Are UK Taxes Higher Than in Other EU Countries?

If you could do business anywhere in the world, wouldn’t you want to know the potential income taxes before moving and how that compares to the U.K tax rates?

The most straightforward answer to this question is that UK tax revenue is below the average of other developed economies. The UK stands out as raising less from social security contributions. This article from luminablog.co.uk aims to compare UK taxes with that of other countries in the EU.

Taxes in the UK

Britain’s tax system is made up of income tax bands at 20%, 40% and 45%, plus national insurance contributions of a further 12%, with low earners benefiting from a tax-free personal allowance at £11,500, which is higher than most other countries.

Higher earners pay income and social security taxes that are on a par with the US, Australia and Spain, but which are much less than those in France, Sweden and Ireland.

VAT, levied at a standard rate of 20%, is towards the lower end of sales tax rates across the EU, though council taxes are relatively high by comparison.

Countries with the Highest Income Tax

Based on information from online wealth and tax management firms, these are the EU countries with the highest income tax.

Germany

Germany has a progressive tax, which means that higher-income individuals pay more taxes than lower-income individuals. The country levies a progressive income and capital tax that caps out at 45%. Sources of taxable income include agriculture, forestry, business ownership, self-employment, employment, savings and investments, rental property, and capital gains and other income. The first €801 in savings and investment income is not taxed, thanks to the saver’s allowance. There is a 25% withholding tax on interest and dividends and a 15% withholding tax on royalties.

Members of certain churches pay an 8% or 9% church tax, which is tax-deductible. Church taxes are levied in many European countries. In some cases, only church members are required to pay a percentage of income to the church to which they belong; in others, all taxpayers pay a church tax, but have the option of paying it to the state instead of to a religious organization.

Belgium

Belgium’s top progressive tax rate is 50%. Income from property, work, investments, and miscellaneous sources is all taxable. Capital gains tax rates depend on the type of capital. Employees pay a social security tax of 13.07% of their income. The government allows deductions for business expenses, social contributions, and 80% of alimony payments, and there is a personal allowance based on filing status.

Lithuania

Lithuania’s taxes its income earners at rates that top out at 32%. Taxable income includes employment, commercial activities, royalties, leasing assets, and “other.” Read more

Opening Your Store: Costs and Requirements

Many people dream of opening their store. Whether it is a boutique, a wine shop, a sportswear store, or a bookstore, presenting customers with interesting products is tempting. However, setting up a company should always be done carefully. â

Own store: plans

For most people on luminablog who want to start a business, it is very early what their own business should offer. But the exact business model requires time and care. A new store has a better chance of success if it has a unique promotion offer. After all, there is competition in most cities from which the retailer must stand out. Some online retailers are also attractive to customers. In the beginning, there should also be an analysis of the current competitive situation. Define your target group and use it as a guide when choosing a product.

Of course, the design of the store and the presentation of the goods must match. Also, dare to look to the future: how will this area develop in the next few years? Where is the threat of increased competition and where are the new opportunities? Also, if you still don’t have the money to open a new store check American loans reviews.

Estimate costs realistically

Before you start, you need a business plan: it shows the income and expenses you can expect. This way, you can also see how high the funding requirement is. Because equity is often not enough to cover costs. The founders then need a loan or an investor. Also important: you need a separate account for your business.

When you open a store, the cost can be quite different. Consider these factors, among others:

  • Are extensive renovations needed?
  • What does the installation cost?
  • How much money do you need to buy goods?
  • Do employees have to be paid?
  • What kind of taxes do I have to pay?
  • What does the necessary insurance cost?

Products and prices

At this point, you should start thinking about both the price and the product policy. Certainly, as a small retailer, you can’t offer many products as cheap as large chains that get incredible discounts on shopping. But you can open a store that can offer very special products due to its independence. You can make up for much of what big chains can offer with an individual ambiance, personal service, and unique branding.

Location

The location question is directly related to the issue of funding because of course, you should keep fixed costs as low as possible. However, the position of saving price is not a long-term solution, as it is crucial for your profits.

