Running a handmade jewellery business is just like going for a walk.
In October 2015, I decided to start walking regularly in an effort to improve my general health. I have the benefit of living a few minutes walk away from a beautiful nature reserve with stunning views and a wealth of wildlife.
In the early days, I really struggled to walk a few metres. I was suffering pain in my whole body and felt tired and breathless during the walk. I couldn't walk far and felt like giving up. With encouragement from my loved ones I decided to continue. In my effort to not give up, I decided to take a short cut and drive the short distance from my home to the entrance of the nature reserve. I had been doing this for a week or so, when one day, my son asked me why, if I wanted to get fit by walking, was I going to take the car. I explained that I found the walk very difficult and by driving to and from the nature reserve, it would make walking that little easier as it would reduce the distance. My son, in his wisdom explained that I was not making the situation any easier - just moving the problem. He told me that I needed to prepare properly if I was going to walk regularly as being unprepared could be costly to my health, causing more damage. Being the loving son that he is, he prepared a list of all the tools I needed to invest in if I was going to see any improvements in my health. I needed the following:
So why am I telling you this? Well, whilst I was walking yesterday, thinking about my clients and my own business, I realised the comparisons.
Just like my regular walks, running your handcrafted jewellery business can be a lot of fun and very rewarding when you are fully prepared.
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It is always wise and practical to have a bank account to keep track of your finances related to your creative business, that includes all monies coming in from sales and all expenditure.
There are two options available for doing this.
If you are a sole trader, you can open either a business bank account which is used solely for business purposes. Alternatively, you can use a personal account. Which ever you choose, it is important to monitor your account carefully to keep tract of all monies coming in and out. (If you run a partnership or limited company, there are specific requirements that will need to be adhered to).
In addition to your bank account, we would recommend keeping a simple spreadsheet to keep up to date of your money. The money is the lifeblood of your business and it is really important to keep on tract. Managing your money monthly or bi-monthly can really make a difference to keeping on top of your accounts. You will know how your business is doing on a regular basis, and if you are spending too much or not making enough sales, you can address this area quickly. If you leave it for 6 or 12 months, you may be in for a bit of a shock. When you need to submit your financial accounts to HMRC for Self Assessment purposes, it will be much easier to complete, rather than having to wade through a whole year of invoices, receipts and bank statements.
As part of your business, you must keep the following records:
You’ll also need to keep proof such as:
For more information, do visit HMRC's website and access their online training course for more information on Self Assessment, Keeping Business Records and Claiming Business Expenses
Keeping a spreadsheet on your computer, such as an Excel document to help you keep upto date with your finances. There are lots of free template available on Microsoft office Alternatively, keep a book with columns to detail your income and expenditure.
If you need more information, assistance or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our qualified accountancy team will be able to assist. Our team offers a full accountancy and bookkeeping service.