Are we there yet?
Four words that used to drive any parent absolutely insane, but after the last 13 months, are probably now music to the ears of a lot of us. I don’t know about you, but out of an abundance of caution, we didn’t take our summer holiday to Europe last year, and we didn’t take our children to any of the places we might normally have done during the summer holidays. Places like Drusillas, Knockhatch, places they love, but places we thought we should probably avoid just to be safe. So instead, we got a National Trust membership and probably annoyed a lot of people out for a quiet walk in the grounds of many properties around West Kent and Sussex, by taking our three children for days out and picnics!
But this May Bank Holiday weekend, we went out, out! On Friday, my wife went and had drinks with 5 of the school mums, and on Sunday we took our three boys to the Eastbourne Miniature Railway and on Bank Holiday Monday they went to Knockhatch as well. Now, I haven’t yet applied that level of bravery to my business life, I haven’t had a face to face business meeting since early October, but I think we are almost there!
Have I been too cautious? Probably, professionally being an accountant, I see myself as generally risk averse and yet as an entrepreneur running a niche tax consultancy, I know I have to throw off my cloak of pessimism and be more “out there”. That being said, it’s not held our business back, when it comes to preparing R&D Tax Relief claims for many businesses, working over video conference and conducting our technical interviews through this medium, rather than face to face has proven to work and is something that we may continue into the future, if that is what our customers want.
However, even though we have been able to keep preparing claims for those business in Manufacturing and Engineering, where we know them and have been around the factory floor, there has been a semblance of business as usual. For those who we have worked with for the first time during lockdown, there is a nagging thought at the back of my head that by not being present, by not walking through and seeing what is going on and being able to ask questions in the here and now of such a walk, have we been able to identify all of the R&D activities. There are only so many times you can ask is there anything else, anything new, anything that you are doing differently, anything that you have improved, before beginning to sound like that child in the back seat pre-lockdown.
We are almost there, we are seeing the opening up of society, we are able to drink in a beer garden, or eat outside, we are allowed to participate in outdoor sport, we have seen some trial mass participation events, lots of little steps! I still feel that I am giving the stock response, that might be given to the children, “we are almost there, not long to go now!” It is still open ended to some extent, but I am ready to get out there again! I am sure it will be a little bit different at the start, but hopefully, we will get there!
So, now to you, how are you doing? How positive are you for the next 12 -18 months of your business? Have you taken out some BBLS or CBILS funding that needs to start being paid back anytime soon?
Have you been doing something new and interesting in your business over your previous 2 accounting years, even pre-pandemic? Has it involved an element of scientific or technological uncertainty? Has it been ultimately successful? Or did it fail and has had to be put on the shelf for the time being?
If you’ve answered yes to any of those last questions, why don’t you give me a call? I’d love for you to be the first business I come out and see, when we are both ready! We can start with a discovery call, that first little step! You can book one at https://calendly.com/cooden/discovery-website and we can have a video or telephone call to suit you or you can just pick up the phone and call me on 01424 225345. Let’s finally get 2021 rocking and get you a nice pot of money back in your bank account from a successful R&D Tax Credits claim!