Tax Changes, Facebook falling and a Royal Wedding; How 2018 shaped the way small business operates.
11th January 2019
2018 has been an incredibly eventful year, with royal weddings, large changes to the political landscape and remarkable innovations in technology. Perhaps less recognised, however, is just how 2018 has shaped the landscape of 2019 for the smaller business. Arguably 2018 brought both change and new opportunities for this demographic that could prove highly important for you. We take a look back on the year that was...
Small Business in 2018
In 2018, small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of the year. Total employment in SMEs was 16.3 million, 60% of all private sector employment in the UK; and the combined annual turnover of SMEs was £2.0 trillion, 52% of all private sector turnover. Highly impressive statistics, that really shed light in just how vital and lucrative smaller business can be to the UK's economy. If you have not yet built your business, 2019 is already being heralded as the year for small business. Last year certainly showed lenders and investors its value and this year starts with economists expecting a similarly lucrative and productive year.
Last year was also the year that HMRC announced it was changing how businesses will file VAT returns, something that will affect most SME's this year. In April 2019, HMRC plan to go live with their digital tax system for businesses. This system will require businesses to record transactions digitally and file their VAT returns using software or an app. Most businesses submit a VAT return on a quarterly basis, but some businesses currently file VAT returns on a monthly or annual basis; this will continue using the new digital service
Vooware pride themselves on staying ahead of the curve and have been compliant with their software requirements even before market leaders such as Sage and Xero. In fact, voo:money has been providing users with the ability to store receipts digitally since its creation. It's this diligence and drive to provide our customers' businesses with the absolute best that makes voo:money the easy choice for those looking for bookkeeping software that also allows them to stay compliant of the upcoming changes in tax. Staying ahead of the 'Making Tax Digital' changes is effortless when you subscribe to voo:money, as it becomes part of your regular processes, without you having to make any changes to your company procedures. Be prepared to start checking software providers this year to ensure they are providing you with a compliant service, saving you both time and money.
Social Platform Shifts
2018 also saw significant shifts in social media consumption. During last year there was an estimated increase of 13% of social media users, overall encouraging for those looking to market their business via social platforms. However, it's worth noting that each platform saw a demographic shift in the UK. Facebook saw a notable loss of its youngest demographics (12-18-year-olds), with many shifting to Snapchat and Instagram (which Facebook bought in 2012). If your business targets the older consumer, Facebook remains the strongest platform for reaching them in 2019, with YouTube and Twitter following behind for the largest age range audience. However, if your business is looking to target the younger consumer in 2019, 2018 has taught us that you should be looking to mediums like Instagram and Snapchat for advertising and moving away from Facebook and Twitter, while the opposite can still be said for targeting the older consumer.
The Year for Business Software
2018 also saw a host of new software products flood the market, some like Vooware even offered themselves on a subscription basis. This meant that some software prices were driven down slightly by the end of the year. However many niche tools remained at a high price, locking users into long and expensive contracts, as no other viable alternatives appeared on the market. Fortunately Vooware is designed to provide a low-cost, no obligation alternative for businesses in 2019. Delivering almost every tool your office needs, it is expected to grow even bigger in 2019, with the contemporary consumer looking for a fixed price lower cost alternative, that does not lock them into long, expensive contracts.
If you like the sound of this and want to find out more about what Vooware can do for your business, or how it differs from alternative options on the market, contact us today. Alternatively head back to see more from our blog.