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  • When should you go Limited? - UKWDA
    quickly by around 6 5 annually according to ONS figures According to figures from Companies House around 250 000 limited companies have been formed so far in 2013 So what can a limited company offer you that sole tradership cannot Limited Liability The most fundamental difference between the two setups is the legal structure With a limited company you personally are legally divorced from your company This means should the worst happen and your company goes under which unfortunately is not uncommon in these troubled times your personal possessions your house car etc cannot be touched you only stand to lose what you ve invested in the company More flexibility for growth As a limited company growth investment and changes to your business makeup are comparatively speaking a piece of cake Your company will have a PAYE scheme which you pay yourself through so taking on an employee is as simple as adding them to this scheme Similarly if you want to take on investment in exchange for an equity stake in your company you can distribute shares with ease If you decide to shut up shop you can even sell your business lock stock and barrel and walk away Go faster tax stripes Limited company directors also have more wiggle room to reduce their tax bills compared to Sole Traders We re not talking Amazon and Starbucks style offshore shenanigans extra tax efficiency can be achieved by means publicised and even encouraged by HMRC Allowable business expenses can be used to reduce profits which will result in a lower Corporation Tax bill Remuneration can be split between salary and dividends to reduce Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions and spouses can be brought into the business to split income and avoid the higher tax thresholds A sole trader earning

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/when-should-you-go-limited (2016-02-18)
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  • Is cyber crime a problem for web designers? - UKWDA
    re lucky you might get away with holding on to your data and just having a virus riddled network instead If it s not too corrupt you might even be able to keep working A problem shared The fact is that anything other than a very low level attack on you or your clients will leave your business reeling Security breaches are time consuming inconvenient and expensive to recover from And that s if you know what you re doing Worse if you can t work it won t be long before clients start asking questions about when you re going to finish what they re paying you for You ll be surprised how quickly the excuses wear thin Thankfully there s an old fashioned solution to this very modern problem insurance Two types in fact for two potential problems Double trouble The first problem is this what happens if you design a website it s breached and your client s left high and dry Who s liable Is there a case against you Who pays to fix it It all comes down to the nature of the contract Arguably you re the professional and you should know what makes a website secure regardless of whether you actually write the code You re a bit like an architect in that sense You know what fundamentally works and what doesn t But are you liable Possibly yes Whether you re actually negligent or not depends on the nature of the breach how the parties involved argue it out and the extent of your contract responsibility At the very least you re going to have to defend yourself If that happens you ll need professional indemnity insurance It pays for your defence and if you re at fault compensates your client It

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/is-cyber-crime-a-problem-for-web-designers (2016-02-18)
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  • How to use website navigation to boost engagement - UKWDA
    visitor with choice Too much choice can lead to indecision which often leads to no decision at all A company website might have the following links Home About Services Testimonials Contact Blog And a blog might have the following links Home About Start Here Archives discussed later Contact You should be able to spot the common theme here links to what are likely to be the most popular pages on your site Since your navigation bar will be placed front and centre that s where links to the most popular pages belong The Sidebar If you re running a blog or a blog as part of your website you will almost definitely have a sidebar Although single column designs are becoming a little more popular most visitors still expect to see a sidebar when they visit a blog It is therefore unfortunate that most blog webmasters abuse the sidebar filling it with a huge number of generally worthless elements that do not necessarily assist the visitor In reality your sidebar should offer a relatively small selection of options that aid in increasing engagement Visitors should be able to use it as a secondary means of perusing your website as a complement to the navigation bar A sidebar can include the following elements Categories Popular posts Links to social media profiles Links to products services Email subscription box A search box Each of the above elements serves to either further engage the visitor with your brand or convert them whether that conversion be an email address or a purchase When it comes to your sidebar the rule of thumb should be to omit anything that doesn t directly improve the chances of visitors further engaging with your content Archives The cardinal sin of creating content online is to make it difficult to find If you are creating evergreen content that will be as useful in a year s time as it is today you want to take the time to ensure that it doesn t get buried as the months pass If you have a content heavy website then the navigation bar and the sidebar probably won t be sufficient to provide your visitors with an easy means of finding what they want Under such circumstances you should produce an archives page that gives visitors multiple methods of browsing your content Such methods include Date archives Categories Tags Search Whether a visitor is trying to find an article that they read a couple of months ago or want to digest all content relating to a specific category the archives page will provide them with the solution Internal Links Arguably the most effective form of navigation is to provide internal links within your cotent this applies to both websites and blogs Why Because most Internet users these days aren t looking for a website they re looking for a specific piece of information or a product or service When they come across your site they have no loyalty towards it and will

