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Starting A Bakery Business
Business,

Starting A Bakery Business: Five Basic Equipment You Should Have

Opening your own bakery may be a lucrative venture if you love baking. This is much more true when people love what you bake. Starting a bakery business can be fun but it is not that easy. One of the first things to consider is the bakery equipment.

Oven

There can be no bakery without an oven. It is the most crucial equipment you must have on your list. Do not settle for low-quality ovens. It would be best to invest in a high-quality, airtight oven. A reliable oven is true to temperature, it bakes at the temperature you set. This kind of oven will let you save time and energy. An unreliable oven will let you keep on checking on your pastries and adjust your baking times. Some bakers prefer a gas oven to an electric oven. It would be better to have a stove and oven combination if you are unable to come up with a decision. It offers more versatility. If you have no need for a range then you can opt for a wall oven.

Food processor

It can be very tiring to crush nuts or shave chocolate by hand. A food processor takes only several seconds to finish these tasks. You can then spend the time you saved on other things. The sharp blades can also cut butter into a dough. Its absolute precision will ensure the quality of your baked pastries. Plus, it will not melt as you cut through the dough.

Racks

An efficient bakery must have not only one but several racks. You can cool your finished products on the racks as you display them. Mobile racks are the best option if you need to move the racks around. It is ideal if you have limited space. If you have a limited budget then you can go for a simple multi-shelf that is stationary.

Mixer

Stand mixers and hand mixers are also necessary for a bakery. Getting a floor mixer from Schaumburg Specialties is ideal if you have plenty of space. It can make larger batches of dough at once. There should at least be one hand mixer in your bakery. It will be for your meringues, creams, and sauces to top your finished pastries.

Baking pan

It is crucial to have enough of each pan type to ensure you can accommodate order volumes. Most bakeries have more baking pans than they need. The dough can be very unpredictable at times. Having extra pans will not hurt.

Quartz Stone
Business,

High-Quality And Durable Quartz Stone For Your Countertops

Quartz countertops are thick and durable. Anyone can make a durable and inexpensive countertop with its high demand in the market; it is not difficult to buy this kind of stone. A wide range of colored quartz were formed by the combination of coloring pigment with ground quartz and its binding agents. These are listed as the most durable countertops produced in the market. The selection of quartz at graniteselection is widely popular due to its durability and attractive colors to spice up any kind of office decor. It can’t be a cause of the problem to the environment. If you are looking for a better office, quartz countertops are perfect one.

Leading special quartz available

There are leading special quartz countertops used in the producing and construction industry. These are the most popular brands that have the best types of special quartz countertops in different colors:

  • Sparkling white
  • Fossil gray
  • Carrara cloud
  • Calacatta Classique
  • Calacatta storm
  • Calacatta legend and more

These special quartz countertops can be installed in offices, homes and even in schools. The available colors suit any interior and can add a splash of opulent warmth and royal elegance.

Qualities of quartz

Quartz countertops are not only durable, but it is made of resin binders and ground quartz offering a non-porous finish. It emphasizes that these stones are water-resistant and to any other liquid such as oil and caffeine. The hardening process of the special quartz countertops is done properly, making them flawlessly beautiful and elegant. These special quartz countertops have vibrant colors making the kitchen and bathroom look fresh all the time. The entire appeal of the room will probably be the talk of the people. The varieties of colors and tones of quartz are available. So, the choice of the customer depends on the exact interior design. Inlay doors can glamorize the indoors assembled with the best shade of quartz countertops will add extra oomph.

Customers can pay for anything of exactly the specified shade and texture they want for their quartz countertops. Get any shade or color and tone of the quartz countertops, and then accessorize it with your best choice of interior designing materials. It can make the room look great and so much welcoming. Quartz countertops are perfect for flooring material, staircases, fireplace mantles, and desktops. Granite and marble patterns with quartz can also be a perfect combination of a smoothly blend color.

 

Customer Experience Strategy
Business,

Why Your Business Needs a Customer Experience Strategy

A lot of companies have said that their priority in 2020 is improving the customer experience.

The customer experience is everything for a business. Without customers, there’s no revenue, which means there’s no business. Every marketing strategy and product development should involve the customer and what they are thinking about.

This is why every business needs a customer experience strategy.

Businesses need to consider ways to enhance the customer experience. They need to consider ways to improve every other business that involves the customer journey.

Here’s a guide that will explain the customer experience strategy and how to develop a strategy that can benefit your business.

