Hot summer results shine on glamping firm’s business forecast

Luxury glamping company Ribble Valley Glamping Ltd is celebrating a successful first year and a great start to the summer thanks to the hot weather and financial support from accountancy firm Pierce.

The family business, which trades as Wigwam® Holidays Ribble Valley, opened in October 2017 and has seen sales ramp up in the past two months with guests booking last minute spontaneous trips to enjoy the recent hot weather.

The franchise caught the eye of businessman John Brewer two years ago when he saw the glamping cabins at a trade show. Together with his wife Anne, daughter Jane McDonnell and her husband Martyn, the family have brought luxury en-suite glamping to Lancashire’s Ribble Valley.

The site currently has six cabins, with the directors looking for funding to invest in two more to meet the demand from holidaymakers wanting a getaway in the heart of Lancashire.

Company director Martyn said: “We’ve worked really hard to get this business up and running and have done most things ourselves from laying the groundworks to landscaping the site.

“The cabins are packed with amenities including two double beds, shower and toilet, fully fitted kitchen, TV and DVD player with outdoors table and chairs, firepit and BBQ set.

“The site also has an on-site shop that stocks most of the things that tend to be forgotten with a few treats like marshmallows. There is also a supply of fresh milk from a local milking parlour.

“Our business goal is to provide excellent customer service so our guests have a fantastic holiday and we’re delighted to have 5* ratings from Facebook and Google reviews.”

John, a long-standing client of Pierce for his portfolio of businesses, enlisted the accountancy firm to help with the new family venture.

Pierce has been advising the company on corporate structure, funding and VAT, and will help to run the firm’s payroll and maximise tax reliefs.

Mark Walmsley, associate director at Pierce, said: “We are delighted to help a long-established client with their new family venture. It is a brilliant business idea and who could resist staying in such stunning surrounds.

“The business has got off to a tremendous start and we look forward to working with the company as it continues to grow and becomes the go to place for holidaymakers in Lancashire.”

Quality is the key to success in care home provision

Ensuring the provision of quality care for the UK’s ageing demographic is a significant priority for society.

We are living for longer but that does not mean that we will live our later lives independently of the support of others. Care homes, or support enabling people to live independently in their own homes, will become increasingly vital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body charged with ensuring the highest possible standards among care home operators and care providers.

It sets standards that must be adhered to and encourages providers to strive for continuous improvement.

For that, we should all be grateful. But recent events have proven how difficult care provision is, with many large care companies experiencing operating difficulties due, in part, to the cost of providing what is an inherently expensive service if done properly.

Care homes exist within a complicated funding environment; residential care could be paid for by a local authority or by a private individual.

Whatever the funding model, the fact remains that care homes are generally privately-owned businesses with the same powers at play as any other enterprise.

However, the vulnerable nature of their customer base makes them unlike any other business.

The UK is blessed with many exemplary care homes, but the latest research from the CQC  shows room for improvement.

“It appears to be increasingly difficult for some providers to deliver the safe, high-quality and compassionate care people deserve and have every right to expect,” Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, told the Daily Telegraph.

But there are examples of “good” and “outstanding” care homes across Lancashire and the North West, a number of them operated by Pierce clients, including Springhill Care Home in Accrington, and Altham Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington.

Supporting companies operating in the care sector requires special expertise and Pierce is proud of its experience in that regard, supporting care providers in seeking development capital, merger and acquisition advice or succession planning.

The values of those care providers who will support society in future reflect our own.

Providing a quality service now and in future will be key in satisfying both the business needs of a care home and the exacting standards set by the CQC, loved ones and local authorities alike.

Providing care for our elderly is perhaps one of the most important investments any of us will make. We would be only too happy to share the wealth of our experience with people already operating within the sector, or considering it as a business opportunity.

Business owners – are you ready for retirement?

Being a business owner, it’s likely that all your energy is expended on building a successful enterprise. You’ve provided for your family and created jobs, but have you protected your own future with a retirement plan? If the answer is no, now is the time to start.

Pension fund planning

Building a retirement fund through regular or one off pension contributions enables tax savings and inheritance tax advantages.

Business owners can benefit from pension schemes including small self-administered schemes (SSAS’s), which can be used to lend or invest in your business.

If selling your business is part of your long-term plan, making exceptional pension contributions from your company will save corporation tax while you own the company and reduce capital gains tax on the sale of the company.

Commercial property

 You or your company may own the building it trades from, it is an option is to sell the trade and retain the property.  This would immediately generate a lump sum and rental income over several years, providing long-term revenue.

Selling your business

If raising a retirement fund from the sale of your business is your intention, we recommend that your business is reviewed and tailored for sale to maximise the potential proceeds.

A family management buyout may provide a secure pension fund while providing future generations the opportunity to thrive.

The key to successful retirement is to start in good time and to ensure your advisors have the depth of experience to guide you through all the different aspects of planning.