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Business Advice

What are Preference Shares?

John Barnes Non Exec Director explains WHAT ARE PREFERENCE SHARES?  Preference shares are so called because they have ‘preference’ over ordinary shares for payment of dividends and return of capital. However, they are junior to all forms of company debt, including debentures, loan notes and bank debt if the company is wound up. Key features Preference shares can be thought of as a hybrid between an ordinary share and a corporate bond. Their key features are:- Preference shareholders receive a fixed dividend, usually twice a year, similar to the interest (‘coupon’) paid on a bond; Dividends on preference shares are paid …Read More

Lessons from Geese

Lessons from Geese from a Non Exec Director I found this article in local church magazine many years ago and kept it safe to share with others Read these facts and think how businesses leaders can learn some brilliant lessons from geese. I just love fact 4. Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings; it creates u plift for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 72% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. Lesson People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going …Read More

Accountancy Terms and Formula

ACCOUNTANCY TERMS AND FORMULA. Confused with accountancy terms and formula? Here are a few examples to help:- Growth  1          % change in sales                               =                       sales Yr2 – sales Yr1               % sales Yr1 Profitability 1          gross profit %                                     =                      gross profit                                % sales 2          operating profit %                              =                         operating profit                       % sales 3          net profit %                                         =                     net profit after interest & tax    % sales Do you as a company director leave time to set out your budgets and company objectives? Need help with this? Are you working too much in the business …Read More

Business Break-Even point?

Do you know your Business Break-Even point?  Break-even is the point of zero loss or profit. “At break-even point, the revenues of the business are equal its total costs and its contribution margin equals its total fixed costs.” Every business director should know what the break-even point of the business is. It is a fundamental piece of information that is essential for the business leader. If you are unaware of your break-even point or do not understand the significance of the break-even point, It may be time to make that initial no cost, no obligation appointment with John Barnes.

Employing Staff for First Time

There are 6 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time. Decide how much you need to pay someone – you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well. Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. It must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an ‘authorized insurer’. Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing …Read More


Are you about to pitch for business funds? Remember you only have one chance to make that first impression. Your presentation is very important; it’s the ice breaker, it’s the elevator pitch, it’s the reason you are there.   Make sure you have at least three minutes of material without interruptions.  When pitching you will normally have up to 4-5 minutes to deliver it but most Business Angels / Venture Capitalists will interrupt you and you need to know it well enough to come back to your script. We recommend that you prepare: 1 minute on the Product/service 1 minute …Read More

Definition of a Director

There is a general statement in the Companies Act which states that the expression “director” includes “any person occupying the position of director, by whatever name called”, which includes a person who is treated by the board as such, despite not having been validly appointed (often referred to as a “de facto” director). The law also recognises the concept of “shadow directors” and many of the statutory provisions which apply to directors also apply to “shadow directors”. Shadow Director A shadow director is defined as “a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of the company are …Read More

Duty to promote the success of the company

The Companies Act provides that a director must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole. In so doing, the director must have regard (among other matters) to: the likely consequences of any decision in the long term; the interests of the company’s employees; the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others; the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the, environment; the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high …Read More

New Statutory Payments 2014/15

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the proposed new rates for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for tax year 2014/15. The proposed revised rates are as follows: The standard weekly rate of SMP and the weekly rates of SPP and SAP will increase from £136.78 to £138.18 – it is assumed this will be for payment weeks commencing on or after Sunday, 6 April 2014. The prescribed weekly rate of Maternity Allowance will also increase from £136.78 to £138.18. The weekly rate of SSP will increase …Read More

Growth Vouchers-No Brainer?

The Government has this month (January 2014) launched a £30m ‘Growth Vouchers’ programme to help small British businesses grow. The Enterprise Nation Marketplace is the only place to find Growth Voucher advisers – and it’s open for business now. The great news is that John Barnes of BarnesCDir Ltd is a registered advisor for Leadership and Management Training. The programme will offer advice and guidance to businesses taking part and see subsidies of up to £2,000 offered to many to spend with advisers on the new Enterprise Nation Marketplace. It’s expected to help 20,000 of the smallest British businesses over …Read More