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What makes a successful business plan

When starting a new business, there are many elements you need to consider. Careful planning is essential to ensuring the longevity of your business, but what exactly goes into a good business plan?

A good business plan is one that is detailed. Sections should include; an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product, marketing and sales, funding request and financial projections. These topics cover as much of the business as you can in the planning stage.

Showing attention to detail in your written plan demonstrates a commitment to the business going forward. When writing a business plan, there are a few ways to ensure you are creating the best guide for your idea. Researching the industry and other companies in the market you are looking to step into can give you an insight into more than just the competition. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know how and if audiences will respond to you.

If you aren’t presenting your plan to investors or potential partners, determine what purpose your business plan will serve. A good business plan can be used not only as a sales document but a map for the business into its future. Writing a business plan that makes projections for the first five years can keep you on track and show you areas in which you need to focus on.

A business plan is a guide to help you create and maintain the best business you can. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, a successful business plan is one that teaches you the things you want to get out of the business and ways in which you can achieve them.

Posted on 15 July '19, under business. No Comments.

SMSF rollovers in SuperStream to be deferred

The 2019-2020 Federal Budget suggested a deferral of the extension of SuperStream to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) rollovers from 30 November 2019 to 31 March 2021. The commencement of this deferral has recently been confirmed by the government.

The deferral will coincide with the $19.3 million that will be provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over three years from 2020-21, enabling electronic requests to be sent to superannuation funds for the release of money required under a number of superannuation arrangements.

With the combined date for both bringing electronic release authorities into SuperStream and allowing SMSF rollovers, changes needed to update SuperStream will only need to be undertaken once. The deferral aims to reduce administrative costs for funds and allows for a more integrated design of SuperStream.

First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but with the change will see this process extend to SMSFs.

Regulations for the deferral to put into effect will be made promptly.

Posted on 15 July '19, under super. No Comments.

Maximising your tax return as a home-based business

Small business owners may be able to claim deductions for the costs of using your home as a principal place of business when filing your 2019 income tax return.

Tax deductions may be claimed for the business portion of expenses that include electricity, cleaning, rent payments or mortgage repayments. However, it can be difficult to ensure you are claiming expenses you are entitled to. How you operate the business out of your home will determine the types of expenses that may be claimed. Your business structure will also affect your entitlements and obligations when claiming deductions on home-based business expenses.

Individuals that operate a business as a sole trader or partnership are entitled to claim a deduction for the costs of running their business from home. There are two types of expenses that can be claimed, running expenses or occupancy expenses. Running expenses refer to the increased costs of using your home’s facilities for the running of your business. Occupancy expenses are those that you pay to own or rent your home.

Typically, those that are eligible to claim occupancy expenses can also claim running expenses. Records that need to be kept include written evidence, tax invoices and receipts, which should substantiate your claims for all home-based business expenses. You may consider consulting a trusted advisor or registered tax agent to ensure that you meet all obligations when claiming deductions in your tax return.

Posted on 15 July '19, under tax. No Comments.

Claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions

Members of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) that are eligible can claim an income tax deduction on personal super contributions. Members that intend to do this must notify their fund trustee before lodging their 2019 individual tax return.

The eligibility requirements to claim a deduction for personal super contributions include:

Prior to lodging their 2019 tax return, eligible members must ensure that they supply the SMSF trustee with a notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions. They must also provide a written acknowledgement from the SMSF trustee of the notice of intent.

Posted on 8 July '19, under super. No Comments.

Using your tax return wisely

Getting your tax refund back is exciting, but as tempting as it is to splurge, consider other ways you can put that money to good use. It is easy to get caught treating your return as extra money when you shouldn’t see it any differently than your regular paycheck. Give the money a purpose by thinking about your personal financial situation and determining your needs.

Emergency fund:
An emergency fund can make all the difference if a difficult financial situation comes up, acting as a backup in the case of an emergency such as losing your job or medical costs. Building an emergency fund with enough money to cover at least three months worth of expenses is a good starting point. Make sure the money is added to a high-interest savings account to utilise compound interest. If you are contributing regularly to this fund, adding money from your tax return can boost it above schedule.

Make debt repayments:
With a bit more money at your disposal, now is the time to make repayments on debts you may have. Start with the higher interest debts and work down, your interest repayments will drop when you lower your outstanding balance. These debts can be things like credit cards, personal loans, outstanding bills or mortgage repayments.

Posted on 8 July '19, under General News. No Comments.

Tax bracket changes passed

In the 2019-20 Federal Budget, the Government announced their plans to change and build on the Personal Income Tax Plan. These changes affect the low and middle-income tax brackets and were passed on 5 July 2019.

