Tuesday, 21 September 2010

FREE Business Support - For Women in Cheshire

Action Support Team - Group Event
When: Monday 4th October 2010 at 9.30am
Where: Fina Bar and Grill, Macclesfield.
Why: A group event to help you solve a problem, resolve an issue or develop an opportunity.

Running your own business is great but it can feel isolated at times. Working through problems, developing ideas, being creative & making decisions is hard work on your own. Wouldn’t it be great to have access to a small group of independently minded people who could provide just this type of support and challenge?

The good news is you can – come along on Monday 4th October & Monday 1st November to Fina in Macclesfield at 9:30am. These sessions will be very interactive. In small “Action Support Teams” you will work together focusing on each individual topic in succession.

These sessions will be facilitated by Jane Stephens a local Freelance Business Improvement Partner. Bring along a problem, issue or opportunity that you would like to work through - see you on the 4th October.

If you would like to call or email us to find out more about us give me a ring.
Michelle 07784 128016 or Email: michelle@happymondaysnetworking.co.uk

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Monday 7th June - Guest Speaker Jane Kenyon

Our next meeting at Fina Bar & Grill at 9.30am on 7 June is one not to be missed. Jane Kenyon, Founder and MD of Well Heeled Divas will be our guest speaker. Jane is one of the most inspirational women speakers on the circuit and she'll be giving a very personal talk on the ups and downs of how she's got to where she has today:

Lessons From a Life Well Lived! – It’s Personal!

From a privileged upbringing to alone and broke at 16; successful corporate career to entrepreneurial burnout at 35; Wealth to near bankruptcy twice! Jane’s journey is an emotional rollercoaster but boy are the lessons worth hearing and you will be inspired by her courage and passion. Not to be missed!

More information about Well Heeled Divas can be found at http://www.wellheeleddivas.com./

See you all Monday.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Monday 24th May - Dean Mottershead - Estate Planning Solutions

Dean Mottershead joined us this morning and provided a very informative session on why we need to plan ahead for ourselves and our famillies, particularly if we have independent businesses.

Dean made everyone feel relaxed and then told us in "jargon free talk" how we could make sure that the tax man and care home do not strip our parents of assets that we should get when they pass away. He also explained about tenants in common and how important this was to get it right. 

Estate Planning Solutions is a specialist Will writing and estate planning company. They
specialise in helping you to plan now in order to protect and preserve your hard earned
wealth for your loved ones.

Their aim is to provide you with a service which is professional, ethical, and competent in a friendly, straightforward manner avoiding unnecessary legal jargon and their initial
consultation is always without obligation.

Everyone knows that they should have a Will in order to avoid the problems and cost
associated with intestacy. Many put it off and leave it to a “later date”. By making a
Will now you can ensure that your affairs are in order.

Each year some 70,000 people lose their homes (and other capital assets) to pay for care
home fees. By taking the correct steps now they can help you to plan to legitimately
protect your assets and preserve them for your loved ones – but you need to act now
before it is too late and to make sure your parents or relatives have taken the appropriate steps. Do you really want the taxman or local authority to be a beneficiary when your parents pass away.Inheritance Tax is a voluntary tax. If you don’t want to pay it you don’t have to but you do need to start planning now and Dean can help you do this in a very cost effective and relaxed way.

Plan, Protect, Preserve....you know it makes sense

When making a Will you should also consider the effect that a loss of capacity,
whether due to illness, accident or old age, would have. If you want to appoint people of
your choosing and want to avoid substantial unnecessary cost and delay should you lose
capacity then you should make a Lasting Power of Attorney now. The Mental Capacity
Act of 2005 resulted in the new improved LPA with additional safeguards to protect you.

Anyone with an estate over £5,000 needs to go through the process of applying for
probate. If you don’t have a Will the process becomes far more difficult and expensive at
a time when it is the last problem the family want to have to deal with.

Estate Planning Solutions offer a caring, comprehensive and professional probate service, at a fixed cost and for considerably less than your local solicitor or bank (usually between 3 and 5% plus disbursements plus VAT). Their fees are fixed (i.e. not based on open ended time costs) and range from 1 to 1.5%, depending on the complexity of the estate.
Their initial probate consultation is also without obligation.

