When it comes time to sell your business, enlisting the aid of professionals is usually advisable. Even the most fiercely independent “I can do everything” business owner will achieve a better overall result by seeking assistance in this important transaction.
How much should I charge?
This is one of the most difficult questions any small business owner has to answer and often it has to be answered many times each day – very stressful. While it is a difficult question, it is also one of the most important for the continued viability of your business.
While there are many factors that can cause a business to fail, a common feature is the failure to maintain appropriate accounting records. As the new financial year approaches, now would be a good time to take a serious look at your systems and see if they can be improved.
Do you own negatively geared investments or rental properties? Would you appreciate extra cash throughout the year to help meet interest and other expenses you have to pay throughout the year?
Any small business that employs people other than the owners will be faced with the issue of what to do when one of your team members decides to move on.
In a recent article, I mentioned how my use of Trello as a To Do list management tool had increased my productivity. It has also, coincidentally, assisted in my constant battle with procrastination.
Time management – we all need it in all areas of our lives.
No doubt you have, from time to time, had to grapple with the pressures of the number of hours in the day and the demands for your time.
SYSTEMS – every successful business has them and, while they are operating properly, ensure the business continues to operate efficiently.
“Come and buy my widget! My widget is the best because it has A, B, and C and, as well as all that, it’s on special this week.”
At J&T Accountants & Advisors, we generally try to stay away from political commentary – we are accountants, after all! However, a federal election (and particularly one of this year’s magnitude, with a full-Senate election) is a big event in the life of Australia, and will impact directly on business confidence for months to come.
Our illustrious PM has decreed that innovation is going to be the saviour of the Australian economy. Over the years, Australians have certainly shown an ability to come up with new ideas. The fact that sometimes those new ideas have to leave Australia to be developed is a sad reflection of our inability to recognise the value inherent in those ideas.
I’ve been thinking this week that maybe the small business sector should adopt the 1977 Queen classic We Are The Champions as our official anthem.
With only 13 weeks of the financial year left to go, astute taxpayers are starting to think about what can be done to reduce any tax payable with respect to the 2015/16 year. Of course, the really astute taxpayers have been planning since July 1 but most of us leave it to the final quarter.
It looks like it’s not only the big, mean multinationals that have been avoiding paying tax in Australia. The exciting news of the week (for accountants, anyway) is that some Australians (possibly as many as 800) have been taking advantage of the same loop-holes and hiding income in overseas tax havens.
Well all that April “foolery” is over for another year and the pranksters can claim victories and acknowledge failures while storing away some ideas for next year. While many of the successful pranks were just spur-of-the-moment events, others required considerable planning and resources to be effective.
Planning for your retirement is one of those activities in life that can be ignored for as long as you want to ignore it. No one else will know and anyway, retirement is a long way away.
Paying yourself first is a well-used recommendation for anyone wanting to create a nest-egg outside their superannuation fund.
How difficult is it for a small business to recruit? Assuming the business owner has a clear idea of exactly what are the desired characteristics of the ideal candidate, the process of advertising, reviewing applications, shortlisting, interviewing, conducting background checks and finally appointing is time-consuming and therefore costly.
A recent report from AMP highlights some concerning statistics regarding the growth in household debt in Australia since 1988.
Everyone is busy! It really doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, anyone with a purpose in life has things to do, places to be or people to see.
Having had to deal with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for more years than I care to even contemplate, I note the changes that are currently taking place in form and content are really quite significant. However, like many things in today’s society, the pace of change is such that we barely have time to keep up with the changes and certainly have no time to consider whether the changes are “good” or even desirable.
As we prepare for the arrival of a new year, it is an opportune time to consider the importance of preparation in our business and personal lives. I will limit my comments here to the business context but I hope the parallels with preparation in our personal lives is not that difficult to see.
Is Santa bringing you a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) this Christmas?
Are you aware that if any of your children have a failed relationship, their share of your family wealth could end up going to another family?
Researching popular Google searches reveals that investment property tax is frequently searched in Australia. This is hardly surprising – Australians are keen property investors and they dislike paying taxes (of any sort).
Ironically, most people are now comfortable with using internet banking to access their accounts (and maybe even their money!). The convenience and efficiency of online banking has won over a vast majority of the population, and rightly so. The banks have convinced us that their security is top-notch, and we’ve bought it.
For those who plan to have a comfortable (or more than comfortable) retirement, the financial decisions made between first job and retirement are critical.
Australian Tax Office – three words that, for most working Australians are associated with feelings of dread. We know that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is responsible for relieving us of the opportunity to spend at least a third of our income (always a disappointing outcome).
There’s no doubt that shark attacks have been big news recently. The impact on the victims ensures that the news bulletins will automatically give the events significant coverage.
