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Archive for December, 2015

Management development is vital for success

As part of our commitment to help our clients be successful, Sackmans keep up to date with the latest research on what makes businesses successful.

Unfortunately, we have not found a magic wand but we have established a few key principles that we believe guarantees success. The first principle is that business growth comes after personal growth of the business owner. One core skill is business management.

To highlight the importance of management training, an article published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed that bad management accounts for 56% of business failures.

The problem is an attitude of under-investment by small businesses as they are half as likely to invest in management training compared to big businesses. However, investing in management training can pay off – the example given in the CMI article was a house building business in Northern Ireland.

David Law of WL Law saw an opportunity for growth by land acquisition. But the company didn’t have the resources to buy land and the banks were not interested in lending.

They repositioned the business brought in an equity partner which has brought the business back to profitability.

Here are the five steps to making your business a success

  • Focus
  • Communicate
  • Calibrate
  • Delegate
  • De-risk


Sackmans can support and help you with your development, especially with calibrating because that’s about measuring and analysing. The key is to test your business ideas by using data to find the best way forward.

Using financial and non-financial key performance indicators is a key element of Improving the Numbers. If you’d like to invest in the management of your business get in touch





Time for landlords to think again

Landlords and letting agents were surprised by an attack announced in the autumn statement.

Following the restrictions on mortgage interest for residential buy-to-let-property, from 1st April 2016 an additional 3% stamp duty will be payable on any buy-to-let or second home bought over £40,000. This means the duty on a £150,000 purchase will increase 10 fold from £500 to £5,000.

Not only will prospective landlords have to pay far more than conventional residential buyers, they also face much heavier taxes on their profits.

The restriction of tax relief on mortgage interest kicks in on 6th April 2017. From then on the maximum tax relief from 45% and 40% to just 20% could wipe out profits or create losses.

There could be a rush to get properties completed before the new stamp duty kicks in. But, investors need to think twice because losses will be more likely if interest rates increase.

One option landlords could consider is buying property in a limited company. There will be no restriction on mortgage interest relief and tax rates on profits will be 18% by 2020.

However, there is a problem for landlords with existing properties. If you transfer a property from your name to a company there is a sale and Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax will need to be taken into account.

If you have property as part of your pension planning we recommend you complete a personal financial planning review.

Sackmans can help with with our online financial planning tool.