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August 11, 2017

Business Networking Events: What are the benefits of attending?

For some, the words ‘networking event’ can provoke feelings of dread! Whether you hate meaningless small talk or you have attended one too many boring events, business owners can sometimes begin to wonder whether there is any point in attending them.

For most business, networking is actually the key to success and can lead to a number of exciting opportunities.

At Bespoke Support Network, we’re all about making connections and building relationships between our professionals and customers. That’s why we regularly set up events for them to meet and start working together, whether you are looking to become part of our network of experts or find the professional that’s right for you.

Here are some of the benefits of attending networking events

  • Building meaningful relationships – At Bespoke Support Network, we have created network events to bring together small businesses across Essex and London and professionals within finance, law, marketing and admin from our network. We had a full house attending our small event, all of the attendees who were interested in improving their businesses through our professionals services. Even by just attending the event, we were able to help the businesses and our team build meaningful relationships that will last.
  • Staying up-to-date with current trends – Surrounded by our experts, small businesses benefited from finding out about any legal or financial procedures that may be affecting them in years to come. Not only could they prepare for these changes but our professionals could offer advice to help them stay ahead of the curve.
  • Connect with target audiences – If you’re a business looking to find out about your target audience, what better way than attending an event with marketing experts? Granted you cannot guarantee this service at every networking event, but with Bespoke Support Network we offer the support of marketing agencies to help small businesses raise their awareness.
  • Get fresh ideas and solutions for your business – As a business, you may be struggling for brand new ideas. If you are stuck for brilliant ideas, why not come to a place where there are numerous businesses to bounce off of? Not only can you obtain these brand new ideas but you will gain feedback on your existing ideas with businesses who may have already tackled these challenges.

The Bespoke Support Network are hosting a unique networking event in Barista, Chelmsford, offering professional advice to small business in Essex. With everything from solicitors and financial advisors on hand to help, you can find the right professionals to assist your business.

To register your interest in our next event on 27th September, call our team on 0300 303 3441 or email info@bespokesupportnetwork.com

August 8, 2017

How Wills Can be Affected with a Rise in Dementia

Currently, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and with life expectancy constantly increasing, it’s important now more than ever to consider wills and estate planning. The Bespoke Support Network have taken a moment to inform our readers of the reasons as to why creating a plan should be at the top of your to do list.

Protecting a Loved One

Of course, addressing the mental capacity of a loved one can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. However, it’s a subject that needs to be addressed, if not, then it can lead to disputes in the courts as well as family members.

Unfortunately, all stages of dementia are progressive. The chemistry and structure of the brain over time becomes increasingly damaged and it begins to limit ones’ memory, communication and ability to reason.

If a loved one has passed and you or your relatives have a dispute over the decisions made in a will, it can be difficult to prove that the deceased member was not in the right mental capacity.

What to do

There are precautions you can take when drafting a will in order to prove ones’ mental capacity.

Capacity is considered an essential when creating a will. It is best to have written confirmation, which can be used as evidence, to prove that you are mentally intact to avoid disputes in the future.

To be extra cautious, you may want to obtain an external opinion. This opinion is best to be that of a medical professional or one of legal authority. This may be beneficial to you as having a second opinion will confirm your wishes and anyone that chooses to dispute must go through the chosen external approval.

The way you handle this situation is also essential, we understand that this is a sensitive issue, especially for those directly involved. One way you can handle this situation is by explaining the potential consequences that may incur if you fail to provide proof of capacity, these consequences can be costly to you and your family.

If you would more information on wills and estate planning, or would like to enquire about any other services the Bespoke Support Network offers, get in touch today on 0300 303 3441.

August 4, 2017

Looking After Your Elders with Bespoke Support Network

The 21st of August marks Senior Citizens Day. This day is aimed at raising awareness about supporting the older generation as well as recognising their achievements. Here at the Bespoke Support Network we take extra care in providing support for those that need it.

What Services Do We Provide?

Wills and Estate

To many, a will seems like a blasé task. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, this is understandable. Yet, did you know only 30% of the UK population have written a will? This figure is shocking as it is undoubtedly a necessity for securing your families future. Without one, your family can be left in dangerous territory should you pass away unexpectedly. Death is a morbid subject however it needs to be addressed. If you do not have anything in place, the state will dictate what will happen with your estate and belongings; causing a lot of drama amongst families, which can have a detrimental effect.

Having a will clearly identifies who inherits what with minimal fuss, leaving your family to remain together and grieve during this emotional time. Here at Bespoke Support Network, we understand the importance of will and estate planning. We work hard to put you in touch with experts who tailor a plan to suit you, should the unthinkable occur. This way, you can rest assured that your belongings are going to the right home.