Do the district where you want to open the store and your target … Read more

The Top Three Engagement Strategies You Can Employ for Better Customer Loyalty

We have heard it all before, but we’ll say it again: your customers are your business’s lifeblood. Without them, your business wouldn’t thrive, and there’s a big chance that it won’t even survive. It’s as simple as that. The truth of the matter is that if you don’t make your customers happy, it won’t take long for your business to flounder. But the opposite is true as well – if you make them happy, then you can very well be reaping the rewards of success before you know it. The key to making your customers happy is to engage with them, and it’s not just about coming up with the perfect sales pitch. If you understand what it takes to engage your customers, you can have happy customers who will come back again and again. But what makes a good strategy for engagement? Here are the top three engagement strategies you can employ for better customer loyalty. 

1. Invest in a deeper, more emotional bond and connection

Building a stronger emotional bond and connection with your customers takes a bit of effort, but you can start by letting them know that you are real. You are not just a company per se – show your customers that they are dealing with a real person instead of just a faceless organisation. You can show your business’s human side, first and foremost, by introducing yourself. Send out a direct message or an email if you have a new follower on Twitter, or welcome a new customer to your online forum with a personalised message.

Another distinct way to show your human side is to use authentic images of your team members on social media and include authors’ bios in your company blog, as recommended by the experts in customer experience and engagement from TheLoyaltyWorks.co.uk. If you want, you can go further and choose a brand ambassador, and it need not be a celebrity, either. It can be someone from your team that can serve as your organisation’s face – much like how Steve Jobs served as the face of Apple. 

2. Establish an online community 

There is no denying that people are spending more time online these days, and you can take advantage of this shift by establishing an online community. Forums and communities online have been around for years, and they’re not about to go away anytime soon. One singular benefit to such is that you can engage with your customers directly as you answer their questions, have discussions, and keep them updated with the goings-on in your business. You can encourage them to share info with your brand and with each other as well. More social media channels Read more

5 Best Ways to Generate Leads in 2021

 

Customer is king and a business is nothing without them. To attract customers, you need to make sure you have a well-thought strategy in place. Brainstorming and trying new ideas is a great place to start, but we are here to make your work a bit easier. Take a look at 5 ways you can utilize to generate leads in 2021.

Cater to Your Target Audience

Your audience is the backbone of your business, so they are the ones you need to impress the most. You might have the perfect product, plan, and strategy in place but it goes down the drain if your audience doesn’t relate to it or get excited about it.  Know your audience and craft content especially formulated for them.

You ascertain the audience demographic, sort them out by how far they are in the buying process, or reach out to them through feedback and poles. Check out the data behind the website to see which part of it being visited the most. You can find out which customer is eyeing which product, or what has left to customer retention and attrition.

Perk Up Your Website

It’s 2021 and if your website is an old outdated, barely used platform, then you are inviting the devil. The entire world has turned online and to impress them, you need to use tactics that will ride in the same boat as them. Your website should be a definition of your business, vision, and efforts. Use colors that symbolize the nature of your product and design the website based on the demographic of its visitors.

Interact With Your Leads

Transparent communication with your audience is very important to retain them and earn their trust. Your audience should be able to rely on you and for that, you need to show them overtly that you care. Collect their feedback, set up virtual webinars, and organizes polls to find out their opinion and interest. There are endless possibilities in the virtual world if you play your cards right.

Email marketing is another great way to do this. You can find the people you want to reach out to as well as potential allies through emails. Try using getemail.io, a website with a LinkedIn email extractor that makes finding emails profoundly easier. 

Focus on Customer Retention

Attracting new customers is very important but retaining older ones is more important. The customers who stay are responsible for quite a bit of lead generation and marketing. If one person likes your brand, they will convey it to others through word-of-mouth publicity which is one of the most impactful ways of marketing. So make sure you take care of those you have at hand Read more

What Can a Virtual Assistant Do for You? Your Essential Questions Answered

More individuals are turning to virtual assistants today for their business and personal requirements, especially since many of us find ourselves having difficulty balancing all our tasks. But the virtual assistant has levelled up in a big way – they are not just there to manage your administrative responsibilities and ‘standard’ tasks such as organising your calendar, schedule, and so on – they are now a lot more skilled and can present you with various services that you can make use of to grow your business as well. If you are a business owner, you want someone by your side who can help your business move forward and not just remind you of deadlines and appointments or keep your paperwork in order. So what can a virtual assistant do for you? Here, your essential questions are answered.  

