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    Bespoke Support Network

September 22, 2017

Estate Planning for Your Business with Bespoke Support Network

Estate Planning can be a difficult and confusing task to undertake. However, if you’re a business owner and want it grow and prosper, estate planning is a vital key to ensuring your company’s success.

What is Estate Planning?

So, what is estate planning? Similar to a will, estate planning is the process of arranging, during the business owners’ life, the final management of their estate for both during the person’s life as well as after their death. Estate planning helps reduce the amount paid in legal fees, court costs and taxes.

If you’re a business owner, your estate planning needs to include both your business and personal assets. It needs to address such issues as:

  • More Complex Estates
  • Business Succession
  • Complicated taxes

What Are Your Options?

One route you could go down, particularly if your estate has significantly grown in value, is an estate freeze. If your estate is worth a considerable amount, then it may be riddled with a substantial large capital gains tax bill. This could potentially leave your family with a financial burden. That’s where an estate freeze comes in.

An estate freeze is where your business interests are frozen from a certain date. This is often a common strategy used to address this issue.

The Benefits of Estate Planning:

  1. Guarantee of Longevity

Through estate planning you are able to allow your business to continue to grow. Like any successful business owner, you want to pass on your innovative ideas across generations. 

  1. Minimises Tax

As briefly aforementioned, estate planning helps you to minimise the amount of tax one needs to pay after you’ve passed. If you are the business owner, you are able to transfer your business over to your children. This means that when your business starts to grow, the increase in value and equity of your business will not enclose overwhelming taxes.

  1. Peace of Mind for the Future

Without sounding morbid, passing away is inevitable, so, planning ahead allows you to not only see the bigger picture, but also gives you peace of mind that your business will no longer be a burden but instead a success!

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

September 5, 2017

The 15th of September Marks Pension Awareness Day, Let BSN Help You

The 15th of September marks pension awareness day. The UK is facing a challenge. More and more of the population are choosing to not save for their retirement, which can potentially be detrimental. Pensions are often looked over as a blasé task, especially with the opt out rather than the opt in system introduced in many businesses. The vast majority of people would much rather have a few hundred pounds left over at the end of every month, and is there any wonder why when living costs are constantly rising?

What Are The Changes?

As we’re sure you are aware, 2017 has been quite a year for changes in pension schemes, which have left people enraged and no longer saving. Of course, we recommend you don’t stop saving and risk falling into pension poverty, but what exactly are the changes?

1. Workers in their late 30’s and early 40’s will see their retirement age rise to 68.

This has angered many careers people across Britain and it is not surprising when you’re planning your life after work to then be told you’re going to have to delay it by a further 5 years. It automatically reduces job satisfaction and leaves many people questioning, ‘what’s the point?’

2. Each person affected may lose up to £9,800

Due to this rise in retirement age, more than 7 million of us will lose up to £9,800 in order to save the government £74 billion. Recent research showed that increases in life expectancy are slowing which suggests there’s no evidence for the change.

What Does This Mean for You?

Due to these changes, it will greatly affect you as well as the accessibility of your pension. However, this is just the surface, it will affect everyone differently as everyone’s plan is unique to them and essentially, pensions are a very complex and layered subject.

How Can We Help?

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Which pension wrapper do you currently have and why?

2. What is the risk exposure to your holdings?

3. Do you have the correct retirement age set?

4. Is your pension managed, if so, by whom?

5. Do you know what your options are at retirement?

If you are unable to answer all of these questions, then it may be worth seeking the advice of one our expert pension advisors.

If you would like more information on pensions or any other services Bespoke Support Network can provide, get in touch today to see how we can help.

September 1, 2017

Networking Events In Essex: Benefits for Local Businesses

When someone sends you over an email or gives you a call inviting you to a business networking event, you may be quick to delete the email or hang up the call. But actually, networking can be of benefit to your business, helping you to make connections and build relationships between professionals and customers.