What Is a Customer Experience Strategy?

The customer experience strategy is about creating a loyal customer. It’s about enhancing their journey from the very beginning when they are introduced to your business.

It means figuring out how to create a better digital customer experience, which includes website optimization, quality content, emails, customer service, and more.

When consumers see every facet of your business, they will see how it benefits them. They will also recognize your brand. They will recognize how your brand’s story and how it benefits them in their life.

When you think about the customer experience, you have to consider how the customer is interacting with your product. You have to consider what it means to them and how they are experiencing it.

For example, if you sold a bookshelf, you aren’t just selling something that holds books for the consumer. You are selling an item that is going to enhance the look of their home.

The customer experience strategy is about getting the consumer to recognize your brand, the many benefits, and eventually turn them into a lifelong customer. It’s about seeing the value of your product and how it enhances the consumer’s life.

When you create a positive customer experience, your brand is seen as better than your competitors and you create lifelong customers.

What Are Some Strategies?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the customer experience, it’s important to look at some of the strategies that can enhance this experience.

These strategies can also help you boost your revenue and create lifelong customers. It can help you improve areas of your business that may be driving consumers away.

Storytelling

One strategy to consider if you want to enhance the customer experience is storytelling.

You should be telling stories about your brand. When customers see your brand logo or your brand images, they should feel an emotional connection to it. They feel as if the brand is going to do something for them, helping them overcome a problem.

If you want your brand to tell a story that connects with your customers, you need to make sure the story is about them.

You also want to make sure the story is visible everywhere. You want your story to be on social media, in your content, emails, and anywhere else.

The more consumers understand your story, the more they will feel a part of your brand. They will understand how it can help them overcome a problem.

This is also why it’s important to have a story created about your consumers when you start a business. You may need to tweak it because you want that story to be memorable.

Better Website

Another strategy to consider if you want to enhance the customer experience is with a better website. A better website is about adopting a user experience strategy.

The user or consumers who are visiting your website wants an experience. They want to be able to shop on your website without having to deal with slow loading pages or content that is irrelevant.

Users want a website that is optimized to meet their needs. They want to find the solution immediately when they are on your website without having a reason to leave.

This also means you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. With more people searching on mobile, it’s more evident that websites that are mobile-friendly are going to attract more visitors.

When you have a website that is mobile friendly and caters to the needs of the consumer, you are more likely to enhance their experience.

Quality Content

The final strategy to consider when you are looking at enhancing the customer experience is quality content.

Quality content is informational content that doesn’t’ provide fluff information. It doesn’t provide the exact same information as your competitors.

If you want your business to be unique to your customers and stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure your blog content on your website is SEO optimized and provides new and insightful information.

SEO optimized content can not only help you attract new visitors because your website will rank higher, but it will also help you create lifelong customers.

Your quality content will build trust with customers.

If you want to learn more about enhancing the customer experience, you can visit this site.

Now It’s Time to Enhance the Customer Experience

The customer experience strategy is a vital part of generating more sales. It’s a vital part of creating lifelong customers.

This is why you need to think about what kind of story you are telling your customers. You need to think about how you are creating an experience for them with your product and the message you are sending them.

Ultimately, the strategies in this article can provide some guidance on how to enhance the customer experience and boost your business.

If you liked this article, you can check out more like it by visiting the rest of our website.

Outdoor Restaurant Ideas
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10 Outdoor Restaurant Ideas That Will Make Them Keep Coming Back

Whether it’s to increase customer capacity, offer alternative dining options, or provide an outside space for smokers, embracing the growing trend for outdoor seating areas is a smart move for restauranteurs.

That said, placing a few tables and chairs out front on the sidewalk or out the back by the trashcans won’t cut it. Today’s outdoor restaurant ideas are innovative and considered, with many proprietors putting as much thought, time, and effort into cultivating their outdoor dining areas as they have done with their interiors. After all, outdoor restaurant decor needs to work with the elements while also serving as an extension of the restaurant’s aesthetic.

So, what kinds of outdoor seating ideas for restaurants should you be considering for your place’s outdoor space? Keep reading to find out the features and designs that your customers are sure to love.

  1. Plan your Seating Layout

Before you even consider how to put these outdoor seating ideas for restaurants into place, you’ll need to plan your seating layout. But making the most of the outdoor space your restaurant has doesn’t mean cramming in as many tables and chairs as you can.

