Chatting with SimplyVAT.com

March 8, 2020 in Ecommerce Tips

What inspires them? What’s next for ecommerce? What do crossborder sellers need to prepare for? 

As it is International Women’s Day, we thought we’d take a moment to shine the spotlight on the brilliant women who making working at SimplyVAT.com so rewarding. As a company founded by a woman and with 60% of our senior leadership team being women, it’s no surprise we have so many bright, innovative and strong women helping to push SimplyVAT.com to the forefront of VAT compliance.

We sat down with some of our superstars from across the business to catch up on their time here, what’s inspiring them at the moment and what ecommerce businesses need to look out for. See what they had to share from their in-the-thick-of-it experiences:

Michaela has recently joined the Business Development Team where she guides sellers through the complexities of VAT, helping them to understand their VAT obligations and the impact they can have on ecommerce businesses. She flies to Prague next week for her first international conference at The European Seller Conference so be sure to say hi!

We asked: Having joined the business 6 months ago, how have you found working at SimplyVAT.com?

Michaela said: Has it really been 6 months already?!Working at SimplyVAT.com has truly been so rewarding from Day 1.  Having the ability to help our clients with their international VAT obligations, especially when they find themselves in a tricky situation, and consequently see their businesses grow exponentially is incredibly inspiring. Similarly, and seeing as it is International Women’s Day today, another incredibly inspiring aspect of working for SimplyVAT.com is the company’s leadership, which consists of so many of strong women. 

Many of you will have met our Global Projects Manager, Alex, as she travels the world delivering insight and knowledge to eSellers and international businesses. In her current role, she’s working on ensuring we’re ready for the monumental changes coming to the EU VAT system in 2021 and steering SimplyVAT.com into the future. As an active member of the ecommerce ecosystem, Alex keeps her finger on the pulse and feeds crucial insight into the business.

We asked: As you focus on preparing the business for the future, what are you looking forward to on the horizon of our industry?

Alex said: The tech industry is fascinating. I find myself getting lost in the daily articles of insider updates and the latest tricks of the trade from ecommerce sellers. I’m closely following the challenger businesses – those that have noticed that the current players aren’t operating fairly to customers or suppliers and want to make a change. These could be anything from marketplaces such as OnBuy.com or banks such as Revolut. The moral is you don’t have to be first to market, but you must be, and do, better than those before you. These businesses are the game changers and the ones to add to your playbook!

If you’ve been keeping up to date with our recent blog posts you most definitely will have read some of Louise’s work. She joined SimplyVAT.com as a VAT researcher will the aim of gathering hot off the press VAT updates, deep-diving into the ecommerce industry and interpreting international legalisation. Louise’s ability to distil and relay vital knowledge has not only been advantageous to our customers through our content, but to the whole team here.

We asked: In your role as VAT researcher, who have you come across that has inspired you?

Louise said: In general, every woman carrying on projects with confidence and resilience, from leadership roles to building their own businesses from scratch, despite the much too common imposter syndrome of ‘I’m not good enough for this’ that women too often have.

But also, looking at the new generation of European leaders with two of the EU’s top institutions -the European Commission and European Central Bank – headed by women is super inspiring!

Alicia has been a Client Manager at SimplyVAT.com for nearly two years now. As she’s been working with sellers to maintain their compliance through new ventures and global expansions, she’s picked up an incredible amount of tax technical knowledge. This will be put to good use as she heads up a new team focused on handling the most complex legislation and sharing our knowledge through training such as our course run in partnership with The Institute of Export at the end of March.

We asked: As one of our resident Tax Technical experts, what do ecommerce businesses need to look out for at the moment?

Alicia said: EU VAT is undergoing a huge overhaul in 2021 to better accommodate the rise in e-commerce selling, and to simplify (as much as possible!) the current legislation. With Brexit also on the horizon, there will be a variety of factors to take into consideration to remain a competitive seller within the EU. 2020 has also been given the title ‘The year of marketplaces’ with many rising up to compete against some of the giants in the industry. It’s an exciting time in the world of VAT, so be sure to keep a keen eye on any changes throughout the year!

And last but certainly not least, the woman who started it all, Founder and CEO – Claire Taylor. For those of you that don’t know, Claire founded SimplyVAT.com in 2014 after she saw that ecommerce sellers and their VAT obligations were not being highlighted. Having spent time working in the international VAT sector, gaining practical industry experience, she set out to build SimplyVAT.com. An international VAT services provider FOR ecommerce sellers. Her infectious passion for putting people first, supporting entrepreneurs and cutting the jargon has inspired the customer focussed culture integral to the way SimplyVAT.com operates.

We asked: What would your top tip be for people looking to start-up their own business?

Claire said: My top tip for people wanting to start a business would be to ‘think big!’ but get ready for an intense roller coaster ride! It’s extremely hard work but equally rewarding when you see the results of your efforts. Make sure you have mentors around you that have ‘been there and done that’ so you can learn from their experiences and progress faster.  The quality people you surround yourself with are critical to the success of your business, they need to be reliable and dedicated.  You’ll get so much further with a team that is excited to come on the journey with you.

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This is a post by Holly Hawes, Brand and Marketing Manager at SimplyVAT.com

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