Top ten tips for business growth in healthcare

Business growth for healthcare

The healthcare sector has been booming in the UK, with spectacular growth rates fuelled by an influx of game-changing companies. Right now, if you can stand out from the crowd, then the opportunity is there for the taking.

At Berley, we know a thing or two about seizing the opportunity when it comes around. That’s why our business growth team can provide you with ten tips for growing your business in this industry.

1. Look to AI

Artificial intelligence is transforming the healthcare sector, and it would be foolish not to consider the benefits. AI technology can assist with everything, from analysing scans, to diagnosing patients, and even speeding up the administration following a diagnosis.

2. Involve all your staff

If you want to get anywhere, then your team need to be on the same page. Share your business growth goal with them and make sure everyone is working together to achieve it.

3. Consider digital solutions

Similar to AI, digital solutions can involve anything from moving data to online storage to using conference calls with staff to save travelling costs. For example, managing your financial data with Xero’s cloud accounting software can help streamline your infrastructure.

4. Manage your online presence

Marketing is the key to any business, and nowadays, the internet is the platform to use to reach your target audience. Having a solid online marketing strategy that includes a professional website and actively posting on social media will boost your reputation and attract new customers.

5. Find new allies

Keep an eye on those around you, as not everything needs to be a competition. In an industry that has such a large influx of new companies, the opportunity of finding a beneficial partnership is high.

6. Be patient-centric

It seems clichéd, but it’s said often for a reason – excellent customer service is the cornerstone of a successful healthcare business. You should focus your business around creating the best experience possible for your customers, as doing so will naturally grow your reputation, and by extension, your business.

7. Exploit a new angle

It’s no secret that the recent growth in the healthcare industry is partly a result of startups looking to revolutionise the space. You need to evaluate what makes you stand out from others (identify your USP), find the angle you’re pitching and work it so that you are a unique presence in the market space.

8. Keep your paperwork in order

Any business growth comes with an increase in the amount of paperwork too, and for the unprepared, it can be overwhelming. Consider looking to our specialist financial services to deal with the financial side of expanding your operations.

9. Consider telehealth

This is the remote exchange of patient data to better facilitate diagnosis and treatment, often via apps. Telehealth isn’t something you can afford to ignore as it brings the healthcare industry into the 21st century and makes medical advice, diagnoses and treatment more accessible. Research and consider whether you should be implementing it into your business or not.

10. Think SMART with your goals

Whether it’s to drive traffic to your website or to boost sales, it’s best to have a goal in mind when growing your business. For an increased chance of successful business growth, create a goal with the SMART system. SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and have a Time-frame. They will help you know exactly what you want to achieve and allow you to create a solid plan to reach that goal.

How can Berley help?

As chartered accountants for healthcare companies in London, we can provide financial advice specific to your healthcare business. From maximising your GP income to making your surgery tax-efficient, we work with healthcare companies across London to provide them with sound financial, accountancy, and tax planning advice.

If you have a growing healthcare business, call us on 020 7788 8261 to discuss your business growth strategies with our specialist healthcare accountants in London.

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Business Hacks: Simple ideas to turn your business fortunes around

Business ideasRegardless of which sector you work in, no small business is immune to challenges. The hospitality industry is also facing problems as the issues surrounding food imports worsen since the pound grows weaker. Even in the creative and tech industries, where the business potential is lucrative, keeping track of clients creates a considerable amount of administration that most SMEs may not be equipped to deal with.

If not appropriately managed, these problems can suck up money and resources, and distract you from tasks that are more important in fuelling business growth. Finding the solutions to these problems may give you a headache but building your business back up can be immensely satisfying, not to mention rewarding.

At Berley, we’ve worked with many businesses facing financial challenges, meaning we know a thing or two about growing a business through the rough patches. Here are a few of our business hacks you can use to turn things around when the problems are building up.

Be clear about your plans

You’ll need multiple plans for every aspect of your business, like marketing, sales and operations. Your future vision needs to be crystal clear so that every party involved with your business – from the management to the investors – will know what to expect and how they fit in. There are numerous simple tools to get you started – for example when writing a business plan you can use the SWOT analysis:

  • S – look for the strengths of your business that distinguish it from competitors
  • W – do the same for your weaknesses and consider what you could improve
  • O – spot your opportunities, like new policies or trends that could work in your favour
  • T – think about the threats, like competitors, your financial situation and any other obstacles

Other acronym models you can look to for help to get started are PEST (looking at Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors) or PESTLE (add Legal and Environmental factors to the previous list).

