Make a date to keep your life – and your books – in balance

Missed dates can have financial and emotional consequences – but they shouldn’t be allowed to, because remembering them has never really been easier. It’s up to you take steps to prevent you from ever forgetting again. Expense manager app Solo Expenses highlights four to watch…

Your industry’s trade shows. Stuff moves on. Learn to live with that, embrace it, and benefit from it. Every industry is the same, and you need to be aware of what’s changing in your world, and how best to adapt to it and benefit from it. We’re not advocating that you attend every show – that would overload your mind, your diary, and your expense management app – but if you really have your finger on the pulse of your professional place in the world, you’ll know which are the most important ones. Go to those, but plan before you go. Meet suppliers and clients, and check out the latest developments. Stop for coffee whilst you work out how to benefit from everything you’re learning. Save money by being invited for coffee with a supplier. (And here’s a free top trade show tip: Make sure you visit the stand of a company that’s invested in underlay beneath its carpet. Your feet will thank you for it. Sounds crazy? Just watch how often venue cleaners, whose job keeps them on their feet all day every day, visit stands like that, that’s all we’re saying).

Your tax deadline. Unless you take the same tax stance as some household name companies operating in the UK, you’ll have deadlines to meet, and face financial penalties for failing to meet them. Those can be high, if you let them ramp up. How does up to 5% of the tax due, as well as £100 for being late? But why would you let that happen? You gauge in advance when payments are due, and should gear up to make sure you’re able to pay on time. It’s simply good money management practice. Work with a good accountant. He or she knows when the deadlines are, and so long as you provide them with the right information, they’ll keep you squeaky clean as far as the taxman’s concerned without you having to give it a second thought. (Free top tax deadline tip: Don’t make your accountant’s life hard. Be a good expense manager by using free-to-download expense management app Solo Expenses to record your spending, so nothing is missed, and you can be sure to claim all our legitimate tax benefits.)

Important birthdays. You could be forgiven for thinking that these have no place on a business-based blog – but think about it for a moment; without your life in harmony, you won’t be able to give off your best at home or at work. Remembering these important dates reinforces domestic harmony, and in turn that delivers peace of mind – allowing you to focus properly on work when you’re there.

Money ManagementSo make a note in your diary, electronically or on paper, to do something about these important personal dates. But here’s a tip; put in two reminders, the first to plan something, and the second to deliver the surprise. Do something memorable, and it can be a treat for you too – revisiting that really good restaurant, a theatre trip, revealing an ‘added extra’ for the holiday you’ve booked. If you’re not that flush with cash, and goodness knows, not everyone is, then a small gesture goes a long way. Do something you wouldn’t normally, like cook a meal or even make plans for a walk in the country and lunch at a country pub. A friend drew a ‘congratulations’ card for his wife using only coloured ball-point pens; she treasures that one above all the others.

Happy business anniversary. Starting a business is tough; sustaining it is tougher, and you probably deserve a pat on the back for doing both. The date you started your business is probably burned on your heart in letters of fire, so on that day every year, set aside a little time for reflection. Compare your current position with the day you started the business. How far have you come? Has it turned out as you’d expected? How much have you grown as an individual? Is your business plan on track? What will you do in the year ahead? A direct comparison between then and now will tell you a lot, and may well be a better ‘New Year’s Day’ for your business than January 1st.

And finally… Consider the potential of having employees respect you and be on your side by remembering, and remarking on, their birthdays – so long as you don’t have thousands of employees! If there are no more than 50, for example, how hard would it be to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to each of them? They’re people too, just like you, and they have similar hopes, fears, and worries – perhaps they’re fighting much tougher battles that you couldn’t dream of. Treat them well, and you’ll be rewarded with respect and loyalty, and they’re more likely to help your company through the tough times.