They can help drive the growth of your business

If you are an entrepreneur or are running your own business, you know very well that you cannot accomplish everything on your own. You would need an additional hand on various projects which can spur the growth of your business. Your virtual assistant can help you in this by collaborating with you so your business can expand and flourish, and they can be a sounding board and advisor in terms of your plans and decisions. To make your relationship with your virtual assistant work, however, you have to give them a good understanding of your ethics, goals, and vision, and you have to be willing to listen to their ideas as well. 

Access to talent and skill 

Of course, if you want to go the traditional route, you can hire a virtual assistant who will simply perform administrative duties for you. But if you would like to maximise their services, you should rely on someone who has talent and skill – especially with things you are not entirely familiar with. For example, if you are having difficulty managing social media or market research, you can depend on your virtual assistant to do this, provided they have the background and experience to handle the job. Some are also well-versed in marketing, branding, and advertising, and some virtual assistants can manage your website as well. In other words, if you choose your VA carefully, you can have access to a new set of skills and talent that you may not otherwise get if you hire a standard personal assistant.

Reduced operational expenses 

As an entrepreneur or business owner, one of your key priorities is to save money and reduce your expenses in any way possible. And a virtual assistant can help you reduce your operational expenses– the service is outsourced, which means you need not worry Read more

Should We Get Our Business Ideas Financed by a Bank or by a Particular Loan Company?

For your business to thrive well, you need capital to finance it. A business without a finance system may likely crumble because there is no inflow of capital. Loans are a great way of financing a business. Banks may give a longer time in financing your business. Whilst on loan, the company gives you a particular amount of money that will be repaid in a set time. Getting a loan may be difficult because the loan company will not give out loans if your business doesn’t generate much income. A loan company’s main interest is in getting paid back, and their preferred way of getting paid is through the cash flow that your business already generates. As a result, they will only offer loan if your company has a proven track record of generating cash and has substantial assets. Therefore, it is advisable for small companies with limited experience not apply for loans for banking institutions.

Criteria for Loans

Financial institutions, such as Axos Bank, is a digital bank that provides financial services to businesses and provides banking products and services to customers. They offer financial assistance to businesses for improvements or new developments. To qualify for a loan, business owners must go through an application process. Most loan companies require businesses to provide proposals for how the money will be used and why the funding is necessary. They charge interest on the loan at either a fixed or variable rate.

Forms of Loans

The minimal amount that may be borrowed for a Payday loan is $100. A loan by installment is often made accessible to borrowers with low income and low credit scores. People repay the loan in installments and they attract a lot of increased curiosity than typical personal loans but they are cheaper than Payday loans. Most personal loans are not safe, they do not require collateral and they usually have a bigger interest than secured loans. Loan institutions like Maxlend, offer these types of loans. They also claimto provide emergency funds for business owners, as emergencies will always crop up every time and you need to settle them in such conditions. With some loans being given to you per day, you’ve got the privilege to access your money faster than borrowing it traditionally.

Things you need to note before taking loans

Different loan companies have their terms and conditions in giving out loans. It is advisable to explore and consider any loan company you want to settle for. Some Payday loans incur further expenses and charges if there’s a delay in repaying the loan. It is recommended you read the lending settlement carefully and find out if there are any hidden charges. … Read more

The Importance of Communication on Effective Business Management

Communication is fundamental to man’s existence and survival, as well as for varying organizational growth. It helps people to express their ideas and feelings, and at the same time, allows them to understand the emotions and thought of others. Communication is a process of formulating and sharing thoughts, views, information, feelings, and facts to reach a common understanding.

Being able to communicate effectively is one of the essential life skills one must-have. Individuals with good interpersonal skill are usually strong non-verbal and verbal communicators. They are often regarded as good with people as their vital communication skills aid proper and healthy interactions. This life skill a must-have and an essential instrument for a successful Career.

