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From Our Blog

Brexit and the new Scottish debt epidemic

The whole topic of Brexit has caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty for people all across the UK. Whether you’re for or against, there’s a lot of questions that need to be addressed. One sector that is of particular concern to many in the financial industry is Scotland’s debt epidemic.

Did you know that Scotland has nearly £15 billion of debt, and this deficit is nearly twice the size of UK debt (excluding Scotland), when taken into consideration? Official figures published in recent years have affected one of the key arguments by the SNP that favour national independence.

For the first time in more than 35 years, figures have shown that Scotland has generated lower tax per person when compared to the rest of the UK. Although there isn’t a significant difference, the change is important because former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has previously stated that Scotland’s higher tax receipts should support the push for independence, this was during the 2014 referendum campaign.

Political opposition of the SNP stated that the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures were published two weeks before the date of the country being independent if it had voted to leave the Union, showcase how “devastating” a ‘yes’ vote would be.

The figures outline the effect of decreasing North Sea oil revenues on Scotland’s finances display that Scotland’s deficit reached £14.9bn in 2014/15, an increase of more than £1.5bn compared to £13.4bn from the previous financial year.

These figures account for 9.7% of Scotland’s GDP, when compared to that of the overall UK deficit of 4.9% of GDP.

Scotland raised less tax per person in comparison to the UK average, and spent more than £1,400 per person compared to the rest of the UK as a whole.

• Scotland tax spend per person: £12,800
• UK average tax raised per person: £11,400

These stats are often used to fuel debates about Scotland’s potential for becoming independent from the rest of the UK.

Although this considers public sector debt, many households are still concerned about consumer debt within the financial industry. With Scotland’s debt potentially rising to £50bn by 2020, this will be an alarmingly high record.

High consumer spending has led more and more individuals to turn to personal loans, pay day loans, credit cards, store cards, catalogues, and larger overdrafts than ever before. For those in council tax arrears, they may be faced with a bank account or wage arrestment.

The uncertainty around Brexit may leave more people in a potentially difficult financial position, as they may find it difficult to manage their current debt. This will also affect businesses within Scotland too.

Debt is collected through a number of different ways in Scotland, in most cases, a debt collection agency will attempt to recover it, county court judgements as well as other legal action taken is another option. However, for some individuals or businesses, a bank account arrestment or wage arrestment (also known as an earnings arrestment) is another option that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Arresting a bank account may mean an individual or business has restricted access, due to it being frozen. A wage arrestment can be used to directly contact a client’s employer and request that a certain percentage automatically be deducted to cover the unpaid debt. This process will continue until the debt has been paid in full. Unfortunately, with everyday living costs rising year over year, the amount taken could be problematic and place someone in financial hardship. For this reason, it’s worth speaking to a wage arrestment expert.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has stated that “the foundation of Scotland’s economy are strong”. Later at a briefing, once official figures had been publicised, she did admit that they show “deterioration” when thinking about the country’s financial situation, this was due to the significant decrease in oil prices at the time.

Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the figures must be looked at “in context” before making any conclusions. She went on to say “No country anywhere in the world looks at its fiscal position and makes judgements about it based on one year’s figures. Over the past ten years, the reality is that Scotland’s fiscal position has been broadly similar to that of the rest of the UK.”

Opposition parties have stated that these statistics show that Scotland would face a very challenging future if it had voted to leave the Union 18 months prior, they continued to accuse the Scottish National Party of overestimating valuations of North Sea oil, as an attempt to persuade the public back to pro-independence.

Scottish Conservatives’ finance spokesman, Murdo Fraser stated that “Had their con succeeded, we would now be only 15 days away from separating the most successful political Union in history in favour of a leap into the dark”.

Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale said that “These figures from the SNP Government show once and for all the devastating impact leaving the UK would have had on Scotland’s finances… People were misled by the SNP in the run-up to the referendum and that is unforgivable.”

Nicola Sturgeon has said that she would take an “opposite view” and identified that Scotland has contributed £300bn in North Sea oil revenues to the Treasury. She also questioned why UK Government has not developed a Norwegian style oil fund to protect the oil industry in difficult times.

“What we are talking about here today is – certainly at least in part – an indictment of the mismanagement by the UK of Scotland’s finances and our oil revenues in particular,” Nicola Sturgeon.

Scottish Government has an annual budget of around £30bn, but this amount is not enough due to a spending spree on schools, roads, railways, higher education and hospitals.

A Scottish Government spokesman added that “Public sector debt and affordability are key responsibilities for all the public sector. The Scottish Government is committed to sustainable levels of public sector debt – our approach is to use revenue funded methods of investment at a sustainable level while not overly constraining our choices in future years.”

As we find out more, we hope to keep you updated on Brexit related news and the UK economy as a whole.

Switch to green business electricity in 4 simple steps

True or false: Zeus brings us electricity. In ancient mythology, he controlled the weather, and when we power our businesses with green electricity, we harness renewable energy from sources like the sun and wind. So, it’s all down to Zeus, right?

