What is the Small Business Toolbox?

The Small Business Toolbox is a YouTube channel and website aimed at explaining some of the most basic concepts surrounding running a small business in the UK. From how to become self employed through to why you might want to set up as a limited company. A lot of people come out of school not understanding even the most basic concepts of self employment. The aim of this site is to explain all of that stuff.

What does membership give me?

Membership of the Small Business Toolbox allows you to directly support this independent website and YouTube channel. So whether you’re after some extra member-only information, want the ability to comment on articles or have benefited from my free content and want to offer your support, it would be fantastic to have you on board!

Membership is an alternative to more traditional crowdfunding sites such as Patreon. As a thank you for this you’ll get access to additional exclusive content including downloadable spreadsheet templates. You’ll also be able to post comments or questions to articles. I really want to keep this website as independent as possible and your support as a member helps me to do this. Thank you for your awesome support!

I’m a member and can’t see the exclusive content?

You can access the member-only content from here. If you’ve logged in and it’s still showing as ‘locked’ try pressing F5 to refresh the page. If that doesn’t work please let us know.

Who is Andy Mac?

I’m Andy MacLellan but everyone calls me Andy Mac. I’ve been self employed one way or another since 1996. In that time I’ve set up and managed a number of successful businesses. I’ve filled in more tax returns than I care to remember, I’ve worked with a wide range of accountants and legal professionals, and have been subjected to just about every audit going. My aim on this website is to share with you some of my experiences from over the last 20+ years. Nothing fancy – just stuff I think you should have learned at school.

Can you give me tax and accountancy advice?

Sorry but I’m not qualified in any way to give you tax or accountancy advice. If you send me an e-mail asking specific tax or accounting questions then I’m afraid you’re very unlikely to get a reply. There are lots of good accountancy forums out there such as the UK Business Forums, Money Saving Expert Forums and the Taxation Web. You can also post questions in the comments of my YouTube videos. Members can also post comments or questions on articles on this website. This turns in to more of a community discussion and is a better way of helping everyone.

The content on here is designed to give you enough information about the basics so that you can ask your accountant the right questions. Lighting the blue touch paper so to speak. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – always get a good accountant. They’re worth their weight in gold.

Why can’t I post comments on articles on this website?

Only members can post comments. I would dearly love to open up comments to the public but unfortunately spam and fake accounts become a nightmare. There are also significant security implications. Therefore to keep things a bit more manageable the posting of comments and questions is a perk only available to members who support this site directly. Membership starts from just £3.50 and hopefully the value will well exceed the membership fee.

Why are you ditching Patreon?

Patreon is a very convenient way of crowdfunding content however as this channel has grown it makes more sense to go down the direct route. This gives me much more flexibility for future growth of the channel. At the end of the day Patreon are a middle-man based in the States. This is a UK-focused site. Patreon take a considerable cut and put themselves in the middle of a transaction between me and my channel supporters. As the channel grows this becomes a bigger and bigger risk. If anything happens to Patreon not only would I lose your support but I’d also have no way of letting you know about a new platform. Using this site means you’re supporting the channel directly. It just makes more sense.

How do I cancel my Patreon membership?

Unfortunately Patreon don’t make it particularly easy to cancel your membership. The whole process is just a big… shifty. This is how to do it via a desktop web browser:

1. Navigate to ‘Manage memberships’ (top right of screen):

How to cancel Patreon

2. Find the membership you wish to cancel and click ‘Edit’:

How to cancel Patreon

3. Click ‘Edit or Cancel Membership’:

How to cancel Patreon

4. Click ‘Cancel your membership’:

How to cancel Patreon

5. Fill out the cancellation survey and you should be done.

6. Having problems cancelling Patreon? Are they haranguing you to sign up to a different membership tier?

Yup, this is very shifty and par for the course I’m afraid. I’m equally disgusted by this. If you’re signed up to an older tier that doesn’t exist any more you may see the screen below. You’ll notice there’s no ‘Edit or Cancel Membership’ option. Do NOT click ‘Join’. Instead you’ll need to click ‘Make a custom pledge’:

How to cancel Patreon

7. Click ‘Edit or Cancel Membership’

How to cancel Patreon

8. Click ‘Cancel your membership’

How to cancel Patreon

Do you storage my credit card details?

No. We have no visibility of your complete credit card number or security details. Recurring subscriptions are securely handled via Stripe or PayPal.

How do I cancel my membership on this site?

You have complete control over your membership on this site. Hit ‘My Account’ in the top right (or bottom of the page) and click ‘Cancel’ in the ‘My Memberships’ section.

As an absolute last resort you can also carry out a manual cancellation via your credit card company. There’s more information about how to do this in the Terms and Conditions. Any problems don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How is this website funded?

The Small Business Toolbox website and YouTube channel are completely independent. By that I mean we’re not owned by a parent accountancy organisation or global conglomerate. We’re not tied in to sponsorships that bias our opinions. Myself and Mrs Mac are just a husband and wife team. We put together content based on our direct experiences and hopefully you’ll find this useful. If we find a product we like we make a small amount of commission if you use our affiliate links. This is the fairest way of funding the internet since we’re not tied in to a contract, it doesn’t cost you a penny extra and we’re only rewarded if you actually make use of the product.

If we find a product no longer meets our high expectations we can stop recommending them at any time. This is different to sponsorship agreements where we’d be tied in to a contract for several years. Let’s say an accountancy firm sponsors one of our videos and we then find out 6 months down the line that their product is rubbish. We wouldn’t be allowed to delete that video off our channel since the sponsorship agreement would invariably force us to leave it there for at least 2-3 years. We try to avoid this and that’s why the affiliate model, while less lucrative, is better in the long term.

You can also become a direct supporter of this site through membership (explained above). Our aim has always been to be independent and impartial. If you don’t think we are or your experiences differ from ours then please get in touch. Thank you so much for your support and we hope you enjoy the content!

Andy Mac x

Andy Mac