It’s the end of the rating list and you still haven't evaluated your business rates. Panic starts to set in as you try to get your appeal in order before the 2023 deadline or risk missing out on a rebate for everything you’ve overpaid since 2017.
You’re not alone there are thousands of businesses like yours that have not appealed their rates in this cycle yet. Many won’t, which is a missed opportunity as far as business financing is considered. The monthly rates bill comes in as the fourth highest overhead on average for most businesses but is usually considerably over-estimated.
Those that appealed their bill for this rating period immediately have been enjoying nearly six years of reduced bills. But the good news is that as long as an appeal is made within this rating cycle, any business can still receive the full financial benefit in one lump sum.
But this poses a whole new question.
When life gives you a six-year lemon rebate, how should you reinvest your lemons?
While there’s no one area you should consider, and options are going to be heavily dependent on your own business; here are some options to consider.
Up until now you may have done well through customer/client referrals and began to explore digital avenues as an opportunity to broadcast your business. A business rates rebate could be just the financial injection you need to upscale your marketing strategy and get more people to notice your business.
Marketing is different for every business, and there’s no on-shoe-fits-all model out there that takes into account your particular products or services. But your rebate could be used to better identify your customer profiles, understand a marketing format that best attracts them, and executes it to a standard you’re proud of.
We’re not advising you to throw all of your rebate into an expensive marketing strategy if that’s not financially viable for your business. But increasing your budget incrementally and measuring the results (there’s a whole host of metrics to look into once you get started) can put you on track for a stellar, personalised game plan that works for you.
Why not start by outlining a few key objectives you’d like to achieve through increased marketing, and go from there?
Research and development:
Your rebate could be the key to investing in those little business tweaks you’ve been meaning to look into.
We’re not talking about a full-scale upheaval of your product or service (unless you are!) but having the finances ready to try new things can revolutionise your business both for you and for your clients or customers.
And what's more, you can claim back some of what you spent on R&D, through some handy government incentives!
When R&D was first rolled out by HMRC in the year 2000, its mission was to incentivise UK companies to invest in innovative projects that would bring the industry forward. It lets companies recover up to 33.35% of overall R&D spending in the form of a reduction in corporation tax or a financial rebate.
The relief isn’t exclusively for the lab coats and clipboards of our economy either. Any industry could qualify for the R&D scheme as long as they fit within the scope laid out by the government. The remit here is intentionally broad to encourage spending in R&D and can be separated into two categories:
Creating new products, processes, or services.
Changing or modifying an existing product or service.
So as long as you are a limited UK company that has spent money in one of these two areas, and your service or product is ‘innovative’ and can be used by third parties to resolve common struggles, then you may be eligible for R&D.
Especially in the current climate, amidst soaring energy bills that are putting many companies out of business, it might be time to start looking at your energy usage options.
When installing a type of renewable energy technology, know that there are many options to choose from, and each has their own pros, cons, prices, and permissions attached to them,
We recommend doing some thorough research before settling on one, but when you do, also know that you could claim back some of the costs from the government, AND reduce your business rates bill moving forward. making the switch potentially a win-win situation!
Those for a renewable energy claim on your business rates include low-carbon heat networks and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage.
There are of course many other ways you could reinvest your business rates rebate, and as we’ve said before, it’s down to the specific needs of your business! But while it may be tempting to pocket the rebate and go on holiday, (We wouldn't blame you if you did!)reinvestment could provide a larger overall income further down the line.
As for the next rating period, if you want to stay on top of your overheads from the get-go, make sure to appeal your rates as soon as you get your new bill. We’re always at hand for free, no-obligation advice on your business rates, don’t hesitate to get in touch!