REMINDER: On the Road…in Wallisdown!

Don’t forget tomorrow evening’s On the Road in Wallisdown, between 6 – 8 pm.

Bournemouth Chamber has received funding to re-establish trading districts in the Bournemouth area. The aim is to increase footfall, develop links, and put Wallisdown back on the map.  Bournemouth Chamber is holding Information Evenings and our first one will be in Wallisdown.

Join us to find out how the Chamber can help your business.

It is free to attend, but please register your interest here.

A great article in Coach & Bus Weekly about our Patrons, Yellow Buses!

Continuing their staycation series, Richard Sharman takes a look at Yellow Buses’ offerings that have recently gained an extended season due to demand

Bournemouth is one of the key attractions on the South Coast of England; try driving there on any sunny day and you will appreciate just how many people favour it as a day out. It also has the advantage of being just over two hours’ drive from London, with frequent departures by coach and rail. With staycations being the only option for many this year, UK holiday destinations geared up for the season, including bus operators that provide seasonal and tourist services.

For further reading, click here. 

Saffery Partner Jamie Lane looks at the pitfalls to avoid when looking to sell a business​

For most business owners, selling a business happens once in their lifetime. Such an exit event is normally the end game for most entrepreneurs, however it is human nature that lots of other emotive factors can often distract from the main goal of completing a smooth transaction and maximising value.
Having emerged from a sharp downturn in buyer appetite over the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic, buyer appetite has rebounded strongly to such an extent that 2021 is on track to break all records in terms of the value of aggregated deals completed. This is being driven by the availability of cash on buyers’ balance sheets and the continued increased availability of both debt and equity funding. Despite merger and acquisition (M&A) deal values being dominated by multi-million-pound transactions, we are also seeing increased deal volumes in the SME market.

With the M&A landscape set to continue to boom for the foreseeable future, an increased number of business owners are receiving unsolicited approaches to acquire their company. It is important to be able to be ready and react to such approaches, as it could be the ideal opportunity to exit, albeit earlier than anticipated.

In selling a business, getting it right the first time is absolutely key, there will be no second chances. The sale process is long and potentially complex; we have set out below a few pitfalls to avoid before and during the process.

What’s it worth?
Valuation is arguably the most important factor for most vendors in a sale process. While maximising value is always the key focus, vendors can often have unrealistic expectations as to what price a business can achieve. Sometimes valuation is driven by market sentiment and other factors outside your control, and therefore timing becomes an important factor. Ultimately, the business is only worth what someone is prepared to pay and independent views should be taken on board. In a situation where you have been approached by a purchaser, consideration should be given to undertaking a wider search for potential buyers as competitive tension can often result in a higher sale price.

Numerous factors are taken into account in valuing a business by potential acquirers and growth prospects will be high on the agenda. ‘Earn-outs’ are a good way of bridging a pricing gap (where the seller receives a contractual provision for compensation, subject to the business’ future performance), but care should be taken on two fronts – that the mechanism is not subject to manipulation and that vendors’ personal tax position is not compromised.

Don’t ignore management
A key strategy in preparing any business for sale is to have strong management in place, such that the business can operate successfully after the vendor departs. Employee incentive schemes are a great way to incentivise and tie in key management and are especially important in people-based businesses. Not only is it beneficial to have such schemes in place, but timing is equally as important and if not done early enough, this could lead to the management team potentially being left in a tax position that is less than ideal.

Management could also potentially be an option as an exit route for your business by way of a management buy-out, and this should be considered. The challenge can be assessing whether management can obtain funding and whether such funding can meet your own price expectation.

Fail to plan, plan to fail
It is never too early to start planning for the sale of your business as you never know when you might be approached outside of a sale process. Good planning should also extend into how the sale process is run and managed. Certain buyers will quickly sense if there is a lack of direction from the vendors and use this to their advantage, creating opportunities to chip away at the price. Being clear about the process and the transaction structure all the way through to completion helps to set certain parameters for all to work within and these should be fully reflected in the heads of terms at the outset, before granting exclusivity.

Once a buyer is in a period of exclusivity and commences due diligence, any opportunity to chip away at the price could potentially be taken. It can be particularly tempting for sellers to succumb to these tactics and accept these price chips, especially right at the end of the process after many hours of work and being within touching distance of the finishing line.