Honesty is the best policy

It might be a touchy subject, but if you’re facing a challenging situation with those involved in your business, then let them know. You’re far more likely to have a genuine discussion that can move your company forward if you openly discuss the problem. Allowing it to continue will only leave your employees and management board feeling disgruntled. They’re part of the vision too and letting them have their voice may bring new ideas to the table. Remember, the most creative idea can come from the least expected source.

Optimise and re-engineer

If something’s outdated, drop it. Don’t hold on to relics from the past just because everyone is comfortable with them. Look into researching new and efficient alternatives. The market doesn’t stay still, and if you want to remain a competitor, you can’t afford to stand still either. For example, if your business is data heavy, try replacing good-old spreadsheets with a central database. It allows for more effective collaboration, better access to information, improved version control and more sophisticated reporting, leaving you wondering why you didn’t make the switch earlier.

Cut the costs

Even small measures can add up to make a difference, and they are often practical measures that can be easily done. For example, switching to double paned windows or tightening seals around old ones can save you money on heating and air conditioning. Allowing your staff to work from home can lower your office costs as only a few staff need to be onsite. Not all of these measures will be obvious though: it’s all about escaping the cage of conventional methods and using lateral thinking. The best way to find places to save money is by looking through audits at the end of the year. Our audit service can allow you to pinpoint and block the holes that money is leaking through.

Find some food for thought

Some entrepreneurs have jumped on Oded Shenkar’s idea of innovating through imitation (Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge). Others found inspiration in Cal Newport’s deep work concept (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World) to improve their business’ efficiency and rid themselves of distractions. There are many entrepreneurs out there looking for answers, and it’s likely there’s an innovative thinker (or a TED talk) that’ll have an impact on you, so get on reading (or listening). Inspiration can come from any source, so don’t be afraid to see what others are saying and interpret it your way.

Hire entrepreneurs accountants

As chartered accountants for small businesses in London, Berley works with a variety of clients in specialised industries, in various stages of growth. Whether you’re a start-up or are already established and considering growing your business organically or via mergers or acquisitions, we will have the experience and advice you need. We’ll help you find the business growth strategy that’s right for you.

To let us show you the way, get in touch on 020 7788 8261 or fill out our Online Form.

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Tax tips for small business owners

Tax tipsThere are many things that you need to take care of when you start a business including marketing, hiring employees, monitoring inventory and business planning. With all of this on your plate, it can become overwhelming without help from one of our small business accountants at Berley. In fact, startup owners often forget about one of the most vital things: business taxes.

With that in mind, here are some helpful tax tips to help you stay on top of your taxes.

Plan ahead

Engage in some tax planning now and then. It can benefit the cash flow of your business and ensure that your tax bill is as small as possible. It’s essential for you to be aware of your tax responsibilities and plan accordingly. Planning ahead will help you stay on top of tax deadlines.

Furthermore, analysing your expenses will enable you to learn more about your overall finances, which means that you can make informed decisions about the future of your business.

Keep an eye on the law

Tax laws change yearly and are updated frequently with newer legislation. It’s important to be aware of any upcoming changes and how they will affect you because it can be easy to get caught unaware. Changes such as the Making Tax Digital scheme requires businesses and organisations to keep digital accounting records and to use compatible software to submit their tax returns. If you’re on the wrong side of the law, the judge will not accept any excuses for noncompliance. Significant law changes will always be announced very far in advance, so it’s up to you to find the information and make yourself ready. Consider hiring a specialist tax accountant from Berley to help keep you on top of things.

Keep your tax records organised

As mentioned with Making Tax Digital, new legislation means that business will need to record their taxes and manage their business accounts digitally. Cloud accounting software like Xero can do most of the work for you, as well as provide real-time information about what you’re paying and to whom. Bear in mind that you’ll need to keep tax records for at least six years by law, so keeping things neatly filed is of the utmost importance unless you enjoy wading through years of reports to find what you need. Remember, messy folders make for missed deadlines.

Know your tax deductions

As a business owner, there are various running costs associated with keeping everything together. Some of these costs can be deducted from your overall profit as allowable expenses, meaning you do not pay tax on them. There are many different expenses you can claim, but some of the major ones include:

  • Travel costs – This applies to most charges incurred from a vehicle used to for business, from fuel to insurance.
  • Business premises costs – This covers the costs of running your business premises, such as heating, electricity, and equipment used for less than two years. If you work from home, you may be able to apply this to your own gas and electricity bills, provided you can prove your work office uses it.
  • Staff expenses – This includes any payments made to either the staff or subcontractors you use, as well as Employer’s National Insurance.