They will visit you at a time and place that is convenient to you and unlike many other Will writing companies we will usually visit you a second time to ensure that you understand the Wills and associated estate planning documentation, that your Will accurately reflects your wishes, and that the signing and witnessing of your Wills and associated documentation are carried out properly, thus avoiding potential future problems.

They are full members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and carry full
Professional Indemnity Insurance of £2M and undertake regular continuing professional
development to keep up-to-date and comply fully with a strict Code of Practice.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dean call him FREE on 0800 781 6658 Mob: 07909 966 601 or mail dean.mottershead@estplan.co.uk

Happy Mondays Networking recommend Dean Mottershead and Estate Planning Solutions to all our ladies and their famillies.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Monday 10th May - WOW Financial Services

Elaine Porter from WOW Financial Services had some great advice for us at our meeting this Monday morning at Fina Bar and Grill in Macclesfield.  Elaine picked 3 very topical areas of finance, debt, protection and retirement planning.

On the subject of credit card debt Elaine advised us to:
  1. Calculate the maximum amount you can afford to pay towards your debt.
  2. Review your list of creditor's minimum payment and than add £10 to each payment.
  3. Subtract step 2 from step 1 above.
  4. Whatever is left over pay to the credit card with the highest interest rate.
Loans - for if you cannot access an interest free paying credit card consider transferring your debt onto a manageable fixed rate.
Mortgages - Loyalty no longer exists with lenders anymore and it is really important that you shop around to get the best deal.  It's worth remembering that the lowest rate of interest may not always be the best deal as they can carry higher charges.  Top Tip: Use an independent Mortgage Broker.

Protection advice is that it "may well happen to you" and protecting your family is so important for women as well as men.
Life Assurance - to cover any debts so that families are protected from financial hardship.
Critical Illness - how would you cope financially with a critical illness?
Income Protection - particularly if you are self-employed.
Business Protection - to cover business loans and protect your shareholding.

Example of costs for a women aged 40.
Critical illness cover of £50,000 until aged 65 would cost circa £28.00 per month.
Life cover for £100,000 over a 10 year term would cost cira £7 per month
Source:  'The Exhange' whole of market research dated 7.5.10 based on level cover, guaranteed premium rates for company directors.

So you can get protection for slighly less than the price of a large glass of wine which seems like great value.

Retirement Planning is not just about pensions it can also be about getting a solution tailored to your needs and that fits into your future plans.  Relying on the state pension means you could end up with £97.65 per week (for a woman born after 5/4/50 with 30 years NI contributions).
Pensions are no longer complicated and it is more essential than ever that you make provision for your retirement as life expectancy increases.

In summary Elaine can give you all the advice you may need to ensure that your future plans, individual goals and financial objectives are met.  Take some time out to think about these very important issues and contact Elaine if you would like some further advice.
Email:  info@wowfs.co.uk
Telephone:  01565 880 084
Web: http://www.wowfs.co.uk/

Ladies Ascot Day - Charity Lunch in aid of East Cheshire Hospice

Ladies Ascot Day – Friday 18th June in aid of East Cheshire Hospice at Fina Bar and Grill Macclesfield.

Tickets priced £20 include:

• Glass of fizz on arrival

• Two course lunch
• Fashion show from Hoopers of Wilmslow
• Ascot Sweepstake
• Raffles and shopping opportunities

Tickets go on sale Monday 17th May – to reserve yours email mandy@finabarandgrill.co.uk


Have you got a great idea for starting a business or a terrific plan to take your existing business in a new direction? If you do, Barclays bank are giving away 10 regional prizes of £50,000 each to help you start putting those plans into action. For more information and / or to enter the competition click the link below:-


Keep your eye on this space as some of our very own ladies have entered the competition and we can vote to support them.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Canalside Community Radio - Friday Feature

Last Friday Annette Griffiths and Denise McCormack joined Liz Stringer and Michelle on the Friday Feature (otherwise know as the womens hour - or four hours as we are on from 10.00am to 2.00pm). Michelle has recently joined Liz Stringer on Canalside Community Radio CCR-FM 102.8 as a regular on Friday mornings and each month we will be asking guests along to chat about themselves and also to pick various topics to discuss.

