I’m free!… Crunch offers free accountancy software for UK start-ups

UK start-up Crunch today disrupted the accountancy industry by offering its accountancy software service Solo free to customers.

By offering a free service AFTER the launch of its premium service, the company has turned on its head the so-called Freemium model.

Apparently the software ‘is identical to Crunch’s original premium product and allows users to manage their bookkeeping, raise invoices, record expenses and view their tax liability in real time, all at zero cost’.

Naturally, the idea is that new customers will use the free service and then upgrade to Crunch’s premier accountancy package that includes human customer support and more.

It’s a smart idea, but not one without risks. As long as the company’s existing customers don’t get the hump too much and the conversion rate is as high as Crunch expects then this could be good news for UK start-ups… and even better news for Crunch.

Female entrepreneurs are doing it for themselves… and their families

Today is International Women’s Day and new research commissioned by online accountants Crunch shows that the challenge facing UK female entrepreneurs is as tough as it ever was.

According to Simply Business, in 2011 there was a 12% increase in the number of women setting up their business and now nearly a third of business owners in the UK are women with female entrepreneurs accounting for around 7% of the UK’s workforce. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Five

This is the fifth episode in the six-step guide to setting up your own business and, as a Cat Stevens song once explained, we’ve come a long way.

We have already spoken about how easy it is to get started and how these straitened and austere times mean that becoming an entrepreneur is not only a good option, it can sometimes be the only option. Employment really isn’t what it used to be and probably never will be again. We are no longer a country of shopkeepers; we are a nation of businessmen. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Four

Hello again and after teasing you for a couple of weeks this episode will tell you about what you have to pay and what you can claim for as your new business takes hold.

The first thing to do is not to become too carried away when those invoices are finally paid. It may look like a lot of money compared to your previous salary when you had a regular job, but those invoices are gross revenues. Continue reading

Six easy steps to set up a UK business – Part Three

So, you’ve incorporated your company, you can tell everybody you’re a CEO and the gigs are starting to come in, what do you do next?

The first and most important thing is don’t expect to be paid on time. It is galling that for much of the time you’ll be waiting for money, you’ll be expecting money on a certain date and it won’t be forthcoming. That’s why people stay in jobs, the money is regular and the bills can be scheduled. When you run your own business there will be uncertainty as well as glorious freedom and entrepreneurship. Continue reading