Working from home? Things to consider.

UPDATE Thursday 2 April 2020
This was first written in June 2014, and now here we are almost six years later being enforced to work from home.

Today though it is vital whether in business or simply as a residential customer to look at what you are spending on essential services, and seek a value for money offering. We can look at broadband, landline, mobile and energy, plus some insurance. We also have CashBack on shopping for good measure, whether in store or online.

Here at Combyne Group, we have carried out a free utility and telephony audit for over 18 years – in the days, when we could meet there would be coffee too. Today, it can be done virtually.

Please give us a shout as long as you are United Kingdom based, please?
Initially by email is the best way forward: 

Now back to the original article as still as relevant today as 2014. 

There are two elements of working from home:

1) working under flexi rules for the company that employs you, or

2) running your own business from home.

If the former, please agree with your boss what they are going to cover expense wise, and how they will agree the hours you work. You should also seek a bonus, since you are reducing company costs.

If you are renting, then you are obliged to inform the landlord and if you have clients visit, please have your insurance revised to cover that.

If you are buying then please inform the mortgage company. Insurance has to be amended too.

Such as contents and also public liability cover.

In most cases, flexi working does not see clients visiting.

So onto number two and running your own business from home – link to follow.

2) running you own business from home.

All the above apply and more so – I would seriously discourage having people visit – suggesting a coffee shop or hotel as better, especially for people who work alone. You really do not want a nutter in your house or flat.

Create a routine in your life and build in social, me time, otherwise you will become stale and very quickly. In an office there is interaction, on your own at home, there is not.

A daily To Do list done the night before is now vital. Too many distractions otherwise.

Go out for a coffee/tea or a walk at some point – I have made friends with all the independent businesses locally and often pop in for a chat.
Also look for support such as here in this group, where you can share your success and seek guidance.

Keep an accurate record of all expenses – they are tax deductible.
Don’t forget energy a percentage of your council tax charge.

If your profit is less than £10,000 then claim working tax credits – these apply to the self employed too.

Create a phone line for business use only – it is 100% tax deductible. My link will explain more. And of course good broadband, go fiber if your area supports it, especially if you have family too.

Check you can use your home address for correspondence purposes. If not, seek an alternative, such as MailBoxes Etc. or your accountant.

Don’t be afraid to seek help and see what grants may be available as a start up or small business.

Networking groups have already been mentioned – there are also others less formal that meet as a coffee morning and some Chambers of Commerce run lunch time events, plus offer training in skills you need.

That covers most of it and my link is here:

Christmas is a time for giving ……… even in the United Kingdom

Over the years, I have supported a number of good causes and charities, and presently one of the businesses I work with supports over 2,000 of these organisations through a scheme called Community Fund Raiser.

It has become massively successful, since launched in 2004.

There are a whole range of award winning services and insurance is due to launch in 2016. 

Broadband – ADSL and Fibre
Mobile Phones
Mobile Broadband
Online Shopping and CashBack

And there are great deals on offer.

So if you are UK based and run a good cause, please ask for our information pack via the contact us tab and see how your one could benefit by creating an ongoing revenue stream?

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all.

Telecom plus Plc delivers again through photosynthesis

One of my friends spotted this and thought I would share it too:

This has to be one of the best reports I’ve read on the company. Even a non finance guy like me can understand it! I love the quote “Telecom Plus isn’t a normal utility, it’s not even a normal growth company, its more like a robust house plant, growing through photosynthesis and the odd sprinkling of water. And neither the sun nor rain get switched off”.

For people looking to create new income streams, then the following is of vital interest, since it shows the potential profit for team members, which are called Independent Distributors.

“Over half of new sign-ups (55%) come in as Gold members, those taking at least four of its five services (gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, mobile), and when it gets them through the door, they tend to stick like flies to paper, churn down to just 1.2%.

What this means is that average revenue per user, or ARPU, rises on a seemingly unstoppable tide, jumping 14.5% to £1,363 last year. That’s nearly 200% up in 10 years and makes the £190 ARPU in its first year back in 1999 look laughably minuscule.”

I can write from direct knowledge, since I have been involved in the business since 1997, and the ARPU referred to above is so on the money, if you pardon the expression. :o)

And the future is looking brighter and brighter, as more people hear about the award winning services and customer care.

To find out about becoming involved in the business, this link will tell you more:

If you are in London on Monday 3rd June, then there is a massive presentation taking place in the evening – details here:

Update: Tuesday 4th June – what an extraordinary evening. Over 500 people came along to the event last night. Clive Leach and Robin Brooks were in stunning form as they presented the business to the assembled numbers. It truly was standing room only and the attendees were educated and entertained by two stars in our successful business.

Data Charges on home Broadband

One of the downsides many users at home face are hidden charges, well in most cases they are not hidden, but simply not realised by the customer.

There is evidence that many people do not realise or understand the implication of using more data than their deal provides with huge charges being applied after the fact.

Come the middle to end of January, all will be revealed with punitive charges appearing on bills up and down the country.