When Do I Need to Make a Will?

Creating a will becomes more important after you have children. Setting up a will allows you to decide the final guardian of your children after you pass- this may be a family member or a good friend.

However, everyone who owns a basic level of asset, whether it be a house, or even a car should have a plan in place, otherwise, as aforementioned, it will end up with the state and, in some cases, your children may end up inheriting more than your spouse.

How Do I Put a Plan in Place?

You don’t have to spend hundreds when writing a will, you can write it yourself or confide in a lawyer depending on your circumstances. However, it is recommended that you seek advice before proceeding and make sure when you sign your will, that it is witnessed in order to make it legally valid.

If you would like more information, or advice on wills and estate planning, give Bespoke Support Network a call and we’d be more than happy put you in touch with the finest experts to help.

August 3, 2017

It’s National Son’s and Daughter’s Day on the 11th August, Protect Your Children from Sideways Disinheritance.

National Son’s and Daughter’s Day: a time to celebrate the love for your children and the time you enjoy spending with them on a day to day basis.

It’s these celebrations that highlight the importance of putting measurements into place, should the unthinkable occur.

Studies have shown that nearly 60% of adults in the UK are yet to write a will, which considering the implications, is frightening. Having no will or an outdated document can have a serious impact on your family and more importantly, your children.

Could you imagine in the event of your death that your children end up with nothing from your estate?

This is called the Sideways Disinheritance Trap, which is something you should be aware of, especially if you have remarried. There are a number of families in the UK that are defined as ‘blended families’ where both parents might not be their birth parents. This could cause problems should you leave your estate to your partner, and they then remarry after your death leaving their estate to their new partner. Your children would then be disinherited.

The question is, how do you prevent your children from being disinherited?

First things first, it’s important to draft a new will once you have remarried. This will avoid any situation where you disinherit your children. It also gives you a chance to tweak certain things and help to protect your new spouse or partner.

Another way to protect your children, would be to leave your assets in a trust. A Life Interest Trust for example, will hold your assets until you pass. You can name someone to be your ‘Life Tennant’ who will be able to live in your property and gain any income generated by your assets. Once they pass, your estate will be passed down to your children.

One other option would be to create Mirror Wills. These are identical to your partner’s, therefore no matter who passes away first, your intentions will match each other’s.

If you are concerned as to whether your children will be protected in the event of your death, then Bespoke Support Network can help. We put you in touch with trusted professionals that will provide you with the service and guidance you need. Get in touch with our team by calling 0300 303 3441 today.

 

 

 

July 28, 2017

How Do General Elections Impact Your Business? Bespoke Support Network Talks.

It’s been just over a month since the UK’s 2017 General Election and while those unaffected may have blissfully carried on with their day to day lives, small businesses could still be feeling the effects.

On 8th June, thousands of British people were shocked to find the result of our election, which happened to be a hung parliament. For days, Britain’s political future was left hanging in the balance, with increased uncertainty over who would join Theresa May in leading our country. As the Government rushed around trying to find people to assist the Prime Minister, small businesses were more concerned about the impact this could have over their profits and customers.

Following on from this snap election, Bespoke Support Network’s team of experts have been monitoring the effects of the shock results and exactly how this has changed your business.

Customer Confidence

You may have noticed before the time of this election, your sales may have dropped as a result. That’s because customer confidence often takes a battering during this time. As a small business owners, your customers are more likely to delay buy decisions until after the election so you should have seen a rise in profits again.

Taxation  

For most businesses, taxation is a key concern. During the election you would have noticed a split between low-tax, low-spend and a high-tax, high-spend economy, but since there has been an increase in tax bills to businesses. This could leave your business in the dark for future financial projections.

Workers’ Rights

The current Government are trying to focus on changing the rights of workers’ in the gig economy. As a SME, you may see changes to your work force as a result of these changes.

Impact on Big Ticket items

During the election, an uplift of between 10pc and 20pc occurs on the prices of expensive goods such as cars. This is exactly the time SMEs will start to reduce their costs, meaning costs can amount to the thousands. As a small business you may notice your expensive items such as cars, houses, kitchen, house extensions and expensive holidays have had to go up in price.

Getting your business back to how it was prior to the election has never been easy with Bespoke Support Network’s team of experts.

We have contact with specialists in finance, wills and estate planning as well as accountants and insurance brokers.

To get in touch with any of our experts, call the team at Bespoke Support Network on 0300 303 3441 who can put you in touch with them.

