Monthly Archives: October 2015

10 Quick Business Tips

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Is this a great idea? –  Research as many aspects of your business as you can before you start it – for example; is there a market for your product/service? Who are your competitors? Do you have the financial capacity to start a business?
Building a solid structure – Similar to constructing a house, you need to have a solid business foundation to achieve the results you want. Get your business spine in place and have a solid clarity & strategic plan, this will enable you to operate with confidence and certainty.
What’s in a name? A good business name not only identifies you to your customers, but has the potential to make you stand out from your competitors.
Licence and registration please – don’t get caught out by not having the right licences and permits for your business activities.
Own your product rights – do you have a great business name? Or perhaps a unique design or patent? Protect your intellectual property (IP) rights by registering for the right IP.
Assurance by insurance – businesses deal with risk on a daily basis. Insurance is vital to guard you against events that may not be within your control.
Advertising on the cheap – there are many ways to market your business, regardless of your financial budget. Ensure that your advertising efforts are rewarded by doing research on your market. You want to make sure you have a good return on your investment.
Tax tips for small business – new to business and tax? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a guide to help educate you on your taxation obligations. They are currently running a series of webinars, to assist small business. Click here to register.
Social media is the new black – with the rise of technology in the workplace, having an online presence is becoming more and more important.

Seek help when you need it – running a small business can sometimes make you feel isolated. Make sure you get the professional advice you need. It can be challenging to keep up to date with the constant changes within the business environment, so getting the right advice from the start could save you in the long run.

If you are thinking of starting your own business or want to develop the framework to achieve long-term growth, profitability and sustainability then contact Lynda on (03) 9744 7144.

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Not a budget, a profit plan.

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Many small to medium business owners assume that budgets are something only used by big companies with big accounting departments to make big profits. What many small to medium sized business owners are missing is the real reason why the large companies use budgets every day to grow and manage their business. They’re planning not just WHAT they want to achieve but HOW they are going to achieve it.

The term “budget” implies constraint and limitation – we think of a home budget where weekly grocery spending is limited, we think of an advertising budget where only a certain amount is allowed to be spent annually. Therefore we prefer to think of it as a “profit plan” – because our budget is telling us how we intend to make our profit, whether it is weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

The best plans take three forms – a Profit & Loss Budget, a Balance Sheet Budget and a Cashflow Budget. Each has a specific purpose and provides information to business owners about different financial measurements of the business performance. The Profit & Loss Budget provides details of the projected business performance for a given period, the Balance Sheet Budget provides a snapshot of the financial position of the business at a particular point in time and the Cashflow Budget provides details of how the business will manage it’s cashflow during a given period. Each of these are planning tools used to assist the business owner in making better decisions to manage their business.

Building a budget is a process that each business owner should go through in some form. Obviously some businesses will require a more in depth budget than others however the principals for the preparation process remain the same. It starts with reviewing the historical performance of the business, assessing that performance against the remainder of the industry and then applying this knowledge to the business owners understanding of the future of both the business and the industry.

Often the budget process is more critical than the actual budget outcome itself as it takes the business owner down the path of a critical review of the anticipated future performance of the business and provides a number of reference points to measure actual performance against anticipated performance.

The most effective way for business owners to take control of their cashflow is to prepare and regularly review a robust cashflow forecast. The purpose of the forecast is to provide a business owner and manager with a picture of how the business’ cash position will look at a given time in the future. This will help the business owner determine how the business as a whole will look at the same time in the future.

If you are a business owner who really wants to improve the performance of your business in the future a budget is a must.

Need help with your current budget or simply don’t have one?  We can help!