With massive downloads over the Christmas and New Year period as families spend time at home, often data allowances in some of the cheaper deals are simply not enough with limits of 2Gb, 10Gb and 20Gb for many of the popular packages. Downloading HD films can eat 4 or more Gb of data in one hit, download a few in a month and suddenly your data allowance is gone. Use iPlayer or similar, and that creates a double wammy of data usage.

Maybe you have three or more laptops and a number tablets too – these all eat data and come out of your allowance.

It gets worse with some providers terminating your deal and thus leaving you without a connection.

With many more devices now using data in the home, previous usage levels may not deliver in the correct way during 2013, so perhaps now is the right time to do a complete review.

Utility Warehouse as standard offers 40Gb a month, and for their Unlimited Package, just charge a set few pounds more for peace of mind and no heavy drain on the bank account.

Who do you know who has been hit with an extra £20, £50 or higher charge that would like a better deal, often faster and with UK based support?

Deals can be found here: Go-Fast and start at £2.99 per month plus line rental (T & Cs apply), and the new service, Ultra with up to 80Mbps is available in some parts of the country – there is an online checker for all services, simply add your phone number and postcode, and the system will tell you what is available for your locale in a couple of minutes.

New lines can also be installed, thus helping cable users and the install cost starts at £24 for a single line. Please ask for details?

Would you like to discuss your options and seek advice, then please either email to with your full contact details or call Laurence on 0844 826 1730?

Creating your new income stream

What we do in 10 easy points…

1. We promote essential utilities such as energy, internet and mobile and landline telephone services to both residential customers and small businesses in the UK.

2. Our customers save money, benefit from award winning customer service and get all their services on one accurate, convenient, easy-to-understand monthly bill.

3. You can register to become a Distributor for just £100, and when you gather three multi service customers in 90 days then you get your £100 back!

4. Professional training is provided free of charge online and at a training venue near you. The training system ensures your success.

5. The Utility Warehouse provides you with your own personalised website, which means that you can sign up customers and other team members online.

6. You will be provided with all the marketing materials and support you need to help you grow your business.

7. Once an application is processed by our Head Office, your customer can start saving money right away. It’s a seamless process.

8. Every time you register a customer, you get paid a Customer Gathering Bonus – up to £50 depending on how many services the customer takes. When you gather 100 customers, you will have earned up to £5,000 in Customer Gathering Bonus, and there is no limit on what you can earn each month in customer gathering bonuses.

9. Every month, when your residential customer pays their monthly bill, you will receive a percentage of their spend – on average 3.5% (that is £5 for every £150 spent). When you gather 100 customers, your monthly income will be around £500 per month, every single month. The more customers you gather, the higher your monthly income. Gathering business customers will earn you more, since they spend more.

10. You can also recruit other Distributors and build a team. When your team members gather customers, you will receive a percentage of their monthly bill too.

The question now is ‘how soon would you like to get started and become a business partner of one of the most successful companies in the UK?’

More information here:

Could you speak for 83 hours a month

and spend just £20 on your mobile phone and send 10,000 texts too?

Would you like access to 2Gb of data too for a further £2.50?

Launched yesterday (Tuesday 19 June 2012), these are scene stealing sim only deals:

Value 300= £7.50
300 minutes
1,000 texts
250Mb data bundle extra £2.50 per month

Value 600 = £10.00
600 minutes
2,000 texts
500Mb data bundle extra £2.50 per month

Value 900 = £15.00
900 minutes
5,000 texts
1Gb data bundle extra £2.50 per month

Value 5000 = £20.00
5000 minutes
10,000 texts
2Gb data bundle extra £2.50 per month

These are consumer deals* being offered by Utility Warehouse, so a monthly membership fee from £1.50 through to £3.50 per month will be levied with additional benefits. You should also ask about the CashBack card, which could make this deal completely free.

Handsets are also available for a small additional monthly charge, but where a new customer (member) takes four or more services, then a Smartphones becomes free – please call Laurence on 0795 789 0 757 for guidance and help.

Personal customers can sign up online here:

*The same deals are available for business users, but will have VAT charged in addition to the above figures.

Free Utility and Telephony Audit

Family pips are squeaked

An example of how families are suffering

UPDATE: Wednesday 26 September 2018
(previous updates Wednesday 18 October 2017 and Wednesday 26 May 2018).

It is interesting that this remains as popular today as it did, when first used back in 2001.  What is extraordinary is that people at home are suffering financially as much in 2001 and 2011 as in 2017 and 2018.

An interesting statistic today (18/10/17): ‘There are 4.1 million people in financial distress’ also 5 million people and families would struggle with a £50 per month increase in their mortgage or rent.  The offer of a Free Utility and Telephony Audit has been a mainstay of Combyne Group now for over twenty years and with family budgets being ever more squeezed as evidenced by the the article in 2011, now is the time to make decisions that will ease the pain.

The audit now includes Quality of Service too, both from using and support.
Partnering with a company that is top in the UK is part of that audit.