July 25, 2017

Why You Should Let BSN Support You When Buying Your First Home

According to the Office of National Statistics, UK house prices have risen by 5% in 2017 despite recent political turmoil.

The average house price is now £220,713 which makes the possibility of owning your own home feel increasingly out of reach for young people aged 18-24. As well as this the number of households at risk of poverty has risen from 19% in 2008 to 25% in 2015.

Why You Should Seek Independent Advice

Buying a mortgage will arguably be the biggest financial investment you make in your lifetime, so you want to make sure you’re dotting every I and crossing every T.

Many of us use comparison sites in order to find ‘headline’ rates, however rates are always changing and so are the requirements needed. So, you may often find that you’re in a continual cycle of regression and often finding yourself back at square one. Sound familiar? If so, maybe you should seek the help of one of our Bespoke financial advisors.

Why Use BSN Mortgage Advisors

There is often a common misconception with independent advisors that they incur hidden fees and extra charges. However, this simply just isn’t the case. Your advisor will always lay out your options transparently so you’re fully aware of the costs incurred from the get go.

Another benefit to sourcing an independent mortgage advisor is that they have access to the entire market place ensuring you have the best possible options to choose from. This will save you time and money.

They can also assess the amount of mortgage payments you will be able to afford based on your current financial situation which means you will end up with a plan that suits your needs and not leave you out of pocket.

What Happens if You Don’t Seek Advice?

It’s vital that you seek mortgage advice, not only to create a solution that is suited to you, but to protect yourself if things don’t quite go according to plan. In the rare occasion that your plan turns out to be unsuitable in the future, when it comes to making a complaint, you’ll have more rights.  Whereas sourcing all knowledge yourself means you have to take sole responsibility for your decision.

If you would like more information on mortgage advice or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Bespoke Support Network today. You can get in touch by calling 0300 303 3441.

 

July 21, 2017

Is Your Business Ready to Expand? Find Out The Risks From Expert Financial Advisors

Perhaps you have been running a business for a few years now, your client base is expanding and your team is growing from strength to strength; is it time to expand?

All signs point to yes, but your master plan could all go down the drain should you not consult a financial advisor prior to expanding.

In particular, startups go into business with growth in mind but expanding too quickly can cause serious devastation to your business. Everything from adding to your existing employees and buying a new office space to increasing your production, services or product lines without consideration can be disastrous. Bespoke Support Network’s financial advisors have created a list of indicators before you expand.

You have the right team in place.

It’s important to consider before you move whether you have enough employees to support expanding your business. In addition to having a strong leader, you will want to have a properly qualified workers who are invested in the company’s success. Without competent leaders and the right employees, your expansion will struggle.

You have a high demand of customers. You know you’re ready to expand when your business starts to gain momentum. That means you’re no longer approaching clients yourself to sell your product and service. Instead, the customers are coming to you! If you notice your company is in the same position, it’s time to start growing.

You have a realistic view of what your company can handle.

You may think you understand exactly when the time is right and what your business can cope with, but you need to recognise when to say no. You need to look at the economic benefits and consider your existing infrastructure and resources.

You have the money. Unfortunately a number of startups fail to properly gauge how their sales cycles dictate their ability to expand, which can cause a serious deficit in cash flow. Experts say that it typically takes at least four months to see a return on capital investments made to expand a business. That means a positive cash flow can give you the confidence to grow as a business.

If you’re interested in talking to any of our financial advisors, contact the team at Bespoke Support Network who can put you in touch with one of our advisors. Get in touch on 0300 303 3441.

July 20, 2017

Why Making a Will Helps to Protect Loved Ones

Have you ever considered writing a will? According to a recent study one in four people over the age of 55 do not have a will in place with 59% of all adults in the UK have not written a will at all.

These statistics are shocking but is there any surprise when there is little to no information about what to do with your belongings after the unexpected occurs. However, writing a will is a necessity as not only will it give you peace of mind, it will also help protect your loved ones.

So, What Exactly Does a Will Do?

A will is defined as a legal document that sets out your requests concerning the distribution of your property, assets and the care of any children you may have.

To increase the chances of your wishes becoming a reality you need a will that is set out in writing and made sure that it is signed by both you and your witnesses. However, make sure you have dotted every I and crossed every T as if your will doesn’t meet certain standards, your requests may not be carried forward.

Why Do You Need a Will?

There are endless reasons as to why you should invest in a will. Firstly, it will give you individual preferences over your belongings. If you have young children, writing a will will let you provide for them.

