He started as a stage designer. He was a graphic designer and illustrator once. But then he moved to studio and product photography. Working as a professional for more than 10 years, helping small and big businesses to equip their full brand potential, to advert products and services. He transformed… realizing the potential he has by combining all of his superpowers in one – he became the great art director – Metaka! Art is not just beautiful work, it is a strong message, and if you want your brand to be strong dress it in art.
- Te Amo Branding and Product PhotographyA little bit about The Brand and the concept behind the package • Needs to move away from the mindset of being a manufacturer and see Te Amo as a limited edition-personal. • Te Amo needs to be solid, but luxurious and elegant, conveying the current market-driven nature of the tea business, but also communicating the trustworthiness and dependability of an old company with long traditions. Needs to position them well against competitors such as TWG, Art of Zayne, Zealong, Te. Also, prove that
Projects credited in
- You deserve better: why you need to break up with your spreadsheetThis content was originally published at: https://www.freeagent.com/central/why-you-need-to-break-up-with-your-spreadsheet/ When you first got together, everything was great. Side by side, you felt like you and your spreadsheet could take on the world. But then the cracks started to show - sure, your spreadsheet was great sometimes, but you couldn’t help feeling that they were actually holding you back... If you’re harbouring doubts about whether your spreadsheet is up to the job of managing your small business finances, maybe it’s time for a reality check. How many of these ring true? You have needs that it just can’t fulfil1
- What if your client won't pay? A lawyer's guide for freelancersThis content was originally published at: https://www.freeagent.com/guides/invoicing/taking-legal-action/ Most payment disputes can be easily avoided with a clear invoicing process or quickly resolved with a gentle reminder – but what can you do if your client simply won’t pay? In this expert guide, founder and Chairman of LawBite, Clive Rich, and barrister Belinda Naiken-Payne explain the legal recourse open to freelancers and small businesses when all other options have been exhausted. Decid1
- Top 5 finance mistakes I see from freelancersThis content was originally published at: https://www.freeagent.com/fieldguide/articles/five-finance-mistakes-i-see-from-freelancers/ Sarah Solo is an accountant who runs her own practice, PaperRocket Accounting, which is dedicated to freelance and contractor accounting. Sarah has worked with freelancers and contractors throughout her career, starting as an expenses assistant within an umbrella company and working with many market-leading contractor accounting firms before setting up her own practice. I’ve spent my entire career so far working closely with freelancers - starting out as an expenses assistant at a contractor and freelancer umbrella company, and most recently within my own accounting practice dedicated to freelancers and contractors. In these years, I’ve come up against a few recurring challenges when it comes to designers and developers keeping a check on their finances. Not keeping on top of bookkeeping records The biggest problem that I see is that freelancers often don’t keep good quality and accurate financial records. I think it’s because many freelancers think that record-keeping is only important for tax purposes or to keep HMRC happy, and they don’t really see the benefit of doing it for themselves. To me, it’s the single most important thing that you can do for your business - with accurate records in place, you are in a much better position to catch any potential cash flow problems, to plan your tax bill, and generally to make good business decisions. I’ve found that many freelancers don’t know where to start when it comes to keeping business records, or even what “good” records look like. A good accountant can help you here, but here are some of the basics that you should make sure you’re doing: Make sure you’re recording invoices and that each one has a unique, sequential invoice number Regularly check that the balance in your accounts match the balance in your business bank account - any small problems can cause a lot of hassle later on Ensure that you record all out of pocket expenses you have incurred on behalf of the business so you can be reimbursed in full for these Keep track of supplier bills so you can pay these on time and keep in your suppliers’ good books Maintain copies of all receipts and bills for your record Make sure you are keeping an eye on the business’s bank balance so you have enough cash available to cover the upcoming payments It is easy to leave bookkeeping at the bottom of your to-do list when you are busy, and I’ll be the first to admit even as an accountant that is not the most exciting of tasks. However, not keeping on top of your financial position, particularly when managing your cash flow, can be a make or break situation. Not having a personal tax plan in place Another common problem I’ve seen when working with freelancers is that many start spending money that they earn without a firm tax plan in place. I’ve seen many cases of freelancers who have misjudged their tax bill, then ended up with an unexpected personal tax bill come January - not great timing just after all the Christmas and New Year celebrations! Ideally, you should sit down with an accountant or tax advisor before the end of each tax year to look at your expected income for the next year, then you can forecast your tax bill based on this. During the year, if your keep your records up-to-date, you can use your current balance sheet to see the amount of cash the business needs right now to cover its upcoming tax bills. Not making the distinction between your personal account and business account As a freelancer, it’s sometimes hard to get your head around whether you and your business are the same legal entity: If you’re trading as a sole trader, you