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An Option to reduce your clients’ stress

I’ll always be here for you dad!

There is plenty that small business owners can, and do, worry about. If your client base includes growing SMEs, you will have heard a few of these common grievances. Two of the grievances mentioned strike home with the SMEs that I speak with – finding and retaining reliable staff and ensuring steady cash flow.


I believe it’s not worth worrying about something you can’t control. You just need to take control over those things you can. While it may not always be that simple, it’s a useful mindset for approaching issues when they arise.

Cash flow and staffing are two issues that business owners can control. Importantly, you can increase your value proposition by helping your clients find solutions to these issues.

One solution you can raise with your clients is Employee Share Schemes (ESSs), also known as Employee Share Option Plans (ESOPs). An ESS involves an employer providing discounted Shares in their company to an employee, or providing Options allowing the employee to acquire Shares in the future.

By offering Shares or Options in their business to valued staff members in lieu of cash rewards or bonuses, employers can:

  1. Keep these much needed funds in their businesses, helping cash flow; and
  2. Encourage valued employees not only to stay with the company, but to also help grow the business.

In July 2015, new methods for taxing employees who participate in ESSs were enacted; making ESSs a very attractive opportunity for both employers and employees. We’ve created an ESS fact sheet, accessible here, which outlines some of the benefits of ESSs and the tax discounts available. You may be able to use this as a conversation starter towards helping relieve some of your clients’ stress.

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