Own my own business but can I claim JSA / benefits?
Hi, I am currently working 14 hour shifts in my business and I do not get a salary, there is not enough in the cashflow to provide for one now. However my partner that was suppose to support us does not have enough money now as we had to pay a hike in certain charges. Would I be able to claim any sort of benefits or grants? We are virtually living on the breadline. Soup kitchens are looking like the only way for us to being fed. I would be grateful for any advice. Many thanks
I don’t understand. If you are virtually living on the breadline why haven’t you explored your options. Surely your first port of call would be the Citizens Advice to ascertain any legal entitlement you have to welfare benefits, particularly if you have children. I suggest you make an appointment straight away.
you definately wont be able to claim JSA as that is Job seekers allowance and if you are working 14 hours a day in your own business then you do not have the time to be seeking a job and if you got one you would have no time to do it.
As has been said your best bet is citizens advise to see if there are other benefits like rent rebate, council tax rebate etc available to you.
The other thing to look at is what you are doing wrong with your business, if you are working 14 hours a day and not making enough money to pay a wage is it worth continuing, are there small changes you could make that would change the businesses ability to pay you a wage. Why not tell me a little about the business and I’ll see if I can help
We sell ice cream and coffee with no experience we made a terrible mistake with the location. We are in an area full of office workers that are only interested in lunch options for between 12-14, before and after this period there is very little trade.
We were lead to believe that the store design would definitely bring people in for coffee and ice cream. Unfortunately this is not the case it maybe putting people off.
We cannot diversify even though we know we have to, as there is too much competition from other sandwiches places. The reasons we cannot diversify are budget, prep space and risk.
What we can do is send the product out of the shop i.e. do deliveries and sell obscene quantities in the warmer months. Selling more in the summer is not guaranteed as this is all weather dependent. So far deliveries have not taken off very well either. How do I find out whether there is or can be a market for ice cream deliveries?
Can we fix the mistake of choosing a bad location?
Along with this we cannot hire staff to help out properly as the business is so weather dependent. We only need staff when there are heatwaves.
We know that as the business is right now it is not sustainable without paying out any wages and we shouldn’t continue but we have invested a lot of money into this.
We are willing to offer equity to turn this into a sustainable business.Revised on 31/12/2011 09:34
One of the most important lessons in business is knowing when to change or just quit. What you have put in to date is not relevant. Its gone and you cant get it back, what’s relevant is what you can do with the business tomorrow, next week and next month.
its impossible to tell with a forum post, but it sounds like this business is dying on its backside here. I hope I am wrong, but what happens for 2 weeks over Christmas when the office workers are off? All your overheads must be fixed with something like this. Summer ice-creams must seem a long way off here.
Fundamentally if you cant make it work or change your model so it works you need to exit in a structured way and not let your creditors force your hand.
The first person to negotiate with is your landlord, they wont want your shop empty and if you are at the handing the keys back stage then…….you may have more power than you think, but this does depend on the terms of your lease. Some people end up in a bad way with ongoing payments for months or years. Check all this out.
NB its very unlikely anyone is going to invest in something like this.
James Smith [i]Chartered Accountant[/i] www.jamesesmith.co.uk --------------------------- Your indispensable guide to Small Business Bookkeeping, Self-Assessment & VAT