Annette runs two local groups for Slimming World, one at Macclesfield Rugby Club on a Tuesday at 5.00pm and the popular Tytherington Group at Tytherington Family Church on Wednesdays at 6.30 you can contact Annette for more information mob: 07814 003910.
If you want to lose some extra pounds for summer and need some help then pop along to see Annette who will give you all the help and support you could need.

Annette knows all about losing weight as she lost nearly 3 stone last year in order to have a hip replacement so she is talking from experience.

Denise is a Life Coach and runs a successful business Help To Empower, she specialises in career changes, relationship issues and weight management. The aim is to support and assist you to overcome your difficulties, deal with life's obstacles more effectively and to provide you with skills and techniques to aid you in accomplishing goals and ambitions. This may ultimately lead to a more self-sufficient, resourceful and confident you. You can contact Denise on Mobile: 07785 586878 email: denise@help2empower.com Web: http://www.help2empower.com/

Everyone had a great time we talked about very important issues such as were women better at DIY than men, some very very important issues such as how much could you realistically spend on excess baggage at the airport without your husband divorcing you and some very very very

extremely important issues such as how many sins did donuts have? We still did not find out the answer to that one but the donuts were delicious no matter how many sins they had.

If anyone from Happy Mondays would like to come and join Liz and Michelle on the first Friday of each month give Michelle a ring on 07784 128016.

Monday 10th May - Elaine Porter IFA

This Monday we are meeting at Fina at 9.30am and are delighted to have Elaine Porter joining us to talk about financial matters.

Elaine is an Independent Financial Adviser who set up her own business WOW Financial Services in July 2009. Elaine has a wealth of experience because she has working in Financial Services for 12 years, her most recent position being a Financial Adviser in one of the main banks.

Elaine tell us "I wanted to break away from being a sales person driven by targets to instead revert to the reason I qualified all those years ago and that is to provide good, honest, transparent Financial Advice. My vision is to make Financial Advice a lifestyle choice not just a solution for today but help coach women to plan for their future."

Elaine gives advice on all areas of financial planning from Personal and Business Protection, Savings and Investments and Retirement Planning. On Monday morning she will be giving hints and tips on clearing credit card debt and reviewing your portection policies to make sure you are getting value for money. Sounds a great idea and something we should all be focusing on.

If anyone has any specific queries or would like to speak to Elaine you can contact her via email or telephone her details are below.

Email: elaine@wowfs.co.uk Telephone: 01565 880 084 Web: www.wowfs.co.uk

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Business Planning, Finance and Employment Law

Last Monday saw our very own Joy Daglish give us a very interesting talk on business planning and finance.  Some of you will not know that before starting Special People North Joy was in fact a qualified management accountant.  In addition we were lucky enough to benefit from Natasha Jones's experience who joins us from Cheshire Employment Law and specialises in this field. 

Business Planning:

Before starting up a business what should you be thinking about?

1. Competition – market research. Were there other organisations out there doing what I was going to do?
2. Understand the barriers to entry –
    a. growth in the for the sector;
    b. costs - registration and insurance.
3. Decision on how to set up the organisation – should it be a Limited Company or a sole trader? How do you make the decision?

Limited Company – advantages:

• Limitation of liability - the company is a separate corporate body and liability for payment of debts stops with the Company - the owners, shareholders are not personally liable.
• Perception - Forming a private limited company is an indication that a business is both serious, has a long term objective and is correctly managed.
• Funding – more likely to be provided by a bank, also business forecasts and balance sheets exclude personal influences.

Limited Company – other issues:

• Tax –flexibility of being able to determine the proportions of salary and dividends taken.
• Accounts - must use double entry book-keeping to produce the year end accounts including a balance sheet with statutory notes and statements.
• Administration/ management

A company director statutory regulations limited company accounts, statutory books and management as stated in the articles of association. The duties of a director are more formal than a sole trader.
• Renumeration- how and when get paid

Sole Trader – issues:-
• Simplicity - inform government agencies of your intentions to go self-employed, start trading right away
• Limitation of Liability

There is no distinction between business money and personal money - all business debts are the personal responsibility of the sole trader. This also means that should the sole trader not be able to make suitable arrangements to settle any debts the personal possessions (including the house) will be fair game to the creditors.