More tables outside won’t automatically make your restaurant better or more profitable. And especially not if you don’t consider the knock-on effect of extending your business in this way. For a start, you wouldn’t want extra seating to mean customers having to wait longer for their food because your staff can’t keep up with the extra demand.

And, even if your team can fit more tables into their workload, your outdoor space determines how many extra tables you can accommodate. Designing an inviting and comfortable outdoor dining space means planning a layout with plenty of room to maneuver between tables, easy access to the bathroom, and a clear path to the kitchen for waitstaff.

  1. Use Commercial Quality Outdoor Furniture

With your seating plan in place, investing in quality outdoor restaurant furniture should be your top priority. Neither indoor restaurant furniture nor residential patio furniture will be suitable here. Instead, you’ll need to seek out furniture made from high-grade materials made especially for open air restaurants.

This kind of commercial outdoor furniture will withstand the harsh environmental elements and constant use. But it’s also designed for optimal comfort, low maintenance, and ease of cleaning. Outdoor seating ideas for restaurants include stackable options too, if space and storage are potential issues.

That said, the outdoor restaurant furniture you choose should also echo the kind of ambiance and decor you’ve chosen for your restaurant’s interior. For example, bright plastic or painted metal chairs and tables will work for a kitsch bakery and dessert place, but a more sophisticated restaurant might prefer wooden tables and chairs. Every material has certain pros and cons so it’s important to do your research and choose well.

  1. Let There Be Light

One of the advantages of open air restaurants is that they’re full of natural light. But unless you plan to close your outdoor seating area when the sun sets, you’ll need some kind of after-hours outdoor lighting. This will create the right ambiance as well as a safe environment for both your staff and customers.

Because of this balancing act, your choice of lighting can often make or break your outdoor restaurant decor. Even the best outdoor seating ideas for restaurants will fall flat if you leave the lighting as an afterthought or make the wrong choice. Go too bright and your customers will feel like they’re dining out under the floodlights of the local sports stadium. But go too dim and it’ll be all too easy for your waitstaff or a customer to trip over a stray foot or a misplaced bag.

One way to overcome this is to opt for low sensor-activated lights around the outskirts of your dining area. These will enable customers and waitstaff to navigate the floor area with ease without anyone feeling overwhelmed by bright lights when they sit down. Alongside these safety lights, string lights, candles, lanterns, and other decorative lighting features arranged according to the seating plan will help add a soft glow and an attractive ambiance.

  1. Consider the Climate

Unless your restaurant has a covered outdoor dining area, you’ll need to plan how to offer your customers shelter from the elements. In summer, the heat and glare of the sun make for an uncomfortable eating experience. And inevitable weather changes mean that every table should have the possibility of some form of awning, umbrella, or canopy on hand and easy for waitstaff to open.

Terrace awnings and retractable canopies work well for outdoor dining areas that are right outside your restaurant building while butterfly awnings can provide shade and shelter to any areas away from the building. That said, some establishments prefer individual patio umbrellas to give customers at each table the choice to add shade or not. Or, you might prefer extra-large umbrellas that cover several tables at once for a less crowded covered outdoor dining area.

Whatever form of shelter you choose for your restaurant, remember to take into account the kind of weather your area gets as well as how the sun falls in your outdoor space at different times of the day. These elements will determine everything from the positioning to the materials and design.

  1. Decide on Your Pet Policy

Although the FDA prohibits restaurants in the US and Canada from allowing pets inside, more and more open air restaurants are allowing dogs to join their owners in outdoor seating areas.

With this in mind, it’s important to decide on your pet policy ahead of time. Being able to bring their furry friend along will be a big draw for dog owners. That said, others might prefer a pet-free dining experience.

For establishments with a large outdoor dining area, one of the more inclusive outdoor seating ideas for restaurants is to have a pet-friendly space and an area where pets aren’t allowed. And, for smaller patios and gardens, pet-friendly days or hours could be the best way to please both groups.

Above all, whatever pet policy you go for, make sure it’s easy for people to find out. Ways to help include briefing your staff, mentioning it on social media, and adding signs outside your restaurant.

  1. Make Them Wait

One way to capitalize on a limited amount of outdoor space is to turn it into an attractive waiting area. This is particularly useful for restaurants that attract huge crowds on certain evenings or at certain times of the day.