Plan B
With the best will in the world, sometimes deals will fall over part-way through a process, perhaps because of something that comes up in due diligence or maybe as a result of the buyer being unable to obtain the required funding. The seller and their management team will likely devote considerable time and resources to the sale process and may well inadvertently take their eye off the day-to-day running of the business. The impact of this may not become apparent until a few months down the line when you are marketing the business again and talking to other potential buyers. There are ways in which these risks can be managed and mitigated.

A numbers game
As alluded to above, there is much more to selling your business than the numbers, yet ultimately this is where a significant focus for any buyer will be. Good steady growth in revenues and profits over the last few years will appeal to potential buyers, particularly if these are in the public domain and where they have been subject to independent review.

If you are considering selling your business, or have any questions based on the issues raised here, please contact your usual Saffery Champness partner, or speak to Jamie Lane e:Jamie.lane@saffery.com

On the Road…in Wallisdown!

Bournemouth Chamber has received funding to re-establish trading districts in the Bournemouth area. The aim is to increase footfall, develop links, and put Wallisdown back on the map.  Bournemouth Chamber is holding Information Evenings and our first one will be in Wallisdown.

Join us to find out how the Chamber can help your business.

It is free to attend, but please register your interest here.

What a Swell Party it Was!

What a great evening it was celebrating our first event in 18 months. A wonderful Baron of Beef President’s Dinner
Past Presidents and Hon. Lifetime Members were celebrated!
David Bailey was our MC Extraordinaire.
BIg thank you Pothecary Gin for getting us off on the right start!
Susie Kimber whose amazing voice created the perfect atmosphere.
Sugar Rush Event Hire for providing the Photo and Drinks Wall. Everyone loved the balloons!
Cumberland Hotel – Oceana Collection for showing us the art of hosting.
And to Louise Jolley Photography who made us all look fabulously 10 years younger.
A very merry guest mentioned that the evening felt like the start of the Christmas party season!
     

Government announces National Insurance and dividend tax increases

The Government has announced a considerable investment in both the NHS and Social Care. To fund this investment, the Government have introduced the Health and Social Care Levy from April 2022.

The NHS and Social Care Levy will raise the additional tax as follows:

  • 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions from Employers;
  • 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions from Employees;
  • 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions from the Self-Employed;
  • 1.25% increase in taxation on dividends;
  • Those of pensionable age will also pay the increased 1.25% National Insurance Contribution on any earned income from April 2023.

These tax increases will hit a broad range of taxpayers, from businesses to employees to investors and pensioners. This increased tax will also catch business owners who usually draw their income in the form of dividends.
These changes will lead to higher future costs for all businesses and especially companies, when combined with the 6% increase in Corporation Tax from April 2023. As a result, businesses may need to reduce their payroll or costs elsewhere or consider increasing prices, while individuals will need to think about managing the impact on their personal finances.

As a TC client, you may wish to consider some of the following options:

  • Advice on enhanced tax deductions including:
    • Capital Allowances;
    • Research and Development claims;
    • Patent Box;
  • Drawing down income before April 2022;
  • Advice on HR compliance and taxation implications around redundancies;
  • Employee incentive arrangements and tax-efficient benefits;
    • Review of business costs to identify potential savings;
    • Review of your investment portfolio to non-share investments.

In a separate matter, the Pension Triple Lock has been suspended for one year, given the link with earnings, so there is a double lock on 2.5% and Inflation.

If you would like to speak to us about how best to respond to these changes, please contact Taylorcocks.

Join AFC Bournemouth for their first Away Day

AFC Bournemouth’s league fixture against Nottingham Forest is just days away! They travel to The City Ground on Saturday 14th August for a 3pm kick-off and your support on the road is hugely important to them.

If you are a ticketing account holder, you are now eligible to purchase your ticket for the match. Tickets for this match will go off sale at 12 noon on Friday 13th August.

We strongly advise that supporters purchase their tickets online as we are experiencing an extremely high volume of calls and emails. Ticketing information for this match can be found here.

Ticket pricing is determined by the area in which you choose to sit. Full pricing details can be found by clicking here.

To secure your seat, simply click here,  login to your account and follow the on-screen prompts.

We look forward to seeing you at Vitality Stadium soon!

