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The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
EDITOR’S NOTE




                                                                                                                                                                                               PAGE 10

It’s funny isn’t it?                                                                                                                                                    Time to stop
SSG flies around trying to come up with great new
ideas to help making running your own business that bit                                                                                                               your money from
easier.
Our Recruiter partners all work hard, worry endlessly
and sometimes get good luck and sometimes bad.
                                                                                                                                                                       slipping AWAY!
That’s what it is all about – right?

Well, a funny thing happened to me this month.....
                                                                                                                 NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Three Client meetings with three different businesses
all working in different sectors.

We ran through the Monthly Management Accounts
and we chatted about all the normal clever stuff & the
economy & interest rates & LinkedIn and all the normal
clever stuff like that.                                                                                                                                                         Fluffy Bits
But the bit that was really interesting was when it came
down to understanding some basic terminology which                                    Regular Stuff                                                                             17
we were all using during our conversation – but                                                                                                                                             Business Launches
applying different meanings to the same ‘recruitment
                                                                                                                                                                                17          Some Jokes!
words’.                                                                                   7         Chris goes DIY - Slow
In other words, we seemed to all be applying a different                                            PC?                                                                         18          Thought for the Day
meaning to some other words!
                                                                                                                                                                                19          A Word from Lloyds
                                                                                          8
OK – so for example, what do you think I mean when I
say:                                                                                     15         Pop’s Pantry
               Generated Placements                                                                                                                                          Money & Things
               Invoiced Placements                                                       16         What’s New?
               Paid Placements

Yep, I am sure that you all have your own clear                                                                                                                                  6          National Insurance
understanding of what these obvious terms mean (to
you).
                                                                                                                                                                                10          Numbers you simply
                                                                                      So Serious!
I guess the important bit is that we all start to say the
                                                                                                                                                                                            HAVE to know
same things and recognise the importance of these                                                                                                                               12          Madness      of    Small
definitions when we think about how these definitions
                                                                                          4         Employment Myths -
affect the ‘business side’ of our work.                                                                                                                                                     Business Funding
It made me think – truth is, we all need to keep it
                                                                                                    Part Deux!
simple, not to worry about being too clever and                                          13         Part Time Employees?
remember that making a placement is the only bit that
really matters.                                                                          19         Terminology!
For a closer look at these definitions, please take a
peek at Page 19 (Terminology).

You might be surprised!!
                     info@ the-darkside.tv                                                                                                                                          The Power of Three!
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  otherwise apply.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3
Clare’s Employment Law Myth Stuff
       More                                                                                                 ym
                                                                                                               en
                                                                                                                 t
                                                                                                         plo
                       Employment Law                                                                g Em stice
                                                                                                  tin Inju
                                     Myths                                                    Figh Law
                                                                                                                                    es!
                                                                                                                                  id
    You might remember from last time            Yes, it is all extremely shocking I                                         it h
                                                                                                                       ver
                                                                                                                    ere
    (September’s Dark Side) that we were all     will admit, but like any good Harry
    engrossed by the discovery of a few myths    Potter script there is even more                               w h
    that surround good old employment law!       to come....                                     If you have been forced to hire cover
                                                                                                 at a higher pay rate or pay an
    That’s right, the excitement finally grew to AND THE NEW STUFF?                              overtime rate to other employees
                                                                                     I am a
    the point that it was hard to continue our                                      ‘MYTH
                                                                                                 to cover the shortfall in work
                                                                                   BUSTER’
    exploration of the whole subject without                                                     caused by an employee's
    the risk of boiling over at the sense of      MYTH NO. 4                                     failure to give notice then
    injustice      that    accompanied       our                                                 it may be worth suing as
                                                  “You don’t have to pay an
    revelations – well, to be more accurate my    Employee who resigns but                       you can show financial loss.
                                                                                                                                         I am a
    colleagues at SSG begged me to stop and       doesn’t work their notice                                                             ‘MYTH
                                                                                                                                       BUSTER’
    suggested that should any reader still be     period”
    awake after a couple of pages that we         VERDICT: COBBLERS
                                                                                                   MYTH NO. 5
    ought to let them now rest in peace.
                                                                                                   “You have to offer a new
    So, heeding their advice (as I often do), I You know the score, a Recruiter (or any            vacancy to anyone who was
                                                                                                   made redundant”
    put a hold on the excitement.               other employee) walks out without giving           VERDICT: MORE COBBLERS
                                                notice.
    But, that was then & this is now!
                                                The logic suggests that the employee has
    QUICK RECAP:                                forfeited the right to receive further
                                                                                                 It is a popular view that employers that
                                                payments from their employer.
                                                                                                 have made an employee redundant must
    There is a lot of nonsense touted around
                                                                                                 offer him or her any future vacancies that
    as fact when it comes to what is legal, However, as employers, you are not
                                                                                                 arise.
    what is illegal & what is just plain crazy entitled to withhold pay owed to
    when it comes to Employment Law, employees who have left without giving
    Employment Contracts, Employment notice, for work that they have already              In recruitment, it is often the case that you
    Breaches and the like.                      carried out, although you can withhold    may have made an employee redundant
                                                the pay that the employee would have      due to you no longer needing someone to
    As a business owner, you need to know received had he or she worked the notice        perform in a particular role, only to find
    what is real and what is hearsay.           period.                                   that, shortly after, due to an upturn in
                                                                                          business or the resignation of another
    It might not seem important, but once If you have been "left in the lurch" by an employee,            you      need      additional
    you start to think about employing a employee you do have some legal redress.         headcount.
    Recruiter of your own or get chased by
                                                                                          In this situation, do you have to offer your
    your own ex-employer, you might wish The employee's failure to give notice is a
                                                                                          former employee the available position?
    that you taken a little more time to find breach of contract and you can (if you can
    out where you stand.                      be bothered) bring a claim in the civil
                                              courts for the financial loss that you have If you don’t, will this render the previous
    Thus far, we exploded three myths:        suffered.                                   redundancy unfair?

    Myth 1:                                      However, it is often difficult for employers    The answer is no – you are under no legal
    Just because there is nothing in writing, it to establish loss or damage to the              obligation to offer previously redundant
    does not mean that there is not a contract. business and, as a result, very few claims       employees future vacancies, and the
                                                 are brought by employers in these               fairness of the previous redundancy is
    Myth 2:                                      circumstances.                                  only decided by an assessment of the
    Just because an actual contract wasn’t                                                       situation at the point at which you made
    physically signed, does not mean that it is                                                  the employee redundant.
    not valid.                                           A friend got sacked from his
                                                   fairground job recently - he worked on        The redundancy will be fair if there were
    Myth 3:                                         the dodgems and loved it. He's suing         genuine reasons for it at the time and you
    An employer can indeed withdraw a job             his boss for for Funfair dismissal!!"      followed a fair procedure and selection
    offer once it has been made.                                                                 process.

4
Notwithstanding this, it is worth being result in discrimination against their male        AND JUST ONE MORE THING
careful about recruiting very soon after colleagues.                                       (said in a Columbo Style voice over)
making redundancies as people may
question     whether      or  not       the In other words – don’t overcompensate!         Here is a little story about a woman who
redundancies were genuine.                                                                 stole an Apple Pie:
                                            The mighty law firm Eversheds came a
You should keep thorough                    cropper with just this scenario where the      Should she be sacked?
records of your reasons for                 Court of Appeal Tribunal found
making redundancies                         that they had discriminated                    A Little Chef employee lost a
and the selection process                   against a male lawyer by inflating             compensation claim for unfair dismissal –
you followed.                    I am a     the score of the other                         after she took an apple pie home without
                                ‘MYTH
                               BUSTER’      lawyer in the selection                        permission and lost her job as a result.
                                            pool because she was
                                                                                I am a
  MYTH NO. 6                                on maternity leave.                ‘MYTH       Lynn Smith had been employed as a
                                                                                 BUSTER’
                                                                                           supervisor at the for 12 years with a good
 “You can’t sack a pregnant
 woman”                                                                                    record.
 VERDICT: ACTUALLY....                         MYTH NO. 7
                                               “If you make redundancies, you              Mrs Smith believed she had been harshly
                                               can’t immediately start hiring”             treated and made a compensation claim
                                               VERDICT: YOU CAN                            against her employer.
A      number      of   employers       are
understandably cautious about making                                                       Little Chef did not attend the hearing and
employees who are pregnant or on                                                           was not represented, but had apparently
maternity leave redundant.                  There is no specific period of time that you   written to the Tribunal stating that the
                                            must wait before you can recruit new staff     Little Chef rules were that food could be
If an employee is dismissed or selected for without      rendering     the      previous   eaten on the premises but that there were
redundancy for a reason that is related to redundancy dismissals unfair.                   strict rules about staff taking it home.
pregnancy, birth or maternity leave, the
                                            Although there is no specific time frame       The tribunal said: "Mrs Smith knew it was
dismissal will be automatically unfair and
                                            during which you cannot recruit new            against the rules to misappropriate food
will amount to pregnancy and maternity
                                            employees, if you recruit soon after           and Mrs Smith admitted taking the apple
discrimination.
                                            making redundancies when there has             pie.
                                            been no change in circumstances, this is
The compensation payments are likely to cast doubt on whether or not the
uncapped and the whole process can be redundancies were genuine.                           She should not have taken the apple pie
very expensive.                                                                            away."
                                            Where you can point to a change
                                                                                           Little Chef currently charges £3.99 for a
However, employees who are pregnant or in commercial circumstances
                                                                                           serving of its delicious Kentish Bramley
on maternity leave can be made then you are more likely to
                                                                                           apple pie which is dished up with custard
redundant provided that the redundancy be able to justify the need
                                                                                           or vanilla ice cream.
is genuine and the employee's maternity to recruit only a short
                                                                                 I am a
situation does not disadvantage her in period after.                            ‘MYTH
                                                                               BUSTER’     Regrettably said the tribunal , they had
any way.
                                                                                           decided Mrs Smith had lost her
                                                                                           compensation claim for unfair dismissal as
For example, you should ignore                 MYTH NO. 8                                  Little Chef had acted within the bounds of
pregnancy-related      absence when            “Fixed Term Contractors have                reasonableness when deciding to dismiss
assessing attendance records for the           no redundancy rights”                       Mrs Smith.
purposes of selection.                         VERDICT: THEY DO