Contact the team at McMahon Osborne Group, we have the tools to get you started.  Call (03) 9744 7144

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Small business webinars

ATO small business webinars

Are you starting a new business or simply want to update your knowledge?  The ATO is running a series of small business webinars. These tax basics webinars cover a variety of topics including;

  • Tax Basics for Small Business Introduction – An introduction to the basic tax issues you need to consider if you are thinking about starting a business, such as business structures, tax registrations and record keeping.
  • Income Tax Deductions – This webinar looks at the fundamental principles of income tax deductions that apply to all businesses. It looks at the tax treatment of different deductions, including depreciation of assets.
  • Home Based Business- Here you will learn information about claiming home-based expenses and understanding how capital gains tax may apply.
  • Motor Vehicle Deductions- Focusing on the special rules when claiming deductions for motor vehicles, and provides practical examples of how to record and claim the expenses.
  • Concessions for Small Business – This webinar will look at the concessions that are available for income tax, capital gains tax (CGT) and goods and services tax (GST).
  • Activity Statement Essentials – Learn how to complete your activity statement. The primary focus is on the labels to be completed for the GST, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and PAYG instalments.
  • Budgeting & Record Keeping – Understanding how to meet your tax obligations, as it is essential that you maintain complete and accurate records. Also discussed is the importance of budgeting, and the key role that records play in budget management.
  • Employer Obligations Overview – This webinar explains the tax issues and obligations relevant to employers, such as pay as you go (PAYG) withholding, super guarantee and fringe benefits tax (FBT).
  • Super Obligations –  This webinar explains which of your employees are eligible for super, how to calculate their super and what happens when super is not paid on time.
  • Issues for contractors – Learn how to address some of the commonly asked questions around employee versus contractor, as well as other issues relevant to contractors, such as personal services income.
  • Depreciation – Answers to commonly asked questions around claiming deductions for depreciating assets.

If you would like to register for one of these webinars please click on the link below.

REGISTER NOW

McMahon Osborne Group offer a number of business programs to assist you in achieving your business goals.  If you would like to find out more please contact Lynda on (03) 9744 7144 or visit our website http://www.mcmahonosborne.com.au where you will find testimonials from clients who have attended our various programs, with great success!

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Fluffy clouds or storm clouds? It’s all in the questions.

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You may have heard a lot of discussion over the past few years about various cloud accounting products available in the marketplace.  For each promoter telling us Xero is the only way to go because it’s funky and new age, there’s another promoter telling us MYOB is the only way to go because it’s sound and secure.  And of course other systems such as Reckon Accounts and Saasu are putting their hand up also.

Unfortunately, what has been lost amongst this product based battle is the underlying questions of whether or not cloud computing, cloud accounting and cloud storage are solutions for you and your business.  Fear mongering and confusion are generally triggers for inaction and distraction – and hence where many business owners are now when it comes to the world of “cloud”.

So, how do we get past this?  Let’s project forward five to ten years – what business will look like can often be extremely difficult to predict, so let’s use history as a reference point.  Ten years ago where was online banking and smart phones, how active was email and how prevalent was legal streaming of data such as movies. Ask yourself how different was our world?  We cannot predict with supreme accuracy where the business world will be in five to ten years.  We can however, ask ourselves salient questions that will help to determine whether or not a cloud solution may in fact become inevitable, as opposed to optional, for most business owners.

  • Has your business adapted to online banking now in a way you did not see possible ten years ago?
  • Do you find you have more challenges in dedicating time to your business administration than ten years ago?
  • Do you find, in spite of this time challenge, others have more administrative expectations of you than ever before?
  • Do you find the times you do have available to dedicate to administration are often ad hoc micro breaks where you really achieve very little anyway?

If your answers to these questions are like most people, the very least you MUST do is explore cloud solutions to support you in operating your business.  Cloud solutions are merely tools to support business owners achieve financial and non financial objectives – they are not right for every business however it would be naive to turn a blind eye to this option.  Imagine a builder still using a hammer for every nail, a shearer using a narrow comb only or a school using black boards only. Each still has its place in each respective industry, but each has also been enhanced by improved technology (nail guns, wide comb & smartboards) – cloud computing, cloud accounting and cloud storage is the same.

Whilst there is no single answer that is right or wrong we need to start the conversation and ask key questions NOW.  Successful business owners know the trick to getting great answers – asking great questions.  Let’s start asking and see where the answers take us.

If you would like some assistance in working out what program is best suited to your business please contact Lynda on (03) 9744 7144.

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