• Tax – You must register with HMRC as self-employed even if you already send in a tax return.
• Accounts - Sole trader basic accounts can be quite simple as a formal accounting system is not required ; lists of income and expenditure supported by appropriate back-up
• Funding – personal finance included in the decision process
• Administration/ management

A sole trader has more flexibility regard to the administration and management of the business

Employing People:

If your business grows and you have more work than you can do yourself then if you pay someone to help you may become an employer without realising it.

A person can be called self employed but be regarded as ‘employed’. There are 2 different issues which arise;

• For HMRC purposes treatment relating to tax and NI varies (see www.hmrc.gov.uk)
• Employees have many rights such as holiday, sick and maternity pay and the right not to be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against.

The basis on which a person is evaluated as employed or self employed differs whether it is for the purpose of the Law or HMRC. Also HMRC can consider a person to be self employed and the Law considered the same person to be employed.

Consideration relevant for a legal evaluation of a person’s employment status is using the example of a domestic cleaner;

• Does a Master and Servant relationship exist? i.e is the person told what to do, how and when? Is the worker controlled?
A. Cleaner is asked to work every Monday from 10-2 and told what needs cleaning
B. Cleaner dictates when she works and decides what to clean.

• Who owns the equipment used to carry out the work?
A. Cleaning materials, hoover, mop and bucket provided for the cleaner to use.
B. Cleaner brings her own cleaning material and equipment.

• Does the worker work for other people?
• Can the worker send another person in their place (substitution)

If there is a chance that the worker you use may be considered by the Law as an Employee then there are 2 important items to remember;

1. Whether Ltd or sole trader?exposure
2. After 12 weeks they are entitled to Terms and Conditions of employment (otherwise known as a contract).This is a very important document and should not be simply copied.
3. The Termination/exit of an employee can lead to number of claims for compensation. Therefore before dismissing a worker advice should be sought from an experienced Employment Lawyer.


A lot of decisions can't be made without first having a full business plan including financial forecasts and a cash flow. But what is a business plan – why write one at all? What are the key things to consider and include?

• Why should you write a business plan?

Even if you do not believe you have a need for a business plan, think about it. Just writing it will make you think about EVERY aspect of your business, things you may not even have thought about and by putting all the issues on paper you will be sure you have covered every aspect of your business.

• What the plan should include

An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. It's vital.
A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell or offer, why and to whom. You must by this stage have done your market research thoroughly.

Your marketing and sales strategy –

The competition and know why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them.
Unique Selling Proposition?
Your management team and personnel - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you.
Your operations - premises, facilities, your management information systems and IT.

Financial forecasts –
Level of sales. This will help the reader understand how many sales you must make to cover your costs, and also how much financing you must raise to start up
Start-up expenses in a period of uncertain sales volumes. If sales are on credit (including via credit card) it may take up to four weeks for you to receive the cash.
Implementing the plan

Finally, a plan - living document and contain specifics regarding dates, deadlines and specific responsibilities. It should be constantly reviewed and updated, as well as being used in regular “plan versus actual” discussions.
Taking actions and being accountable for them.
Winning business plan will help to ensure that the business is fully focused on what is required to achieve the company’s goals.

• The audience for your business plan –

Banks? Investors? Anyone interested in your business? This is a vital first question, once answered it will direct how you write it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Well Heeled Diva evening - February 25th Tytherington Club 7.30-10pm

The Well Heeled Divas is an organisation dedicated to female empowerment through entrepreneurship, leadership and wealth contribution and its aim is to help you do whatever is necessary in order for you to shine and be a success.
In practical terms, this session will give you an insight into how to find your passion, dump your fears and build a successful business - things we all strive to do but often don't quite know where to start.
Jane is one of the most sought after female speakers on the circuit so we are delighted that she will be with us next month.
To reserve you place at what promises to be a really exciting and inspiring event, please emailcontact@happymondaysnetworking.co.uk.
Price is £15 on the night and includes a glass of bubbly to celebrate your new-found Divadom!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Happy New Year

So it's a New Year and supposedly a new fresh start, so why I am freezing cold,  sat with 2 pairs of thermal socks on, thermal underwear trying to work while looking after 3 kids who will it seems never go back to school.
So I have decided my new year commitment to working more productively and expanding my business and developing Happy Mondays starts next Monday, which coincides with our first meeting.
See you all there and enjoy the snow and sunshine.