You may also need to make adjustments
to the consultation process in relation to   Employees who are employed on a
an employee who is unable to attend          fixed-term contract are entitled to
meetings at the workplace due to her         redundancy pay if their contract comes to
pregnancy or maternity leave, by carrying    an end.
out consultation meetings closer to her
home.                                        In the past (before 2002) someone on a
                                             fixed term contract could waive their right
                                             but not anymore!
While it is important that employers
create a level playing field when applying
redundancy selection criteria, you must          Every myth is individual, so if you
be careful that attempts to neutralise                                                     OUR VIEW:
                                               require further advice please contact
selection criteria that are potentially           clare@supportservicesgroup.tv
discriminatory against employees who                                                       Always go for the Chocolate Fudge
are pregnant or on maternity leave do not                                                  Sundae – what a silly lady Mrs Smith is.

                                                                                                                                        5
National Insurance

       what’s it for and do i pay it?!
    As shown in our May issue the most tax contributing for National Insurance and In the vast majority of cases the savings
    efficient way to draw income from your get the relevant benefits.              you have made over the years will be far
    Limited Company is to take a minimal                                           higher than what you could lose in
    salary and take the rest as dividends. How much do I pay?                      benefits.
    This in effect means that you are not       At the current rates of NI for the tax year   So put some of that saving to good use
    paying national insurance on your           2012 to 2013 and with the salary we           and look at a Company Pensions (there’s a
    dividend income which is where the          mentioned above the amount of National        future article for you)
    savings for tax come in.                    Insurance you will pay each month is
                                                £11.96.                                       What does the tax man do about this?
    But what is this National Insurance we
    speak about.                              This is as a deduction from the monthly
                                              salary that we run for you each month.          There’s not a lot the tax man can do.
    National Insurance (NI) is an amount that
    individuals (and employers) pay to the However, you don’t have to make this               If you have a low salary your contributions
    government calculated on wages and payment personally.                                    are low, just like anyone else on a low
    salary to contribute to social benefits                                                   salary.
    including state pension, statutory The company makes it on your behalf. So
    maternity pay and sick pay and also to each month SSG will supply you the              However, he may notice you are paying far
    fund the National Health Service.         information and the company has to           less than you historically did when
                                             make a payment to HMRC from the employed so will try and get you to
    Obviously the National Health Service is                                               “voluntarily” contribute.
                                             business bank account.
    free to all and does not require NI
    contributions.
                                             And that’s it. No forms, no online returns... So do expect a letter in the post
                                                                                           explaining what National Insurance gains
    However, other benefits are dependent                                                  and how he has noticed that yours has
    on having paid NI historically.          That’s all completed by SSG.
                                                                                           gone down.
    You probably now feel that you would So what’s the catch then?
    quite like the benefits.                                                                  His suggestion is to “voluntarily”
                                           The catch is that some of these benefits           contribute yourself the National Insurance
      But surely the way you process my    are means tested so the more you                   savings you have made on your income to
           income affects my benefits!     contribute the more you get if you ever            him (he obviously doesn’t word it like
                                           need them.                                         that).
     The answer is yes, but you don’t lose
                      them!                As we only run a minimal salary you willI can’t see many of you deciding to do this
                                                                                   though.
    We run a payroll each month for you only be paying the bare minimum and
    which is the minimal salary element of would only get the bare minimum back if Do I HAVE to pay National Insurance?
    your income from the company.          you ever claimed these benefits.

    This will be based on your personal So that saving on tax does come at a In a word – No. We could reduce the
    allowances and be in the region of £675 potential cost (but one we think is worth minimal salary element of your income so
    per month.                                  paying)                                   that you pay absolutely no National
                                                                                          Insurance.
    National insurance is paid as a percentage For example
    of your earnings, so the more you earn the The amount of state pension will be set However, you will also lose the right to any
    more you pay.                               based upon how much you contributed benefits that require contributions to be
                                                                                          paid.
    However, there is an element of salary that over a 10 year period.
    you can earn before National Insurance
    contributions start.                        Statutory Maternity Pay amount will be That may conjure up thoughts of “hey ho,
                                                initially based on the National Insurance I want to pay as little as possible!” But the
    The monthly Salary we set is just enough contributions on a set period before the decision is entirely yours!!
    to give you an income that starts to pay expected birth of your Baby
    National Insurance (i.e. you don’t pay any                                            If you would like to get any further info
    NI on the vast majority of it)              The result is that if you claimed these please feel free to contact me on 01442
                                                benefits you would only get the minimum 200961 or you can email me at
    Therefore you will still be shown as        amount. However, don’t be alarmed.        darren@supportservicesgroup.tv


6
Chris Goes all ‘DIY’




...... Throw it out of the window.... NOOOOO!      Before doing the following, PLEASE ENSURE                              Finally her PC was back
                                                   YOU HAVE A BACKUP of all your critical data                              to normal. Just look
Before you resort to physical machine
                                                   - just in case!                                                       at that expression of joy!
violence, stop and try some of these old
checks and tricks - you never know, it may              Windows Temporary Files
simply be a case of deleting loads of rubbish                                                                           Other Stuff
that Windows puts on there for you.                Now, back to these pesky Temporary files -
                                                                                                        Other things include Disk Defragmenting,
                                                   thankfully this is one area that hasn't
Or a simple (and relatively cheap) hardware                                                             Scandisk, Temporary Internet Files and
                                                   changed with each version of Windows (the
upgrade. Read on ......                                                                                 other built-in Windows tools (Windows is
                                                   location part anyway!) - go to "My
                                                                                                        built to fail eventually - a bit like a car needing
Windows has a reputation of adding loads of        Computer" (or "Computer") or, if you're
                                                                                                        regular servicing!)
rubbish to your machine the more you use it -      really impatient, click on the "Windows" Key,
building up temporary files, sticking them in      hold it and press "E" - this will open up
the memory and stopping the things you             Windows Explorer. Navigate to your local             There are tools out there to do all these thing
want to work from working as it has to "read"      Hard Disk (usually "Localdisk C:") click on         automatically for you (System Mechanic etc.)
the rubbish as well as the good stuff!             "Windows" and then "Temp" (some versions /           but BEWARE - anything that gets onto your
                                                   setups of Windows will ask you for permission        PC that you didn’t put there for doing this is
It also has a reputation of needing more                                                                probably Malware.
                                                   - just click yes!). Hopefully (or not whichever
memory (RAM) with each release (version) of
                                                   way you look at it) you will see hundreds of
Windows to allow it just to run - think of it as
                                                   files in there. Now, be brave - select them all      More on these other elements in a later
when you get up in the morning, do you have
                                                   (Ctrl + A) and delete them. It may say "can't        article.
2 or 3 Weetabix for breakfast? 2 will get you
                                                   delete XXXX as it is in use” - that's fine, delete
going, 3 will help you to really motor! See the
                                                   as much as you can. CAVEAT HERE - some               The best solution is to completely reinstall
cut out box for minimum / recommended
                                                   working program data may be contained in             Windows and all other software from scratch
RAM amounts for different versions of
                                                   these files (although unlikely) so you may           (System Recovery) but of course this is a
Windows.
                                                   need to re-enter some program data as                major job.
         Need More “RAM”?                          necessary (although I've never had a
                                                   problem!).
It may be that if your PC is getting on a bit,                                                          As ever, if you are unsure and need a bit of
simply upgrading the RAM will help - if that                                                            help, please get in touch .....
option is available on your PC. To check what      These are 2 simple things you can do to help -
you have installed, click on the Start             a separate article on more “tricks” will follow -         chris@supportservicesgroup.tv
(Windows Logo) Key - hover over My                 the "cutout" also gives some other things to                      01442 200941
Computer (or Computer - Windows Vista, 7           try.......
and 8) and right-click it. Select Properties
from the menu and look for "Installed
Memory (RAM)". You can now check the
maximum allowable for your PC - drop us an
email if you want us to try and check this for
you or for us to recommend where to look. If
                                                                    Slow PC?
your PC has the capacity you may be able to
upgrade - relatively cheaply.
                                                              DO - A backup of main data

                                                              DO - Check Your RAM - how much have you got? / can you have?

