outsourcing your bookkeeping and administration tasks to a personal assistant service you can free up your time for other things and let’s face it those are the things that you are good at.
It’s also important to make sure that you are doing your tax and VAT returns right, so speaking to an accountant could land up saving you money in the long-term.
For all the will in the world and the best organisation you may still find there are periods when you just have to focus on the big stuff. Small businesses can be fined if they fail to file their VAT and Tax returns on time, so sometimes you will have to just focus on that. However, you may find you can simply bring in short-term help to either worry about the bookkeeping or take away some of your other tasks like managing emails and your diary so you can free up some of your time. Having someone on an ad-hoc basis could take away a lot of the stress.
Train your staff
If you do have staff in your business, training them to help with bookkeeping and admin could mean that they can take some of the strain and let you concentrate on making money.
By filing your VAT and Tax return early you can ensure that not only do you not get fined but you also know what you owe earlier saving you stress and time later on. So why not free some time in your calendar for early in the tax cycle and next January you can just sit back and relax.
If you need help with your business Hour Hands can be there to help you do what you are good at – making money.