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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.

What advertising avenue is best for you?

Without exposure, businesses would come and go very quickly. In this new digital age, there are even more options for how you want to advertise your business. There are a variety of resources, all priced differently so you can pay as much as you want or nothing at all. You will need to be aware of your target audience and what form of media would they consume the most.

Traditional Media:
Traditional media most commonly refers to print, radio or television advertising. Ads in magazines, newspapers, on the radio and the television, are how you would target an older audience. To optimise this advertising medium, have your ads displayed prominently or played at peak times.

New Media:
New media refers to the internet and the various avenues on which you can advertise. Like traditional media, you can by ad space to appear on Google or other pages. Again this is monetarily based. The audience on social media, in particular, is younger and many services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, offer free business models that highlight all your relevant information for public consumption.

Local Advertising:
On a smaller scale, physical advertising in your area can boost visibility. Flyers or business cards are a good way to get locals to be aware of your presence in the community and can be fairly inexpensive. This form of advertising lets you reach an array of people as well as helping to establish yourself in your local area. If you have more money to spend, consider renting a billboard or a bus stop space for larger scale advertising.

Posted on 21 February '19, under business. No Comments.

Creating a positive business culture

Business culture is a reflection of what your company stands for, it’s your voice. Employee relations are what establishes this voice and can always be improved. A work environment that everyone enjoys can help to improve performance and productivity. Here are some ways you can help better the culture of your business

Vision:
For a business culture to be established, as the employer you must first decide what that voice will be. Having a clear direction for your business practices is common but for community in the office, a vision for your business culture will help the process. It is your job to help guide your company toward your vision in every aspect of the business.

Lead by example:
Often business owners can be separated from the general culture of the workplace. It is important to show you adopt the values and productivity levels you are expecting of your employees. Integration on this level helps to establish what you expect out of the business and its everyday processes.

Communication:
One of the most obvious points is communication, it is essential in running a business. Good communication is not only needed for basic tasks and management but also key to creating your business culture. If your vision for the business is not effectively communicated then the culture will reflect that.

Feedback:
If you foster an environment that encourages feedback, you get an everyday look into how the culture of your business is or has formed. Feedback to employees is important for their personal growth in the company and practices but when there is a mutual level of communication and trust, their feedback to you can help better your own idea of your business culture.

Posted on 14 February '19, under business. No Comments.

What we can learn from ‘introverted’ people

Most of us fall somewhere in between the introvert-extrovert spectrum but our concept of a great leader often looks to someone who exudes characteristics we often associate with ‘extroverts’ – including being charismatic, confident, and courageous. While these traits are indeed admirable and can be essential to motivate and drive your team, recent research surprisingly suggests ‘introverts’ tend to be better CEOs. In light of this research, we look at some often overlooked traits to expand your concept of great business leadership.

Taking the time to be introspective:
Ensure you don’t underestimate the value of taking the time to self-reflect on certain issues, looking inward for inspiration and judiciously asking in-depth questions to better understand your organisation.

Forming and maintaining deeper connections:
In the age of Linkedin and the increase of networking events, growing your professional network is often a focus of many business professionals. When taking into consideration the notion that humans can only maintain about 150 stable relationships at any given time (Dunbar’s Number), you can consider the value of holding more small-scale events or arranging more one-on-one engagements to better utilise your professional network.

Identifying and accommodating for ‘introverted’ behaviour in the workplace:
While it often ‘takes one to know one’, it doesn’t take much effort to recognise and accommodate introverted behaviour. An effective leader takes advice from all people in the room – not just the ones who happen to speak out. For example, it doesn’t hurt to give a little heads up on issues that are going to be addressed at a meeting. This is so all employees, including ‘introverts’, have the time to process their thinking and prepare talking points.

Posted on 7 February '19, under business. No Comments.

Instagram for business

Instagram business accounts help you reach new clients and companies that you wouldn’t be able to on other social media. It is an area of the market often overlooked due to its focus on an image but now is the time to utilize Instagram for your business and grow a profile in a fairly untapped area.

Why use Instagram?
Graphics and quotes are an easy way to engage with users and using hashtags help you to reach people who don’t follow you yet. The news feed algorithm favours active business accounts and suggests similar accounts for you to follow or see how they use the platform.

Business Profile:
The analytics feature alone is enough to entice businesses to the platform as it gives you insights into your follower base, interactions, peak posting times and paid advertising options. You can boost a post to reach more than just your followers and find new clients based on shared likes or similar accounts followed. A business profile is completely free and all paid advertising is optional though encouraged to get the most out of the platform.

Instagram Advertising:
One of the benefits of Instagram advertising is that it seamlessly blends into a news feed. Many ads on social media appear very out of place and obvious that they are an ad, Instagram formats advertisements like a regular Instagram post and targets it to people similar to your audience.

Posted on 31 January '19, under business. No Comments.

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