and your business are considered the same legal entity by HMRC. If you’re the director of a limited company, you and your business are considered separate legal entities. There are a lot of real-world repercussions of this distinction between legal entities. For example, because limited companies and their directors both have their own distinct assets and liabilities, the director’s assets are legally protected in a way that a sole trader’s is not. For directors of limited companies, this also means that the cash in your company’s bank account isn’t technically yours - it belongs to the company itself. To get cash out, the company would either need to pay you a salary, or pay you dividends (more on these later). If you’re a sole trader, technically you could operate your business out of your personal bank account, but it’s not a very good idea because it makes it harder to keep costs and income separate. It’s much easier to keep your accounts up-to-date and understandable if you use a separate business bank account. Mixing up out-of-pocket expenses and costs Along the same lines, I also often see freelancers incorrectly recording personal out-of-pocket expenses and direct costs from their business bank account. Here’s the difference between the two: An out-of-pocket expense is something that you paid for from your personal bank account, and need to be reimbursed for by your business (from the business account). A direct cost is something that you or the company paid for from the business bank account, and no reimbursement is required. For example, many freelancers accidentally record an out-of-pocket expense as a direct cost, then when they reimburse the amount back to their personal account, their accounts go out of balance. This can build up to cause a lot of duplicate entries and discrepancies within your bookkeeping records, and can cause a lot of confusion when you’re trying to get a clear view of how much money you have available. Not keeping a check on dividend withdrawals As I explained earlier, directors of limited companies may have the company pay them directly from the profits the business makes, otherwise known as a dividend payment. This is a popular way for freelancers to pay themselves, as it involves less tax. Here’s the difference between a dividend payment and a salary: The company could pay you a salary as an employee of the company, whether or not it has made a profit. The company can pay a portion of profits out to shareholders of the company, but only if it has made enough profit. So to be able to pay a dividend, the company must firstly have made enough profit to cover the amount of the dividend payment. I’ve often seen freelancers mistakenly thinking that the company had enough profits for a dividend and withdrawing money in error, normally because they didn’t have an up-to-date view of their finances. Drawing a dividend without there being available profits to cover this could result in your having to pay funds back into the business. My top tip for freelancers If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone working as a freelancer, it would be that bookkeeping records aren’t just a paper trail for HMRC or even your accountant - they’re an integral part of running your business and planning for the future. All of the issues that I outlined above could either be completely solved or caught much earlier by keeping up-to-date books. I appreciate that freelancers already have to wear a lot of hats - developer, designer, marketer, salesperson - and that bookkeeping often comes to the bottom of the pile. I’d recommend trying to manage your books in small, regular chunks to make it more manageable, rather than saving it up. The time you invest will not only save you a lot of hassle (or unexpected tax bills) in the future, but it will pay you rewards in terms of insight about how your business is doing. Save yourself bookkeeping time and hassle with FreeAgent’s invoice software for freelancers. Specifically designed for freelancers, contractors and small businesses, FreeAgent helps you nail the daily admin, relax about tax and see the big picture when it comes to your business finances. You can claim an exclusive 10% discount! Go to www.freeagent.com/partners/the-dots to claim your exclusive The Dots discount (and try FreeAgent completely free for 30 days - no credit card required).9
- Late payment is screwing over web professionals — enough is enough!This content was originally published at: https://medium.com/@freeagentapp/late-payment-is-screwing-over-web-professionals-enough-is-enough-9da5dd405498 Web professionals aren’t getting paid on time (or at all). The fight back against client excuses starts here… If you’re a freelance web designer or developer, chances are that you’ve been paid late. At least, that’s what we found out when we surveyed UK web professionals last year — a staggering 97% of freelancers have had to deal with a late payer at one point or another. It gets worse. We crunched some more numbers here at FreeAgent and estimate that UK micro-businesses have written off on average £1800 a year in unpaid invoices, which works out to £9bn that went unpaid to the smallest businesses last tax year. Yes, clients didn’t pay nine billion pounds to UK freelancers and the smallest businesses. Have you been on the receiving end of any of these gems? “The site didn’t ‘pop’ enough!” “I don’t have time to pay” “We decided to change the strategy” “It turned out we didn’t have the budget” — Late payment excuses reported by Render conference attendees If so, you’re not alone. We’ve been asking freelancers to tell us their late payment stories, and everybody seems to have one — here are some of the common excuses we’ve heard and how to combat them: “The cheque’s in the post!” Ok, it’s probably unlikely that you’re being paid by cheque but the concept of “the money’s on its way, honest!” is universal. And if you find yourself being fobbed off repeatedly without ever receiving payment, you can be pretty certain that the client is stalling for time. If the client says that they’ve paid but you haven’t received