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Choosing the right business location

When setting up your business, choosing a location can be a critical factor in its success. Each organisation has varying requirements, so it is necessary to consider your needs and priorities when deciding on a business premises that will best suit you.

Know your business:
The types of premises will depend on your business. Businesses that offer professional services may consider choosing long or short-term leasing options that will allow you to conduct customer and business meetings from a central location. If you run a retail or hospitality organisation it will involve deciding on the best location to sell your products while also being accessible to customers. For those that involve manufacturing, wholesaling or selling over the internet, then selecting a business location will not impact on attracting customers.

Identify customers:
Identifying who your customers are and how you can best meet their needs can also assist in choosing a location. Researching relevant information, such as where they live and work, and how far they will potentially travel to buy your products or services, can help you decide on a location that is practical for existing customers and attractive to new ones.

Assess the location:
Consider the external elements that can affect your business. Look at the traffic in the area and work out how it can support or hinder you and what services are in the area in which you choose to locate. You may consider asking other local business in your desired location for some advice on the best providers for services such as gas or electricity, water, phone and internet.

Posted on 20 May '19, under business. No Comments.

Common mistakes to avoid when launching a business

Starting a new business is an exciting time for many entrepreneurs. However, there are 5 common mistakes many new business owners make. By being aware of these mistakes that may occur when starting a business, you will increase your chances of success and remove the risk of your new venture turning into a failure.

Being unprepared:
Organisation is key when it comes to running a small business. While it may be tedious, implementing a solid plan for your business will benefit your time management and goal setting by mapping out exactly how much time and money it will take you to grow your business.

Avoiding new technology:
While new technology may seem intimidating and require more time initially to learn and understand, an unwillingness to adapt to new technologies may hurt your business down the track.

Failure to delegate:
Effective delegation can be a great way to build and grow your business. It can free up your time for business activities that may require your unique expertise, and help to build a strong team that can work together for collective success.

Ignoring market research:
Test your products and services before you start your business, to identify what target market you are trying to reach and how they may respond to your marketing activities.

Running out of capital:
You should plan in advance to ensure that you will have enough money to live on while your business is in its startup phase, as well as budgeting for the amount of capital you will require for the business to survive and grow.

Posted on 10 May '19, under business. No Comments.

Handling negative feedback

Customer complaints are an inevitable part of running a business. How you handle negative feedback can help or hinder retaining existing customers. Complaints can be a great learning tool for businesses looking to improve their services, products, customer satisfaction and overall competitive edge.

Poorly handled complaints can see customers withdraw their business and encourage others to do so. When businesses take the time to listen and genuinely fix an issue, customers see value in the services they provide. Here are four tips to deal with complaints effectively:

Actively listen:
When an issue is presented, apologise promptly for the matter and don’t blame others. Be sure to thank the customer for raising the complaint and listen intently, asking questions and repeating back what they have said can help to demonstrate this.

Focus on solutions:
Discussing different options for working through the issue with the customer can help as it shows commitment to fixing their problem. Clarify what their desired outcome is and negotiate solutions that meet both parties needs.

Have a dedicated staff member:
Assigning one staff member to manage complaints and responses can help processes to be thorough and consistent. By having a customer service role, with the appropriate training and skills to manage complaints, you also protect the business and the rest of the team who may not be as well equipped to handle negative feedback.

Posted on 6 May '19, under business. No Comments.

Accounting during every stage of business

Professional help with accounting and financial decisions is useful at every stage of business. Accountants can assist with a variety of tasks during different periods of operation within your business to improve strategies for long term stability. Having a dedicated accountant gives you more freedom to concentrate on running other aspects of the company.

Starting out:
There are many elements that need to be considered when first starting a business. Having an accountant on board can help you make big decisions and direct your focus to areas you want to establish first. Determining the best business structure for your situation and assisting with the financial analysis in your business plans are some of the first steps an accountant can advise you on.

Day to day:
Once you have an established business, an accountant can assist with the maintenance of strategies implemented when first starting out. It can be simpler tasks such as explaining your financial statements or overseeing company payroll and payment processes, to bigger elements of business like closing out your books, creating financial reports at the end of the year, compiling and then submitting taxes and all necessary paperwork to the ATO. Having this support can ensure accurate accounts and let you focus on more day to day tasks.

Posted on 29 April '19, under business. No Comments.

How collaboration can help grow your business

In a market that is full of entrepreneurs and small businesses, collaborating with a business that complements yours can be a powerful tool to share your marketing budget and be introduced to new audiences. Regardless of what industry you are in, combining resources and efforts with another business can enable you to easily reach goals and builds mutually beneficial connections.

Grow your network:
Making lasting connections with a target audience is key to being successful. Partnering with other businesses can help expand your networks, introducing you to people that you may otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. Collaborating with others can enable expansion of your client portfolio and customer base, with each party benefiting from the other’s audience.

Educational:
One of the biggest benefits of business collaboration is the opportunity for learning. Every interaction with a business different from your own can give you insight into something you may not have considered before. With two parties bringing different skill sets, perspectives and strengths to the table, there are many opportunities for mutual learning and growth.

It is also worth considering that while there are many potential benefits, a number of risks may come with business partnerships. For example, cultural differences or clashes in business philosophies could occur and create conflict. You should be considering processes carefully before going ahead, and consult a financial or business advisor if you need further assistance.