                                                              DO - A Virus and Malware Check

                                                              DO Delete Windows Temporary Files

                                                              DO Delete Temporary Internet Files

                                                              DO Run Scandisk / Disk Defragmenter
That’s one “trick”. There are also tools out
there to detect and recommend upgrades



                                                                                                                                                              7
Key
                                        This month, Joe Zerafa of Arco Recruitment                                                                                                                    Facts
                                                                                                                                                       • Office Based
                                        “dishes the dirt” on what it’s really like to                                                                  • 4.5 Man Team
                                        start your own business. Arco provides                                                                         • 2009 Launch
                                        recruitment solutions to the Building                                                                          • 100% Perm
                                        Services sector & is based in Surrey.

                             MOTIVATIONS                                  So, what made you decide to SYOB? Why did you                                           NIGGLING ANXIETIES
                                                                          make the transition from Employee to Business
                                       Expectation     Reality            Owner? For all of the rhetoric & seemingly                                                                 Expectation     Reality
                                                                          endless discussions, was it money, freedom or
         Freedom & Autonomy                7                9             perhaps the children which finally made you ‘get                     Legal Formations                          7              2
                                                                          out of recruitment & into business’? What did you
                                                                          expect and what has been the reality?                                                                          8              3
         Financial / Earnings             7                 9                                                                                  Accounting Issues

                                                                                                                                               The Tax Man                               8              4
                                          6                 9




                                                                                                       ?
         Long Term Ambition
                                                                                                                                               The VAT Man                               7              3
         Increased Family Time            8                 7
                                                                                                                                               Sourcing Vacancies                        6              5
         Reduction in Commute             7                 6                                                                                  Personal Cash Flow                        9              5
         Escape Office Politics           7                 6                                                                                  Personal Isolation                        6              4

         A Difficult Employer             3                 6                                                                                  Restrictive Covenants                     0              0
                                                                                                                                               Technical Issues                          7              4
         The ‘Right Time’                 5                 8             And before you made the big decision to SYOB,
                                                                          what kept you awake at night? What were the                          Staying Organised                         5              6
         Prove Doubters Wrong             3                 7             awful worries, the ‘niggles’ you couldn’t escape?
                                                                          Has the Tax man been friend or foe? Did your                         Impact on your Family                     8              5
         Work / Life Balance              8                 7             Restrictive Covenant hold you back? What about
                                                                                                                                               Making Placements                         6              5
                                                                          cash flow? Technology? Do you have more time
         Shorter Working Day              7                 6             for your family? Has it been tougher than you                        Room in the Market                        5              5
                                                                          anticipated?

                         50 WORDS ON WHY!                                                                                                                        50 WORDS ON WHY NOT!
    How I arrived at setting up on my own was not through a long term                                                                         In the back of my mind was a slight anxiety around what if it
    burning desire to do so but more to do with the company I was                                                                             didn’t work but I kept positive and stuck to the path that I
    working for going in to liquidation and a fortuitous meeting with                                                                         had decided on. I also had 2 job offers on the table and it was
    Mike Walmsley. He suggested that I go it alone rather than work for                                                                       very tempting just to take one of them and be secure with a
    someone else and he put me in touch with SSG. At the time, my                                                                             good basic and good commission but something was telling
    second child was very small, we were in the middle of a worldwide                                                                         me that it was not the right thing to do and that in a strange
    recession and yet somehow it seemed the most logical next step was                                                                        way the liquidation had provided me with a great
    to set up on my own. I thought that if we made it through the tough                                                                       opportunity.
    times then when the good times arrived, the company would be in a
    good position to take advantage of it.


                                                        8                                       A: Our biggest challenge has       8                                                                   8
                                                                                                   been     expansion      –                                      A: Being in control andbusiness
                                                                                                                                                                                          having
                                                                           Biggest challenge?




                       A: Yes! I have exceeded          10                                                                               10                                                                 10
                                                                                                                                                Major upsides?
    So far, so good?




                                                                                                   sometimes I feel that we                                          the time to work on
                          my own expectations –                                                    haven’t     grown      quickly                                     that I feel is important is a
                          at the beginning I just                                                  enough and other times I feel                                      major upside. I know what I am
                                                                                                   that we should get more
                          wanted to work for myself                                                employees      on     board      and                               trying to achieve and the culture of
                          and now we have offices,                                                 capitalise on the good fortune                                     work hard when we need to and
                                                                                                   that we have had. At the same                                      breathe a little when we don’t is a
                          employees, on a number of                                                time, we must be careful not to                                    really important aspect of how Arco
                          PSLs and a tier 1 agency in a                                            lose sight of the fact that it is our                              operates – when we hit target half
                                                                                                   personal     delivery     of      the
                          multi tier arrangement with                                              recruitment service that has made                                  way through a month it is cause for
                          a very large company.                                                    us successful and that if we                                       celebration – not a signal to increase
                                                                                                   expand too much we may lose                                        the pressure!
                                                                                                   that.


8
9.5                                                  RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS
                         I had an opportunity to set       10
Why choose SSG?



                                                                                                                                     How hard was it
                         up a desk for another company –                                                                                                  And Now?
                                                                                                                                    in the beginning?
                         the difference with SSG was that I      “Our business is based
                         can have 100% say in the
                                                                  on honesty and not
                         management of my company – no
                         one would be questioning what I            being greedy ”                   Making Placements                      6                 4
                         was doing and nobody would be
                         setting unrealistic KPIs.                                                   Getting into a Work
                                                                                                     Routine                                5                 5
                                                      10
                                                           10
                                                                                                     Clients Paying Up                      7                 5
How was the launch?




                         Very pleasant, well structured and
                                                                                                     Having Distractions                    8                 3
                         the process was very smooth.

                                                                                                     Feeling Isolated                       8                 3

                                                                                                     Having Family Support                  0                 0
                         The support Arco needs          8
                         now is very different from
Most important support




                         the beginning – then we            10
                                                                                                     Getting Good
                         were reliant on all the
                                                                  “We have a strong                  Candidates                             8                 6
                         operational support in the set up of
                         the business and getting us over the     culture of working
                                                                                                     Getting Clients on
                         teething problems. Now, we are
                         reliant on the back office support we   hard...but only when
                                                                                                     Board                                  8                 4
                         get and also we have Clare as almost        we need to! ”
                         a ‘silent’ partner who we can bounce
                         ideas off and who provides extra
                         advice whenever we need it.
                                                                                                     Stress Levels                          8                 8

                          ADVICE FOR OTHERS?                                BIGGEST MISTAKE?                                  LONG-TERM GOALS?
                   Just do it – believe in yourself and your         My biggest mistake was probably not expanding       I want to continue doing what we are doing
                   capabilities and don’t look back. Know your       the business and getting an office sooner – I was   – continue to expand and one day be
                   strengths and keep positive.                      used to a routine at home and was working in a      recognised as market leaders in our sector.
                                                                     reactive manner and I think I stayed too long       Of course I would like the mansion and the
                                                                     working just by myself when I could easily have
                                                                                                                         Ferrari but I really believe that creating a
                                                                     taken someone on.
                                                                                                                         credible business in this market, being true
                                                                                                                         to my values and building a good team will
                                                                                                                         get me to my goals.



                                                                                          We      have                                     What to do Next?
                                                                                          r e a l l y                                      Take the Challenge?
                                                                                          enjoyed
                                                                                          working                                          Why not Volunteer to be
                                                                     Clare’s                                                               next                with
                                                                       Last               with      Joe                                    Clare?
                                                                        Words             and        his
                                                                                                                                           Surely, it is much better to
                                                                                          growing                                          step forward and take a hit
Football                             Rugby           Neither
Eastenders                           Corrie          Neither
                                                                                          team. The                                        for the team than to be
                                                                                                                                           relentlessly tracked down
Rock                                 Opera           Neither         stand out feature of this business                                    by a seemingly pleasant &
Jogging                              Crisps          Neither         is the market knowledge and                                           fair    minded      pseudo
Wine                                 Beer            Neither         commitment to the client that                                         Psychiatrist?
Literature                           DVD’s           Neither         Joe and his team consistently                                         To take part, please contact
Casual                               Suited          Neither
                                                                     display. An ever calm presence
UK Hol’s                             Overseas        Neither                                                                                  CLARE ARMSTRONG
                                                                     and a focus on numbers means                                               01442 200 957
Glasses                              Contacts        Neither
History                              Sci-Fi          Neither         that this company is likely to go                                     clare@supportservicesgroup.tv

                                                                     from strength to strength.

