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Posts Tagged ‘westbury financial advisors’

From our Partners at Westbury: What can artists do to preserve their art for future generations

Monday, September 5th, 2016

 

This article was written by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors, AWAD’s Partner in this field

 

  1. What will happen to my art after my death?
  2. How can I ensure my family benefit from my lifelong work?
  3. Will my art retain its value?
  4. Who will manage my collection?

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These and others are the sort of questions that we are being asked increasingly by our many artist clients. Of course, there are many advantages to becoming successful as an artist but success brings with it a whole new set of challenges.

What to do with your art?

In our experience, once artists begin to think about their own mortality, they become increasingly concerned with the question of what to do with their art. Many think that this is something that could be dealt with just by a well-drafted will; others wonder whether they should be setting up a foundation during their lifetime.

What is clear is that these questions have to be faced up to. Picasso died without a will leaving a legacy of massive legal battles. Dalí set up a foundation but his affairs were still extremely untidy. Rothko left clear instructions but his executors certainly did not understand fully (or chose not to) his real wishes. On the other hand, the Henry Moore Foundation is an excellent example of careful planning and competent management of an estate. (more…)

From our Partners at Westbury: How individuals and businesses prepare a Brexit Action Plan

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
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This article was written by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors, AWAD’s Partner in this field.

The vote is over and we have made the momentous decision to leave the EU.  Businesses and individuals need to consider the short and long-term implications.
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We are of course in a period of uncertainty with extreme volatility in currency and stock markets and this is unlikely to change much until the terms of our exit become clearer.  Against that background, we all face some challenges. We have already heard of property and investment transactions having been cancelled or put on hold, and of medical research projects whose funding is now in doubt. Clearly there is a good deal of anxiety about proceeding with investment projects, although, paradoxically, the weakness of sterling can act as an incentive to overseas investors.
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The most important thing to do is to think about the possible impact on you and your business.  It is too early to say – and the truth is that no one has a clue – what the business environment will look like once the dust has settled.  This may take many years whilst we negotiate our exit, decide what areas of our business life need change, e.g., regulation, laws, taxes, bureaucracy, etc., as well as trading relationships with the EU and with the rest of the world.

Below are some points to consider: 

  • To what extent are you exposed to the currency markets?  Do you buy or sell overseas and, if so, how will the fluctuations in sterling in the short and medium term affect you? Is there any action you may take (such as hedging) to lessen the blow. In particular, those who import are likely to have to be extremely careful about managing their currency exposure.  On the converse, exporters may have an opportunity to generate some additional profits.
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  • Do you need to review your pricing particularly if you import?
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  • If you are exposed to the property world, to what extent may a slow-down in the rate and/or value of transactions affect your business?
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  • Those businesses that foresee a significant drop in turnover or rise in costs following Brexit may need to consider reviewing staff levels as well as upcoming pay reviews/bonuses to see where unnecessary costs may be saved.
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  • Are you reliant on foreign labour?  Have you considered the possible impact if there were to be some form of restriction on such labour?
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  • Is your business particularly affected by Environmental or Health and safety legislation emanating from Europe, or one that may be prone to tariffs?
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  • If you are in the inward hospitality sector you may well find there is a boost to UK tourism but if you are exposed to the outbound sector, will a potential drop in business (because foreign holidays become more expensive) have an effect?
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  • Were you reliant on/expecting any grants or subsidies from EU sources? Can you make alternative arrangements or at least put a contingency plan in place.
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  • Will there be an effect on your pensions and investments?  As a general rule, one might take a longer-term view and not panic at the current extreme volatility in stock markets to which many investments are linked.  But perhaps a review of investment policy might seem sensible, particularly if you were planning to take pension benefits shortly, or to cash in investments.
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  • Is now the time to consider incorporating your business into a limited company, particularly with the announcement of an intent to reduce further  the rate of Corporation Tax?

 

Get in touch with Westbury with us to discuss how Brexit might affect you and how we can help you plan for it.

News from our Suppliers – Four ways to grow your business, by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors (part 3 of 4)

Monday, February 25th, 2013
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This is the third article, in a series of four, written by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors, AWAD’s preferred partner in this specialty.
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Most business owners spend a lot of time to look at different ways to try to  develop their business.  But the truth is that despite its seeming simplicity, there are four fundamental ways to  achieve successful growth.  And when you read down you may think that the points raised are blindingly obvious and simple. They are. But focussing on them and implementing strategies to acheive them are what takes effort and time.

 In previous articles we looked at the first two simple steps to growing your business:-

1.            Increasing the number of customers of the type you want; and

2.            Increasing the number of times customers come back to you.

In this article we suggest a third simple step to growing your business, namely ‘Increasing the average value of each sale’.  In other words, how can you get your customers to spend more each time they buy from you.

By now, you will have realised that by having more customers and getting them to come back more often to you, you are already increasing, by a multiplier effect, the ability to generate much more income.  By of course then managing to get each person to spend more than before, another part of this interlinked chain is added which again helps to increase the top line.

So, what steps might you take to increase the average value of each sale?

i)                    Make sure that customers feel that they are being looked after.

ii)                   Don’t let customers just come in, select their item and leave – you have missed an opportunity.

(more…)

News from our Suppliers – Four ways to grow your business, by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors (part 1 of 4)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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This is the first article, in a series of four, written by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors, AWAD’s preferred partner in this specialty.
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Most business owners spend a lot of time to look at different ways to try to  develop their business.  But the truth is that despite its seeming simplicity, there are four fundamental ways to  achieve successful growth.  And when you read down you may think that the points raised are blindingly obvious and simple. They are. But focussing on them and implementing strategies to acheive them are what takes effort and time.

There is no need for any magic wand; it’s simply a case of carrying out a combination of numerous small activities which create a cumulative positive effect. If you have a ‘can-do’ attitude and plenty of ‘follow-through’, you can take advantage of these four ways, namely:

1.       Increase the number of  clients or  customers;

2.       Increase the number of times they come back;

3.       Increase the average value of each sale; and

4.       Increase the effectiveness of each process in the business.

Focusing attention on just one of the four ways will indeed be beneficial, but may take time.  How you really start to leverage return is when you focus on implementing as many of the four ways as you can.

(more…)

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