In this fast-paced world, communication is now beyond new physical interactions. The internet, technological milestones, and hardware products continuously rolled out to help usher in a new frontier regarding information transmission and circulation. Electronic devices are beginning to gain increased popularity because of the vital role they play. Individuals start to check electronic shop reviews, comparing one gadget from the next to ensure an uninterrupted flow of information.

While the need to transmit ideas easily is gaining momentum in human interactions, it is also necessary for business-like transactions. An ability to communicate appropriately is essential in helping one and others understand information more quickly and accurately. While in contrast, poor communication skills can lead to frequent feud, misunderstanding, and frustration.

The importance of communication to a business is limitless. Amongst the various advantages it provides for effective management of business include:

Effective Brand Messaging

To effectively manage a business, one needs to communicate the business goals to the public. To do this, one needs to study the target market and consider what speaks to them differently. The different demographics group available would require the use of different language and phrasing. How one communicates the brand identity in promotional and advertising literature will either put the brand in favour of the given market or keep one on the fringe.

Employee engagement

Acceptable communication practices are essential for healthy employee engagement. Research shows that effective communication is a top factor that statistically correlates to how engaged employees are. A profound internal communication has a significant role in coaching, supporting, and reminding employees of the importance of adhering to the organizational goal.

Relationship Building

Communication is the bedrock for healthy relationships. Today’s business environment relies majorly on relationships in a whole lot of ways. Whether one is recruiting new talent or negotiating a new contract with a vendor, the right type of interactions are the foundation for success. The language one communicates with stakeholders of the business can help pose the company for success or failure. … Read more

Is Building a Strong Brand Identity Important?

Brand identity encompasses a lot, and defining it can put significant limitations on what it actually is. From a customer point of view, brand identity includes mental associations with your brand and the emotion it triggers.

Amazon’s growth was explosive, and its ability to sustain its brand promise is impressive. It promises to deliver an exceptional shopping experience, catering to frugal and luxurious clients. The brand manages its identity well, with reports in January 2020 saying that Americans trust Amazon better in doing what is right compared to various government officials. Not only do consumers buy from this no. 2 on the Fortune 500’s list, but they also trust it big time. How else is brand identity important?

Consumers recall you first

What’s the first brand to come to mind when you think of pizza? If you think of this brand and purchase from it too, you regard its brand relevance as high. It takes a lot of effort to be a relevant brand—the buyer’s first choice. The first step to acing their list is to have a strong brand identity where your name is easily associated with what your business does.

It builds a sense of community

Consumers attach deeper to businesses they value. Humans have a natural tendency to go after choices that nurture their sense of belonging. Once you fulfill this need, consumers will become advocates of your brand for as long as it takes.

It attracts like-minded consumers

Some businesses do well in supporting the deaf and mute community. If you have programs like this, make sure you communicate them to consumers. Many of them will feel elated, knowing that their purchases empower a community that deserves better recognition for their talent and abilities. Similarly, if your business admires the LGBTQ community, you can show love and support through pride shirts. Efforts like these create an inclusive culture that encourages hope and downplays fear.  

It helps weather the storms

2019 was not particularly easy for the brand, Apple. The uncertainties between the US-China trade threatened to put tariffs on iPhones, they had a lengthy battle with Qualcomm, and the unveiling of 5G enabled competitor devices to endanger their sales. Strong brand identities clearly establish the ‘why’ behind businesses, which will help you navigate through the stormy days. In April, Apple and Qualcomm finally settled their issues as they agreed on a six-year patent license agreement. The deal is good enough for Qualcomm and even better for Apple, who’s under pressure to produce a 5G enabled smartphone. This reminds brands that even legal battles should be ironed out to keep true to their growth endeavors. Apple’s identity is about innovating smartphones, and it couldn’t do so … Read more

5 Financial Activities Commonly Outsourced to a Bookkeeping Firm

Most business owners are aware of outsourcing accounting services but often find it hard to choose which tasks to delegate to a third party. Many concerns complicate the decision, such as budget constraints as well as issues with authority. In which case, the most sensible solution is to determine which functions yield the most return of investment.