The Budget proposed that from the 2018-19 income year:

Assessments for returns that have already been lodged are expected to be issued from 12 July and into the following week, which is in line with the normal processing of refunds for the end of financial year. Individuals and tax professionals will not need to request these assessments.

Amended notices of assessment can be accessed through the ATO website. For those individuals that have linked the ATO to their myGov account, they will be notified in their myGov Inbox.

Posted on 8 July '19, under tax. No Comments.

Improving efficiency in your business

As a business owner, making the most of your day to optimise productivity is crucial to your success. The most efficient businesses are those that can create more with less and are driven by highly motivated employees and inspiring leaders. To maximise efficiency within your business, it is necessary to understand the importance of time management, organisation, and managing resources.

Tackle the hardest things first:
Ticking off the jobs that will require the most effort are usually done more effectively first thing in the morning. Also known as ‘eating the frog’, this can help you to avoid procrastination. Once you have done these tasks, all subsequent jobs will seem much more manageable, allowing you to get into a more productive workflow.

Avoid multitasking:
While trying to do many jobs at once may seem like an important skill for increasing efficiency, in reality, it may have the opposite effect. Attempting to multitask can result in lost time and reduced productivity, as you are not focusing properly on each task. Instead, consider making a habit of committing to a single job, completing it thoroughly, and then move on to the next project.

Set manageable goals:
It a common problem for business owners is not having a solid understanding of whether their employees are performing highly or not. This can be caused by a lack of achievable and motivational goals. By offering manageable deadlines for tasks to be completed, it can provide your staff with an incentive to stay on track. Giving clear direction to your employees can assist in clarifying your expectations of the business, helping to increase efficiency.

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

The art of reinvention

Small businesses often rebrand or reinvent themselves to keep up with marketplace trends. Knowing when to let go of an idea so you can grow is a smart trait for a modern business owner to have. Those who resist change and leave it too late to reinvent risk stumbling behind and even failing. Instead, businesses should focus on a proactive approach to growth for optimal performance and success.

Know when to reinvent:
A new idea may seem exciting and different but rebranding without properly considering how it will affect the business can doom an idea before it can take off. Look at your reasoning for wanting to change, is it the market? Has the economy shifted? Are you not challenged anymore? All are valid reasons for wanting to reinvent your small business but practicality is key. Know your means and what it will take to rebrand.

Continually forecast:
Industries are continually shifting, competitors introduce new products, customer needs change and technology is constantly transforming the way business is performed. Anticipating market changes is essential to be a competitive leader in your industry. High performing business owners understand that remaining competitive means you need to expect changes and prepare as such.

Focus on strategy:
Strategic planning is imperative to make reinvention possible. Businesses need to be able to detect shifts in their industry, ideally before they happen. The best way to predict these shifts is to involve line managers, frontline employees, store managers etc into the strategy process, as they often pick up on insights business owners can easily miss. For a business to reinvent itself, it needs a permanent strategy which continually scans the market for unsolved problems and untapped customer needs.

Posted on 27 June '19, under business. No Comments.

PAYG reporting dates approach

Changes have been made throughout the year regarding SMSFs and their pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding. As the end of the financial year and the due date for PAYG reporting approaches, SMSF trustees should be checking whether they are meeting new withholding obligations for capped defined benefit income streams paid to their members.

If you have PAYG withholding obligations in 2018–19 you must provide your members with a PAYG payment summary by 14 July 2019 and lodge a PAYG withholding payment summary annual report with the ATO by 14 August 2019.

SMSFs have PAYG withholding obligations for super benefits paid to members who are:

Capped defined benefit income streams include life expectancy and market linked pensions which were payable before 1 July 2017 and reversionary income streams paid to beneficiaries.

SMSF trustees who are paying a capped defined benefit income stream to a member must ensure to meet all obligations. These include registering for PAYG, providing your member and the ATO with payment summary information, and making sure to comply with the withholding obligations of your activity statement.

Posted on 27 June '19, under super. No Comments.

End-of-year Single Touch Payroll changes for employers

Single Touch Payroll (STP) will change how employers report their employee’s end-of-year information to both employees and the ATO. The first year of STP for employers with 20 or more employees will soon come to an end at the completion of this financial year.

Employers that are reporting through STP will no longer need to:

Employers who started reporting through STP in the 2018-19 financial year will have until 31 July 2019 to make the finalisation declaration through their STP-enabled solution. The declaration states that you have completed your reporting for the financial year. Employers should ensure that all STP information is true and correct before making their finalisation declaration. Employee payment summaries and PAYG payment summary annual reports are still required for all payments that are not reported and finalised through STP, due 14 July 2019 and 14 August 2019 respectively.

Posted on 27 June '19, under tax. No Comments.

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