any cash, you could start by asking for confirmation directly from their finance department to prove your payment has been sent. If you’re pretty sure no payment has been issued, some online accounting software (including FreeAgent) allow you to add a payment link to your invoice using services like GoCardless or PayPal. Your client can then just click to pay you online via their bank account or credit card — pretty much instantly. “We haven’t used the work yet” Freelancers often hear “we decided to do the work in-house” or “we ended up cancelling the project” as an excuse not to pay. If a sneaky client tries to delay payment (or withhold it altogether) by claiming that they’re not using the work you did for them, then you need to challenge this, and fast. When you’re freelancing, your time is your credit — the longer you go without payment, the more and more credit you’re extending to your clients. If your client’s plans change once the agreed work has been completed that’s unfortunate. However you’re completely entitled to be paid for the work that you did for the client, whether they use it or not. To prevent situations like this, it’s really important to have a good contract in place before you begin work. Contracts should make it clear that the client is paying for your time and work product, not their ultimate use of the work. You should both agree your expectations for the work in the contract (which should include the work you’ll do, how much it will cost, how long it’s likely to take and when you’re going to invoice for it) and then you’ll have something robust to rely on if clients make excuses. “It’ll cost you more than it’s worth to take me to court” Unfortunately, freelancers often don’t have a lot of power to chase unpaid money, and their clients usually know it. You could hire a professional collection agency, or for smaller debts, pursue your client through a small-claims court, weighing up that it might take time and attention away from other work that actually pays. However, there’s always the chance that just the threat of court might encourage them to cough up. Alternatively, you could cut your losses and write off the invoice, before putting that client on your blacklist forever and ever. “Money is a little tight right now…” Any business can go through unforeseen difficulties, so if a client hasn’t paid yet it may not mean that they’re not planning to pay at all — it might be that they’re facing short-term cash flow problems. Even if you think the client can’t pay right now, it’s worth having the awkward conversation and picking up the phone to ask when they would be in a position to pay you. If it is just a short-term issue with a good client, you could ensure you maintain an amicable relationship by offering an extension rather than enforcing late charges. In future you can easily check a client’s creditworthiness using online services which provide access to credit scores for businesses. If you’re considering entering into a big contract, it’s really worth paying for a more in-depth report will make sure the client doesn’t have poor credit — if they have a less than perfect score you may want to still work for them but cover yourself by asking for a large deposit before starting work. Fight back — it’s time to tackle those awkward conversations So why aren’t freelancers making more of a noise about the widespread problem of late payment? Money can be a sensitive topic and often freelancers worry that chasing payment is going to damage their relationships with their clients. One way to combat this fear is to have conversations about payment early and often with clients, and to make sure that they know exactly what they’re expected to pay and when.
- Time for a new tax year! What’s changing for small businesses?April 6th marks the start of a new tax year, which means a set of changes from previous budgets and statements come into effect. Here's a round up of what's changing for small businesses. Making Tax Digital: time to get ready! Is your business registered for VAT and does it have to be registered because its sales are over the threshold? Making Tax Digital (MTD) reporting for VAT will become compulsory from 1st April 2019 for all businesses who are, and have to be, registered for VAT. Why is this relevant now? If you prepare your accounts to 31st March every year and you’re not yet using digital software to keep your books, 1st April 2018 (or as close to the 1st as possible) is the best time to move across to a digital system so that you’re ready and prepared for MTD to start, because an accounting year end is the easiest time to switch system. If you’re trying to get to grips with a new bookkeeping system and a new filing method at the same time, it will make life harder for you, so we suggest you get ready early! Dividend allowance falls 6th April 2018 sees the 0% tax allowance for dividends fall from £5,000 to £2,000 a year. That means if you are a sole director of a limited company and you withdraw money from the company in a mixture of salary and dividends, your tax bill may go up. Do talk to your accountant about tax planning. Pension contributions going up for the first time 6th April 2018 sees an increase in the minimum contributions for automatic enrolment pensions, with the current combined minimum contribution of 2% rising to 5%. As before, the employer and the employee can choose to pay more than the minimum contributions uf they want to.4