Consider a Carryforward

If your company makes a loss, don’t think of it as the end of the world. In actuality, it can be used to your advantage. For instance, if you made a loss last year, but this year you are much more successful, you’ll have to pay much more tax. To counteract this, use an advanced accounting technique called a “Loss Carryforward”. A Loss Carryforward allows you to apply the previous year’s losses to the current year’s gains. This was designed to allow businesses to offset losses with future profits in order to pay the correct amount of tax in the years following the loss. Doing so can significantly reduce the amount of tax you pay if your business has recently been through a rough patch or economic downturn. Seek the help of a specialist small business accountant before attempting this, and our small business tax experts at Berley can advise you on how to go about it.

Get help from Berley

Berley is an expert in assisting SMEs with their tax needs. We recognise that all businesses are different, and we aim to offer a tailored service that is perfect for you and the business you run. We can help you with a range of responsibilities from filing tax returns and resolving audits, to tax planning and sorting out tax issues if and when they occur.

Dealing with taxes can be challenging and stressful, which is why we offer a comprehensive service that does all the hard work for you so you can focus on the other aspects of running a business.

To get in touch with one of our tax experts and to find out how we can make your taxes easier to manage, contact Berley today on 020 7788 8261, or fill out our Online Form.

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Expecting the unexpected: hidden business costs

Starting a business is a step into the unknown. Even with a well-thought-out business plan, there are often a lot of overlooked costs that can quickly eat into your cash reserves. It’s not something you can afford to ignore with your initial profit margin being so small. As experienced accountants to contractors, here is our list of some of the most common hidden costs that can catch startups off-guard.

Inventory Shrinkage

Shrinkage is something commonly associated with companies that sell physical products and is often caused by shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and vendor fraud. The issue is that it can be hard to identify which of these causes is at work, meaning it is relatively difficult to address the problem. While it is possible to mitigate it to an extent, there will always be a degree of shrinkage in any business, as no system is perfect. Planning around it is the key. Leave yourself some margins that account for inventory shrinkage, and then calculate it into your costs to ensure it doesn’t throw off your spending. You can contact us for help with identifying potential causes of shrinkage.

Administrative costs

Administrative costs can easily add up in modern offices where technology is prevalent. For example, companies across the UK spend a significant amount of money on software upgrades to protect against viruses and spyware. One way to reduce administrative cost is to standardise equipment like computers to make it easier to upgrade and manage, or similarly to standardise software such as antivirus programs. This way it is much easier and cheaper to upgrade and maintain everything, saving you money down the line.

Shipping and delivery costs

While national delivery is not as expensive as it used to be, thanks to the onset of online marketplaces like Amazon, shipping remains very expensive without a contract. Even with a business rate, you’ll need to take into account increases in price for moving large amounts of some products. Dealing with delicate products can also drive up the shipping price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a good deal as the continued business is valuable.


The cost of business insurance is tough to predict, as it depends on the nature of your work, the type of insurance you need, and how risky your venture is perceived to be. However, it can be worth researching which type of insurance you really need and which are cost-effective. Not all are suitable for your business, and renewing unnecessary insurance is an easy way to lower your profits.


Do not assume that employee costs will remain the same. Your business’ income may be consistent, but employee salary increases yearly. It’s also likely that employees will ask for higher wages, bonuses, and fringe benefits among other things. Ensure that your employment budget covers rising employee salaries and benefits so that your business can retain its workforce. It’s more cost-efficient to retain current employees than to find new ones.


You know that you need a license to start a business, but often several other licenses are required depending on what your business does. Make sure you research exactly which licenses you need beforehand, as obtaining and renewing them can sometimes be quite expensive, especially if there are multiple ones that you have overlooked. The government’s license finder tool can help you identify which ones you need.

Legal fees

Legal fees are the ultimate unexpected cost, and potentially the highest. Legal fees can reach tens of thousands of pounds and come seemingly out of nowhere. Prevention is better than cure, so if your customer service and business partner relationships are good, your chances of going to court are much lower. However, ensuring that you have a significant amount of liquid capital can soften the blow if it does come.

We know what it takes

At Berley, we understand what a business needs to get going. We’ve been over the process, understood the costs and lived through the mistakes, all so you don’t have to.

