Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Lingerie shop: Wages

Money that you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees think about the tasks that must be done - and how many people will be needed to do them.

Staff duties

You may need staff to:

  • choose and buy stock if you won't be doing this yourself
  • serve and advise customers
  • provide a bra measuring and fitting service
  • receive deliveries and price up garments
  • put together displays, both in the shop itself and in the window
  • handle sales, including sales made online
  • keep the business records and do other administrative jobs
  • provide services such as gift wrapping
  • keep the shop and fitting rooms clean and tidy

If you offer online sales you may also need someone to maintain your website or eBay listings.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff - perhaps just to help out on busy days like Saturdays. Part-time work is often attractive to parents with children at school
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation that you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. You should also include here the cost of staff pensions.