                                                                                                                                                                           9
Learn them, or leak cash!

       Numbers%
        +
     you simply
     =          -
         have to
       ?        £
          know
     Imagine you are dropped by parachute The numbers that only get bigger if you FOR NOW, ALMOST FORGET THIS LOT
     into the middle of a jungle.                are actually doing very well.             TOO
     You are surrounded by millions of obvious
                                                                                           Let’s also put onto a back burner the need
     dangers – killer snakes, deadly spiders and FOR NOW, FORGET THIS LOT
                                                                                           to remember some other types of
     a total absence of fresh pants, to name but
                                                 Ok, for now we can forget the ‘numbers’ numbers – like your average invoice value
     a few.
                                                 which we Recruiters always talk about:    or your drawings for the month or the cost
     You might meet your painful demise as a                                               of your advertising.
     result of that horrible snake bite or                    Placements;
     poisonous spider for sure but apparently                                              All of that type of stuff ought to be
                                                              Interviews;
     the most likely thing to finish you off is                                            obvious to you all by now of course. I
                                                              Candidates Processed;
     IGNORANCE.                                                                            mean, let’s face it, you are working for
                                                              Ratios (of this to that).
                                                                                           yourself now.
     In other words, it is probably not going to
     be the most obvious dangers that mean All of that type of stuff ought to be No one needs to be told to record those
     you don’t return to good old Blighty with obvious to you all by now of course.        types of numbers do they?
     heroic tales of your bravery, but much
     more likely something daft like eating the I mean, let’s face it, you are working for
     wrong kind of red berry or drinking water yourself now.
     from a contaminated stream or believing
     that abandoning your filthy pants & going No one needs to be told to record those
     ‘commando’ is a good idea.                  types of numbers, do they?
     And, guess what? Running a business is a
     little like that too!                                       Forecasting the Future!


     KILLING
     YOUR BUSINESS                                         Opening Waffle!

                                                           Not everyone’s favourite subject I know!
                                                                                                   over 140 existing Recruitment Ventures start-up experience which I keep
                                                                                                   and produce Monthly Management mentioning!
                                                                                                   Accounts for each venture.
                                                           The avoidance of KPI’s and all of that type                                           If we then sprinkle a dusting of magical
                                                                                                   In addition, we are very lucky to SSG intuition (don’t laugh) then we can
                                                           of ‘stuff’ probably constitute part of the
                                                           reason that you decided to ‘paddle your communicate with the majority of the reasonably explain the businesses which
                                                           own canoe’ in the first place & opt for Recruiters who own those recruitment skew the performance curve – the odd
                                                                                                   businesses. We are aware of how most of venture that seems to under or over

     We all know that
                                                           business ownership I suspect (I know that
                                                           it was for me).                         those Recruiters operate and how they perform.
                                                                                                   approach the sticky business of making
                                                           But, looking very closely at all of the placements.
                                                           empirical data that we have collected


     your business will                                    since we starting launching businesses We know for a fact ‘who makes what’. No
                                                           back in 2003, a few things are true:

                                                             1. Ventures that set and record
                                                                                                   one can argue with our data – it is there. It
                                                                                                   exists and it is now based on over 9 years
                                                                                                   of results.
                                                                 targets generate more placement

     die if you don’t                                       2.
                                                                 revenue than those that do not.
                                                                 Ventures that operate to a formal
                                                                 Cash Flow are more likely to grow
                                                                 and expand than those that do
                                                                                                              Some other more observational criteria
                                                                                                              also seem to be valid:

                                                                                                               1. Great     Recruiters      do    not
                                                                                                                  necessarily      develop      great

     make placements or                                     3.
                                                                 not.
                                                                 Ventures which do neither are
                                                                 (empirically) more likely to peak in
                                                                 terms     of    revenues       after
                                                                                                                  businesses.
                                                                                                               2. Great Businesses almost always
                                                                                                                  are owned by great recruiters.                 We are ‘serious’ ...
                                                                                                                                                                    ARE YOU?!
                                                                 approximately 18 months – after               3. Great businesses are almost


     if you don’t get up in                                      which, revenues tend to decline.

                                                           These observations are not based on our
                                                           intuition (such as it is!) or ‘thumb in the air’
                                                                                                                  always owned by frustrated
                                                                                                                  Recruiters.
                                                                                                               4. Great       Recruiters      become
                                                                                                                  frustrated by lack of information.
                                                                                                                                                          In many ways, we seem to spend more
                                                                                                                                                          time with the budding entrepreneurs who
                                                                                                                                                          own the businesses which seem to skew
                                                                                                                                                          that curve than we do with those that


     the morning and work really very hard.                estimates or even the occasional analysis
                                                           of the numbers.
                                                                                                               5. Great information is the basis for
                                                                                                                  great decisions.

                                                                                                              Are You Serious?
                                                                                                                                                          conform to the accepted notion of how
                                                                                                                                                          businesses behave. I guess that makes
                                                                                                                                                          sense – the majority of our clients work
                                                                                                                                                          fairly consistently & work against what
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Naturally, you all use the CASH FLOW
                                                            Empirical

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Workbook which SSG created to help you
                                                                                                                                                          they want to achieve. That also means
                                                             Facts!                                           As part of our role, we are lucky enough to that SSG is able to project what revenues
                                                                                                              develop a real understanding of many are likely to filter into our coffers of course!

     We all also know that you are probably                                                                   Budding Entrepreneurs. We talk, we meet,
                                                                                                              we engage.                                  But, those businesses that do not seem to


                                                                                                                                                                                                       track your performance as a business
                                                                                                                                                          ‘conform’ to the norm are just as
                                                                                                              Over the years, we have been able to fairly important – not just in terms of potential
                                                                                                              accurately estimate how our Recruiter revenues to SSG but in terms of what

     not going to succeed if you are not                                                                      Clients will perform against their own lessons we can learn from their
                                                                                                              objectives. We have reached the point experiences.

                                                                 Based on
                                                                  9 years
                                                                                                       where it is reasonable for us to take a
                                                                                                       pretty good stab at predicting what a             So, what are the prime conclusions which
                                                                                                                                                                                                       (please refer to Page 17 of the February
     extremely careful with candidates or if                                                           typical start-up recruitment business will        we can draw from this analysis?
                                                                  of data!                             generate in Year 1, Year 2 and so on. All of
                                                                                                       this ‘expertise’ is actually based on fact –      Perhaps the most blatant is that Recruiters
                                                                                                       we know which business made what
                                                           SSG is in a strangely privileged position – money and for how long. We have the
                                                                                                                                                         who start their own businesses really do
                                                                                                                                                         seem to fall neatly into a number of          2012 Dark Side).
     you      constantly      irritate your           28
                                                           we legitimately need to collect data from data based on that priceless 9 years of             categories:




     ever-dwindling client base!                                                                                                                                                                       BUT, WHATEVER YOU DO, NEVER FORGET
                                                                                                                                                                                                       THIS LOT
     But, what is just as likely to kill your   Naturally, you all use the KPI Workbook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      VAT,
     business is being ignorant of the other    which SSG created to help you track your
     numbers that really count - the numbers    performance as a Recruiter (please refer to                                                                                                                    CORPORATION TAX &
     that you can control.                      Page 28 of the April 2012 Dark Side).                                                                                                                             INCOME TAX.

10
VAT                                                                                                         Make no mistake guys; ignorance of this       Profits of 50k mean that you will need to
                                                                                                                                                                                        holy trinity of numbers will kill more        pay the tax man 20% of that (i.e. 10k)
                                                                                                                                      DIRECTOR DESIGNATE (x2)
                                                                                                                                                                                        recruitment businesses this year than any     within 9 months of your year end.




                                                                                         SEPTEMBER




                                                                                                                                                                              2011
                                                                                                                                        45k + Bonus + 10% Equity
                                                                                                                                              Nr. Heathrow
                                                                                                                                         The Opportunity of 2011
                                                                                                                                           Page 18 for Details
                                                                                                                                                                                        number of drop outs, rubbish interviews
                                                                                                                                                                                        or grumpy clients.                            INCOME TAX: (see Page 16 of Jan 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dark Side)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Let’s have a few words about each of these
                                                                                                                                                                                        first then:                                You know the score.
                         Sometimes
                         it’s hard to
                         keep up with
                                                                                                                                                                                        VAT: (see Page 12 of Sept 2011 Dark Side)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You have a Limited Company which helps
                         everything ........
                                                                                                                                                                                        Every quarter, all VAT registered             SSG to help you pay as little Income Tax as
                                                                                                                                                                                        businesses (yours included) will need to      is possible. You take your money from
                         Inside this issue:
                         Be a VIDEO Star!                                                                                                                                               complete a VAT Return, which will             your Limited Company either as PAYE or as
                         Is AWR Evil?
                                                                                                                                                                                        calculate how much money you need to          dividends.
                         Start Your Own Business
                         Time to Sell Up?
                                                                                                                                                                                        physically send to the VAT.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the end of your personal tax year
                                                                                                                                                                                        It’s an easy calculation:                     (which is March 31st every year for all of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      us), you need to generate a Self
                                                                       Page 12                                                                                                                       How much VAT money have I        Assessment tax return which tells the tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                     collected from Clients when I    man how much income you have made
                                                                                                                                                                                                     send them a Recruitment          and how much tax you owe.
                                                                            CT                                                                                                                       Invoice?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any tax that is due must be paid by
                                                                                                                                                                                                     How much VAT money have I        January 31st of the following year.
                                                 Dark side.tv
                                                                                                                                        30k Basic 50% Equity!
                                                                                              NOVEMBER




                                                                                                                                                                                2011




   ww                                                                                                                                          Herts base for
                                                                                                                                                                                                     paid out to other
    w. the
                                                                                                                                             a GREAT Recruiter
                                                                                                                                           See Page 2 for Details



                                                                                                                                                                                                     Companies?                    Bottom line, because most of your money
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   will technically be taken out of your
                                                                                                                                                                                                     What is the difference?       business (& spent by you) as dividends,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   unless you take out more than £40k+ in
                         Fancy a PhD in
                         Entrepreneurship?                                                                                                                                              If you collect more than you spend, then the year up to March 31st, you will not
                         See Page 12                                                                                                                                                    you have to physically send cash to the need to pay any income tax.
                                                                                                                                                                                        VAT office each quarter. If you spend more
                                                                                                                                                                                        than you collect, then you have to claim But, on any money that you take out of
                         Inside this issue:
                         Banks take a bashing                                                                                                                                           the VAT back from the VAT man every the business above and beyond the £40k
                         Selling Up! Part 1
                         Corporation Tax Basics                                                                                                                                         quarter.                                   (ish) level, you will have a tax liability.
                         Google+ Exposed!
                         The Death of Cold Calling?
                         Who Owns YOUR Contacts?