- New Tax Year resolutions for small business ownersIf you’re considering making a fresh start during the new tax year, are there any bad accounting habits that you could address to make running your business easier? Now is the perfect time to put in place a few plans in place to help you run your business better over the next 12 months. With that in mind, here’s the top five resolutions you can make right now, to help you achieve success over the coming year. 1. Claim all your expenses, however small Research carried out by FreeAgent in 2016 found that nearly £250 million worth of expenses with individual values of £10 or less were being unclaimed by UK micro-business owners every year. The research also revealed that a further 14% said they wouldn’t bother claiming expenses if they were worth less than £5, suggesting that the overall amount of expenses actually being unclaimed across the UK could be even higher! However small the expense, it’s money that’s rightfully yours. If you can get into a good routine when it comes to capturing expenses then you can make sure you’re not slowly losing precious pounds. Make sure you log your expenses regularly into your accounts so you don’t risk forgetting about a receipt. Look for tools that can help you manage your expenses on the go. Some online accounting systems, such as FreeAgent, enable you to take a photo of a receipt with your mobile phone and upload it directly into your accounts. This could really help you keep on top of things, especially if you tend to just stuff your receipts into a shoebox and forget about them! 2. Start charging your customers enough When you’re starting out in business or if your business is small, it can be all too easy to set your prices lower than you should, because you worry that you won’t win customers if you charge too much. Some new businesses even charge such low prices that they don’t make any profit at all. While it’s understandable to be nervous about winning new business, underpricing yourself clearly isn’t a sustainable strategy. It’s important to make sure that you charge what your service or product is worth – and that the price you charge doesn’t impede your business’s profitability and growth. Think of the time and energy you’re saving your customers, as well as what they’d pay to a competitor. Review your profit margin for each project you work on and for your business as a whole. Consider which areas of your business are the least profitable and may require you to raise your prices. Remember that if you want to grow your business in the future, it’s likely that you’ll need to make a profit on your sales, so make sure your prices reflect this. 3. Resolve to collect your cash faster Many small business owners are reluctant to chase late payments up promptly, perhaps because they’re worried about offending their clients. However, it’s important to remember that you need to get the cash if you’ve done the work! Try setting clear payment terms and make sure your customers know when they have to pay you – and then stick to those terms! You can actually legally charge 8% interest plus the Bank of England base rate on invoices that are over 30 days late, and you’re also entitled to claim debt recovery costs of up to £100 for the inconvenience. Of course, you can give your customers more time to pay if they’re in genuine difficulty, but if you have clients who repeatedly fail to pay you on time you may need to raise this issue with them. More tips for getting on paid on time can be found here. 4. Get ahead of your tax deadlines The life of a small business owner is incredibly busy and, at times, it can be easy to lose track of what you need to be doing. But when it comes to your tax responsibilities, this is a dangerous predicament to find yourself in. If you miss the deadline for filing your VAT return, for example, you may receive a penalty from HMRC and could even be charged more if you’re late again in the future. Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting your tax deadlines! Failing to file and pay on time can cost you interest, surcharges and penalties. It also means that you could be more likely to be selected for an inspection by an HMRC officer. Make sure you know exactly when all your deadlines are, and that you file all your tax and VAT returns and pay your tax on time. If you can’t pay, be sure to contact HMRC in advance of the deadline. They may give you more time to pay or allow you to pay your tax in installments, but you won’t know unless you ask! 5. Simplify your bookkeeping It’s important to stay on top of your business books so you know exactly how much money you’re making, how much tax you owe and which customers you need to chase for payment. But it’s also easy to make bookkeeping more time-consuming and complicated than it needs to be. For example, you might only input your bank transactions every few months, which means it’s an all-weekend job when you finally get round to it. Or you may be using complicated desktop software or spreadsheets that aren’t really fit for your needs and leave you frustrated when specific tasks go wrong or take too long to complete. As the new tax year approaches, start working smarter when it comes to your books. Block out one hour a week in your diary and use it to stay on top of your invoices, chase up those clients who haven’t paid you, manage your bills and reconcile all the unclassified bank transactions in your accounts. You’ll then be able to see accurate, timely information about your business which you can use to make informed decisions about what direction to take next. Also, don’t be afraid to look for additional help with your bookkeeping. You may find that investing in a cloud accounting system makes it easier to input your financial information, forecast your tax and manage your invoices, so you’ll be able to spend less time on data entry and more time on running and growing your business. Make this the year that you get your small business finances sorted once and for all! FreeAgent’s award-winning online accounting software is specifically designed for freelancers, contractors and small businesses, and helps you nail the daily admin, relax about tax and see the big picture when it comes to your business finances. FreeAgent are happy to support The Dot’s creative community by offering an exclusive 10% discount! Go to www.freeagent.com/partners/thedots to claim your discount (and try FreeAgent completely free for 30 days - no credit card required).3
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Graphic DesignerNIghtfall Signs & Designs
- London, United KingdomFull Time
Graphic design and Signage I was making the designs and keeping the brand concistency for our clients also preparing designs for signs and printing.