During my 30+ years in business, it has always been known that referrals are the best form of advertising. The idea of having existing customers and other business contacts promoting your business by referring friends, family and clients to you is obviously a great option for growing your business.
Current tough business conditions are leading to some remarkable business decisions around the prices being charged. It seems that businesses in many industries (particularly the building and construction industry) are focusing on achieving turnover at margins that appear to be unsustainable in the long term.
What are you passionate about? Does it have anything to do with how you earn your income?
It’s probably a bit un-Australian to be passionate about anything - except sport of course - so the concept of being passionate about earning income or accumulating wealth may be foreign to many. For those, it’s a case of “It’d be good if it happens but buying a lotto ticket is almost too much effort”.
As a business owner, doesn’t it give you a lift when the phone rings and the caller says something like “My friend John suggested I give you a call”.
At this time of the year, accountants in business are invited to participate in a number of surveys which are designed to provide a comparison of an individual accounting with similar businesses around Australia.
Of all the weddings that were celebrated last weekend, undoubtedly the wedding of the Deputy Mayor of Auburn in the western suburbs of Sydney received the most attention (from the media at least).
Everyone is a sales person and failing to recognise that is sure to be a limiting factor for your career or your business.
Although it is unusual for employees to think this way, even those whose primary role is not sales in the traditional sense must, if they hope to achieve success, be alert to opportunities to promote their skills and value to the business to internal customers - the business owner and other team members. This is not always easy for some personality types but overcoming any natural reticence to self-promote will lead to increased success.
Most businesses spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to attract new clients. This is perfectly natural and a logical approach to take for any business trying to grow or even remain constant. After all, existing customers will stop buying from your business for a number of reasons. Typically they move to another town or reach a different stage of life so your offering has no attraction.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time!” How many times have you heard (or used) that statement to explain or justify a decision that has served your business well but is now holding it back?
Knowing what to change and how to change it is as important a business skill as knowing when to change and, most times, the owner has a choice to act now or to wait.
One week to go! This time next week it will be “Happy New (Financial) Year” time but most people won’t be as excited as they will be on December 31. There’ll be no fireworks, no all-night parties and (probably) no New Year resolutions.
The interaction of the various levers that our political and economic masters are attempting to use is creating some interesting outcomes. Depending on your position, this will affect your financial situation now and maybe into the future.
Since the shock of the GFC, Australians have been focussing on paying off their debts (particularly their home loans) as a strategy to increase their financial security. This strategy has been assisted by the falling interest rates where borrowers have kept their repayments at the original level.
The topic dominating the news over the last week has undoubtedly been the release of the Federal Government’s budget for 2015/16. This annual event always provides commentators with plenty of material to clog our airways and newspapers as each one presents the view of their respective special interest sector.
Everyone loves a tax deduction. Some people love them so much they’ll spend a dollar needlessly because it’s a tax deduction and the tax man will give them 32 cents back! But that’s a topic for another day.
I don’t have time to watch much television. However I must admit that I find Shark Tank to be a fascinating insight into the interaction of what I regard as the 4 main value propositions anyone can bring to the market. The critical 4 are Seed, Deed, Need and Greed.
If you are unfamiliar with the program, a brief explanation is speed-dating for real entrepreneurs (who have money) and budding entrepreneurs (who need money). Although it is a contrived market, it offers life lessons for everyone.
As we rush towards the start of a new financial year, business owners need to take time to review the marketing efforts of their businesses over the last 12 months and to formulate a comprehensive marketing plan for the next year.
In case you didn’t notice, two important events occurred over the weekend – the official end of daylight saving in the misguided states and the official START of the TAX PLANNING season everywhere.
The post cyclone carnage in our business community is starting to match the devastation suffered by the region’s trees during the height of the cyclone. Just like the trees, very few businesses have escaped the aftermath unscathed.
In all fields of human endeavour, the most successful will almost always have one thing in common – passion. For anyone who wants to achieve a goal, being passionate about its achievement will ensure that your chances of success are vastly improved.
Of course, passion alone is not enough to be successful. You need to plan and evaluate carefully, implement efficiently and operate effectively as well, but doing all those with passion will ensure your project reaches the desired conclusion.
Do you know why your customers are your customers? Do you really understand why they buy from you? Knowing the answers to these two questions could make a world of difference to the success of your business.
And another one bites the dust!
2014 was characterised by the effects of the downturn in the mining industry, the local property industry flat-lining, puzzling political decisions and a lingering hangover from the GFC.
In 10 years, my business will be out of business.
That’s the view of a recent article in The Financial Review which suggested that 500,000 white collar jobs (including accountants and financial planners) would be replaced by automation/technology/robots by 2025.