Rather than forcing customers to wait on the street or squeeze in by the bar area, invite them to wait and enjoy a drink at the outdoor bar. Customers won’t end up getting impatient as they won’t feel like they’re waiting. Instead, they’ll enjoy and appreciate the inviting experience and welcoming atmosphere. What’s more, if the wait is a little longer than they anticipated, they’ll be more likely to stay since they’ve already settled in and ordered a drink.

  1. Highlight the Outdoor Element

In the same way you’d decorate a stylish backyard dining area with plants and foliage, implementing these natural features in your outdoor restaurant decor is a simple yet effective way to add visual interest to your outdoor seating area.

As well as using plants as a kind of natural decor, they can also serve as dividers to add intimacy. What’s more, vines, potted flowers, and baskets hanging from pergolas and trelliswork can help block out direct sunlight while also adding pops of color.

You could even place lush foliage and miniature trees around the border of your patio as a way to create an open garden restaurant hidden from the outside view. This could be ideal if your restaurant borders a busy road or an unattractive building. Plus, the added privacy will be popular with customers while also arousing the curiosity of any passers-by.

  1. Set the Mood

Plants and greenery aren’t the only way to liven up your outdoor restaurant decor. In the same way that you would use art and music to set the mood inside your establishment, these elements can help create a similar ambiance to an outdoor setting.

The music you play outside should reflect the kind of music you play for your indoor diners. This helps bring the two dining areas together, creating a congruence for all customers. Art might seem a little more difficult without four walls to hang paintings from. But if there’s a cement wall or an ugly wooden fence bordering your outdoor dining area, how about commissioning a local artist to paint a mural on the wall? This kind of feature wall will turn it from an eyesore into a talking point – and maybe even the next Instagram trend!

  1. Invest in Outdoor Accessories

While shelter and shade can help make your diners’ experience more comfortable whatever the weather, there are other issues to consider when designing the perfect open garden restaurant.

For restaurants in hot and humid climates, misting fans and outdoor cooling systems can help provide extra relief from the heat. At the other end of the scale, heaters and a supply of cozy blankets can help extend the patio season beyond the summer months and keep customers warm on chilly nights.

Insect zappers, aromatic plants, and fans can help keep insects away from your guests and their food. And curtains or moveable planters can help add privacy if customers want to feel a little less exposed out in the open air.

It’s also worth considering your clientele and their specific needs. For example, if you do decide on a pet-friendly policy, dog owners are sure to appreciate you giving out fresh water in bowls to their four-legged friends. Or, if your restaurant is a popular stopping point for hikers or cyclists, consider extras like a bicycle rack or lockers for your outdoor space.

  1. Try a Different Theme

Many open air restaurants follow the same theme as their indoor dining space. But there are plenty of others that allow their outdoor space to take their establishment in a new direction.

For example, if you’re turning a secluded backyard into an outdoor dining area, why not play on its features and create a secret garden with a romantic atmosphere and an air of exclusivity?

If it’s hidden out of view from other customers, this magical hideaway will soon gain a reputation of its own through word-of-mouth without you needing to give it too much publicity. Classical music, soft lighting, tables for two, and even a more exclusive menu made for sharing could all add to the secret, secluded feel. You never know, it might even turn into a cool celebrity hangout for stars who want to dine out away from the crowds.

In contrast, a large outdoor area could be ideal for encouraging big groups to gather. Combining both a covered outdoor dining area and an open area with optional shade is a great way to attract those celebrating birthdays, bachelor parties, and bachelorette parties. This would also allow you to maintain a more intimate, less noisy dining experience in the indoor area. Outside, long tables and benches could encourage a Oktoberfest-style ‘beer garden’ feel while you might even offer different foods to patrons such as burgers, finger foods, and snacks rather than full meals.

Inspiring Outdoor Restaurant Ideas

As these outdoor restaurant ideas show, there are lots of different factors to take into account when expanding your establishment’s dining experience to include the option of eating al fresco.

But, while some considerations are specific to the kind of restaurant you run, there are others – such as investing in high-quality commercial outdoor furniture – that are essential no matter what.

For more of the latest business news and advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts.

Remote Training
Business,

5 Remote Training Tips for Ultimate Success

2020 has disrupted many activities that most people took for granted, like in-person learning and training. Some employees prefer learning from home, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.

According to research from the American Psychological Association, effective remote training starts with having the right setup, including devices with internet capabilities and a comfortable working environment. However, the right resources can only get you so far – to truly succeed, it will take even more.