To find out how we can help, give us a call on 020 7788 8261 or fill out our Online Form.

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Cryptocurrencies: fad or future?


Bitcoin has been in the news recently, and not always for the right reasons. The cryptocurrency started at a value of almost nil in 2009, rocketed to a record high of US$20,000 in 2017, but has been steadily falling and is currently worth about US$6,500. Investors who entered the market at the peak suffered staggering losses. Despite all of this, cryptocurrency remains a controversial topic for businesses, with some waiting for it to die out and others willing to bring it into their system. The real question is can this emerging technology help you take your business to greater heights? The specialist business growth accountants at Berley give you the facts.

What is Bitcoin?

In simple terms, bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. Created as an alternative to standard government-held currencies, it uses cryptography to control its creation and management in the same way that a government would control the printing and distributing of money. The difference is that bitcoin is entirely peer-to-peer, with independent operators often storing large amounts of bitcoins on local systems, and trading goes through them rather than through government banks. This allows for more security than most transactions as any hidden costs must be shown to the client. It’s impossible to tie personal information to the transaction, giving the holder complete anonymity and privacy.

Too good to be true?

While it may seem fine, there are many problems associated with the currency. First is the security issue surrounding cryptocurrency in general. This is a relatively new technology, and there have been numerous high-profile cases of hacking that have resulted in enormous losses for various cryptocurrency companies, usually forcing them into bankruptcy. Approximately 45% of all cryptocurrency traders have shut down, with many suffering similar security breaches. One of the most public cases of hacking came from Mt. Gox, which at the time was responsible for approximately 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide. In 2014, they filed for bankruptcy after having $473 million worth of bitcoins stolen. That’s around 7% of all bitcoins in existence.

While bitcoin has some viability as a currency, it tends to fluctuate wildly in value, dropping hundreds of dollars in mere hours. Without government regulation, it has often been suspected of being manipulated for monetary gain.

While you can be taxed on cryptocurrency transactions by government financial bodies, they are not accepted everywhere. Either they can gain acceptance over time, or sometimes be rejected altogether. In China, for example, the People’s Bank of China forbids bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies from being legal tender, rendering them virtually useless.

When looking at whether or not to consider accepting cryptocurrencies, you need to have the correct viewpoint. Many cryptocurrency companies will look to advertise their product and give you little information on whether it will help to grow your company, promising success no matter what. However, our business growth services focus only on what gets your company results and give you the information you need to make informed decisions.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a form of digital ledger, most commonly associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. A blockchain consists of blocks that contain a timestamp, a record of the transaction, and a coded version of the previous block. As you make payments, these blocks of data form a chain of payments. Any attempt to tamper with one transaction forces you to modify all the other blocks within the chain, and this becomes progressively harder as more and more blocks are added.

The advantage is that all the data in the blockchain is public and transaction data is easy to find. However, no personal data is stored in the chain, making it far more transparent than traditional banking. In addition, because the data is difficult to tamper with, the transactions themselves are secure, although Bitcoin’s other security failings have made this feature redundant thus far.

Why consider blockchain?

As is the case with any business, you need to look to the future. The current iteration of bitcoin may not be something you would consider using now, but everyone agrees that the technology behind it holds immense promise. Blockchain technology is currently bogged down by many of bitcoin’s sins, and the cryptocurrency’s demise could free it to prosper in many aspects of the business world. Digital currencies could be standard use within a few decades, and it would be blind not to learn from their teething issues.

To stand out from the crowd you must be willing to embrace the future, and while that doesn’t mean you should immediately invest your hard-earned savings in bitcoin, it does mean keeping an eye on one of the more promising technologies of this generation. As with anything new, caution should be exercised, but the potential for growing your business is immense should you choose the right path. This is why it’s so important to seek the advice of an expert like Berley: the risks are just as high as the rewards, and we can help you avoid them. We’re run by entrepreneurs just like you, people who can see the pitfalls and guide you away from them.

Berley can help

As small business accountants, we know a thing or two about the unknown. When our founders first set up Berley Chartered Accountants many people thought they were crazy for walking out on a well-paid salary to set up their own business. They said we would fail for doing something so different, but we proved them wrong precisely because we were willing to accept something new. Now we can help you follow the same path, to be open to the possibilities of a new technology that could help you grow your business.

To find out more get in touch on 020 7788 8261 or fill out our Online Form.

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