You either pay the tax man or accountant. I have known three people personally who were investigated. One came out of retirement, he said, it started once a week, and went on for a year, I remember speaking to him in the car, he said he was very worried. He said they would get a receipt, and question it,he said,you have got to be so quick .His main concern they would take him to court and take his home. The other one said he cried having to write the check. The other, managed to sign over assets seven years before, he had a specialized accountant, and plenty of non traceable assets. He never said much about the interrogation, but said with your tax pay it your buying peace of mind.
Lessons learned from a photographer/Setting up
My friend traded for thirty years, he set up, with virtually nothing.
Car Austin maxi
Studio a garden shed
Advertising nothing used to deliver wedding magazines in return for free advertising.
When he used to deliver pre view albums, to people, or do a wedding at church he used to park the car around the corner because he was to embarrassed. Night before a wedding he till checked everything, and had back up equipment.Can you imagine spraying a house and you only have one sprayer and it packs up?When he got established he bought a house with double garage and turned into a studio. Everything was paid for, there was no credit, from the albums to processing, to the Leica camera and Hasselblad .I avoided credit myself, a decorators shop said we can set you up an account, no thanks. The owner said to me he would rather deal with me than the big firms, I tried to apply a win for all, and pay on day we pick up.More to follow
In his studio, from the outside, two garage doors on a driveway, from the garden side he took the customers down, nice pond garden house, so none one new, he was using it as a business for a studio. Everything was filed, in his studio he would do his collating, using a stamp to put his details on back of photos, for business cards, a piece of card with label stuck to it.He wore a suit with dr martins shoes, and Casio watch, and was a brilliant photographer, with many well known clients. Before photography, he used to sort out business that were in financial trouble, I learned a lot from him.
My friend used to charge an attendance fee, before the job, which was non refundable. Then charge for the photos album separate, he had a few problems, one a couple splitting up after getting married, another couple moving house, but most were honest. Thinking back, he didn’t have to many problems, how do you deal with bad payers? Are your terms watertight? Do you do checks? Do you take staged payments?Do you get the customer to buy the paint before you start?
I remember, we were chasing a debt outside of his business, he said its no point me taking the guy to court, and getting a county court judgment against him, because he couldn’t pay it anyway, also he already had them. If you have doubts on a customer, its worth checking, its to see if they have ccjs,or orders against them, it could save you a lot of hassle. I remember pulling up outside this guys house, I said to him, look at the cars, he joked, saying he properly sold them insurance policy’s, then he said i bet both of them cars are on finance.
Debt collecting continued
Up this point, he got him to record on cassette how much he owed him, the interest payable per year for his record.
And To keep him posted
I do believe he offered to sort out his finances
I remember my friend saying, I need him to work, so he can pay us off. Every letter he sent him he kept a copy.
Debt collection continued
No one wants to be reminded of money owing in your working environment.
At this point he agreed to sell the house. After this he dissapeared,but we had a work address, we followed him home, then hand delivered a letter, we managed to get some money, on the second move he left a forwarding address. At this address, he new if he wanted to stay, he would have to pay us of.He came up with a bankers draft, I was quiet suppriced.I remember seeing him in town, he turned the other way,the other member cringed in the car .Anyway two years on the house was up for sale,i phoned the estate agents, he gave the keys back,i told the guy,and he said he new a few people who wanted to speak to him as well.He also said, one of his neighbours had seen him in another town.At this point mortgage lenders were given longer time periods for chasing outstanding money owing.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
My friend introduced me to one of his friends,ex deep see diver oil consultant, photographer. At this point i never new much, just that he lived in a studio flat.I remember going back once, it was crumy,it was more like a book shop, he said, he was worried the books would come through the ceiling. He showed me his stamp collection, as he new i was a keen collector. I remember saying, what doses he do in the day, he joked not a lot. He always had country life magazine and boating magazines, maybe he had plans to buy a nice property or luxury boat. When he retired, he had a boat built to his specification, and bought a holiday home, and used to get around on a electric scooter. When he died my friend said, even his solicitor came to the funeral, that’s very rare.Its not until someone gets divorced or dies you get a glimpse at how they lived there life.One thing i remember my friend said, if you had got along with him, you could have had picked the boat up with him.He had bussiness solictors,offshore accounts,which he would have had to pay tax on,dont judge a book untill you have read it.
Prepare for tough times
How many remember 1992,intrest rates were 15 percent, I remember it well, repossessions were sky high. I had just bought my first place, not long after, I was self employed ,no accounts. My friend said put a regular sum in a building society, then we will go and see them this way they will be able to see you have committed regally to saving. I was turned down, they wanted three years accounts. Anyway i was lucky, he said he would guarantor, and help with a higher deposit. They questioned, where the rest came from, he said, it was a gift. I was accepted, we moved in.A year down the line, work was very thin, I was only just keeping things going, when we were busy.I said to my friend, I cant afford to pay the mortgage as work is so quiet.We went to see the branch manager, who was really good, he said,dont pay for six months, but you must come back and see me.In the car my friend said you need regular wage, and work out a buget,no car ,push bike, you can have a phone, and i will give you some money the end of the month out of your wages,thats,all you can have. We did sort things out, only because i kept at it.
Divorce / business/plan
If you have a business with your wife or partner what would happen if you split up? Even worse if you have children, what would happen to the family home. My friend had a shop, his ex reported to the inland revenue. Back then pre nuptial agreements,didnt mean much in courts. Now things have changed providing there done fairly, and proper legal advice, they can be valid. Anything before the relationship /marriage doesn’t come into account.More to follow