Keep reading this guide to learn the top remote training tips that will get your team ready to take on even thae toughest days at work.

  1. Keep It Engaging

Engagement is critical when it comes to learning – without it, your employees will just be staring at the screen, thinking, “when will this be over.” To avoid that situation, it’s going to take some creativity and maybe a little extra time in your schedule.

One way to keep employees engaged is by utilizing a learning management system. These types of software allow you to set up training courses and track how well your employees are doing. Don’t settle for anything less than the best learning management system, as they will typically come loaded with extra features, like gamification that will keep employees engaged and on track to succeed.

  1. Make It Accessible

If employees can’t access it, what’s the point? It’s important to ensure each employee has access to the training courses. You can do so by sending a welcome email that has a link to the portal where they would sign in and instructing them to do so beforehand to avoid any mishaps.

If you are using remote training software, it’s recommended to double-check and make sure the material will be viewable on any screen (mobile, tablet, laptop). Holding an introductory orientation is also a good idea to ensure the entire class is on the same page.

  1. Create an Agenda

Developing an agenda is one of the best remote training tips to keep everyone on the same page and gives trainees a basic understanding of what they will be learning. It can be as simple as creating topics for each day and briefly explaining what they will be learning on that given day.

If you want to take it a step further, you can create daily checklists for trainees to refer to and complete as they go through their training courses.

  1. Offer Support

A major disadvantage of remote learning is not having the set-aside time you normally would have in person to go over questions employees may have. Offering support can make a significant difference in how some people learn. You can do so by setting time aside after class to go over any questions or giving out an email address that they can contact.

Looking for More Information on Remote Training?

At least for now, it seems companies will continue to implement remote training into their work environment to keep employees safe and follow COVID guidelines. Learning remotely doesn’t have to be a hassle. New technology is connecting people in ways we never imagined possible.

If you are looking for more information on remote training, or other business advice, check out the rest of our blog!

Business Management
Business,

Business Management: 4 Tips for First-Time Business Owners

It’s always an exciting prospect to start a new business venture, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. Apart from the potentially lucrative rewards that success can yield, being your own boss comes with a lot of advantages. But don’t be fooled: it’s not without its fair share of challenges. Running a company is a massive undertaking, after all. And the amount of planning and preparation you do now will ultimately define the endeavour later on. To this end, here are a few management tips for those starting a business for the first time.

  1. Conduct market research

No matter how good an idea is, it’ll still take a lot of work transforming it into a feasible business plan. And if you don’t take the time to conduct adequate market research, not only will you be unable to identify the demand and expectations of your target audience. But you’ll also increase the risks of the endeavour. So don’t skimp on statistical studies and opinion research. It’ll give you a competitive edge and maximise your chances of developing effective advertising strategies. And as a result, generate more sales for your company.

  1. Secure funding for capital

If you don’t have enough capital to establish your company, you’ll need to find funding. And a combination of comprehensive market research, extensive planning, and a stab at creating your business’ brand will help you secure the finances that you need to launch your startup. There are several avenues that you can take to find the funds that you require, from your own personal savings and family and friends to angel investors and traditional loan options. The key is to carefully compare each against the other to see which one will best fit your business model.

  1. Don’t quit your day job just yet

No one can deny that starting a business venture requires a considerable commitment of time and effort. However, it’s usually a good idea not to quit your regular nine-to-five until you’ve begun to generate profits. After all, you’re going to need additional funds to keep your company afloat for at least a few months. And if you stop your current work now, you’ll risk losing your only source of income. As such, it’s better to stick with your job first until you’ve got both feet on the ground.

  1. Never spend on impulse

Expenditure will always be a part of running a business. There’s no getting around this fact. However, you mustn’t spend on impulse. Instead, learn to explore every option and compare prices for all the products and services that you need before financially committing to them. For example, if you’re looking for contractors for commercial fencing, you’ll have a better chance of finding companies like rtcfencing.co.uk  if you do your research first.

There are few things as thrilling and equally intimidating than starting a business. However, by following these business management tips, you’ll give your startup more than a good chance of succeeding, no matter the industry or trade.

