1st October – International Coffee Day
A day to appreciate the world’s appreciation of coffee, International Coffee Day is a party every coffee shop is invited to, so you can extend an exclusive invite to your customers. Stage a special event, get together with local coffee shops and make sure your passion for your craft is known.
20th October – Breast Cancer Awareness, Wear It Pink
One of the UK’s most iconic charities, think pink and do your bit for this noble cause. Sign upand make your good deed official. Themed goods, donations made from every purchase, fun fundraisers and generally showing your support for this charity will help customers get to know you and your brand better.
31st October – Halloween
A seriously important day of the month, whether it’s serving up spooky cocktails, decorating your shop front or livening up your social media with a few scary pranks, Halloween is a theme customers love to engage with. Brits are up for investing in a bit of scary fun, with £310 million being poured into this holiday last year. For bars or coffee shops, arrange a scary film screening or your own fancy dress party – every sort of business can get in on the spookiest night of the year.
Autumn 2017 – Small Business Commissioner Scheme
Expected to come into effect this Autumn, the Small Business Commissioner Scheme is set to give small businesses like your own a helping hand when it comes to payment disputes with bigger companies. There will also be advice and information available for small businesses on things like contracts and resolving disputes.
See the rest of the year’s key dates here
SMEs have been promised £1 in 3£ of the government’s procurement budget by 2020, but it seems as though it is not exactly planning out that way.
Governmental services seem to be attempting to go with the tide and expand their digital services in order to digitalise citizens transactions as much as possible. Today we are able to do so many things online, saving us time, money, resources, and so much more. In just a few clicks we can do money transfers, school applications, ordering new passports, drivers license, learning new languages…to mention only a few of the vast options we have today. As for citizens transactions we could be doing things online, such as renewing car taxes, filing income tax self-assessments, obtaining licenses and permits, paying taxes and more.
Citizens transactions are more and more digitalised and it only makes sense to do so. The transformation the government needs to go through, costs a huge amount of money, which it seems to be willing to spend. The question now is, where is this money spent? Where does the government get its resources from?
Chris Middleton, co-editor of Unified Communications Insight, and founder and editor in chief of the Strategist Magazine, writes:
So the tide seems to be turning against SMEs within the public sector: a cause for serious concern post-Brexit, when the UK will have no choice but to nurture its home-grown talent. Reversing that trend will demand real leadership, but the government may feel it has more important things to do.
What we would like to see is that the project to facilitate digital transformation would at the same time support SMEs and their possibilities to grow and give their valuable contribution to our economy. But despite the plan to allocate the said amount of government spendings to small and medium sized businesses, the public sector seems to prefer to turn to enterprise giants.
Businesses are facing a very difficult time with the implications of Brexit looming on the horizon. Whether for small businesses or larger ones, the changes will inevitably cause huge disruptions in so many different sectors. When it comes to importing goods, businesses will suddenly be faced with border controls, tariffs and therefore with a slowing down of their production, in addition to further higher costs involved. Of-course this is only one aspect that will prevent businesses from growing and our collective economy prospering as a result.
“Uncertainty” is a term we hear all the time now. The government is not able to provide any insight into what we will have to deal with in the next few years and it is leaving everyone guessing. Experts provide their predictions, usually based on their personal preferences of leaving or remaining in the EU.
Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be, businesses will need time to adjust. Even if the arrangements are clear within the next months, businesses must be given a chance to function within the new regulations and see what sort of adjustments they will have to make.
Surely it is in everyone’s interest to cause minimal damage and support our businesses with smooth transitions, as much as possible. We also believe that some sense of support and positive actions towards small and medium sized businesses would do so much to encourage the morale of the brilliant entrepreneurship in this country.
We at Akoni are not only in the business of supporting SMEs in maximising their cash returns but, we are a business in our own right that may be effected by cross border financial and business regulations in the future.
Many in the country are outraged by the changes that the VOA has made in regards to assessing staircases and how the business rates are calculated as a result of this assessment. It also affects Akoni in the sense that what we do is try and lighten the load on SMEs with our services.
We are all about providing a service to SMEs that gives a solution to one of the disadvantages they face when it comes to getting the best rates on their cash holdings. Large corporations have the chance to make more money on their cash holdings simply because the service is provided to them or they have the resources to invest in this sort of market research. Our platform gives SMEs that same opportunity and therefore levels the playing field.
When we then, hear about yet another obstacle placed in the way of Small businesses to grow their business, because taxes are increased, we cannot help to be frustrated by this.
The main change seems to be that each floor of a building will be assessed separately if the staircase connecting these floors is shared with others. If however, the staircase is private and only belongs to the business then all floors will be treated as one entity. Taxes then, are higher for those who share a staircase. The first thing that comes to mind is that companies that can afford a building with private staircases will have a relatively lower tax than companies who, due to their financial disadvantage, share the space.
We cannot understand why SMEs have to consistently be faced with such hardships in comparison with large corporations, when it is clear to everyone that Small businesses constitute the bedrock of our economy.
Our very own CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh was interviewed by Fintech Profile. They asked all the relevant questions that will provide you with everything you have always wanted to know about us. Felicia gives you the full story of Akoni’s making, what we believe in and what problems Akoni solves for SMEs with our Cash Management platform
Read Akoni’s full profile here.
Last week we were invited by The Banker to do a video interview about Akoni. For those of you who are not familiar with The Banker, it is part of the Financial Times Group and the interview was held in the Financial Times building. They have a series of interviews, which are done by The Banker’s Joy Macknight providing insight into the world of rising financial technology (fintech) start-up companies that will likely shake up the financial services industry.
It was great to be there and we had a chance to talk about Akoni’s new Cash Management platform, which allows SME’s to shop around for the best interest rates that will allow them to maximise the return on their cash holdings. In addition to easy access to up to date market information, business owners will be able to move around their money with just a few clicks, saving them a lot of time and resources. We talked about how it will provide a solution for SMEs and small corporates to earn more money, which will drive the economy, particularly after Brexit.
In addition, we had an interesting conversation about the impact of PSD2 and told them a bit about our inspiring experience at the Accenture Fintech Lab.
Of course, we will share the video with you once it’s out. In the meantime, enjoy a few of the pictures of our day at The Banker.