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New partner, associate partner and director for EY

Business News

EY has promoted Gareth Mee to partner, Shannon Ramnarine to associate partner and appointed Andy Roughan as a director in its growing Financial Services (FS) practice, as the professional services firm continues to expand in Bristol and across the South West and Wales.

Gareth leads EY’s FS Advisory practice across the South West and Wales – a team that has grown to 40 people in three years, with plans to grow to 100 by 2020.

Gareth also leads EY’s Global Investment Advisory practice – a team of 70 responsible for independent advice to the institutional investment market and to the asset management market.

Shannon leads EY’s Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) practice in Bristol – a specialist team of five people providing assistance on critical issues arising from changes in accounting standards and regulatory requirements, with plans to double in size by 2020.

Andy has been appointed to lead a tax practice focused on the financial services sector in the South West & Wales market. He is a corporate tax specialist with over 16 years’ experience providing audit, compliance and advisory services, and is looking to recruit into the team.

Andy Blackmore, partner at EY and Head of Financial Services in the South West and Wales, said: “EY’s South West & Wales Financial Services practice has grown to over 100 people in three years.

“These appointments, along with the expansion of the tax team, reflect the firm’s continued investment in our people, business and brand.

“Gareth and Shannon’s promotions are a reflection of the dedication both have shown in growing our financial services business over the past three years and of their significant talent and skills. Both are a key part of my local leadership team and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we aim to double in size by 2020.

“I am also delighted to have recruited Andy into the team; having a corporate tax director specialised in the FS sector means that more of the services we provide can be delivered locally, increasing our flexibility and connections across the region.”

Andrew Perkins, managing partner at EY in the South West and Wales, added: “We have big ambitions for our regional business and are delighted to be growing our team in the South West and Wales. Gareth, Shannon and Andy will each have an important role to play in helping us achieve our growth ambitions.”

How to sell on Amazon Marketplace

Starting a Business

Here’s our step-by-step guide to setting up and selling products on Amazon Marketplace. Join the 70,000+ people in the UK currently running small businesses from their computer.

When people think of Amazon, they usually conjure up an image of the massive online store, selling everything from books to video games. Yet Amazon is not just an online retailer. Thanks to its Amazon Marketplace platform, it’s now a global marketplace where tens of millions of customers can buy from thousands of small businesses, rather than Amazon itself. Today, half of all items sold on Amazon’s global sites come from marketplace sellers.

Anyone can set up shop on Amazon Marketplace, selling anything from home accessories to toys and video games – and even sell the same products as Amazon itself does. It’s a low-risk way to grow your business. You can try selling on Amazon Marketplace for free without having to spend money building and maintaining your own e-commerce website.

Why sell on Amazon Marketplace?

There are lots of benefits for a start up business:

  • The Amazon brand ensures shoppers trust the online store – and you can take advantage of Amazon’s security and fraud protection technology to reduce risks from fraudulent customers.
  • Products listed can be purchased by millions of customers and you can sell products to five EU markets, including Germany and France. Product listings are free – you only pay a fee when you get a sale.
  • Using Amazon Marketplace means you don’t have the hassle of setting up and running your own e-commerce website, and you can have products fulfilled and delivered by Amazon, saving you time and effort dispatching products yourself.

What can I sell on Amazon Marketplace?

Most goods can be sold on Amazon but there are exceptions for illegal and offensive goods and those deemed prohibited by Amazon, including:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Animals and animal products
  • Prescription medication
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Coins and gift cards

Any item you sell must be listed in an existing product category on Amazon. You cannot add new product ranges so if Amazon doesn’t already sell it neither can you. Some categories, such as jewellery and health products, are restricted and sellers require approval from Amazon before they can list items. The Toys and Games category requires approval during the Christmas season from November to the end of January.

Check restrictions before you register as an Amazon seller – a full list can be found on Amazon UK’s Seller website.

What does it cost to use Amazon Marketplace?

There are two types of seller on Amazon: basic and professional:

  • Amazon Marketplace Basic – If you intend to sell less than 35 items per month or just want to test the water, then the basic option is best. Products are free to list; you simply pay a completion fee of £0.86 for each item sold and a referral fee of 17.25% of the sales price (11.5% for electronics and photo items) in each case.
  • Amazon Marketplace Professional – If you anticipate volume sales or have a wider range of products to sell, opt for professional as this includes bulk-listing and inventory control tools. A monthly subscription fee of £28.75 per month (£25.00 for sellers that qualify for VAT-exclusive fees) is required along with a referral fee and closing fee on certain products, such as books, music and DVDs. Fees vary by category and whether you’re VAT registered – see Amazon’s selling online pricing guide.

How do I get paid?

Money paid by buyers of your items is automatically transferred to your bank account every 14 days, starting 14 days after you register your seller account.

What is Fulfilment by Amazon?

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is an add-on service that sees Amazon handle the entire order fulfilment process, including warehousing, payment processing, delivery, returns and customer service. As a seller, you ship your products to an Amazon fulfilment centre, where they’re stored. When a product is sold, Amazon picks, packs and ships it direct to the buyer.

FBA is a pay-per-use service with no minimum inventory requirements or contracts, but you’ll have to pay storage and fulfilment fees. Fulfilment fees vary depending on the type of item, its dimensions and weight, and the shipping method used. Storage fees vary through the year: sellers pay £0.30 per cubic foot per month from January to September, with costs rising to £0.40 per cubic foot per month for the peak selling months between October and December.

FBA can save you time, effort and money by removing the hassle and cost of storing, packing and shipping goods to customers. It also gives your small or start up business a competitive edge with access to fast and free delivery options including Prime, Super Saver delivery and Amazon lockers.