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-use-website-navigation-to-boost-engagement (2016-02-18)
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  • How to add passive income streams to a freelance business - UKWDA
    investment property or stock portfolio Wikipedia defines it as an income received on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it I don t think that definition is suitable for our purposes When I talk about passive income I mean asset creation creating something that will earn you an income in the long term It could be a product or a service or it could be residual income from affiliate marketing or advertising and it could require some ongoing upkeep work but the common denominator is that you build it once and reap the rewards for an extended period of time So how does a freelancer develop passive income streams to their business I have two suggestions 1 Outsource Your Business Strictly speaking a freelance business is one person performing a service We ve already discussed the limitations inherent in that business model The next obvious step is to transition from creating the service yourself to managing the service Hire contractors or employees to carry out the work that you have been doing and charge a premium on top of their wages to clients This allows you to scale your business limitlessly in theory There are potential issues with expanding your business in such a fashion Inviting other people to become partly responsible for your business can be a somewhat unsettling prospect not to mention the fact that you have to find people who are a reliable and b capable of offering a service equal to or better than your own In a perfect world this would leave you in a position where your contractors employees are your assets and you simply sit at the top of the pile and direct operations on a macro level You no longer fight in the trenches you strategise from behind the front line 2 Commodotise Your Service If the thought of entrusting the fate of your business in the hands of others frightens you too much this second option may be more appealing It can also be a lot less complicated and arguably offers greater prospects for growth The principle is simple you find a way of making your service something that can be packaged and sold as opposed to always requiring your direct input An obvious example of this would be a web design firm creating their own premium themes for people to purchase Another example would be a freelance blogger selling a How to Blog guide that could empower people to create their own content This is true product creation the only difference being that you are creating an electronic product There are no stock worries or cashflow issues and the profit margins are relatively large Best of all as a freelancer you already have a targeted audience for your product your potential and existing clients While some clients are more than happy to pay a premium for you to do the work on their behalf many others will be enticed by the prospect of the relatively low cost

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-add-passive-income-streams-to-a-freelance-business (2016-02-18)
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  • Debt Collection - Part 2: Litigation and Going to Court - UKWDA
    a 70 chance of success ought to persuade you to seek to negotiate some form of compromise before you resort to litigation Even if you have a good chance of success you need to know if your opponent will be in a position to pay your claim and solicitor s costs Do some research and check your opponent s latest filed accounts If they have no money in the bank and no assets you may be throwing good money after bad Instructing a solicitor It is common practice for a solicitor to ask for 5 000 on account sometimes 10 000 to cover the initial drafting of the claim and Court fees You will also need to understand the Court fees that will apply to your claim From April 2011 there are a range of Court fees payable you can find them here http hmctsCourtfinder justice gov uk Courtfinder forms ex050 eng pdf Choosing the right track There are three routes for processing civil cases in England and Wales They are the small claims track the fast track and the multi track system The small claims track deals with cases where the amount in dispute is 5 000 or less In the small claims track the losing party will not normally be required to pay the legal fees incurred by the opposing party The fast track procedure deals with cases where the value of the claim is between 5 000 and 25 000 The consequence of losing the case will be more significant and the losing party will be required to pay the other side s costs Finally the multi track system deals with claims for sums exceeding 15 000 Multi track cases are likely to be longer and therefore more expensive than fast track claims It is important you know the consequences of the track your case is assigned This will ultimately determine the amount of money the losing party will be required to pay and the amount of time you will need to commit to the case but most cases are assigned to the fast track What can I expect as the case progresses Assuming there are no hidden surprises then you can expect the following timetable to apply to a fast track case Day 1 Claim Issued and Served on the Defendant along with a response pack Day 14 Defendant to file an Acknowledgement of the Case indicating he is prepared to defend the claim with or without a counterclaim Day 28 Defendant s defence and Counter Claim filed Day 42 Reply to the Defence Day 52 Claimant files a request for a case management conference CMC along with an agreed timetable for the remainder of the case Day 70 Court notifies both parties that a CMC has been set with a time estimate of two hours Day 91 Both parties attend the CMC and a timetable is agreed as follows Parties provide a list of all their documents by Day 127 Parties to request copy of