Budgets in 2018 are ever more squeezed with pay rises not keeping pace with inflation (went up again in Aug 2018). Increased Council Tax, increased National Insurance, increased rents/mortgages, decreased benefits and so on.

Sitting down with a set of personal or business bills, has always delivered the right results for clients. We have the confidence to say, this is the best way forward or you already have a great deal, so stay where you are.

The starting point though is seeing a full set of 12 months bills, understanding the trends, the usage levels, plus taking on board changes in the future and then giving clear advice.

We can look at the following services, and provide alternatives, which are award winning for both the home and small business market:

Mobile Phones – new deals announced April 2018. Up to 20Gb data month
Handsets and Sims or Sim only deals
Broadband – ADSL and Fibre
Electricity – we can now offer two year fixed rate deals (expires in 2020)
Free LED light bulbs for life for home users, installed free.
Non Geographic numbers

We explain, we handhold and we support on an ongoing basis.

When we first published this article average savings were in the range of £200 to £400 per annum for a home user, now with added benefits it is often in the £600 to £800 range. It all depends on personal circumstances and will be clearly and accurately explained, when discussed.

Added benefits include: CashBack card and this now delivers CashBack from all UK stores online and on the high street.
Refer friends and family and there can be an extra £150 a year in shopping vouchers.
Home Insurance launched in 2017 – typically delivering £100 of savings.

Email to  call to 0844 826 1730 or fax to 0871 900 1129.

More than 866,000 people aged 65 & over are still working

Over 65 and still working

Over 65 and still working

So much for retiring at an age when leisure should be more important.

However, the UK has a major headache on its hands as the aging population outstrips those of younger age. Our elders are staying in work longer, reducing opportunities for those in their teens and twenties, and then leaving them on the scrap heap, when work should should be second nature.

And it gets worse, since our maturer members of society are having to work to pay mortgages they have taken out, which continue being charged well into their 70s and beyond. Their pensions being insufficent to cover the mrotgage payments, this forcing them to take part time and full time positions, further reducing the opportunity for younger people.

Both SAGA and Policis have produced reports this month (January 2011) confirming this trend, please see the cutting from the Daily Mail opposite. Truly frightening.

This has perhaps explained the increasing number of people joining my business these last few years, since it presents them with the opportunity to work part time and whenever time to create extra income when they see fit, and equally when they are fit enough to do so.

More details here:

Who do you know who would like to have the means to increase their monthly income without committing to regular 9 – 5 hours? Please ask them to take a look at the link above and see how a company with lots Which? magazine Best Buy ratings could help them survive their later years without poverty. 

Likwise controlling outgoings is equally important, and looking through the recent new clients sees more and more in this age range too – suppose the Best Buy helps as well

Vat, Duty and price rises ……

The impact of VAT and Duty rise early in January 2011 on fuel has been well documented, but a side effect is increased delivery costs on every product, which must have seen those rise too.

Surely (and I am no economist), that will see a rise in inflation too, as these increased costs filter through to the everyday budget for families up and down the country?

In fact there has been the suggestion that some companies are using these increased costs as a way of hiding price rises, and bizarely mobile phone companies have piled on the pressure too as charges for data increases. T Mobile being the latest reducing  their all Gigabyte inclusive and replacing it with a lower figure in the 500 Mb range.

3, O2 and Vodafone did the same too, and for 3 Network out of allowance calls have been increased as well.

Amazingly, Networks have found a way of increasing charges on fixed term contracts too. Whatever next?

Utility Warehouse has introduced some new brilliant personal sim only deals, and this is covered in more detail here: and you may retain your number by obtaining what is called a PAC (Port Authorisation Code) number.

There is further bad news on the horizon with National Insurance and Duty Rises planned for April 2011.

This will fuel the inflationary tendency.

In fact looking around the high streets of London these last few days, suggests that many more businesses have given up the ghost by closing their shops following the Christmas period. Could we be heading for another major decline in trading centres across the country?

It is quite fearful.

New Mobile Phone tariffs – the real deal ….

New Mobile DealsNo, I am not writing about Mr. Dickenson’s TV Programme of the same name, but highlighting yet again Utility Warehouse have come up with a stunning range of mobile phone tariffs, which went live this week.

How do these SIM only deals grab you for personal users?

Value 500 Sim only
500 minutes and unlimited texts
£10 per month including Vat


Value 800 Sim only
800 minutes and unlimited texts
£15 per month including Vat


Value Max Sim only
Unlimited minutes and unlimited texts
£20 per month including Vat

Who do you know who would like such a deal or for that matter, many?

You can sign up here: and click on Mobile and Value Tariff. A word of warning, signups through the website will attract a £50 deposit, so to avoid that, please contact me direct and arrange for one to be done on paper.

The mobile deals mentioned above are also available to business users, on slightly different tariffs, and all users can also add data bundles too. And for slightly more per month could also have a brand new handset as well.

This is just one of many great deals on offer to residential and business customers, since the company also provide electricity, gas, mobile broadband, broadband, plus the fantastic CashBack card and lots, lots more.

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