Visitor Mornings

We welcome visitors every Thursday morning, currently we are holding our meetings online using Zoom.  When Covid-19 distancing restrictions are lifted we will return to the Warrington Golf Club. The start time for our meetings is 6:45 am and will finish at 8.15am.

You are welcome to attend, meet many like minded business colleagues and find out how BNI can help grow your business!

Be Part of the Crowd

Testimonial for DNG Building Services

“I approached DNG Building Services for some work I wanted carrying out, Dave Leather contacted me via phone and had a chat about what it was I wanted, he then came to see me at my property and measured up then contacted me a few days later with a full breakdown of cost and also listed every single part of the job I had asked him to do. I was very impressed with the professionalism Dave showed throughout the entire process. The quality of work was amazing and the price was very affordable.  Thanks Dave” Ryan Munnelly (January 2019)

Testimonial for Ryan Munnelly – County Group Insurance

“This is the second time I have worked with Ryan over the last few months. Having been impressed with Ryan’s handling of my business cover I immediately contacted Ryan for a car insurance quotation as my son had just passed his test and we were about to purchase his first car.  As before, Ryan attended to everything in a very prompt and professional manner. However, whilst he was arranging the cover Ryan spotted a mistake in relation to the documentation the car salespeople had provided (namely the wrong registration number). Had Ryan not spotted this my son would potentially have been uninsured and or received penalty points on his driving licence through no fault on his part.  This ‘mistake’ also meant there was a delay in being able to arrange the cover; resulting in me literally siting in the car showroom having bought the car and having no insurance. However, once again Ryan really helped out. He spoke to all the parties concerned, sorted out the problem, placed the vehicle on immediate cover and emailed me the insurance certificate…and he did all that in the time it took me to finish a drink in the showroom.  What could have been a disaster ended up being no more than a little inconvenience thanks to the way Ryan took control of the situation.  Thanks for your help Ryan; much appreciated.” Rob Higgins (December 2019)

Evening Visitor meeting – Thursday 28th November

Next week on Thursday 28th November we are swapping our usual morning meeting to the evening for one week only! Visitors are welcome to join us to meet the members and see how a BNI Chapter meeting is run.  The meeting starts at 6.00pm, with a buffet available from 6.15pm.  The meeting concludes at 8.00pm. The cost is £13.  To register call Helen on 0790 3727750 or email

Testimonial for Hayley Hilton – Hands on Heart Clinical Canine Massage

“I booked a one-off session for my dog, Jack, as a nice treat for him like you would book a massage for your mother or other half.  Hayley does offer much more than this though, and even though she didn’t try to sell to me at all during the session, she unknowingly convinced me to book more for Jack.  She done this by showing her passion and her care for dogs, and it was very clear how professional and knowledgeable she is about her profession.  I felt my dog, Jack, was in very safe hands, he seemed to enjoy it and trusted Hayley equally.  I’ll be booking more sessions so Jack can reap all the benefits of what Hayley has to offer to a dogs wellbeing, and will be highly recommending her to every dog owner I come across” Michael Smith (November 2019)

Ed Slot – Understanding the BNI Gains

GAINS Worksheet

How well do you know the people you want to include in your network? Chances are you have a little homework to do. Spend more time with the people you already know and concentrate on learning these five essentials – their goals, accomplishments, interests, networks, and skills. Make sure you give back the same kind of information. The more they know about you, the faster your name will come to mind when an opportunity arises in which your products, services, knowledge, skills or experience might play a part.

  • Goals – Goals are the business or personal objectives you want or need to meet for yourself or the people who are important to you. You need to define your goals and have a clear picture of the other person’s goals. The
    best way to build a relationship with someone is to help them achieve their goals!
  • Accomplishments
    People like to talk about the things they are proud of. Remember, some of your best insights into others comes from knowing what goals they have already achieved. Your knowledge, skills, experiences and values can be surmised from your achievements. Be ready to share your accomplishments with the people you meet.
  • Interests – Your interests can help you connect with others. Interests are things like playing sports, reading books and listening to music. People like to spend time with those who share their interests. When you and your network source share the same interests, it will strengthen your relationship.
  • Networks – You have many networks, both formal and informal. A network can be an organisation, institution, company or individual you associate with.
  • Skills – The more you know about the talents and abilities of the people in your network, the better equipped you are to find (and refer!) competent, affordable products and services when the need arises. And when
    you’re trying to round up business opportunities, the more people know about your skills, the better your chances!