                          BLAST OFF!                         August
                                                              2011                                                                      BLAST OFF!                            October
                                                                                                                                                                                2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        CORPORATION TAX: (see Page 21 of Nov
                                                                        R         N
                                                                                                                ENGINEERING AND RTR
     COMMERCIAL AND FS




                                                                                                                                                                                        2011 Dark Side).
                                                                            ?
                             Great New Partnership formed by                                                                                           Unusual combination of
                               Experienced Recruiters looking to
                                  exploit their combined 10 years                 E                                                             Engineering recruitment with a
                                                                                                                                                 side dish of RTR work! This is a
                                                                                                                                                 business led by a Recruiter with
                                 of Perm’ based Commercial and
                                                                                  X                                                                  lots of experience and lots of




                                                                        U
                                    Financial services experience.
                               Clients are UK based with a focus                                                                                 frustration about having worked
                                            on salaries up to £50k
                                For more info, contact:
                                                                                  T                                                                for someone else for too long!

                                                                                                                                                For more info, contact:
                            clare@supportservicesgroup.tv                                                                                   clare@supportservicesgroup.tv




                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Months after every Company Year End,
                                                                       Page 21                                                                                                          you need to pay any Corporation Tax             A FEW MUST KNOW NUMBERS
                                                                                                                                                                                        which is due on any profits that you made
                                                                                                                                                                                        in that year.                                     My VAT Liability
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - every quarter
                                                     Income Tax                                                                                                                         It’s another easy bit of Maths:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Company Tax (CT)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - every year
                                                                                                                                                                                                     What profits do my accounts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Personal Tax (Income)
                                                Dark side.tv
                                                                                                                                                P in
                                                                                                                                                PhD
                                                                                          JANUARY




                                                                                                                                                                               2012




ww                                                                                                                                              Entrepreneurship
                                                                                                                                                E

                                                                                                                                                                                                     show?
 w. the
                                                                                                                                                 www.SSG-PhD.tv


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - every year
                                                                                Happy                                                                                                                What is the Corporation Tax                 Darren -
                                                                                   New                                                                                                               rate on that level of profits?           01442 200961
                                                                                      Year?....                                                                                                                                       SO, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pay up 9 months after the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Company Year End.
                                                                                          How to escape the
                                                                                        2012 doom & gloom
                                                                                                  (page 13)
                                                                                                                                                                                        For what the tax man classifies as a small At the end of every month, make sure that
                                                                                                                                                                                        Company (i.e. one which makes less than you absolutely know, 100% factually,
                         Inside this issue:                                                                                                                                             300k profit each year), you need to pay a exactly what you owe (to date) for:
                                    Selling Up! Part Deux                   :   3 Ways to SYOB
                                    Develop a Press Release
                                    Meet SSG’s New Girl
                                                                            :   Clare is serious (again)
                                                                                Making the most of SKYPE
                                                                                                                                                                                        CT rate of 20% of those profits to the tax
                                                                            :

                          BLAST OFF!                           Very
                                                               Soon                                                                     BLAST OFF!
                                                                                                                                                                                 Feb
                                                                                                                                                                               2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        man.                                                   1. VAT
                                                                        R        N

                                                                            ?
                                                                                                     Your Best Friend
You from Home!




                                                                                                                                                    Bob made the break and he
                                          Happy, content & safe in
                                 the knowledge that whatever you                 E                                                           is doing well. You try to be pleased
                                                                                                                                             for him of course, but as Morrisey
                            acheive will be for you and your family.
                                   Never did the phrase ‘work for                X                                                               might sing ‘we hate it when our




                                                                        U
                                                                                                                                                friends are successful’.Tough to
                              someone else’ sound so silly, you’re
                                                                                 T                                                               watch. It should have been you.


                                                                                                                                                                                        In other words, if you have sales of 100k,
                                motivated & progressing your life
                                 Why not call David on
                             01442 200944 to chat through
                                   how to break free
                                                                                                                                                Why not call ‘The Samaritans’
                                                                                                                                                 or Bob (ask him for a job?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Corporation Tax &
                                                                                                                                                                                        costs of 50k, then the tax man says that
                                                              Page 16                                                                                                                   you have profits of 50k too.                              3. Income Tax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012
The Dark Side - Nov 2012

