Naively into numbers and business
The year is coming to an end, and at the end of March, every company will need to submit their annual report and tax returns. At the workshop, led by experienced accountant and owner of company Evident, Simona Horvat, who has been successfully consulting in the field of accounting and taxes for a number of years, we found out what the possible tax reliefs are and how to pay exactly as much taxes as you need to, not a cent more.
Entrepreneurs often let accountants handle financial matters
"Most entrepreneurs who come to me say either that they will not pay taxes or that they will pay a minimal amount. Then they add that they're not interested in how I'll do it," says Simona Horvat and in the same breath commends those present, because for her that's a sign that they're thinking about what they themselves can do to decrease taxes and don't just put that responsibility on the accountant's shoulders. "It's very difficult when someone comes to me in December or, even worse, in January, February, saying they made 200,000 euros in profit and asking what they can do," she adds. In those cases, the accountant can do little, and at the same time puts the entrepreneur into a horrible situation.
Private matters are often found amongst company costs
Entrepreneurs manoeuvre costs differently and they like to note private costs in the name of the company. An example of such an approach is the entrepreneur writing up a Sunday lunch as a representative cost. The fact is that few meetings happen on a Sunday, so such a cost is fairly suspicious to the tax administration and can be the reason for a more in-depth look into accounting records.
"The most lawful and least used form of manoeuvring inside costs are tax reliefs, which usually present additional work to entrepreneurs," says Simona. There are quite a few of such reliefs, including the tax relief for investing into research and development, tax relief for employment, and tax relief for investments. At the end, she advises: "The invoice content should be such that the accountant can immediately assess whether this is a necessary cost that the company needs for issuing an invoice."
Beginnings in business are often naïve because we don't know what awaits us
The guests of Start:up Müsli also prove that it is possible to build a successful business story in a small town such as Maribor. Joining us were Smiljan Škarica, Mojca Kac and Rok Štibler, who honestly described their "naïve" beginnings and have a recognizable brand today.
Mojca Kac, a young mom and entrepreneur, founder of the Mini Bini brand, described her beginnings as such: "It was all a hobby of mine. I followed my heart and did what I loved doing. It quickly turned out that these things are wanted, that there is a demand for the product, and so it all began."
"Opening an online store and selling cold coffee, especially in 2014, was unimaginable, which is why we decided for a physical coffee shop and got into this, even though neither of us had the experience. It was actually all very naïve from us," honestly said Rok Štibler, founder of the Jumping Goat Coffee brand, and highlighted the advantages of a physical store, which includes contact with customers, meaning immediate feedback. Amongst the disadvantages, he mentioned fixed working hours, more time spent on one customer, and the costs of space.
The main thing is staying loyal to yourself
Later on, the conversation revolved around the extent to which the entrepreneurs adapt to their customers' wishes and how much they follow their own creative inspiration. Smiljan Škarica, entrepreneur, lecturer and innovator, said the following on the topic: "I think the main thing is to stay true to yourself. What you have at the front, what you want, what you see, that is what you also do. If I always listened only to my client's wishes, then I would never express my creativity and my feel for aesthetics. But it's normal to listen. I especially listen when a client comes for the first time. Already when I see how they enter the room, I get a visual image. But it is true that I don't immediately explain everything to the client, but rather do it gradually."
Reactions and comments from customers are my measure of being on the right track
"To me, social networks actually enabled my work and they let me know if I'm on the right track. In every post that I prepare, I already see if people are reacting. I immediately see if a product will fall on fertile ground. Our story is set in such a way that the mommies like to participate in our work, they like commenting on what they like and what they don't. We create products together, in a way," says Mojca Kac about how she measures customer satisfaction considering that she, unlike the other guests, doesn't have physical contact with her customers.
Are you interested in the whole content of the conversation? Listen to the clip below.