As the owner of a small business and a partner to the dozens of small businesses we work with, I've noticed that employed people in small businesses can underestimate how much their employers genuinely care.
When I catch up with clients, the topic almost always revolves around their team and their role as a leader, rather than the bottom line.
There's been quite a lot of talk in the media about employers not caring, however in my experience working with SME's I feel it's the opposite. Employers will often spend months supporting colleagues who are struggling or performing poorly.
The past year has been incredibly tough for many small businesses and sole directors. We have seen first-hand the hardship that has been experienced by this large group. Many of our clients held out some hope that help may be coming, but sadly this was not to be.
The Treasury repeatedly refused to help self-employed directors of limited companies who pay themselves in dividends, claiming it would be too difficult to separate company income from passive income, such as property and shares.
This is despite company directors paying themselves through dividends, the standard accounting structure used by around 2 million small UK limited companies. Overall, there were 3 million people excluded from COVID-19 support, which includes company directors, PAYE freelancers and those who recently became self-employed.
For many of us, paying the bills and staff comes way before paying ourselves and if things are tight, it's our income that's affected – quite rightly.
Many small businesses, like my own, try hard to accommodate the differing needs of employees and ways of working, while still retaining the team spirit and ability to service our clients.
Some of my clients have reported having staff that feel entitled, with unrealistic expectations. I think you can often avoid this when hiring, setting out the company's values and making the employees feel a part of the organisation and a valued member of staff from the start.
It's not always plain sailing running a small business, but it can be hugely rewarding. Having a great team around you, where you all support each other, not only boosts productivity, it makes for a great working environment.
As an employer of a small business, I can genuinely say that I care greatly about my team, while still ensuring that we deliver an excellent service to clients.
The past year has challenged team working for obvious reasons, but it's also given us opportunities to work differently and to appreciate the time spent face to face with colleagues.
And as employers, it's given us the opportunity to show ourselves as caring leaders of our small businesses.
Giltinan and Kennedy works in partnership with many businesses, charities and individuals across West Sussex and beyond. Please feel free to get in contact with us for an informal chat about your business finances on 01403 337490 or learn more at https://www.giltinan-kennedy.co.uk/services/tax-advisers