Business rate changes – what’s the fuss about?

in Announcements, Economy on February 26, 2017

Business rates are being refreshed for the first time in seven years, meaning many businesses will face a sudden hike. Rotaready’s money and time-saving features bring huge efficiency savings, which can help offset the pressure of higher costs.

What are business rates?

Similarly to how residents pay council tax, businesses pay business rates to local authorities. Business rates are chargeable on non-domestic or commercial properties like offices, shops, factories, warehouses, pubs, restaurants and so on.

Business rate revenues (Telegraph)
Business rate revenues (Telegraph)

Rates are based on the property’s ‘rateable value’, which is the estimated annual rental income the property would command. Valuations are usually refreshed every five years to reflect the changing property market. Changes to rates are controversial as they’re typically outside the business’ control, and don’t take into account the profitability of the business – only the value of its premises.

Why are business rates in the news right now?

The government delayed the latest valuation by two years to avoid a clash with the general election – changes will take effect from 1 April 2017.

Rate rises will threaten the viability of some businesses
Rate rises will threaten the viability of some businesses

This means that the prospect of increasing rates has been stored up for seven years, and in some cases may cause swings as high as 100%. To ease sudden increases, the changes are being phased in – the maximum increase in April is 42% – still an enormous rise. It’s feared that this will have a big impact on the high street, particularly with small, independent businesses in areas with high property values.

Overall, it’s another pressure on the bottom line.

How can Rotaready help?

Rotaready is packed with many efficiency-boosting features to save time and money.

1. Free up management time 

Without using dedicated software, you’ll spend a huge amount of time performing tasks manually. That’s definitely not how to make the most of your workforce.

Rotaready’s full to the brim with features to help. Our automated rota scheduling feature is particularly sought-after, and saves hours of management team every week. When you add in our fully integrated time & attendance module which makes it so easy to track clock-ins and outs and our mobile apps which keep staff informed with their upcoming shifts, you’ll really start to enjoy being able to spend more time on value-adding activities like supporting sales on the shop floor.

2. Streamline your processes

Workforce management covers a huge range of processes. Rotaready’s geared up to give you a boost with them all. Whether that’s building a timesheet that’s automatically prepared for payroll, tracking staff availability and absence records, or communicating next week’s rota to your staff, we’ve got it covered. That means there’s no need for manual intervention, double-entry of data or the risk of typo. That means less management time wasted and reduced risk of manual errors.

3. Get visibility on the metrics that matter

Rotaready projects your wage costs and percentages
Rotaready projects your wage costs and percentages

Our clients love being able to review their anticipated wage spend in advance, rather than having to wait until after a payroll run. This visibility allows you to respond proactively to scenarios like higher costs or time periods when sales are expected to be lower. You’ll always have the comfort of staying in budget.

How will you be affected by the changes in business rates? Drop us a comment in the section below.

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