Your ticketing team

Saffery Webinar – Onwards and upwards – lessons learnt in the charity sector

Saffery Champness hosted a webinar for their charity clients entitled, ‘Onwards and upwards’. Attendees shared experiences from over the last 15 months during the pandemic and talked about the lessons learnt, challenges faced and opportunities arising.

“Relentless, challenging, thought provoking and busy” were just some of the words used to describe the period.

Will Travers, Co- Founder & Executive President of The Born Free Foundation and Dean Daniels, Director of Finance at Weldmar Hospice Care were interviewed by Saffery staff.  Reflections included insight such as:

o   Unsurprisingly, it has been a year of uncertainty, with limitations on primary activities.

o   Fundraising has come to a standstill but is slowly making a return as restrictions reduce.

o   Both charities were able to make quick changes to adapt to working from home and remote meetings.

o   Whilst virtual meetings have, at times, seemed relentless, Patrons and third parties have received a seamless service.

Their top tips included:

o   Embrace change and be adaptable.

o   Do what you can today not tomorrow.

o   Don’t panic. Have faith in yourselves! Keep calm and carry on!

Casidhe  Baleri, Director – Audit at Safferys said, “Coronavirus has impacted the charity sector in an uneven and unpredictable way, with some charities having recorded a very successful year whilst others have struggled to stay afloat. Through talking, listening and sharing experience we can help to support each other. Those who attended the webinar told us that they would be keen to revisit the topic of lessons learned in a year’s time – we look forward to it!”

Saffery Webinar – Entrepreneurs: Driving Business Performance

Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants held their second webinar of a 12-part series to support Entrepreneurs. Hosted by Alistair Hunt, a partner in the Peterborough Office, this webinar entitled “Entrepreneurs: Driving Business Performance” was joined by Chris Zanone from Centurion Safety Products and Ashley Maile from Treerange Group, who discussed the value of KPIs in driving business performance and growth.

The panel discussed the value of key performance measures, how to set them, how to track them and the importance of tailoring them so that they drive the behaviours of your employees and match the culture of your business. Some great advice was given on how to set KPIs to achieve this by focusing on performance measures which will really push your business forward whilst avoiding the trap of chasing the numbers. To see the full webinar, visit Entrepreneurs Webinar | Driving Business Performance – Saffery Champness.

William Howell, Manager- Audit in the Bournemouth Office said, “Our series of webinars provide business tips to entrepreneurs. This event was well received, with good attendance, and delivered some fantastic snippets of advice on how entrepreneurs can better measure performance to drive their business forward. We look forward to the remainder of the series with upcoming webinars covering topics in business management, tax and strategy.”

For a full programme of upcoming webinars go to Events – Saffery Champness.

 

Free parking boost for Bournemouth town centre

New operators of a Bournemouth town centre car park are throwing open its gates for free parking for three weeks to mark ‘Covid freedom day’.

Britannia Parking is waiving charges at the BH2 car park from Monday July 19 onwards to boost business for retailers, restaurants, pubs and other firms following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

The Bournemouth-based firm, which operates more than 500 car parks nationwide, has teamed up with the owners of BH2 to offer free parking to all motorists for three hours followed by a £3 charge to park all day.

Its ‘Free for Three’ offer comes after the firm took over management of the leisure complex’s 175-space car park in Exeter Crescent and has been welcomed by business leaders and traders.

Britannia Parking chief executive Brian Parker said: “These have been tough times for everyone.

“Working closely in partnership with Legal & General, BH2’s owners, we all agreed that we need to celebrate the lifting of Covid restrictions and mark the new management of the BH2 car park.

“With our offer we can support the local community with free parking and help retailers and businesses by attracting more people into the town centre to boost trade and breathe fresh life into its streets.”

Britannia Parking, which was established in 1989, has taken over the BH2 car park from former operator NCP.

The ‘Free for Three’ offer will last from July 19 to Sunday August 8 for all motorists whether they are using businesses at BH2 or not.

It will be followed by a new pricing structure as well as special offers to keep shoppers, visitors and commuters coming into the town centre.

Previously, all-day 24-hour parking at the BH2 car park was £25 on a peak tariff while one hour cost £3 and three hours cost £5, so three hours free and £3 all day shows a revitalised commitment to Bournemouth.

Visit www.britannia-parking.co.uk for more details.