 

Office Space
Business,

The Key Advantages of a Serviced Office Space for Your Small and Growing Business

Many businesses today have had to evolve with the changing times, and a lot of businesses are finding new ways to economise and save money and resources as well. Small businesses, in particular, are trying to be more practical, and along with this come the increasing popularity of serviced offices. If you have a small enterprise and are looking to expand and find the proper space where you can conduct business, meet clients, and give your clients a better overall impression of your company, then you may also be thinking about serviced offices. But what exactly are serviced offices, and what can you expect from them? Here’s what you really should know about the key advantages of a serviced office space for your small and growing business.

What it really is

Serviced offices are usually furnished spaces which are also equipped with electricity and communication technology such as internet and telephone connections, and they can also come with additional services such as cleaning and maintenance, meeting room rental, kitchen and reception areas, and more. A typical serviced office will be managed by a serviced office operator, and these operators often rent or lease out various-sized spaces to clients, and this gives clients access to a wholly private space for their needs without the hassle of a long-term lease.

The real advantages of serviced offices

  • Flexibility and a short-term lease

Business startups and small businesses are keen to grow, but they can only expand if they have the proper assets at their disposal. And a serviced office is definitely an asset because it offers flexibility and a short-term lease, which means that once your business grows, you can easily opt for a bigger space or end your agreement or contract with only a month’s notice in advance. If you want your company to be agile and are looking for convenience, serviced offices are ideal.

  • A cost-effective solution without any downtime

With serviced offices such as office space to rent in Manchester from Cariocca Enterprises, you can have a truly cost-effective solution for your business space requirements, and you don’t have to deal with downtime, either. You need only pay for whatever space you use, and most of these spaces are also furnished and already come with capabilities such as Internet and telephone lines, CCTVs, parking facilities, reception services, meeting rooms, and more. All you essentially have to do is choose your office or business space, move in, and start working, so you don’t have to deal with any downtime in your business. The serviced office solution has indeed helped a lot of small and startup businesses because it frees up their financial resources for other priorities as well.

  • The opportunity to meet other business owners and prospective clients

Most serviced offices are centrally and ideally located, which means that they are often near other business centres and offices, so you can establish your business base and be confident that you can meet other business owners and even prospective clients with ease. You can stay in a place which you may not be able to afford if you were to rent a space traditionally, and you can take advantage of the convenience it gives in terms of networking and connecting to other people with the same goals and mindset.

 

Business,

What Makes VAT Recovery a Perfect Solution for You

To begin with, be aware that if your employees travel by train, plane or boat, it will not be possible for your company to recover the deductible VAT. Indeed, these means of transport are not subject to it. This is also the case for mileage charges. These allowances are not affected by deductible VAT. However, it can be recouped from fuel costs.

Recovery of VAT on “fuel” expense reports

Currently, the recovery of VAT on diesel is still favored over that of gasoline. In order to harmonize these two fuels, the State has planned a 5-year alignment of the gasoline VAT regime with that of diesel, which will be total in 2022.

VAT 2

The recovery of VAT on fuel concerns both professional vehicles (belonging to the company) and personal ones. However, for the latter, it will be necessary to prove that the trips are made within the framework of the employee’s activity.

VAT recovery on toll and parking expense reports

As with fuels, VAT can also be recovered on the costs of motorway tolls and parking costs (and other parking lots). Of course, keep in mind that this recovery is only possible if the trips have been made in the interest of the company. Using the 1099 tax calculator is essential in such a case.

In addition, it is also necessary that these costs be justified, therefore accompanied by supporting documents. And, for the latter to be admissible, they must include:

  • The name of the company;
  • The name of the driving employee;
  • The address (head office) of the company;
  • The registration number of the vehicle;
  • The object of the move.

For parking, VAT is recoverable only in certain cases:

  • For spaces reserved for customers
  • For places reserved for visitors
  • For spaces reserved for staff

The recovery of VAT on the accommodation expenses

When your employees find themselves obliged to sleep in a hotel (or other similar services), you can recover VAT on the expenses incurred.

However, as always, these expenses must have been made in the best interests of the business. In addition, invoices must be drawn up in the name of the company, and especially not that of the employee! However, the latter must still be identified on the document (it can be added by hand).

Additional costs related to accommodation, such as breakfasts or meals and drinks consumed at the hotel are also eligible for VAT.

Justify the professional nature of the catering expense reports to recover VAT

VAT may be recoverable on catering and other hospitality expenses. As for overnight stays, the expenses must be justified and the supporting documents in the name of the company, the names of employees (and potential guests) must also be added.

filing business taxes
Business,

The VAT Regime Options You Can Count On

If in doubt, to know the VAT regime applicable to your business and to obtain qualified advice, speak to an accountant.

