Tax return time – can I claim for my parking fine?

To answer such questions as can I claim for parking fines (no, you can’t) and how best to allow for working from home, I’m going live again, in FaceBook  on Tuesday 20th October at 12:30 for about an hour.

I’ll answer all your questions on allowable business expenses for your self-assessment accounts.

You can find the Facebook event here

A reminder that the deadline for submitting a paper self-assessment tax return in the UK is 31st October.

If you make your return online you have until 31st January 2021.

For the tax year that ended 5th april 2020.

If you’ve got a question you’d like me to answer pop it into the event comments on Facebook, you can find the Facebook event here

What’s the biggest barrier to our success in business . . . .us!

I started on Monday talking about why now is a good time to start in therapy private practice and, once qualified, what else we need to be ready – the 4 elements. Tuesday was Personal Therapy requirements – I think at least 100 hours, and yesterday I talked about the importance of having a Therapy Team as our back-up – Supervision (one to one), Coaching or Mentoring and business admin support – for example accountant.

Today I want to talk about Money, and why I think – for Therapists – getting and keeping a ‘Money Mindset’ is a big barrier to our success in Private Practice.

Element 4 – Money Mindset

I was working as a Business Advisor whilst completing my Counselling Studies, helping dozens of local business.

The ones that were successful had one thing in common – their clear understanding of their service, and the value of that service to their customers, and their firmness in their belief that they were worth that value.

Simply – they knew what they wanted to do or sell, and they knew what to charge and were comfortable and confident.

After qualifying I knew Counselling was a proven way to help people, potentially, all people. And I wanted to help everyone – sound familiar?

By being so vague in the beginning, I wasn’t focussed and it’s impossible to market vagueness. Attracting clients was a nightmare.

I took some of my own advice, or at least, a colleague gave it to me, and I paused and stepped back.

I needed to get a business mindset, or money mindset to be more specific. I couldn’t (and still can’t) help everybody and I needed to decide what worked for me. What would my business look like.

Which is about having an absolutely clear, written in stone, Purpose for my business, more commercial than clinical and wide ranging.

Being in business on our own is hard work, overlay that with the emotional load of therapy work and it becomes doubly so if not more.

Being clear about my business purpose is the only way I keep going during the challenges. I see that as a form of external accountability – similar to how the therapeutic process works.

The next step was to create my vision, in words and images. We know the power of as-if with clients and it’s the same for us as business owners.

And the third step is about pathways. What route do we need to take, what do we need to do to build solid foundations in the right shape for us and our business, and it might not look like we thought it would.

I know mine doesn’t, being open to free thinking can lead to opportunities we may not have considered.

Front and centre as we build our business we need to consider Money. How much do we need? What is our budget – what do we need to live and more, enjoy life.

We can have a complicated relationship with money which we may have uncovered in our therapy.

We can project that on to clients as well as receiving their own projections.

By considering our money matters first, we get used to them and are more comfortable and around money.

Sometimes the money doesn’t add up to how we visualised our practice and life. Don’t be daunted or disheartened, reach out for business support as there are other ways of getting the income we need. Colleagues are amazingly inventive in creating a blended income stream, keeping themselves safe and supported so they don’t burnout.

It’s a myth as healers that we shouldn’t charge – we should give our talent as part of universal energy exchange . . . . I think the energy balance is formalised through the exchange of money.

We can develop an ethical and compassionate Money Mindset as we build our Business Foundations and we can do this right now.

I’ll be going live this afternoon at 3:00pm to talk some more about the particular challenges for therapists and you can get a pdf of my checklist by popping your details here:

Finance Friday 20th March 2020

Happy First-day of SpringGeneral

Contact your bank

Review your expenses – can any be stopped for a while – subscriptions you don’t need right now. I’ve asked for a council tax ‘holiday’.

Talk to Landlord or mortgage company.

Self employed therapists, working from home:

eligible for contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Working in their own business premises

Increasing the proposed £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 small businesses (those eligible for Small Business Rate Relief) to a £10,000 cash grant – this will be communicated to those business by their Local Authority (Council) in April.

Government will make loans available

Details not available yet – likely to be low/no interest rates

Business continuity

Keep promoting yourself – give information via your business FB page or website/blog.

When clients make the decision to invest in therapy, you will be in their awareness as a trusted, consistent, professional.

Normal for now

It’s really difficult not to keep scanning for information – believe me, I know. It contributes to our anxiety and in my case, inability to think straight, choose, say, 3 sources only.

Be safe, and please do reach out to me, if you need help.

 Useful links:

Federation of Small Businesses Twitter: @fsb_policy

Picture of my problems two week’s ago – waiting for cows to cross the road

Warm wishes,