Posted on 12 April '19, under business. No Comments.

What employee benefits apply for FBT

When an employer provides certain benefits for their staff, they are required to pay Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). Employers pay FBT on the benefits they present to employees and their families or other associates. The benefit may be in addition to, or part of, an employee’s salary or wages package.

FBT is separate from income tax and is calculated on the taxable value of the benefits that have been provided to employees. The type of fringe benefits employers must pay FBT on include:

Businesses will need to assess their own tax liability within each FBT year, from 1 April to 31 March. Returns must be lodged before the due date on 21 May.

Posted on 1 April '19, under business. No Comments.

Cashless business

Advancements in technology continue to digitise our world, including financially. In recent years, more businesses and events are turning to cashless systems. Whilst cash still remains popular in businesses dealing in small purchases, such as cafes, if you run a business that handles larger transactions, changing to a cashless system could benefit you in many ways.

Managing your money through electronic payments helps you keep track of income and expenditure. If you use a digital system, you have extensive logs of where money came from or is going to, how much you have currently and what you are expected to receive or pay. To receive the best security and effectiveness with electronic payments, you could consider investing in technology that transfers money instantly whilst also tracking payments.

Running a cashless business also protects you from theft. Holding large amounts of cash can make you a target, with the time and expenses dedicated to ensuring your cash is secure being better used on more effective financial management systems. Whilst online methods come with their own risks, there are systems you can implement to protect you such as two-factor authentication, third-party data protection and cyber liability insurance packages.

Cashless business models are also time-saving. By cutting out cash handling, you can save time with your client interactions as well as cutting out end of day counts and lengthy trips to the bank to make deposits and changes. Whilst cashless systems are not right for everyone, if this is a viable option for your business you should consider consulting your accountant. If you decide to make the switch, give clients a grace period to be introduced to the new system and explain how it could benefit them.

Posted on 25 March '19, under business. No Comments.

Raising early stage capital in your business

Raising capital is a step that every startup faces. When a business is brand new, the question of how to get money must be addressed. If you intend to launch a business that needs significant capital expenditure, such as a retail business or a company that employs several other people, then you won’t get far without initial funding. Every investor has pro’s and con’s, and it is best to know what ways will work best for your business.

Friends or family investors:
Going to friends or family members can be the first point of contact to raise capital for your business. Investments from family and friends usually come in the form of loans, which you can arrange to pay back. It’s important to ensure that documents such as a formal business plan and legal agreements are drawn up professionally and to be transparent about expectations surrounding the investment.

Angel investors:
Angel investors refer to wealthy individuals who enjoy helping entrepreneurs in their business ventures. They can be important to a new startup, investing their money in exchange for small ownership of part of the business in an equity investment. However, they can also provide loan investments in the same way as family and friend investors.

Venture capitalists:
One of the most popular forms of startup funding is through venture capital, who are wealthy investors that support small businesses and startups by providing them with capital to grow and expand. Unlike family or friend investors, venture capitalists are generally equity investors with the expectation of a stake in the business.

Posted on 18 March '19, under business. No Comments.

Before selling your business

Deciding to move on from your business can impact a lot of different people. When selling your business, you will need to consider the effects on all areas of operation from the actual transfer of ownership to the impact on day to day operations. While it is easy to get caught up in the price of a sale, you should take the time to reflect on what selling will really mean.

If you have decided that selling is the way you want to go, make sure everything is in the best possible condition for sale. Having all policies, contracts, finances and other relevant information well documented can help to transfer the business a lot smoother and quicker. This will also be appealing to potential buyers as they can look into all business dealings easily and make informed decisions.

Next, you should get a valuation of your business once all the elements are in order. Having a valuation done will help you decide on the right selling price. Getting professional advice for this process will help you get the most accurate figure for all your assets and a detailed look into the market value.

After all this, it is time to put your business on the market. Advertising will greatly help your sale and attract different types of buyers. For this reason, you should be strategic with your marketing, appealing to the buyers you want to sell to. While you have a had your business valued, negotiations will still be a big part of a sale. Prepare yourself with what elements of the sale you are willing to change and what elements are definitive, this will help to determine what negotiations are worth your time. Involving a professional business broker, settlement agent or lawyer in the sale of your business can help prevent problems and make sure the sale is valid.

Posted on 8 March '19, under business. No Comments.

Challenges your business can face

Owning and running a small business comes with positives and negatives that maintain a balance. When the negative elements start to outweigh the positives, you have a problem. Every business will face challenges along the way, the trick is knowing what they are and how to deal with them.

Clients and customer service:
A business is nothing without its clients but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily easy to work with. In the digital age, everyone is heard, meaning good client relations are vital to having a positive business image. Growing your client base comes from well-planned marketing techniques and knowing what your audiences want from you. There needs to be a healthy balance between supporting your existing customers and sourcing new ones, you should not neglect either area.

Data/Technology:
With technology ever growing, some small businesses can find it hard to keep up. For a business to continue to thrive, it needs to be able to grow and adapt to the changing market. For this reason, many businesses hire younger workers to run their social media because they don’t understand it themselves and expect the younger generation does. While having a dedicated worker to look after areas you may not be familiar with, you should have a basic level of understanding about what this technology is actually doing to aid your business.

Posted on 1 March '19, under business. No Comments.

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