A will not only benefits you but also your loved ones. There’s no doubt after a family member passes away, emotions run high and so do tensions. Everyone believes they know what’s best- so if you do not have a will in place, it may cause some family upsets. Creating a will minimises stress among survivors.

If you do not have a will, the state will oversee the distribution of your assets. There is a common misconception; the state does not inherit your assets but will instead distribute them according a basic formula. This formula is often based on half of your assets going to your spouse and the other half divided amongst your children.

Benefits of Creating a Will

As aforementioned, a will is a necessity in order to save your family money, time and grief. However, there are other benefits:

  • You’re in Control of Your Assets
  • You Can Change Your Mind
  • You Can Choose Who Will Help Manage Your Assets and State Affairs

If you would like any more information on wills or how Bespoke Support Network can help, please get in touch on 0300 303 3441.

July 14, 2017

Final Salary Schemes: Know Your Options

Recently there has been a surge of shocking global events such as Brexit and the American general election, to name but a few. It has undoubtedly left a lot of us feeling uncertain, especially when it comes to our finances. How are you to know the best option for you? If you’re opted into a final salary scheme, you need to know your options. That’s where Bespoke Support Network comes in.

So, What is a Final Salary Scheme?

 Essentially, a final salary scheme is a defined benefit pension programme which is often offered by employers. The eventual outcome of the plan is dependent on four variables:

  • The Amount of Time of Which You Have Invested into the Scheme: For example, if you have worked with your current employer for 30 years, your end benefit will be a lot greater compared to a fellow colleague who has only worked at the business for 5 years.
  • Your Salary: Similarly to the first variable, your final pay packet will depend on your salary, the higher the salary, the higher the pension and vice versa.
  • Your Companies Accrual Rate: This is the rate at which the benefits build up for the individual. You will receive a set amount for each year of pensionable service. As they are typically expressed as a fraction, 1/60th or 1/80th are often common.
  • The circumstances under which the benefits are taken: The amount you receive will be based on the situation. For example, retirement, ill health etc.
Should I Transfer my Final Salary Scheme?

It is believed that on average, an individual works for six employers in their lifetime. That’s potentially six pensions. It’s often advised you leave your pension where it is as it is a guaranteed income. Not only that but they also increase to keep up with inflation.

However, your scheme provider might offer you a financial incentive to transfer out. There are two types:

  • Cash-Equivalent to the Transfer Value
    which you then transfer to another scheme.
  • Cash Payment to the Transfer Equivalent
    Be mindful, this option may mean you still pay tax and national insurance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Final Salary Schemes:

There could be an endless list of advantages and disadvantages. However, it will depend greatly on you and your current financial position. If you’re considering making changes to your plan it’s strongly recommended you seek advice from an independent financial advisor. If you would like more information on final salary schemes or any other services Bespoke Support Network offers, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

July 12, 2017

The Importance of Life Insurance

Other than the obvious, life insurance has many important advantages for you and your family.

We are sure that you will be surprised to find out that one in four breadwinners don’t have life insurance, which could lead to enormous financial problems should they pass away.

With one in four people not having any type of life insurance that means 8.5 million in the UK are risking their families having to payout £31,000 should a family member die. So why are people not getting life insurance?

Recent research found that 67% of people said that insurance, particularly life insurance, was “confusing” and that it is hard to understand exactly what you need and why you need it.

At Bespoke Support Network Essex, we strive to provide all our clients with the very best experts in everything from finances to insurance. In order to help out our confused customers, we asked our experts why exactly people should get life insurance and here’s what they said:

“As we start growing older, getting married and starting families, we become more and more aware about the importance of life and protecting it.

For parents, business owners and property owners this means life insurance comes into the picture becoming a fundamental part of our financial plans. You can find comfort in knowing money will become available to protect your family in the event of your death, should you get life insurance.”

Here are a few other reasons to get covered by life insurance:

● Inheritance – Perhaps you have assets to pass onto your children such as the house, a car or even money, you can guarantee they should receive this inheritance with a life insurance plan. Even without any assets to give, you can create an inheritance for your kids by buying a policy and name them as beneficiaries.
● Pay Off Debt – As well as protecting your family and providing them a income, your family’s life insurance can cover any outstanding debts such as mortgages and credit card bills.
● Financial Security – As a parent you want to know that your kids are well looked after when you pass away. Not only could they want to go to university but they could be getting married or starting a business, and you will want them to be financial stable in the event of these big life events.

Are you interested in starting a life insurance policy? Bespoke Support Network have partnerships with hundreds of experts in the finance industry, including qualified and trusted insurance brokers and advisors. Get in touch with the team at Bespoke Support Network on 0300 303 3441.