At Bespoke Support Network Essex, we host monthly networking events for local businesses in Essex to meet and start working with our team of professionals. We think it’s important that local businesses meet with experts within finance, the legal sector and marketing in order to benefit their brand. But if you’re still not convinced, here are some of the other benefits of networking as a small business:

  • Connections – At Bespoke Support Network, we have created networking events to bring together small businesses across Essex and London who are interested in improving their businesses through our professionals services. During the event, they will get to sit down and have a chat with our experts, gaining business advice and helpful tips for planning your finances. Even just by attending the event, our team can build meaningful relationships that will last.
  • Opportunities – When there are a group of business owners together, this presents the option for opportunities to arise. Whether it’s joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities – or even sales, networking gives local businesses lots of opportunities to sell themselves.
  • Awareness – As a local business, it can be hard to get your name out there but networking gives you the opportunity to hand out some of your business cards and make relationships. If you’re regularly attending events, you will build up a reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive business.

So whether you’re looking to join our network of experts or find the right professionals to aid your business, it’s time to take the jump and RSVP to our next networking event in Chelmsford on 28th September.

To RSVP your interest in our events, feel free to call our team on 0300 303 3441 or email for more information.

August 21, 2017

The Importance of Life Insurance

Facts and figures:

Are you aware that right now, Britain is facing a deficit of 5 trillion pounds? The reason? People are taking endless amounts of loans out and not repaying their debt. Instead of allowing your family to be left in such a situation, it is important to cover yourself and your loved ones for when you do pass.

One of the main concerns you will need to sort out is making sure your life insurance is put into a trust. Without doing so, you could end up paying the tax man 40% of your savings. You shouldn’t pay the premium of losing 40% of your hard saved money, without even touching it!

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

It’s importance:

Keeping your family financially stable is another important reason for life insurance. For example, covering education costs could allow a family member to achieve their dream of working in a particular job, or even add security to paying off those university debts.

Of course, life insurance also covers any additional costs you may need. Along with the added stress and emotions your family already have, the cost of funerals can amount to thousands of pounds. Do the right thing to avoid having this shadowed over your families heads, and look into getting life insurance.

Funding a home is one of the hardest things to do. The last thing you want is your loved ones having to sell their home because they can no longer afford to live there. Talk to one of our team members today to ensure this never happens to your family.

With life insurance, you choose the amount of cover you will need, how long you need it for and how you pay it, making it completely personal to you! In return your family will have the reassurance they need, knowing that if you sadly pass while covered by the policy, they would receive a cash sum pay out if a valid claim were made.

Speak to the experts: 

Start putting towards the protection of your family today, by taking out a life insurance policy. Unsure of where to start and what all this means? We are here to help. Contact Bespoke Support Network today and we can advise you on the best possible solutions for you and your loved ones.

Here at BSN we have partnerships with hundreds of experts in the finance industry, including qualified and trusted insurance brokers and advisors.

Get in touch with the team on 0300 303 3441

August 18, 2017

How Can a Virtual PA Benefit You and Your Business?

Almost every industry will have a busy and slow season whether it’s the Christmas period or the six-week holidays. It’s during the slow season you’re going to struggle to stay afloat. However, if done right, it is the ideal time to plan ahead. Planning ahead makes it easier to make it through the slow season and helps you plan unforeseen circumstances. Forecasting is tricky business and knowing where to start is even harder, fortunately, this stress can be relieved with the help of a virtual PA. Here’s how:

What is a Virtual Personal Assistant?

A virtual PA pretty much does what it says on the tin. Essentially, you pay a monthly fee and get matched with an assistant that meets your needs. They can handle as much or as little as you want. Virtual PA’s can undertake everything from E-mails and travel booking to research and other tasks. The whole idea of a virtual personal assistant is that they’re not based with you, they’re typically based at home and can work all over the country.

How Can They Help You?

Online Research
Virtual PA’s can help you undergo research which they can then report back to you. This research can be on potential competitors, exploring the market for new products and even checking up on potential employees. This can shave hours off of your working week.

Summarising Statistics
Another handy role a virtual PA can help contribute to is the collection and analysis of raw data. If you wish, they can then convert this raw data and transform it into a clear PowerPoint which you can then use to present to bosses or even fellow colleagues.

This is possibly one of the most convenient jobs to assign to your virtual PA. They can keep track of all business expenses. Deal with any outstanding invoices and unpaid bills. Of course, this will require the sharing of important information, so ensure that you are able to trust your virtual PA before-hand.

So, there you have it! There are three benefits that a virtual personal assistant can add to your business. Not only that, but it gives you more time to focus on the important things that matter most like forecasting and planning during lulls in business. The Bespoke Support Network can offer you a virtual PA service. If you would like more information about the services the Bespoke Support Network offers, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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

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 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.


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 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.