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/debt-collection-part-2-litigation-and-going-to-court (2016-02-18)
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  • Freelancers: How to make more by offering less - UKWDA
    probably turn them down But for the most part I only receive enquiries on those topics Why Because I have become known as a good writer in those areas My relatively tight focus has allowed me to build a reputation in those areas A good reputation leads to more leads and the ability to offer a higher rate You do not get these benefits from catering to one and all If you were a small business on the lookout for a writer would you rather a hire someone who deals specifically with your industry or someone with a more generic offering Furthermore who would you be willing to pay more for Regardless of what you do as a freelancer be it writing graphic design web design or something else you can increase your value by reducing the scope of your services Freelancing in an Ideal World In order to determine how you should hone your services you must answer this question If you could work on any type of freelance project within the realms of your expertise what would it be The answer to that question is the key to your future Why Because once you are established as a freelancer and are no longer simply desperate for work in any form you can begin to build a business around your ideal work and by extension your ideal client There are a few considerations to take into account when it comes to answering that question Financial what makes you the most money Enjoyment what do you find rewarding Difficulty what do you find the easiest to do and as such can make the most money from The decision you come to will be individual to you I enjoy writing about the topics I specialize in I also know them like the back of my hand which makes it relatively easy and quick for me to write about them And they re in fields where clients will pay reasonably for good writing The end result is work that I enjoy and get paid well for The Snowball Effect Once you have determined what area s you would like to focus down on it is time to market your new services and start planning the shift of your client base You can take this process at whatever pace suits you I would recommend that you start by building up a picture of what each client is worth to you as outlined in my recent post on increasing rates with existing freelance clients You can then begin the process of assessing which clients you would like to continue working with in the long run and which you would like to let go This logic applies whether you have a fixed base of long term clients or a high client turnover the only difference is whether you are talking about specific clients or specific types of clients The transition process may be slow at first but if you stick to your guns and market

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/freelancers-how-to-make-more-by-offering-less (2016-02-18)
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  • A minimum-risk approach to increasing rates with existing freelance clients - UKWDA
    a measure of business growth it reveals the truth that some other means of measuring income and profit obfuscate The minimum risk approach to increasing rates I am going to outline below relies heavily upon your equivalent hourly rate so make sure that you know what it is per client before you proceed Step 1 Assess Your Clients Worth Your first step should be to figure out which clients are actually the most valuable to you I mean this not only in a financial sense but in other ways too For instance a client might be more valuable to you if they generate a lot of fresh leads for your business On the flip side a client could be less valuable if you find them difficult to work with Having said that the financial consideration is typically the most important If you track the hours spent working per client then you can easily calculate your equivalent hourly rate using the formula above If you don t track your time my first suggestion would be to start doing it from now on In the meantime you ll have to make do with an estimate of your equivalent hourly rate per client Once this process is complete you should have a list of your clients their associated equivalent hourly rates and notes of any other reason for a client s worth or lack thereof Step 2 Determine Tailored Rate Increases In my opinion freelancers shouldn t have a general rate You might keep a base rate in mind when quoting for work but in reality your final rate per client should be based upon a number of considerations such as The complexity and scope of the work The quality of the client are they likely to be difficult The value of the work to your portfolio Your value proposition i e how valuable your work will be to them Their tendency to negotiate This same logic applies when it comes to setting rate increases With your list of clients and associated equivalent hourly rates you now know which clients pay you the most and which pay you the least At this point you should set new higher rates based upon the considerations listed above in addition to any others that you feel are relevant If you feel that your highest paying client is paying enough then you should look to bring your other clients up to that level If you feel that even your highest paying client is underpaying then you should look to increase rates across the board Step 3 Propose Your Rate Increases At this point you will want to propose rate increases to your clients There are two key things that you must do at this stage Ensure that you propose increases to all clients excepting those that you feel are already paying top dollar and would not be likely to accept an increase Notify them that the increase will not come into effect until a point in the

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/a-minimum-risk-approach-to-increasing-rates-with-existing-freelance-clients (2016-02-18)
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  • Do you need employers liability insurance? - UKWDA
    protect both you and your staff If an employee of yours suffers an injury or becomes ill at work and they think it s your fault they can sue you for damages and or loss of earnings The good news is that your employers liability insurance picks up the tab If you need to defend yourself it pays for your legal costs and compensates your aggrieved worker too You don t have to do anything apart from give your insurer the info they need Know your enemy Even so we know what you re thinking I don t need it I m not actually employing anyone I m just borrowing them for a bit That might well be the case but you still need to know where you stand The HSE have a very broad definition of employee and you might be surprised to find out where your responsibilities lie Aside from the usual permanent full and part time people all these are termed employees too Volunteers Trainees Labour only subcontractors Work experience placements Summer holiday workers Interns Temps Secondees Apprentices Staff borrowed from other businesses Bona fide self employed subcontractors using their own equipment and working without your direct supervision are not employees So you don t have to worry about them Am I in trouble If you re the owner and sole employee of your business you don t need employers liability After all you can t sue yourself although bafflingly some people do try Unincorporated family businesses where all employees are closely related are exempt too Insurers perhaps naively don t expect family members to sue each other for their injuries You might find a client asks you to have employers liability as part of a contract but ultimately it doesn t have any bearing on them

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/do-you-need-employers-liability-insurance (2016-02-18)
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