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The Autumn Statement, small businesses and the role of technology

After recently delivering his Autumn Statement, we look at how small businesses can utilise cloud technology to help them thrive on the back of George Osborne’s plans.

There were some areas likely to be of particular interest to the UK’s smallest firms:

  • New enterprise zones are to be created, which are areas where small businesses pay reduced taxes and receive support in a bid to drive growth
  • There will be an extension to the Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which help small companies pay less tax on their premises
  • With both plans regarding paying less tax, it opens up possibilities for business owners to reinvest cash back into their businesses

So what does this have to do with cloud technology? Well, whether you received the Statement positively or otherwise, technology can help transform the way your business operates – and for the better.

Lower business rates? Why not lower your operating costs too?

The creation of new enterprise zones, which offer cheaper business rates and super-fast broadband, are already said to have contributed significantly to the UK economy, attracting around £2bn in private investment and creating more than 12,500 new jobs.

Businesses working within locations whereby they get lower business rates, or those planning on moving to such a location, might also want to consider lowering their general operating costs too.

More businesses are migrating to cloud-based technology systems in favour of old hat hardware systems due to the added convenience and flexibility they provide, on top of a much lower financial outlay.

With traditional onsite hardware systems there is the inconvenience and cost of installing and maintaining equipment that has to be taken into account – not to mention the disruption caused if there comes a time when you need to move.

Cloud-based systems completely remove the need for you to worry about expensive maintenance and upgrade costs, because these are handled entirely by the provider who host the hardware in data centres, so you only have to concern yourself with your online account.

Extraordinary scalability minus the outrageous costs

An extension to the Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which helps the UK’s smallest businesses pay less tax on their premises, will continue to benefit around 405,000 of the country’s smallest businesses.

These firms will receive 100 per cent relief from business rates, with a further 200,000 benefiting from tapering relief.

So if you’re able to save money through paying less tax, it’s probably also worth also considering striking while the iron is hot and thinking of other ways you can save even more money.

Cloud solutions are unbelievably scalable, allowing for capacity to be increased very easily and at very little cost – and in most cases account changes will come into effect in just minutes.

This enables you to quickly react to your business’s needs so you can effectively manage your growth in a timely, and importantly, economical manner. Compare this against hardware based systems, whereby increasing capacity can incur significant costs and lengthy time frames to completion, potentially resulting in major inconvenience.

Furthermore, the government is also planning on modernising the tax system, with tax returns being replaced by digital forms by 2017.

So with all of these plans in place it could be the perfect time to consider modernising your own systems by ditching the hardware and stepping into the cloud, radically changing the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of your business in one fell swoop!

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