Amazon Warehouse

Whether it’s the right solution for your business depends on the number of products you sell and ship each month along with the delivery destinations. Examine the costs such as labour, warehousing, packaging, postage, customer service and returns handling, and you’ll be able to decide if Amazon’s FBA is cost-effective for your business.

In the UK, the number of businesses using FBA has increased by more than 70% in the last year. FBA has delivered more than two billion items for sellers worldwide in 2016 and 85% of UK FBA sellers reported a sales increase – 53% reported a sales uplift of 20% or more after they started using FBA. By removing the logistical issues and costs of warehousing and fulfilment, FBA has allowed many start ups to boost their overseas sales and grow their business significantly.

Is Amazon Marketplace limited to the UK market?

Amazon makes it easy for businesses to sell to five European marketplaces: the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. You can control what you sell and where, and manage your European business from a single Amazon seller account. By using FBA, Amazon will also take care of customer service in the local language and handle returns service for products.

According to Amazon UK, the number of UK-based marketplace sellers exporting to European customers increased by more than 40% in 2016.

How to start selling on Amazon Marketplace

1. Register as a seller – Head to Amazon’s dedicated online seller set-up web page to start. To do this, you’ll need the following information:

  • Your business name and company registration details.
  • Company telephone number.
  • Valid email address.
  • Bank account information.
  • Credit card with valid billing address.
  • VAT number, if your company is VAT registered.

2. List your products – As a casual seller, you’ll see a blue box called ‘More Buying Choices’ on the right-hand side of each Amazon product page. Click the ‘Sell Yours Here’ button and enter details regarding the condition of the product, its age, and additional information.

As a professional seller you can list individual items using the site’s web-based interface simply by entering the name of the product, the price and your available stock. Alternatively, use Amazon’s bulk listing tools – you’ll need the EAN, ISBN, or UPC code (barcodes) for each product.

If your products don’t already exist in the Amazon.co.uk catalogue, you’ll need to provide detailed product information including: EAN, UPC, or ISBN code, product title, product description, an image of the product, price and available stock.

Product images must be in a .TIF or .JPG format and sRGB or CMYK colour mode, with pixel dimension of at least 1280 pixels on the longest side. File names must consist of the product identifier (Amazon ASIN, 13-digit ISBN, EAN, JAN, or UPC) followed by a full stop and the appropriate file extension – for example: B000234567.jpg or 0123425683786.tif.

3. Set pricing – You’ll need to consider several factors when deciding on the best price for your products including age, condition, referral fees and shipping costs. Amazon’s Pricing Tools can help you determine a competitive price. For example, the Low Price feature compares your product against products of similar type and condition; if your listing is the lowest-priced, it will show a green checkmark. You can also click the listing ID of your item to view your listing information in a single, detailed page. Look for a box that reads ‘This Item Also Available To Buy’ as it shows the lowest-priced products offered by other sellers in each condition available.

4. Shipping and payment – Once a product sells, Amazon will email you to say payment has been taken. You must ship the item to the buyer within two days of receiving this email, sending confirmation of the despatch to Amazon so that money can be deposited into your seller account. You can also keep track of listed products and orders via your Sellers account. If you use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon will pack and ship the item directly to the buyer.

Choosing The Right Office Desktop For Your Business

Office Desktop

lady-on-computer1Using computers for businesses is now becoming a crucial factor for business success mainly because almost all transactions are now done through these devices. Files are now digitally stored and processed, and important documents involving the business can be easily accessed through computers and can also be properly secured through proper data computer security system.

When it comes to choosing the right computer for your business, there are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, you can go for tablets and laptops which are also becoming really popular for office use nowadays but when it comes to affordability and power, desktop computers may still be the best option, especially for business use.

Before you buy a computer for your business, here are some important factors you should consider.


Processor

The processor is one of the major components of the computer and should be your first consideration when choosing a quality computer. This is because the processor determines the speed of your computer in terms of completing various operations like processing data, loading applications, and booting up. As much as possible, choose a computer with at least a dual-core processor or more for faster speed. The RAM or Random Access Memory is also part of the processor which will also affect the speed of your computer. Lower RAM means lower speed while higher RAM is faster so as much as possible, get a computer with higher RAM. More core plus higher RAM equals high-speed, quality computer!

 


Hard Drive

Another important aspect of computer that you should consider is the hard drive, which simply refers to the storage space available in your computer. The size of your hard drive does not only affect how many files and programs you can put on your computer but the size of your hard drive can also affect the speed of your computer. If you are planning on storing a lot of important files, especially large size files like two_people_computerpresentations and other stuffs on the computer, then consider getting a bigger storage space.


Graphics

The graphics of your computer also affects its performance. If you are going to use the computer for simple and common operations like Microsoft office, emails, and internet browsing then the built-in graphics card of the computer may be enough. However, if you are going to use your computer for programs that require higher graphics, you should consider a computer that allows installation of discrete graphic card so you can upgrade your graphics anytime you need.


Budget

Budget is definitely a big factor when choosing a computer for your business. This is not just a computer for personal use. This is a computer that will help you grow your business, so as much as possible, it should be functional, efficient, and still cost-effective for your business. When choosing a computer, finding the most affordable is usually the option but may not be the best move especially f you are going to use it for your business. Your business computer should be able to perform well especially if you will business-women-at-computeruse it extensively for various operations. Instead of setting the budget first, it is highly-recommended to consider the specifications you need like the processor and storage space then choose between the brands that will fit your budget but still within the specifications you set.


Warranty

Devices like computers and its hardware should always come with warranty coverage. Make sure that you receive the right warranty for the product, especially for the hardware. Depending on the product, warranty periods can range from 3 months to 3 years. Within this period, you can get free repair and maintenance services for the hardware and even replacement of the items depending on the warranty coverage.

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