Indeed, while the question of what to outsource varies according to the needs of each company, there are specific activities most likely delegated to a third party, regardless of the unique requirements of the business.

Repetitive business tasks

Financial tasks are always repetitive. Some examples include preparing accounts receivables and accounts payables. According to www.kenbellaccounting.co.uk, many medium enterprises today rely on accounting software to simplify these functions. But, if your business doesn’t have the same capabilities, the next best solution is to outsource to a bookkeeping firm that can manage these tasks efficiently.

Tasks completed manually

Despite how computer-dependent most businesses today are, there are still some financial tasks typically completed manually. Usually, these activities are reserved for an experienced accountant or bookkeeper. The problem with manually completing tasks is the higher likelihood of committing errors. Having to correct mistakes isn’t only time-consuming, but also detrimental to the business if left unchecked. The benefit of outsourcing these activities is the peace of mind and confidence knowing that the company handling the tasks is experienced, capable, and highly competent.

Payroll operations

One of the commonly outsourced financial functions is payroll. Most businesses today prefer to outsource payroll-related tasks because of the complexities and nuances associated with these activities. A bookkeeping firm has the resources, such as the right software to use, which will make payroll management and implementation more efficient. Also, having a dedicated team working on all payroll-related issues will ensure that all concerns are directed and resolved by the same team.

Tax-related functions

Most companies dread tax season because of the amount of work it takes to prepare and file taxes. There’s always a possibility of missing out on write-offs if the taxes aren’t filed correctly. Instead of taking chances, it’s best to outsource tax functions to an experienced bookkeeping company. They’ll be able to include all activities qualified to receive incentives. Also, an expert bookkeeper has updated knowledge and expertise on regulations and laws that apply to business taxes.

Tax activities specific to each locality

Paying sales taxes can be confusing if local rates and national rates apply for each transaction. Nevertheless, even if only one sales tax applies, each payment should be precisely tracked and recorded. Any mistakes made in charging and paying for these taxes could result in penalties and fines for the company. The good thing is, … Read more

The Costs of Poor Business Website Design Choices

Professional web design is not cheap. Don’t expect high-quality sites to be obtainable for free or a rock bottom price. In the UK, the cost can be in the £400 to £900 range. Web designers at https://xist2.com/ offer competitive pricing, but they most certainly cannot provide integrated designs at zero cost.

It takes creativity, knowledge about the latest trends and competent technical skills to come up with great site designs. It’s understandable why designers don’t settle for prices that don’t match the effort and time they spend on a project. But, enough of the emphasis on spending for quality web development services. The discussion here is about the costs of making the wrong web design decisions.

High bounce rates

Bounce rate refers to the ratio of the number of site visitors who leave a site after viewing only one page and the total number of site visitors. Here’s an illustration: if seven out of 10 visitors decide to abandon a site after only seeing the homepage, the bounce rate is 70%. This is considerably higher than the preferable range of 26% to 40%.

High bounce rates mean an inability to attract customers. The reasons for such high bounce rates include but aren’t limited to bad aesthetics, poor navigation, non-intuitive layout and technical problems. It can be interpreted as lost sales due to the listed reasons; something businesses should address as soon as possible.

Unflattering first impressions

For most customers, web design is about the aesthetics and experience. You can’t blame customers for leaving if your online store’s design and UI is reminiscent of the pioneering iteration of HTML. First impressions may not always last, but they determine if a prospective customer becomes an actual buyer.

Avoid losing potential customers by making sure that your ecommerce site leaves a good impression that compels visitors to spend more time and, ultimately, click the ‘Buy’ button. Ensure that your website is in tune with the times, fast-loading, and free from glitches that can ruin the user experience.

Lost regular customers or patrons

Bad design does not only drive new customers away. It can also cause customers to abandon an online store that they frequent. Implementing a website design change, for example, can result in adverse reactions from regular customers.

If you update your online store’s layout, for example, you risk the possibility of alienating many customers who prefer the old interface and processes. They might find the change too radical, so they end up trying other sites. To avoid this, it is advisable to introduce changes gradually. You can also provide customers the option to revert to the old design if they don’t like the upgrades.

The bottom-line

Technically, lost customers are not … Read more