The normal diet

Each company must submit a monthly declaration. Companies whose turnover does not exceed 2,500,000 euros excluding VAT (250,000 euros excluding VAT for deliveries of mineral oils, mobile phone devices, computers and their peripherals, accessories and components, as well as that of land motor vehicles subject to registration regulations) may submit a quarterly declaration. For filing business taxes this is important.

Special regimes

  • The VAT exemption concerns entrepreneurs who achieve an annual turnover not exceeding 25,000 € (excluding VAT).
  • The flat-rate regime applies to companies whose annual turnover does not exceed 750,000 euros (excluding VAT), which mainly deal with individuals (mainly traders). ( see full list )
  • The agricultural regime is reserved for farmers who have no other activity than cultivation, breeding, etc.
  • The margin tax regime is applicable to second-hand goods, works of art, collection or antiques.

The transactions liable to VAT are:

  • Deliveries of goods (subject to Belgian VAT if the place of delivery is located)
  • The provision of services (anything that is not a delivery of goods)
  • Imports (introduction into Belgium of a good from a non-EU country) the invoice does not mention any VAT but the buyer must pay it when the good enters Belgian territory. This tax is deductible.
  • Intra-community acquisitions (introduction into Belgium of goods shipped from an EU member country. The invoice does not mention any VAT but the Belgian purchaser, subject to VAT, indicates the transaction and the tax in its VAT declaration the tax is deductible.

Your VAT obligations

A company subject to VAT is required:

To identify themselves with the competent office before the start of the activity (is done via the business counter), make periodic declarations (monthly or quarterly) for VAT, to pay the Treasury the VAT which it must charge to its customers, to transmit an annual list of customers and keep accounts and issue invoices.

VAT rate

VAT rates vary depending on the nature of the taxed good or service. The rates are currently 6%, 12% and 21%. They are set by royal decree. 6% mainly for basic necessities and for the provision of social services (ex: basic necessities, passenger transport, agricultural services, etc.)

12% for certain goods and services which from an economic or social point of view are important (e.g. coal, margarine, pay TV subscriptions, etc.), 21% for operations relating to goods or services which are not mentioned elsewhere (ex: new cars, electrical household appliances, perfume articles, etc.)

Business,

3 Good Business Practices to Adopt in Running a Construction Company

No one can deny that the construction industry is a lucrative business to get into. After all, not only does it play a critical role in the growth and development of an economy. But its importance in the transportation, education, and healthcare sectors means that contractors will almost always be in high demand. 

But just because the pursuit of an entrepreneurial venture in this industry can be financially rewarding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s without its fair share of challenges. In actuality, it’s an endeavor that requires a lot of patience, dedication, hard work, and money. And to tip the balance of success in your favor, I have compiled a small list of good business practices that every construction business owner must adopt.

  1. Evaluate the costs of a project before making a proposal

In the interest of winning a project, many inexperienced contractors will often undersell the associated costs and try to bid the lowest. Only to find out later that they won’t generate enough profit from the given estimate. So make sure that you avoid making the same mistake and thoroughly evaluate the costs of the desired project before you make a proposal. In this way, you’ll leave yourself with more financial wiggle room and keep yourself from running out of money before you’ve completed the project.

  1. Take the time to explore and compare all available options before spending

In business, you must spend to make money. There’s no getting around this fact. However, this doesn’t mean that you should spend more than what is necessary. When you get right down to it, the revenue that you’ll generate hinges on your operational expenses. And the lower you’re able to get your costs, the higher your profits will be. Whether you’re looking for plant machinery or materials like construction fasteners, always consider all available options before deciding. It may seem like a lot of extra work now, but a small investment of time in doing so will pay dividends in helping you keep your expenditure down. 

  1. Stay flexible when planning for projects

It’s impossible to predict everything that can happen during a project. And to ensure that your project runs smoothly even in the event of any potential issues like unexpected changes in weather conditions and client-made alterations and adjustments, it’s a general rule of thumb to stay flexible when planning for a project. It may sound counter-productive, but leaving a little room in the plan for any changes will help you adapt much easier in the event that the need arises.

It’s not hard to see the appeal of running a construction business. It can be a financially fulfilling endeavour, after all. But make no mistake: the road to success isn’t without difficulty. But by adopting the good business practices mentioned above, you’ll give your company a better chance at achieving the desired success and making your mark in the industry.