Is Your Business Good Enough to Win Awards?

susan routledge business balance calculator

And the winner is… you?

Susan Routledge Winner 2013For the effort invested, the momentum you gain from winning an award is like nothing else. In that one, joy-filled moment you prove your expertise and professionalism to every existing and potential client.

You re-energise and reward your hard-working staff. You get free publicity from many different media sources. And you get the satisfaction of a job well done that reaps benefits months, even years, into the future.

Even if you don’t win, what have you lost? In fact, you might be surprised by how much you have to gain simply by entering. That’s why I strongly recommend you get your skates on and apply for the Professional Beauty Regional Awards 2017. Act quickly and decisively – the closing date is Thursday, May 11th.

Are you celebrating success or dwelling on difficulties?

We in the beauty industry don’t do nearly enough to celebrate our businesses. It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in angst about upcoming challenges that we forget to pause and look back on all the amazing things we’ve achieved. I can’t tell you how important it is to reflect on your successes and to share them with your teams, clients, social media feeds and so on.

Think about it: do you give as much space to those champagne moments as you do to your potential setbacks?

Whether you enter or not, and I genuinely hope you do, take a look at the questions on the Professional Beauty Regional Awards entry form. Why not spend some time thinking how you might answer? Let all that passion you have, the passion that got you to start up your business in the first place, flood out as you do. Once you get going, you could be surprised to discover just what an incredible year you’ve had. Maybe you’ll even be proud enough to click that “Enter Now” button…

I’ve been lucky enough to experience awards ceremonies from both sides of the stage. As a successful entrant for many business awards, I know the satisfaction and elation of hearing your name read out from the front of a big hall. As a judge for prestigious events like the Professional Beauty Awards, I’ve also developed a keen eye for the sorts of applications that get judging panels excited. Unsurprisingly, I often get asked by salon and spa owners to spill the beans on how to complete entry forms as eye-catchingly as possible.

Award winning salonGet all my award-winning experience in my FREE eBook

As a result, I’ve compiled my advice into a helpful eBook, my , and, in recognition of Professional Beauty’s upcoming deadline, I’m making it available to you for FREE for a limited time.

Click here to download my Top 10 Tips to Successfully Enter and Win Business Awards

Remember, applications to the Regional Awards close on May 11th. Someone has to win, why not you?

Here’s to your great (award-winning?) business,

Susan. x

Tip Jar Tips: Make Life a Little Less Taxing

It’s a new tax year so let’s talk tips.

tax on tipsIf you’re wondering what the connection is between Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the fiver that nice client just handed your beauty therapist, you definitely need to keep reading.

This is really important: tips are taxable. If that’s news to you then you’re not alone. Through my Salon Success Freedom programme, I meet brilliant salon owners who have never considered the tax implications of a client’s kind gesture. But of course, as with everything tax-related, ignorance isn’t a valid defence.

While the headline is simple to grasp, the reality of dealing with it needs a little more explanation.

There are three main ways of handling tips:

1. Employees receive and keep their own tips

From a salon owner’s perspective, this is the most straightforward option. Each individual is responsible for recording their own tips and making sure they pay Income Tax on them correctly.

However, that doesn’t mean you can switch off completely. It’s still down to you to ensure your entire team is aware of the requirement in advance. David Wright, a personnel advisor to Habia and a consultant on my Salon Success Freedom programme, suggests adding a relevant paragraph to your workplace rules. It also makes sense to spell it out for every new starter and to gently remind existing employees from time-to-time.

2. Employees pool their tips and share them out

This is where things can get a bit cloudier. Collecting tips for distribution among staff is called a tronc and wherever there’s a tronc, there needs to be a troncmaster – a single person responsible for divvying up the pot.

Once everyone agrees who the troncmaster will be, it’s down to you as business owner to update HMRC. This is because the troncmaster makes sure the whole group pays the appropriate Income Tax through a specially created PAYE scheme in their name.

3. Tips are pooled and you share them out

You might decide this is best left to your team because by trying to be a kind boss and acting as the troncmaster on behalf of your hard-working staff, tips become subject to National Insurance as well as Income Tax.

I urge you to start this tax year actively deciding with your team how to manage tips. As Steve Thompson, MD of TEAM Accountancy Solutions and another of my programme’s advisors, warns, once that decision is made it’s critical to record tips accurately. HMRC knows tipping is common across the service sector and is perfectly capable of making its own estimates for additional tax demands.

For HMRC’s overview on tips and tax, click here. Detailed guidance can be downloaded from here.

Do you have any tip-related questions for me or the team? Don’t be shy, just Ask Susan!