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The Dark Side - Nov 2012

  • 3. EDITOR’S NOTE PAGE 10 It’s funny isn’t it? Time to stop SSG flies around trying to come up with great new ideas to help making running your own business that bit your money from easier. Our Recruiter partners all work hard, worry endlessly and sometimes get good luck and sometimes bad. slipping AWAY! That’s what it is all about – right? Well, a funny thing happened to me this month..... NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW! Three Client meetings with three different businesses all working in different sectors. We ran through the Monthly Management Accounts and we chatted about all the normal clever stuff & the economy & interest rates & LinkedIn and all the normal clever stuff like that. Fluffy Bits But the bit that was really interesting was when it came down to understanding some basic terminology which Regular Stuff 17 we were all using during our conversation – but Business Launches applying different meanings to the same ‘recruitment 17 Some Jokes! words’. 7 Chris goes DIY - Slow In other words, we seemed to all be applying a different PC? 18 Thought for the Day meaning to some other words! 19 A Word from Lloyds 8 OK – so for example, what do you think I mean when I say: 15 Pop’s Pantry Generated Placements Money & Things Invoiced Placements 16 What’s New? Paid Placements Yep, I am sure that you all have your own clear 6 National Insurance understanding of what these obvious terms mean (to you). 10 Numbers you simply So Serious! I guess the important bit is that we all start to say the HAVE to know same things and recognise the importance of these 12 Madness of Small definitions when we think about how these definitions 4 Employment Myths - affect the ‘business side’ of our work. Business Funding It made me think – truth is, we all need to keep it Part Deux! simple, not to worry about being too clever and 13 Part Time Employees? remember that making a placement is the only bit that really matters. 19 Terminology! For a closer look at these definitions, please take a peek at Page 19 (Terminology). You might be surprised!! info@ the-darkside.tv The Power of Three! 1. All the contents of The Dark Side are only for general information and/or use. Such contents do not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making (or refraining from making) any decision. Any specific advice or replies to queries in any part of the publication is/are the personal opinion of such experts/consultants/persons. 2. The information in The Dark Side is provided on an "AS IS" basis, and all warranties, expressed or implied of any kind, regarding any matter pertaining to any information, advice or replies are disclaimed and excluded. 3. The Dark Side and its associates shall not be liable, at any time for damages including, without limitation, damages for loss of any kind(but excluding personal injury or death caused by negligence) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or inability to use the publication, or any of its contents, or from any action taken (or refrained from being taken) as a result of using the publication or any such contents or use of information contained in the publication. 4. No representations, warranties, or guarantees whatsoever are made as to the accuracy, adequacy, reliability, completeness, suitability, or applicability of the information to a particular situation. 5. Certain references in the publication refer to third parties over whom The Dark Side has no control or connection, business or otherwise. Material Submitted by Others Some sections in The Dark Side contain materials submitted by users. The Dark Side accepts no responsibility for the content, accuracy, and conformity to applicable laws of such material, and any views or opinions expressed by such third parties are those of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the owners or publishers of the Dark Side. Effect of these Terms These terms constitute the sole basis on which the Dark Side is published and made available and supersede and replace all prior or contemporaneous understandings or agreements, written or oral, or any implied terms which might otherwise apply. 3
  • 4. Clare’s Employment Law Myth Stuff More ym en t plo Employment Law g Em stice tin Inju Myths Figh Law es! id You might remember from last time Yes, it is all extremely shocking I it h ver ere (September’s Dark Side) that we were all will admit, but like any good Harry engrossed by the discovery of a few myths Potter script there is even more w h that surround good old employment law! to come.... If you have been forced to hire cover at a higher pay rate or pay an That’s right, the excitement finally grew to AND THE NEW STUFF? overtime rate to other employees I am a the point that it was hard to continue our ‘MYTH to cover the shortfall in work BUSTER’ exploration of the whole subject without caused by an employee's the risk of boiling over at the sense of MYTH NO. 4 failure to give notice then injustice that accompanied our it may be worth suing as “You don’t have to pay an revelations – well, to be more accurate my Employee who resigns but you can show financial loss. I am a colleagues at SSG begged me to stop and doesn’t work their notice ‘MYTH BUSTER’ suggested that should any reader still be period” awake after a couple of pages that we VERDICT: COBBLERS MYTH NO. 5 ought to let them now rest in peace. “You have to offer a new So, heeding their advice (as I often do), I You know the score, a Recruiter (or any vacancy to anyone who was made redundant” put a hold on the excitement. other employee) walks out without giving VERDICT: MORE COBBLERS notice. But, that was then & this is now! The logic suggests that the employee has QUICK RECAP: forfeited the right to receive further It is a popular view that employers that payments from their employer. have made an employee redundant must There is a lot of nonsense touted around offer him or her any future vacancies that as fact when it comes to what is legal, However, as employers, you are not arise. what is illegal & what is just plain crazy entitled to withhold pay owed to when it comes to Employment Law, employees who have left without giving Employment Contracts, Employment notice, for work that they have already In recruitment, it is often the case that you Breaches and the like. carried out, although you can withhold may have made an employee redundant the pay that the employee would have due to you no longer needing someone to As a business owner, you need to know received had he or she worked the notice perform in a particular role, only to find what is real and what is hearsay. period. that, shortly after, due to an upturn in business or the resignation of another It might not seem important, but once If you have been "left in the lurch" by an employee, you need additional you start to think about employing a employee you do have some legal redress. headcount. Recruiter of your own or get chased by In this situation, do you have to offer your your own ex-employer, you might wish The employee's failure to give notice is a former employee the available position? that you taken a little more time to find breach of contract and you can (if you can out where you stand. be bothered) bring a claim in the civil courts for the financial loss that you have If you don’t, will this render the previous Thus far, we exploded three myths: suffered. redundancy unfair? Myth 1: However, it is often difficult for employers The answer is no – you are under no legal Just because there is nothing in writing, it to establish loss or damage to the obligation to offer previously redundant does not mean that there is not a contract. business and, as a result, very few claims employees future vacancies, and the are brought by employers in these fairness of the previous redundancy is Myth 2: circumstances. only decided by an assessment of the Just because an actual contract wasn’t situation at the point at which you made physically signed, does not mean that it is the employee redundant. not valid. A friend got sacked from his fairground job recently - he worked on The redundancy will be fair if there were Myth 3: the dodgems and loved it. He's suing genuine reasons for it at the time and you An employer can indeed withdraw a job his boss for for Funfair dismissal!!" followed a fair procedure and selection offer once it has been made. process. 4
  • 5. Notwithstanding this, it is worth being result in discrimination against their male AND JUST ONE MORE THING careful about recruiting very soon after colleagues. (said in a Columbo Style voice over) making redundancies as people may question whether or not the In other words – don’t overcompensate! Here is a little story about a woman who redundancies were genuine. stole an Apple Pie: The mighty law firm Eversheds came a You should keep thorough cropper with just this scenario where the Should she be sacked? records of your reasons for Court of Appeal Tribunal found making redundancies that they had discriminated A Little Chef employee lost a and the selection process against a male lawyer by inflating compensation claim for unfair dismissal – you followed. I am a the score of the other after she took an apple pie home without ‘MYTH BUSTER’ lawyer in the selection permission and lost her job as a result. pool because she was I am a MYTH NO. 6 on maternity leave. ‘MYTH Lynn Smith had been employed as a BUSTER’ supervisor at the for 12 years with a good “You can’t sack a pregnant woman” record. VERDICT: ACTUALLY.... MYTH NO. 7 “If you make redundancies, you Mrs Smith believed she had been harshly can’t immediately start hiring” treated and made a compensation claim VERDICT: YOU CAN against her employer. A number of employers are understandably cautious about making Little Chef did not attend the hearing and employees who are pregnant or on was not represented, but had apparently maternity leave redundant. There is no specific period of time that you written to the Tribunal stating that the must wait before you can recruit new staff Little Chef rules were that food could be If an employee is dismissed or selected for without rendering the previous eaten on the premises but that there were redundancy for a reason that is related to redundancy dismissals unfair. strict rules about staff taking it home. pregnancy, birth or maternity leave, the Although there is no specific time frame The tribunal said: "Mrs Smith knew it was dismissal will be automatically unfair and during which you cannot recruit new against the rules to misappropriate food will amount to pregnancy and maternity employees, if you recruit soon after and Mrs Smith admitted taking the apple discrimination. making redundancies when there has pie. been no change in circumstances, this is The compensation payments are likely to cast doubt on whether or not the uncapped and the whole process can be redundancies were genuine. She should not have taken the apple pie very expensive. away." Where you can point to a change Little Chef currently charges £3.99 for a However, employees who are pregnant or in commercial circumstances serving of its delicious Kentish Bramley on maternity leave can be made then you are more likely to apple pie which is dished up with custard redundant provided that the redundancy be able to justify the need or vanilla ice cream. is genuine and the employee's maternity to recruit only a short I am a situation does not disadvantage her in period after. ‘MYTH BUSTER’ Regrettably said the tribunal , they had any way. decided Mrs Smith had lost her compensation claim for unfair dismissal as For example, you should ignore MYTH NO. 8 Little Chef had acted within the bounds of pregnancy-related absence when “Fixed Term Contractors have reasonableness when deciding to dismiss assessing attendance records for the no redundancy rights” Mrs Smith. purposes of selection. VERDICT: THEY DO You may also need to make adjustments to the consultation process in relation to Employees who are employed on a an employee who is unable to attend fixed-term contract are entitled to meetings at the workplace due to her redundancy pay if their contract comes to pregnancy or maternity leave, by carrying an end. out consultation meetings closer to her home. In the past (before 2002) someone on a fixed term contract could waive their right but not anymore! While it is important that employers create a level playing field when applying redundancy selection criteria, you must Every myth is individual, so if you be careful that attempts to neutralise OUR VIEW: require further advice please contact selection criteria that are potentially clare@supportservicesgroup.tv discriminatory against employees who Always go for the Chocolate Fudge are pregnant or on maternity leave do not Sundae – what a silly lady Mrs Smith is. 5