Whilst that’s not quite how it works, it’s not such a distant memory when people were suspicious of renewable energy and its reliability. The good news is that we’ve moved on since then, and it has become a high priority for many business owners to power their businesses in a sustainable way.

More and more organisations are doing their part to balance their carbon footprint and reflecting their corporate values with the changes they make, like switching to green energy.

Environmentally-friendly energy

Green energy is better for the environment than traditional energy sources like oil and coal because it reduces the release of harmful CO2 emissions and uses renewable resources that are naturally replenished. It can be generated from our environment, and even by weather patterns.

In recent years, there has been a surge of clean energy production. Record-breaking numbers of people are choosing to power their homes or businesses more sustainably.
Green energy sources include:

  • Wind power, which is harnessed by wind turbines that you might spot out at sea, perched on hills, near valleys and in other windy areas.
  • Solar power, which converts light and heat from the sun into power by absorbing it through solar panels, often installed on rooftops or across acres of land to create solar farms.
  • Hydroelectric power, wave power and tidal power, which all convert moving water to kinetic energy, usually with turbines moving when the moon’s gravitational pull causes tides or the wind generates waves, or because dams create motion in large bodies of water.
  • Geothermal power, which captures underground heat and steam from deep within the earth and uses this as an energy source.

Competitive green business electricity prices

Green energy might have come at a premium price once upon a time, but that’s not the story any more. With advances in technology and better infrastructure making green business electricity more easily accessible, you won’t need to compromise on anything, especially not cost.

You can compare business electricity prices with Utility Saving Expert, the UK’s leading socially-conscious comparison site. Utility Saving Expert compares trusted energy providers, including a wide range of eco-friendly tariffs, and tailors results to suit your needs.

It’s completely free to use and the site is run independently, generating impartial results that will always show the best deals for your business. There’s even a guarantee that you won’t find better prices elsewhere, even on suppliers’ websites.

How to compare green business electricity deals

Comparing and switching commercial electricity supplier can be done in minutes, and it doesn’t matter if you’re already using a green electricity supplier or not. The process is the same, and it’s straightforward:

  1. Visit UtilitySavingExpert.com

    Navigate to the business electricity page and use their online comparison tool.

  2. Enter a few details about your business

    All you need to compare deals is your business postcode, a little information about your electricity usage and current supplier. For the most accurate comparison, refer to a past business energy bill.

  3. Look through the results to find the best deal

    Tailored results show the best electricity deals available, with estimates of financial savings your business could make and details about each provider. For renewable deals, you’ll see a green sticker by the supplier name saying 100% renewable.

  4. Confirm you’d like to switch to green business electricity

    After you confirm you’d like to switch to a green business electricity supplier, there’s not much else you need to do. Utility Saving Expert will liaise with your new supplier and the whole switch will be managed for you.

The process of comparing business electricity suppliers and securing a green energy deal takes just a few minutes. There’s no additional admin for your team to add to their workload, and vitally, no disruption to the electricity you rely on to power your business.

When developing your business’ sustainability credentials, don’t overlook the simple environmentally-friendly strategy of switching business electricity to a green supplier.

Benefits of working with an Online Strategy Consultant

As the globe of business and investments is increasing the competition is also rising above the sky. Every day a new competitor is coming up. If you are looking for the benefits of working with an online strategy consultant, then you have landed on the right web page. In this article, we are discussing bout the practical benefits of online consultants.

1. They provide you one on one supports

This is the most demanded feature from the businessmen. Online consultants offer one on one support to their clients. It is in a way advantageous since they, prepare well for customer concerns; they also do research and come up with the best advice or suggestions.

consultant

2. 24*7 access

This is a very significant benefit is online consultants. Only an online consultant can enjoy this privilege of providing their clients with day and night accessibility to all kinds of emergencies. There are many constants online that render their complete services and beneficial and most practical advice to make a perfect justice to the requirement.

3. They provide comparative support

Online is one such platform, where you can create ultimate research and comparative study to find more natural ways to fix your problems. Consultants can provide the best and right advice to give them access to true visibilities.

4. They are very dynamic

Online consultants are very progressive compared to offline consultants. They perform the task in lesser time and exhibit an ultimate sense of efficiency. They are very collaborative and render the best expertise. They hold a good experience of the market place and provide you with a clear vision of contemporary trends.

5. They are the motors of market places

 
The credits of providing the best implementation of trends in the market place go to online consultants. This is because of the rate of a burden they take and come up with the latest solutions to overcome such issues.

6. Short time goals

The most favourite advantages of working with an online consultant, he/ she provide you with short time goals. This is because they know how exactly the market keeps fluctuation and when and where to act. This will feed them right information and strategies.

7. Saves your money

Online consultants are less expensive compared to offline consultants. They provide you with more advice and better performance for lesser prices compared to the others. They even are very cost-effective and give a better sense of relationship.

8. Save you time

Along with money, the next significant saving is of time. Online consultants are available whenever you are free and provide you with the services with all respects without altering your schedule. You can make use of your remaining time. They even allow you to focus on the other crucial works by providing time-efficient solutions.

 

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