Download the GAINS Worksheet

Testimonial for Tim Jordan

“No matter how well prepared you think you are – moving to a new house is one of the top stress producers in your life. Having just moved house I really understand this.  Fortunately, I was given an introduction to Tim by people I know and trust and who had dealt with him in the past. Tim then took on the task of being our conveyancing solicitor for the purchase of our new home.  We initially had a few questions to ask and then, as you start to do the searches, surveys and all the other stuff more questions start to occur. Then the closer you get to exchange and completion the more the stress levels start to rise.  It was during these stages that I started to realise just how good (and helpful) Tim is. Not only did he quickly and accurately answer any questions we had; he did it in such a calm, reassuring manner that it took away most of the stress and let us enjoy the good parts about moving house.  Not only is Tim a great solicitor he is a fabulous communicator and kept us informed and updated at every stage of the process. I couldn’t recommend him any stronger than to say IF I ever move house again he is the only person I will be contacting.” Rob Higgins (October 2019)

Testimonial for Helena Raleigh

“This probably the third time I have written a testimonial for Helena Raleigh, but I can’t praise her service and her professionalism enough! Most business owners work hard most weeks all year and look forward to going on holiday, to relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family. So, the last thing you need is hassle at the airport, no transfer at the other end and your beautiful sea-view room looks out over the bins! Never, never does this happen on Helena’s watch. Once again, we have just returned from a seamlessly organised holiday, where everything, and I mean everything, was perfect. We had a few problems the day before with seat changes, but we knew nothing about this until after it was all sorted behind the scenes by Helena. She organised champagne & cake to be served in our room on each of our birthdays and a beautiful junior suite with sea & pool view – just absolute heaven! Helena’s passion for her business shines through each time we arrange our holiday with her, she is 100% reliable, her attention to detail is outstanding, her knowledge is unbelievable, she treats each and every client with respect, and every booking she makes is as though she is booking it for herself. Once again, I can’t speak more highly of Helena and have no hesitation in recommending her to my family, friends and business contacts. Thank you Helena!” Karen Roberts (October 2019)

HMRC double top rate of penalties

by Mathew Forshaw of Finton Doyle Accountants

Last year HMRC levied 31,500 of the highest penalties at its disposal on taxpayers, more than double the amount imposed five years ago (14,400).

So why is this happening and what can taxpayers do about it?

Penalties are generally charged when HMRC make an enquiry into a tax return and finds something wrong. For example: Mr S is an employee with some investment income. He completes a tax return but forgets to include his company car details. To him, it’s all dealt with by his employer through the payroll system so HMRC know about it anyway.

Unfortunately for Mr S, because he didn’t include his company car on the return, the software calculated a tax refund which HMRC then paid out. Several months later he receives a letter informing him that HMRC are opening an enquiry into his return.

Once the error is rectified, and the tax paid (with interest) HMRC will then look at penalties. They will look at a range of charges based on the tax that was underpaid, ranging from 0% if the taxpayer took ‘reasonable care’ to 100% if the error was ‘deliberate and concealed’.

In Mr S’s view he took reasonable care, he just made a mistake. In HMRC’s view, he was careless, because his employer head told him to put the information on a tax return (in reality his employer may have told him though an emailed document that was never picked up).

This type of error would generally come in at the lower end, up to 30%.

But what about a situation where there’s a difference of opinion? What if Mr S was self employed and he genuinely though he was allowed to claim taking clients out to lunch as a business expense? After all taking clients out is how he wins his business, so it should be allowable in his view.

However, although it’s widely known that entertaining of this nature isn’t allowable, many people make this mistake. Because it’s widely known, in HMRC’s eyes this could be seen as a ‘deliberate’ over-statement of expenses. Deliberate errors can cost up to 100% of the tax owed.

This will be in addition to late payment interest that HMRC will inevitably charge.

And not only that, taxpayers who receive ‘deliberate’ penalties may end up being closely monitored by HMRC in the future, thereby increasing the chance of mistakes being picked up, leading to further penalties.

There are many grey areas when I t comes to what is allowable and what is disallowable as a tax deduction. HMRC will always argue for a very tight interpretation of the rules, even though the reality might be a legitimate case for making a claim. It is therefore crucial that taxpayers take care when filing their returns and seek advice if they are unsure of anything.

With the information now available to HMRC from a wide variety of sources, the likelihood of errors being picked up is only likely to increase.