  • 6. National Insurance what’s it for and do i pay it?! As shown in our May issue the most tax contributing for National Insurance and In the vast majority of cases the savings efficient way to draw income from your get the relevant benefits. you have made over the years will be far Limited Company is to take a minimal higher than what you could lose in salary and take the rest as dividends. How much do I pay? benefits. This in effect means that you are not At the current rates of NI for the tax year So put some of that saving to good use paying national insurance on your 2012 to 2013 and with the salary we and look at a Company Pensions (there’s a dividend income which is where the mentioned above the amount of National future article for you) savings for tax come in. Insurance you will pay each month is £11.96. What does the tax man do about this? But what is this National Insurance we speak about. This is as a deduction from the monthly salary that we run for you each month. There’s not a lot the tax man can do. National Insurance (NI) is an amount that individuals (and employers) pay to the However, you don’t have to make this If you have a low salary your contributions government calculated on wages and payment personally. are low, just like anyone else on a low salary to contribute to social benefits salary. including state pension, statutory The company makes it on your behalf. So maternity pay and sick pay and also to each month SSG will supply you the However, he may notice you are paying far fund the National Health Service. information and the company has to less than you historically did when make a payment to HMRC from the employed so will try and get you to Obviously the National Health Service is “voluntarily” contribute. business bank account. free to all and does not require NI contributions. And that’s it. No forms, no online returns... So do expect a letter in the post explaining what National Insurance gains However, other benefits are dependent and how he has noticed that yours has on having paid NI historically. That’s all completed by SSG. gone down. You probably now feel that you would So what’s the catch then? quite like the benefits. His suggestion is to “voluntarily” The catch is that some of these benefits contribute yourself the National Insurance But surely the way you process my are means tested so the more you savings you have made on your income to income affects my benefits! contribute the more you get if you ever him (he obviously doesn’t word it like need them. that). The answer is yes, but you don’t lose them! As we only run a minimal salary you willI can’t see many of you deciding to do this though. We run a payroll each month for you only be paying the bare minimum and which is the minimal salary element of would only get the bare minimum back if Do I HAVE to pay National Insurance? your income from the company. you ever claimed these benefits. This will be based on your personal So that saving on tax does come at a In a word – No. We could reduce the allowances and be in the region of £675 potential cost (but one we think is worth minimal salary element of your income so per month. paying) that you pay absolutely no National Insurance. National insurance is paid as a percentage For example of your earnings, so the more you earn the The amount of state pension will be set However, you will also lose the right to any more you pay. based upon how much you contributed benefits that require contributions to be paid. However, there is an element of salary that over a 10 year period. you can earn before National Insurance contributions start. Statutory Maternity Pay amount will be That may conjure up thoughts of “hey ho, initially based on the National Insurance I want to pay as little as possible!” But the The monthly Salary we set is just enough contributions on a set period before the decision is entirely yours!! to give you an income that starts to pay expected birth of your Baby National Insurance (i.e. you don’t pay any If you would like to get any further info NI on the vast majority of it) The result is that if you claimed these please feel free to contact me on 01442 benefits you would only get the minimum 200961 or you can email me at Therefore you will still be shown as amount. However, don’t be alarmed. darren@supportservicesgroup.tv 6
  • 7. Chris Goes all ‘DIY’ ...... Throw it out of the window.... NOOOOO! Before doing the following, PLEASE ENSURE Finally her PC was back YOU HAVE A BACKUP of all your critical data to normal. Just look Before you resort to physical machine - just in case! at that expression of joy! violence, stop and try some of these old checks and tricks - you never know, it may Windows Temporary Files simply be a case of deleting loads of rubbish Other Stuff that Windows puts on there for you. Now, back to these pesky Temporary files - Other things include Disk Defragmenting, thankfully this is one area that hasn't Or a simple (and relatively cheap) hardware Scandisk, Temporary Internet Files and changed with each version of Windows (the upgrade. Read on ...... other built-in Windows tools (Windows is location part anyway!) - go to "My built to fail eventually - a bit like a car needing Windows has a reputation of adding loads of Computer" (or "Computer") or, if you're regular servicing!) rubbish to your machine the more you use it - really impatient, click on the "Windows" Key, building up temporary files, sticking them in hold it and press "E" - this will open up the memory and stopping the things you Windows Explorer. Navigate to your local There are tools out there to do all these thing want to work from working as it has to "read" Hard Disk (usually "Localdisk C:") click on automatically for you (System Mechanic etc.) the rubbish as well as the good stuff! "Windows" and then "Temp" (some versions / but BEWARE - anything that gets onto your setups of Windows will ask you for permission PC that you didn’t put there for doing this is It also has a reputation of needing more probably Malware. - just click yes!). Hopefully (or not whichever memory (RAM) with each release (version) of way you look at it) you will see hundreds of Windows to allow it just to run - think of it as files in there. Now, be brave - select them all More on these other elements in a later when you get up in the morning, do you have (Ctrl + A) and delete them. It may say "can't article. 2 or 3 Weetabix for breakfast? 2 will get you delete XXXX as it is in use” - that's fine, delete going, 3 will help you to really motor! See the as much as you can. CAVEAT HERE - some The best solution is to completely reinstall cut out box for minimum / recommended working program data may be contained in Windows and all other software from scratch RAM amounts for different versions of these files (although unlikely) so you may (System Recovery) but of course this is a Windows. need to re-enter some program data as major job. Need More “RAM”? necessary (although I've never had a problem!). It may be that if your PC is getting on a bit, As ever, if you are unsure and need a bit of simply upgrading the RAM will help - if that help, please get in touch ..... option is available on your PC. To check what These are 2 simple things you can do to help - you have installed, click on the Start a separate article on more “tricks” will follow - chris@supportservicesgroup.tv (Windows Logo) Key - hover over My the "cutout" also gives some other things to 01442 200941 Computer (or Computer - Windows Vista, 7 try....... and 8) and right-click it. Select Properties from the menu and look for "Installed Memory (RAM)". You can now check the maximum allowable for your PC - drop us an email if you want us to try and check this for you or for us to recommend where to look. If Slow PC? your PC has the capacity you may be able to upgrade - relatively cheaply. DO - A backup of main data DO - Check Your RAM - how much have you got? / can you have? DO - A Virus and Malware Check DO Delete Windows Temporary Files DO Delete Temporary Internet Files DO Run Scandisk / Disk Defragmenter That’s one “trick”. There are also tools out there to detect and recommend upgrades 7
  • 8. Key This month, Joe Zerafa of Arco Recruitment Facts • Office Based “dishes the dirt” on what it’s really like to • 4.5 Man Team start your own business. Arco provides • 2009 Launch recruitment solutions to the Building • 100% Perm Services sector & is based in Surrey. MOTIVATIONS So, what made you decide to SYOB? Why did you NIGGLING ANXIETIES make the transition from Employee to Business Expectation Reality Owner? For all of the rhetoric & seemingly Expectation Reality endless discussions, was it money, freedom or Freedom & Autonomy 7 9 perhaps the children which finally made you ‘get Legal Formations 7 2 out of recruitment & into business’? What did you expect and what has been the reality? 8 3 Financial / Earnings 7 9 Accounting Issues The Tax Man 8 4 6 9 ? Long Term Ambition The VAT Man 7 3 Increased Family Time 8 7 Sourcing Vacancies 6 5 Reduction in Commute 7 6 Personal Cash Flow 9 5 Escape Office Politics 7 6 Personal Isolation 6 4 A Difficult Employer 3 6 Restrictive Covenants 0 0 Technical Issues 7 4 The ‘Right Time’ 5 8 And before you made the big decision to SYOB, what kept you awake at night? What were the Staying Organised 5 6 Prove Doubters Wrong 3 7 awful worries, the ‘niggles’ you couldn’t escape? Has the Tax man been friend or foe? Did your Impact on your Family 8 5 Work / Life Balance 8 7 Restrictive Covenant hold you back? What about Making Placements 6 5 cash flow? Technology? Do you have more time Shorter Working Day 7 6 for your family? Has it been tougher than you Room in the Market 5 5 anticipated? 50 WORDS ON WHY! 50 WORDS ON WHY NOT! How I arrived at setting up on my own was not through a long term In the back of my mind was a slight anxiety around what if it burning desire to do so but more to do with the company I was didn’t work but I kept positive and stuck to the path that I working for going in to liquidation and a fortuitous meeting with had decided on. I also had 2 job offers on the table and it was Mike Walmsley. He suggested that I go it alone rather than work for very tempting just to take one of them and be secure with a someone else and he put me in touch with SSG. At the time, my good basic and good commission but something was telling second child was very small, we were in the middle of a worldwide me that it was not the right thing to do and that in a strange recession and yet somehow it seemed the most logical next step was way the liquidation had provided me with a great to set up on my own. I thought that if we made it through the tough opportunity. times then when the good times arrived, the company would be in a good position to take advantage of it. 8 A: Our biggest challenge has 8 8 been expansion – A: Being in control andbusiness having Biggest challenge? A: Yes! I have exceeded 10 10 10 Major upsides? So far, so good? sometimes I feel that we the time to work on my own expectations – haven’t grown quickly that I feel is important is a at the beginning I just enough and other times I feel major upside. I know what I am that we should get more wanted to work for myself employees on board and trying to achieve and the culture of and now we have offices, capitalise on the good fortune work hard when we need to and that we have had. At the same breathe a little when we don’t is a employees, on a number of time, we must be careful not to really important aspect of how Arco PSLs and a tier 1 agency in a lose sight of the fact that it is our operates – when we hit target half personal delivery of the multi tier arrangement with recruitment service that has made way through a month it is cause for a very large company. us successful and that if we celebration – not a signal to increase expand too much we may lose the pressure! that. 8
  • 9. 9.5 RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS I had an opportunity to set 10 Why choose SSG? How hard was it up a desk for another company – And Now? in the beginning? the difference with SSG was that I “Our business is based can have 100% say in the on honesty and not management of my company – no one would be questioning what I being greedy ” Making Placements 6 4 was doing and nobody would be setting unrealistic KPIs. Getting into a Work Routine 5 5 10 10 Clients Paying Up 7 5 How was the launch? Very pleasant, well structured and Having Distractions 8 3 the process was very smooth. Feeling Isolated 8 3 Having Family Support 0 0 The support Arco needs 8 now is very different from Most important support the beginning – then we 10 Getting Good were reliant on all the “We have a strong Candidates 8 6 operational support in the set up of the business and getting us over the culture of working Getting Clients on teething problems. Now, we are reliant on the back office support we hard...but only when Board 8 4 get and also we have Clare as almost we need to! ” a ‘silent’ partner who we can bounce ideas off and who provides extra advice whenever we need it. Stress Levels 8 8 ADVICE FOR OTHERS? BIGGEST MISTAKE? LONG-TERM GOALS? Just do it – believe in yourself and your My biggest mistake was probably not expanding I want to continue doing what we are doing capabilities and don’t look back. Know your the business and getting an office sooner – I was – continue to expand and one day be strengths and keep positive. used to a routine at home and was working in a recognised as market leaders in our sector. reactive manner and I think I stayed too long Of course I would like the mansion and the working just by myself when I could easily have Ferrari but I really believe that creating a taken someone on. credible business in this market, being true to my values and building a good team will get me to my goals. We have What to do Next? r e a l l y Take the Challenge? enjoyed working Why not Volunteer to be Clare’s next with Last with Joe Clare? Words and his Surely, it is much better to growing step forward and take a hit Football Rugby Neither Eastenders Corrie Neither team. The for the team than to be relentlessly tracked down Rock Opera Neither stand out feature of this business by a seemingly pleasant & Jogging Crisps Neither is the market knowledge and fair minded pseudo Wine Beer Neither commitment to the client that Psychiatrist? Literature DVD’s Neither Joe and his team consistently To take part, please contact Casual Suited Neither display. An ever calm presence UK Hol’s Overseas Neither CLARE ARMSTRONG and a focus on numbers means 01442 200 957 Glasses Contacts Neither History Sci-Fi Neither that this company is likely to go clare@supportservicesgroup.tv from strength to strength. 9
  • 10. Learn them, or leak cash! Numbers% + you simply = - have to ? £ know Imagine you are dropped by parachute The numbers that only get bigger if you FOR NOW, ALMOST FORGET THIS LOT into the middle of a jungle. are actually doing very well. TOO You are surrounded by millions of obvious Let’s also put onto a back burner the need dangers – killer snakes, deadly spiders and FOR NOW, FORGET THIS LOT to remember some other types of a total absence of fresh pants, to name but Ok, for now we can forget the ‘numbers’ numbers – like your average invoice value a few. which we Recruiters always talk about: or your drawings for the month or the cost You might meet your painful demise as a of your advertising. result of that horrible snake bite or Placements; poisonous spider for sure but apparently All of that type of stuff ought to be Interviews; the most likely thing to finish you off is obvious to you all by now of course. I Candidates Processed; IGNORANCE. mean, let’s face it, you are working for Ratios (of this to that). yourself now. In other words, it is probably not going to be the most obvious dangers that mean All of that type of stuff ought to be No one needs to be told to record those you don’t return to good old Blighty with obvious to you all by now of course. types of numbers do they? heroic tales of your bravery, but much more likely something daft like eating the I mean, let’s face it, you are working for wrong kind of red berry or drinking water yourself now. from a contaminated stream or believing that abandoning your filthy pants & going No one needs to be told to record those ‘commando’ is a good idea. types of numbers, do they? And, guess what? Running a business is a little like that too! Forecasting the Future! KILLING YOUR BUSINESS Opening Waffle! Not everyone’s favourite subject I know! over 140 existing Recruitment Ventures start-up experience which I keep and produce Monthly Management mentioning! Accounts for each venture. The avoidance of KPI’s and all of that type If we then sprinkle a dusting of magical In addition, we are very lucky to SSG intuition (don’t laugh) then we can of ‘stuff’ probably constitute part of the reason that you decided to ‘paddle your communicate with the majority of the reasonably explain the businesses which own canoe’ in the first place & opt for Recruiters who own those recruitment skew the performance curve – the odd businesses. We are aware of how most of venture that seems to under or over We all know that business ownership I suspect (I know that it was for me). those Recruiters operate and how they perform. approach the sticky business of making But, looking very closely at all of the placements. empirical data that we have collected your business will since we starting launching businesses We know for a fact ‘who makes what’. No back in 2003, a few things are true: 1. Ventures that set and record one can argue with our data – it is there. It exists and it is now based on over 9 years of results. targets generate more placement die if you don’t 2. revenue than those that do not. Ventures that operate to a formal Cash Flow are more likely to grow and expand than those that do Some other more observational criteria also seem to be valid: 1. Great Recruiters do not necessarily develop great make placements or 3. not. Ventures which do neither are (empirically) more likely to peak in terms of revenues after businesses. 2. Great Businesses almost always are owned by great recruiters. We are ‘serious’ ... ARE YOU?! approximately 18 months – after 3. Great businesses are almost if you don’t get up in which, revenues tend to decline. These observations are not based on our intuition (such as it is!) or ‘thumb in the air’ always owned by frustrated Recruiters. 4. Great Recruiters become frustrated by lack of information. In many ways, we seem to spend more time with the budding entrepreneurs who own the businesses which seem to skew that curve than we do with those that the morning and work really very hard. estimates or even the occasional analysis of the numbers. 5. Great information is the basis for great decisions. Are You Serious? conform to the accepted notion of how businesses behave. I guess that makes sense – the majority of our clients work fairly consistently & work against what Naturally, you all use the CASH FLOW Empirical Workbook which SSG created to help you they want to achieve. That also means Facts! As part of our role, we are lucky enough to that SSG is able to project what revenues develop a real understanding of many are likely to filter into our coffers of course! We all also know that you are probably Budding Entrepreneurs. We talk, we meet, we engage. But, those businesses that do not seem to track your performance as a business ‘conform’ to the norm are just as Over the years, we have been able to fairly important – not just in terms of potential accurately estimate how our Recruiter revenues to SSG but in terms of what not going to succeed if you are not Clients will perform against their own lessons we can learn from their objectives. We have reached the point experiences. Based on 9 years where it is reasonable for us to take a pretty good stab at predicting what a So, what are the prime conclusions which (please refer to Page 17 of the February extremely careful with candidates or if typical start-up recruitment business will we can draw from this analysis? of data! generate in Year 1, Year 2 and so on. All of this ‘expertise’ is actually based on fact – Perhaps the most blatant is that Recruiters we know which business made what SSG is in a strangely privileged position – money and for how long. We have the who start their own businesses really do seem to fall neatly into a number of 2012 Dark Side). you constantly irritate your 28 we legitimately need to collect data from data based on that priceless 9 years of categories: ever-dwindling client base! BUT, WHATEVER YOU DO, NEVER FORGET THIS LOT But, what is just as likely to kill your Naturally, you all use the KPI Workbook VAT, business is being ignorant of the other which SSG created to help you track your numbers that really count - the numbers performance as a Recruiter (please refer to CORPORATION TAX & that you can control. Page 28 of the April 2012 Dark Side). INCOME TAX. 10
  • 11. VAT Make no mistake guys; ignorance of this Profits of 50k mean that you will need to holy trinity of numbers will kill more pay the tax man 20% of that (i.e. 10k) DIRECTOR DESIGNATE (x2) recruitment businesses this year than any within 9 months of your year end. SEPTEMBER 2011 45k + Bonus + 10% Equity Nr. Heathrow The Opportunity of 2011 Page 18 for Details number of drop outs, rubbish interviews or grumpy clients. INCOME TAX: (see Page 16 of Jan 2012 Dark Side) Let’s have a few words about each of these first then: You know the score. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with VAT: (see Page 12 of Sept 2011 Dark Side) You have a Limited Company which helps everything ........ Every quarter, all VAT registered SSG to help you pay as little Income Tax as businesses (yours included) will need to is possible. You take your money from Inside this issue: Be a VIDEO Star! complete a VAT Return, which will your Limited Company either as PAYE or as Is AWR Evil? calculate how much money you need to dividends. Start Your Own Business Time to Sell Up? physically send to the VAT. At the end of your personal tax year It’s an easy calculation: (which is March 31st every year for all of us), you need to generate a Self Page 12 How much VAT money have I Assessment tax return which tells the tax collected from Clients when I man how much income you have made send them a Recruitment and how much tax you owe. CT Invoice? Any tax that is due must be paid by How much VAT money have I January 31st of the following year. Dark side.tv 30k Basic 50% Equity! NOVEMBER 2011 ww Herts base for paid out to other w. the a GREAT Recruiter See Page 2 for Details Companies? Bottom line, because most of your money will technically be taken out of your What is the difference? business (& spent by you) as dividends, unless you take out more than £40k+ in Fancy a PhD in Entrepreneurship? If you collect more than you spend, then the year up to March 31st, you will not See Page 12 you have to physically send cash to the need to pay any income tax. VAT office each quarter. If you spend more than you collect, then you have to claim But, on any money that you take out of Inside this issue: Banks take a bashing the VAT back from the VAT man every the business above and beyond the £40k Selling Up! Part 1 Corporation Tax Basics quarter. (ish) level, you will have a tax liability. Google+ Exposed! The Death of Cold Calling? Who Owns YOUR Contacts? BLAST OFF! August 2011 BLAST OFF! October 2011 CORPORATION TAX: (see Page 21 of Nov R N ENGINEERING AND RTR COMMERCIAL AND FS 2011 Dark Side). ? Great New Partnership formed by Unusual combination of Experienced Recruiters looking to exploit their combined 10 years E Engineering recruitment with a side dish of RTR work! This is a business led by a Recruiter with of Perm’ based Commercial and X lots of experience and lots of U Financial services experience. Clients are UK based with a focus frustration about having worked on salaries up to £50k For more info, contact: T for someone else for too long! For more info, contact: clare@supportservicesgroup.tv clare@supportservicesgroup.tv 9 Months after every Company Year End, Page 21 you need to pay any Corporation Tax A FEW MUST KNOW NUMBERS which is due on any profits that you made in that year. My VAT Liability - every quarter Income Tax It’s another easy bit of Maths: My Company Tax (CT) - every year What profits do my accounts My Personal Tax (Income) Dark side.tv P in PhD JANUARY 2012 ww Entrepreneurship E show? w. the www.SSG-PhD.tv - every year Happy What is the Corporation Tax Darren - New rate on that level of profits? 01442 200961 Year?.... SO, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? Pay up 9 months after the Company Year End. How to escape the 2012 doom & gloom (page 13) For what the tax man classifies as a small At the end of every month, make sure that Company (i.e. one which makes less than you absolutely know, 100% factually, Inside this issue: 300k profit each year), you need to pay a exactly what you owe (to date) for: Selling Up! Part Deux : 3 Ways to SYOB Develop a Press Release Meet SSG’s New Girl : Clare is serious (again) Making the most of SKYPE CT rate of 20% of those profits to the tax : BLAST OFF! Very Soon BLAST OFF! Feb 2012 man. 1. VAT R N ? Your Best Friend You from Home! Bob made the break and he Happy, content & safe in the knowledge that whatever you E is doing well. You try to be pleased for him of course, but as Morrisey acheive will be for you and your family. Never did the phrase ‘work for X might sing ‘we hate it when our U friends are successful’.Tough to someone else’ sound so silly, you’re T watch. It should have been you. In other words, if you have sales of 100k, motivated & progressing your life Why not call David on 01442 200944 to chat through how to break free Why not call ‘The Samaritans’ or Bob (ask him for a job?) 2. Corporation Tax & costs of 50k, then the tax man says that Page 16 you have profits of 50k too. 3. Income Tax. 11